Travertine stone is a form of limestone. Travertine is formed by minerals dissolving in ground water and then being deposited on the earth’s surface by rivers, streams, natural springs, or geysers. Extensive deposits exist at Tivoli, Italy, near Rome, from where its name is derived. It was frequently used in ancient times as a building material. The most notable building constructed mostly from Travertine is the Coliseum in Rome.
Travertine is acid sensitive and can easily be damaged by many household items that contain acids such as lemons, vinegar, juices, beverages and many cleaning products. These acids will etch the stone by leaving marks, rings or dull spots.
Travertine almost always has holes and channels where water and hot gasses escaped during its formation, you can see these holes on the unfinished side of the tile or slab. In most instances, these holes are “filled” during fabrication with cement like material or resin. Some Travertine is sold with the holes unfilled, giving the stone an old world aged look.
Travertine is not very hard; using the Mohs scale, Travertine registers 3 to 4 on the Moh’s 1-10 scale. The Mohs scale of mineral hardness can be used to measure the scratch resistance of various minerals.
Travertine can be cut a couple in different ways vein cut or cross-cut cut, each cut will reveal a different pattern. Vein cuts will reveal the bedding planes or strata and cross-cuts will reveal a flowery or circular pattern in the stones surface. Travertine comes in many different colors such as ivory, beige, walnut, noce, and gold. The color of travertine is the result of mineral and organic deposits during the formation. Finishes for Travertine vary widely from honed (matte) to highly polished, with honed being the most popular.