Travertine Tile Pros and Cons

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Planning on buying travertine tiles? We compiled a list of some of the major considerations
you should take into account before making a decision, by creating a travertine tile comparison chart
that covers other popular travertine tile flooring alternatives. Furthermore, the following comparison chart would allow you as well to better understand important travertine flooring pros and cons.

However, since different characteristics of different tile options cannot be conveyed by words
or images alone, we have also partnered with leading online tile wholesalers, and invite you to
choose up to 5 Free Tile Samples of any kind, including travertine tile samples.
All samples ship free, and would arrive within 1-2 business days straight to your door.

Obtaining free samples would allow you to really hold down the materials and test their quality and other attributes (e.g., durability, scratch-resistance, color matching, dimensions, feeling of the texture, etc.)
straight from the comfort of your own home. To choose and receive your free samples, simply scroll down to the bottom of the following comparison chart and click on the button in the relevant column.

In addition, you can click here to get a free installation cost estimate for your project.

Travertine Flooring Pros and Cons vs. Porcelain vs. Marble

Comparison Chart: Travertine Tile vs. Porcelain Tile vs. Marble Tile:

  Travertine Tile Porcelain Tile Marble Tile
What is it made of Travertine is a form of limestone that usually develops from hot mineral springs. Porcelain is a type of ceramic that is rather produced with a finer grain clay, and also kiln fired at higher temperatures. Porcelain tiles that looks like travertine or other types of stone, are rendered with high-def digital printing technology. A metamorphic rock formed by exposure to very high temperatures and pressures. the result is a very smooth, refined texture.
Durability Being a natural stone, Travertine is extremely durable compared to most other flooring types (wood, vinyl, etc), and more than marble and slate. The durability of a porcelain tile is classified according to the PEI Rating, which is the durability index of porcelain and ceramic, and spans between 1-5 (higher PEI = more durable). E.g, Class 3 and above would suit both wall cladding and residential flooring. PEI-high porcelain would be more durable than Travertine. While marble has good durability, it is not as durable as Travertine.
Cost (material prices) $2.00 - $9.00 /sq ft $1.00 - $20.00 /sq ft $2.50 - $15.00 /sq ft
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Colors and pattern variety Travertine has natural colors and patterns, varying from tile to tile, making each tile unique. the most common color choices are silver, ivory, walnut and white shades. Travertine tiles are offered in different finish types: polished, honed, brushed and tumbled, which affect whether the texture is rugged or glossy. Different edge designs can be found as well. Offered in a rich textures and color range, including porcelain tiles that look like travertine and other stone types. the finish can be either matte or polished. full body porcelain is colored all the way through, whereas glazed porcelain is colored only at the surface, with the body being usually white. Unique and natural variation of colors and patterns. Offered in different finishes, polished marble is more opaque, whereas honed marble is more slip-resistant.
Areas commonly used Travertine is commonly used in living spaces, entrances, hallways, foyers and more. Travertine can also be used as wall cladding, whether interior or exterior. It also absorbs less heat than slate tile, which can be a consideration for outdoor areas in hot climates. Floor surfaces (including outdoors, as most porcelain tiles are suitable outdoors as well), interior and exterior wall claddings. Porcelain is a common choice in areas that are exposed to moisture (bathrooms, kitchens, pool areas). High PEI rated tiles would suit in commercial settings as well. Bathrooms, modern kitchens, foyers, hallways and wall cladding. Marble is commonly used in hot, humid areas, as it provides a cool surface to walk on.
Care and Maintenance Travertine tile can last beautifully for a lifetime if cared properly; a periodic sealing is required, especially when the area is frequently in contact with water. Virtually no maintenance required compared to travertine (and to most flooring tile options); No waxing or sealing is required. Similar care as travertine.
Climatic Suitability Travertine tile suits all climates for indoors use; In case of outdoors use in extreme cold climates, look into the specific product specs. Due to their high density, porcelain tiles would suit all types of climates, often for exterior use as well. Marble tiles would suit all climates for indoors use; do not suite outdoors use in extreme cold climate, due to the relatively higher water absorption rate that marble has.
Fading due to UV exposure No. No. Not remarkably.
Warmth and Feel Travertine is a natural stone known for its unique texture that adds a luxurious, antique feel. Porcelain is offered at versatile stylish patterns, with a great decorative value. Marble tiles are renowned for their classical and elegant beauty.
Pattern repetition Travertine is a natural stone, therefore each tile would be one of its kind and impressive. Porcelain tile that looks like travertine would usually have a lower pattern variation. Similar to travertine, each tile would be unique.
Ease of DIY Installation A professional natural stone installer (with travertine experience) is recommended. A professional tile installer is recommended. A professional natural stone installer (with marble experience) is recommended.
Dimensions Typically 4″x4″ - 24″x24″ Typically 6″x6″ - 24″x24″ Typically 4″x4″ - 24″x24″
Thickness 10mm – 13mm Generally 9.5mm (= 3/8″, Industry standard) 10mm – 13mm
Ease of Cleaning Travertine tiles should be cleaned with dry dust mopping; when washing is needed, use a pH neutral agent and water. If the travertine is used as exterior, it should be rinsed with water at least once a year. natural poultices may be used to remove stains. Easily cleaned with a damp mop. glazed porcelain is easier to clean, whereas unglazed porcelain is more slip-resistant. Use a damp mop; similar to travertine, spills should be cleaned as soon as they happen. difficult stains may be removed with natural poultices.
Scratch and dent resistance Compared to most other flooring types (such as wood), travertine has a good resistance to scratches, yet among all other natural stones it is considered the softest. however, scratches wouldn't be necessarily noticeable on travertine. Great resistance to scratches. However, any tile may eventually chip as once a heavy object drops on it. Good scratch resistance, more than travertine though not as good as porcelain.
Can it be installed over radiant heat Yes. Yes. Yes.
Environment friendly Moderately eco-friendly; in the long term travertine is a renewable resource; natural and sustainable compared to most different alternatives. Very eco-friendly, as it is made from natural materials, and has an extremely long life-span. Similar to travertine, marble is not a renewable resource in the short-term, However, its great sustainability saves the need to frequently replace it, which is an eco-friendly advantage.
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