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Travertine Flooring – Pros, Cons, Types, Installation Method

Travertine Flooring

  • Travertine is a sedimentary rock and is a form of limestone, but unlike limestone, it is created in mineral springs and geysers due to extreme heat and pressure from earth.
  • It is very durable, resilient and nonporous.

Advantages of Travertine Flooring:

  • Less expensive than marble and granite
  • Very durable similar to marble, granite and other natural stones
  • Environment-friendly
  • Replacing tiles is easy.
  • Available in various colors and tones
  • Resilient-can be used for many applications from floors to walls, foyers and exteriors as they tolerate extreme temperatures.
  • Non-slip surface –easy to walk on

Disadvantages of Travertine Flooring:

  • Porous structure-surface can wear and tear in longer use. Sealants should be used to prevent this.
  • Highly reactive to acidic substances and acidic foods. Not preferable for kitchen counter-tops.
  • Lack of homogeneity in appearance
  • Tend to be heavy.



Travertine is creamy white, but it is also available in yellow, brown or red.


  • Available as slabs, tiles, cut to size
  • Slabs: average size: 2’x5’ (may vary as per suppliers) thickness: 20-50mm
  • Tiles: 30x30cm,60x60cm,40x40cm,30x60cm, thickness -10mm to 30mm or
  • Cut to size: as per custom size order

Types of Surface Finish:

  • Polished : high gloss mirror-like surface, used in wall cladding, countertops, tabletops, fireplace facing and hearth.
  • Sandblasted : rough but tidy look, used in traffic areas.
  • Leather Finish : suede look and feel.
  • Honed: low gloss, smooth and eggshell finish.
  • Rubbed : Smooth matte surface, slightly rougher than honed finish.
  • Acid etched : Smooth and Matte surface obtained by applying chemicals.
  • Hammered : A pitched and sheen free surface, with slip resistance.
Travertine flooring

View different types of stone finishes at 10 Types of Natural Stone Finishes for Different Applications (

How to Install Travertine Floor Tiles:

1. Prepare the surface

Prepare the subfloor for a clean and dry, flat and even surface. If plywood is used as a subfloor, then a backer board needs to be installed/attached to the subfloor as an underlayment.

2.Preview tiles layout and apply thin-set

As travertine has a lot of variation, it needs to be blended so that all dark pieces or light ones won’t wind up together. Blend tile randomly to give a proper blend of colors. Spread the thin-set starting from the corner.

3.Lay the tiles in place and set permanently

Place the travertine tile on top of mortar and press firmly. Place the tiles spacers (1/8th inch or 1/16th inch or as per manufacturers’ instructions). Travertine tiles can also have laid without joints, (depending on tile edges and as per supplier’s information.) Press firmly with adhesive to achieve a strong and secure bond.

4. Remove any excess adhesive/moisture between tiles.

5. Allow for 24-48hours to dry completely before applying grout.

6. Mix the grout mixture and apply with a grout float deeply between joints.

7.Wipeout excess grout on tiles with a sponge.

8. Allow the grout to harden for 24-48hrs or as per directions.

9. Apply a clear sealer to seal the tiles as per supplier’s directions.

10. Suppliers may recommend before and after installation/before and after grouting.

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