Travertine is a type of limestone that has been widely used as a building material for thousands of years. Over the centuries it has been used for roads and aqueducts, monuments and sculptures, churches and cathedrals and icons of architecture like the Roman Colosseum.
Today, travertine remains popular as a building material. It’s still used for commercial and residential building and design in bathrooms, kitchens and for interior wall cladding. Travertine pavers are also widely used for indoor and outdoor flooring.
Travertine paving offers a range of benefits. However, like any building material it does have its drawbacks too. So let’s have a look at some of the pros and cons of travertine pavers.
- Durable and weather resistant
As a natural material, travertine is incredibly durable and weather resistant. It can handle significant shifts in temperature from freezing winters to sweltering summers.
Due to its natural composition, premium-grade travertine is able to endure expansions and contractions that come with freezing and thawing cycles without cracking.
Perhaps more relevant to the Australian climate, travertine can handle direct and prolonged UV exposure without discolouration or fading. This makes travertine a great paving choice for outdoor spaces like patios and verandahs.
Because of its durability, travertine can also withstand heavy foot traffic without wearing down.
As a classic building material, travertine imbues any area with a sense of style and elegance. It’s available in a range of earth tones that provide a subtle, natural aesthetic that blends beautifully with the outdoors and a range of architectural styles.
The simple and understated aesthetic of travertine works well with most modern homes. Each tile will also feature a naturally-formed pattern on its surface. These hazy patterns will add visual interest to your floor without being too distracting.
- Naturally textured and non-slip
When you’re choosing a paver, it’s important to think about its safety implications. You need a surface that’s durable, resistant to damage and won’t present a slip and fall risk.
Since travertine generally has a non-slip surface, it can be a great option for areas that are prone to getting wet. In terms of indoor areas, travertine is perfect for bathroom and kitchen tiling. On the other hand, outdoor areas like backyard pools and ponds would benefit from the use of non-slip travertine pavers.
Keep in mind that there are different classifications of travertine, each with slightly different properties. For example, brushed travertine gives your floor a matte finish. On the other hand, polished travertine is glossy and can be slippery when wet.
- Prone to staining
Because travertine is a porous stone, liquids can easily penetrate the surface of the material. That means that it can be prone to staining. Using travertine in an area that is subject to spills, like kitchens or outdoor patio areas, could result in permanent staining.
However, proper surface sealing can protect travertine from most stains. The surface should be sealed once the paving is installed and regularly re-sealed every 12 months or so to protect the surface from staining.
Like any natural stone, travertine is heavy. If the ground is not properly prepared before installation, it won’t be able to support travertine. Over time, this can cause serious and costly damage to the paved area.
The weight of the paving can also make installation a labour intensive process and transport can be costly. However, you will likely face these issues regardless of what paving stone you choose.
- Sensitive to strong cleaning products
Although travertine can stand up to most physical damage, it can be vulnerable to chemical agents. Some chemical cleaners can discolour and even eat into the porous surface, causing blemishes or even weakening the stone.
It’s important to avoid harsh chemical cleaners and to regularly seal the surface to prevent damage. You should check with your paving supplier before using travertine around a swimming pool to ensure that it can stand up to the chlorine and other pool chemicals.
Travertine can be a great choice for a paver. However, it does have a few drawbacks. Before making a decision, it’s important to think about the pros and cons of different paving materials. Make sure that your chosen paver suits not only your aesthetic preferences but also your lifestyle requirements.