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Travertine vs Marble Comparison Guide –  What is the Difference?

Travertine vs Marble Comparison Guide – What is the Difference?

Is Travertine Marble?

Before we get into the discussion, the answer is No!
Many people think that travertine is marble or a type of marble but that is not the case. Travertine is a different stone from marble and it has its own unique properties and metrics. It is extracted from hot springs and limestone caves and used around the globe for indoor and outdoor use.

What is Travertine? How it looks like?

Travertine is a sedimentary stone that is naturally found in and near freshwater hot springs and comes in a wide range of warm earth tones. Compressed over time into a solid structure, travertine has many fine holes and channels in it from the expulsion of hot water and gasses during formation. Usually, these holes are filled when the travertine is collected and formed into usable tiles so not to create an overly porous substance that would be a nightmare to clean.
As one of the softest materials available for use, much like its cousin stones, it is very vulnerable to scratching, acidic cleaners, and abrasive materials and staining. It requires a special care. Small debris such as dirt and sand particles brought in from outdoors could cause harm to your floor if not swept and wash away completely on a regular basis. Damage from heavy or rough furniture legs, pots and metal decorations are also a possibility with travertine and can cause deep gouges and problems in the tile if not carefully prevented against soft coasters placed under the heavy feet.

What is Marble? How it looks like?

On the other hand marble іѕ created whеn the sedimentary stone (limestone or trаvеrtіnе) is exposed to heat and pressure over a long period. The stone undergoes a metamorphosis; it recrystallizes and becomes denser and harder. The recrystallization allows the marble to take a nice and beautiful polish finish during fabrication.
Like most natural stones, some marble is noted for its muted, earthy appeal; and used as a way for creating subtle shading within an interior. Other varieties of marble are vibrant red, green, and other striking colors that serve as bold accents. However, before this decorative potential can be fully used as a tile flooring option, it must be quarried.
Marble varies in color and ranges from blurry, milky-white to gray and black, and some varieties have some shades of red, yellow, pink, green or buff. The colors which are generally created by the presence of a number of impurities are mostly arranged in bands or patches and adds to the exquisite nature of the stone when it is being cut and polished.
Just like limestone, it is corroded by water and acid fumes, as such is considered uneconomical for use in exposed places and in the major cities. The presence of certain impurities decreases its durability. This stone does not split easily into sheets or blocks of equal size and must be mined with extreme care.


Major Differences between Travertine and Marble

A lot of differences can be spotted in Travertine and Marble, but we would like to discuss some very basic ones here.

1. Usage

Marble tiles are often used on bathroom walls, floors, and countertops because they look crisp and clean while still being practical and elegant. Marble is very hard stone as compared to the other types of flooring and can withstand rough everyday use. You just need to make sure the sealant on the tiles about once a year to keep them from being damaged.
While travertine tiles are used indoors for bathroom flooring, but they can also be used in kitchens, outdoor spaces and to decorate walls, ceilings, and countertops. Before being polished and honed, the tile provides a high friction surface which is suitable for use outside to prevent slipping. For this reason, you often see travertine tiles and pavers installed by pools. But they’re somewhat rough on bare feet if they’re not sanded some.

2. Cost

The second consideration is cost. Natural travertine generally costs more than cultured marble, but natural marble will have the higher price tag. That being sad, costs vary widely according to the stone’s quality and geographical region. Both of these beautiful stone floor tiles are quite heavy and therefore can be difficult to lift. Marble tiles also need a good initial seal to prevent staining and scratching. Definitely, consider hiring a professional to help you install these tiles when possible.

3. Strength and Processing

Marble is harder and more fragile at the same time. This means that processing marble blocks are more expensive, and there is the higher chance of production losses. Also, in order to prevent breakages, special treatment is used at the back of the tile. All these factors result in higher consumer price for marble sometimes.
While travertine is softer, processing the stone is easier and this results in different types of travertine tiles (honed, filled, polished, tumbled, pillowed, chiseled edges etc.), Most of the times, marble times come in the honed or polished finish. (Tumbled finish is only limited to smaller sizes).

4. Durability

Marble is hard and more durable. It can be used in commercial properties. The travertine is also hard and durable but Travertine is not recommended for commercial use.

The Bottom Line

Overall, the marble price range is much more expensive that travertine. Travertine tiles also have much more color and finish choices just because they have fewer headaches in processing. Therefore, the choice is between budget and application. As a conclusion, if you cannot afford marble tiles, then go for travertine without any hesitation. When travertine tiles are installed and maintained properly, we guarantee that these will last a lifetime and they will also transform the dullest place into a beauty.


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