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Travertine name comes for Tivoli, a town in Italy where large deposits of travertine exist. The brilliant beige stone,
characterized by irregular surfaces and edges, has been a principal building material in Rome since the Roman Empire.
Travertine clothed the exterior of the Colosseum and was later favored by Michelangelo for his sculptures.
Travertine is a sedimentary rock that begins as limestone. Over time, geological shifting forces the limestone deep
within the earth. The porous nature of limestone makes it a great liquid reservoir. Limestone absorbs water from
aquifers, which are enormous underground pools formed by ice age melting. Heated by the earth’s inner core, the
water rises as steam, forming hot springs and geysers. This hot water dissolves the limestone and brings it to the
surface along with other granules from below. If enough time transpires, mud beds consisting of limestone and other
minerals cool and crystallize into solid travertine.
The cooling process results in the extraordinary small holes or cavities while minerals in the stone create unique
variations in color and veining. These variations contribute to travertine’s natural beauty and call to mind the ancient
splendor of Imperial Rome.
• Interior and exterior
• Floors and walls
• Shower surrounds
• Unfilled: Travertine with naturally occurring holes.
• Filled: Travertine with its naturally occurring holes filled with a mixture of a hardener and dust obtained from the
cutting and honing process.
• Polished: During production, a facet is put on each crystal at a microscopic level – much as a jeweler would facet a
diamond. The resultant smooth surface allows light to refract in and out of the stone in a parallel way. This enhances
the visible sheen and gives the appearance of depth.
• Honed: A smooth, non-reflective finish achieved by grinding the surface.
• Saw Cut: The untreated surface of a stone when it is first cut. The surface is slightly rough
• Tumbled (ancient stones): An antique look achieved by rounded corners and edges.
• Color variations are common and enhance the natural beauty of travertine. Be sure to inspect multiple samples of the
stone before selection to ensure satisfaction with colors and patterns.
• Do clean with a dust mop and neutral cleaner to remove most dirt.
• Do use a penetrating sealer to prevent staining. Because many stones are porous to some degree, excessive water
may cause reactions such as oxidation (rust), deterioration of dry veins, etc. “Special Impregnating” sealers are
recommended to avoid these problems.
• Do clean natural stones with “special stone cleaners”, “pH balanced cleaners” or “neutral base cleaners.”
• Do not clean any natural stone with acidic cleaners, including (but not limited to) vinegar or cleaners with “lemon” or
“lime” on the label. These products will abrade the polish from the stone. Sealers DO NOT protect polished surfaces
from these types of cleaners.