Travertine is one of the most popular stones in the building market today. While it has a similar mineral composition to marble and limestone, the unique swirls of color make travertine a popular choice. The small cavities which are inherent in every travertine were created when natural gases escaped through the stone; these holes don’t mean that travertine is not a durable material - just look at the coliseum in Rome. Travertine forms in areas where water is present during their creation such as near hot springs.
One of the characteristics which make travertine unique is that the same block of stone may be cut perpendicular to the bedding plain, exposing a linear pattern known as vein cut; or across the surface, known as cross cut, which reveals cloud-like patterns in the stone. Travertine’s palette of earthy colors including creams, golds, grays, and browns, coordinate easily with almost any design.
The varieties of finishes available in travertine offer an array of choices each with a style of its own. Honed travertine is the most popular finish today, with the largest degree of options available. The stone’s cavities are typically filled during processing with a cementicious grout, and then buffed down to non-reflective smooth surface, making it an ideal choice for floors and bathrooms.