Travertine Tiles - A Guide

23 February 2016
 Categories: Industrial & Manufacturing, Blog

When considering what kind of tiling to choose for your new bathroom, travertine offers an unusual and attractive solution that you may not have previously considered.  But what is travertine and why does it make a good choice for bathroom tiles?  Read on to learn more.

What is travertine?

Travertine is a form of naturally-occurring limestone.  The stone's sedimentary formation gives the surface of each tile an individuality that you just don't get with manufactured porcelain tiles.  Every tile has a unique face of pits, folds and textures, which catch the light perfectly, giving your bathroom a sense of depth and presenting an almost 3D effect.  Travertine is also extremely versatile.  If you prefer a more uniform look, filled or polished travertine tiles are available, which have been treated during the manufacturing process so that they have a flatter, shinier surface.   

Travertine's natural colour varies from off-white through to honey-coloured, and its warm, earthy tones go beautifully with most colour schemes.

Installation and aftercare

When correctly installed and treated, travertine is suitable for use in any area of your home, including kitchens and bathrooms.  The material is long-lasting and can be installed onto numerous surfaces including plaster, timber, vinyl tiles, and concrete. 

If you opt for a natural, textured finish to your travertine bathroom tiles, your contractor will have to 'back butter' each one during the installation process.  Back buttering simply entails spreading tile adhesive over the reverse of the tile to fill in the textural anomalies and ensure that the tile lies flat once it has been installed.  The technique also helps to prevent water or condensation from gathering underneath the tiles.

The natural porosity of travertine dictates that your bathroom tiles will have to be treated with a waterproofing product when installed in your bathroom, and this could add to the overall cost of your project.  However, this does mean that your tiles will last longer, and the treatment will not need repeating.  You will also need to use mild cleaning products that are suitable for use on natural stone, so that you don't damage your travertine bathroom tiles.  Your supplier will be able to advise you on the best proprietary cleaning products to use.

Travertine tiles have an advantage over porcelain ones in that the material is softer and less prone to cracking.  This means that you will find it much easier to install fittings, such as mirrors and cabinets, where screw holes need to be drilled through the tiles into the wall beneath.

In conclusion

Travertine is an unusual and beautiful tile material that you could choose for your new bathroom.  Ask your supplier for more information on the installation and care of travertine tiles.