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Travertine Flooring – Pros, Cons, Types, Installation Method

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

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 them permanently

Place the travertine tile on top of the 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 the 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 24-48 hours to dry completely before applying grout.

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

7. Wipe out excess grout on tiles with a sponge.

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

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

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

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