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Travertine Tile Use In The Kitchen

Travertine is a stone which has been around for many centuries and has been used both in construction and as decoration in building. You may not realize this but the Roman Coliseum was actually constructed almost entirely of travertine stone. The largest quarry for this rock in the known world was located only 60 miles from downtown Rome so it was easy to transport. In the present day, the majority of the travertine which is used in the US is sold in the form of pre-cut tiles or pavers for the garden.

Travertine is actually a sedimentary rock which is formed at the bottom of hot mineral pools. As water travels through the ground it picks up minerals along with the heat from the hot rocks. When the water reaches the surface it forms in pools and then evaporates. As the water goes away it leaves the minerals on the bottom of the pool. After eons these pools are covered with dirt and rock and then usually thrust under ground by tectonic forces. The heat and pressure transforms the sediment into a stone which is then uncovered and quarried.

This is the same process that forms marble, a much harder stone, except that the marble spends longer under ground and is acted upon by higher temperatures and pressures. This causes the marble to be much denser and heavier than travertine.

This fact makes these tiles very well suited for wall tiles. The sedimentary process causes voids and air pockets which mean the tiles are light and easier to hold with adhesive. This works great for walls but it causes a problem as a kitchen worktop. The small holes can be easily contaminated with liquids and bits of food which can harbor germs. For this reason, when travertine is used as a worktop covering it is filled. This means the tile is no longer considered natural but it still looks very stunning.

Travertine is also very popular as stepping stones and as walkways in gardens and yards. The natural tones of the tiles and pavers match the surrounding vegetation very nicely. Since they are earth tones it is very easy to match the tiles to any landscaping.

Many people also choose these tiles in entry ways and in bathrooms. In fact, these are the tiles which would be chosen if you were trying to copy a Roman Bath in the home. They can be placed on the wall, the floor, or even the entire shower stall could be covered with them.


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