Travertine tile is an extremely popular choice for flooring throughout the home due to many different factors. It is extremely durable and can last for decades when properly cared for. It also has a very unique look because of how the stone was naturally formed. Travertine is formed when water heavy with dissolved minerals deposit at the surface. As the minerals harden, gasses can become trapped and form distinctive fissures and pits in the stone.
Because this type of stone is naturally formed, the colors and patterns depend on what types of minerals were dissolved in water. Colors can range anywhere almost white to a very dark brown. There are usually striations or specks of other colors throughout the tile. Different geographic areas can offer distinctive colors and styles of stone floor tiles.
The look of these tiles will also be affected by how the stone itself is finished. If the tile is cut with the grain, it will have a smoother, more uniform look. Tiles cut against the grain will have more color differentiation. There are four basic finishes: polished, honed, brushed or tumbled. Polished stone will be very smooth and shiny. Often as being finished, any pits will be filled in for an extremely smooth surface. Honed tiles will be smooth, but will have a matte finish and will not be as reflective as polished tile. Brushed tiles will have a finished look, but the surface will have a small amount of texture. Finally, tumbled stone will have the least smooth surface. The application of the tile will help determine what finish is most appropriate. For example, it may be a bad idea to use polished tile in a bathroom floor where water could cause the floor to be extremely slippery.
This type of tiling can be more expensive because it is naturally formed and preparing it for use is extremely labor intensive. However, it is a great investment and will add value to your home.