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Travertine Flooring: Cost, Design Ideas, Pictures, Tips and Installation

Travertine is a natural material which comes from the family of limestone. It is a beautiful form of calcium carbonate found almost all over the world. The major point that differentiates limestone and travertine is the structure of the two stones. Limestone is filled solid materials while Travertine is porous in nature and has little holes and pits in its structure due to carbon dioxide gas bubbles which get trapped during the stone’s formation. But these holes can be jammed with resin, sealant or cement based material during the finishing process if it is desired. Whether honed or with a polished finish, all depends on what type of travertine is required.

Travertine is a wonderful natural stone that adds real beauty to its surroundings due to which it has become immensely popular with homeowners. Travertine tile flooring looks magnificent and due to the availability of custom sizes it can be installed in the kitchen, lounge, bedrooms, and bathrooms. Outdoor places such as pool deck and patios require travertine pavers for flooring. This article is a detailed guide for those who are interested in travertine flooring. We’ll discuss both indoor and outdoor projects.

Travertine Flooring Cost:

Travertine flooring’s cost depends on the size of the tile, quality of the travertine being used, area for flooring, installation charges and contractor’s fee. The stone can be found in all types of shapes and sizes which can range from small 1″x1″ mosaic pieces, 12″x12″, 13″x13″, 16″x16″ and 18″x18″ tiles to even 36″x36″ squares.  The normal quality tile is sold at $2-$4 a square foot while the higher quality ones can range from $5-$15 or $20-$25 a square foot depending upon the color and imperfection ratio of the tiles.

Professional installation costs around $6,000-$20,000 for 1,000-1,500 square feet which include the labor and materials used. The high-quality floor tiles’ installation is usually charged with $8,000-$48,000 for 1,500 square feet.

Travertine Flooring Design Ideas:

Travertine can be used in many innovative ways to decorate the floors of your house. Here are some design ideas which you can use to decorate different areas of your house with travertine tiles. Let us have a look on these:

1. Golden/Beige Travertine for Rooms:

Travertine can be used for any type of bedroom or lounge’s flooring. Whether it is a retro, classic or contemporary designed room, the various options in colors and finishes help the homeowners in achieving the aesthetics they desire.

  • A very contemporary with a hint of retro design idea to consider is to pair golden polished travertine floor with a combination of dark and contrasting colors. A multi-colored rug to even out the golden flooring, a laminated wooden roof, some potted plants and a few bright paintings on the walls will make for a very hipster room. For a more vivid visual of this design idea, look at the room in the picture below.

  • Another room design idea you can opt for is the traditional master bedroom with a polished travertine floor. The beautiful ivory travertine tiles paired with polished wooden furniture and silk curtains will epitomize the country inspired bedroom look.

  • For a more classical or old era inspired bedroom, you can pair the lovely ivory travertine flooring with a mix of wooden and golden furniture. Golden and beige or cream colors greatly complement each other so you won’t only be making a statement combination but you’ll also be adding maximum grandeur to your room without overdoing it. A wooden master bed; a beautiful chandelier; a classical painting hung behind the bed and ivory colored rugs on both sides of the bed are some of the things you’ll need to tie the whole look of the room together.

  • If you want your lounge or living room to stand out then a polished travertine floor is a must. You can experiment in accordance with your personal taste to achieve the living room of your taste. Some of the aesthetics you can achieve with golden or beige colored travertine tiles as classic country, Victorian style or modern luxury. If you have a very big lounge space and would like to reduce it or just give the appearance of a reduced space then its best to go with gold polished travertine flooring. If your lounge space isn’t big then you can add the illusion of a wider space by cleverly placing your tiles in a way that deceives the eye. You can do this by choosing either the ivory travertine tiles or the mocha travertine tiles in the classic cut layout.

  • A mix of different tones of ivory travertine tiles to give the appearance of a mosaic inspired flooring will be the embodiment of contemporary chic. Keep the colors to a minimum and try to experiment only in tones of grey, silver and white. Black or darker tones of grey will add prominence to the living room space. Reference the picture below for a realized version of this design idea.

2. Plain/Mosaic Design for Bathrooms:

Bathroom floors can be standard with only one type of tile laid in a simple pattern or you can have a mosaic in the middle to add an extra oomph to it. A few design ideas are given below for to get inspired from for your next bathroom remodeling:-

  • A bathroom with the golden travertine tiles would be the personification of grandeur and lavishness. To balance the golden tones, opt for white bathtub and sinks for a perfectly composed bathroom.

  • Mocha or ivory travertine tiles in either the French pattern layout or the antique layout will look absolutely exquisite when paired with a vanity built with dark mahogany like the one in the picture.

  • For homeowners who like to experiment, we would recommend the mocha travertine tile floor paired with a golden travertine backsplash and a wooden vanity area. With just the right amount of lighting and a small bathtub, this combination of complementary colors will make your bathroom look simply beautiful.

  • There is no limit to these ideas. Here is another one to consider for your next renovation venture:

3. Grand Foyer, hallways, and driveways:

Polished travertine floors can make any grand foyer, hallway, entrance or even the driveway look like something out of an interior design magazine. It is ideal to install it in such areas to make a grand first impression because polished travertine floors are synonymous to luxury and opulence. You can choose a finish of your choice to complete the whole set up process.

  • Choosing polished travertine floor for your main entrance is the perfect way to make a statement. Bonus points if you have a grand staircase made out of same travertine stone to match the floor.

  • Polished travertine floors can be a great choice to install in grand hallways or ballrooms. There’s a wide range of colors to choose from that would look best in either the classic cut layout or the French pattern layout.

The best thing about travertine is that thanks to its durability and resilience, it can be used for outdoor projects, too. For exterior renovation ideas consider the image below:

4. Matching/Contrast Travertine for kitchens:

Make your kitchen the showstopper of your house with a polished travertine floor that complements the counters, cabinets, furniture and backsplashes. You can use matching as well as contrasting color travertine tiles for decorating your kitchen floor.

  • Golden travertine tiles will be an excellent choice to consider for the construction of an extremely elegant kitchen floor. Pair the polished travertine floor with travertine backsplash and countertops and opt for wooden cabinets to obtain a classic country inspired look.

Light colored travertine tiles can also be used to get a more contemporary styled kitchen. Here are a few good examples:

  • If you are a homeowner who prefers the minimalist aesthetic then the ivory travertine flooring in French pattern paired with wooden cabinets and a contrasting backsplash will be the ideal design idea to consider for a modern kitchen

  • The mocha travertine tiles in the herringbone layout will be a suitable choice for the homeowners who want to their kitchen to be unique and classy. A combination of black and white cabinets, dark countertops and mocha colored walls will most definitely make your kitchen stand out.

Polished Travertine Floors and their Pros & Cons

Before investing in any product it is absolutely necessary to be fully aware of its pros and cons. Polished travertine floors will do wonders for the appearance of your entire house but it is important that you know what you’re signing up for before purchasing it so here is a detailed list of the many advantages and a few disadvantages of polished travertine floors:

Pros

  1. Polished Travertine Floors Are Highly Durable: Polished travertine floors have remarkable robustness and endurance strength which is one of the reasons why they are so popular among homeowners, architects and construction companies. It is an extremely durable flooring option to consider whilst renovating your house. Thanks to the sturdiness of the natural stone it does not crack or get damaged as easily as most flooring options. Keeping this in mind, it is safe to say that polished travertine flooring can not only greatly enhance the beauty of your entire house but can also last a very long time thanks to its resilient nature. Of course, proper care and maintenance is necessary to keep it in good shape, however, like most natural stones you won’t have to put in too much effort to take care of your polished travertine floor to keep it in a pristine condition. The hardness of the travertine makes sure that the flooring does not easily crack or get damaged. Polished travertine floors are undoubtedly an excellent flooring option that can easily survive the test of test time, even in places that experience loads of footwork.
  2. Polished Travertine Flooring Can Be Availed In A Wide Range Of Colors And Tones: Polished travertine floors are available in a multitudinous range of colors ranging from shades of cream, gold and tan to silver and ivory. Homeowners can pick in accordance with their aesthetics to realize their dream house. Walnut Mocha, Silver, Ivory, Gold, Noce, Autumn Blend and Scabos are some of the beautiful earthy tones of polished travertine flooring options to choose from.
  3. Polished Travertine Flooring Is Cheaper Than Other Flooring Options: One of the major pros of polished travertine floors is that they are cheaper than other luxury flooring options such as marble. Travertine may not be as hard as marble or might not have bold colors to pick from but it is equally beautiful and looks marvelous wherever it is installed. By investing in polished travertine floor you will not only be saving money but will also be investing in something that will add splendor and elegance to your entire house.

Cons

  1. Polished Travertine Flooring Is Porous: Most people consider the porosity to be one of the biggest cons of polished travertine flooring. Travertine is porous due to the naturally occurring pits and depressions of the stone. The porosity is what gives the stone it’s natural and distinctive texture. However, the permeability of the travertine can add extra maintenance issues and also make the flooring vulnerable to damage caused by spills. But one thing that should be kept in mind is that travertine’s porosity in no way is synonymous to lack of durability or endurance.
  2. Polished Travertine Floors Are High Maintenance: Unlike some other types of natural stone or man-made flooring i.e. vinyl flooring, laminate etc., travertine is comparatively more high maintenance. Due to its sedimentary nature, travertine is composed of pockets, holes and pits. This makes it much softer as compared to igneous rocks. The softness and porosity of the stone makes travertine a high maintenance stone. In order to preserve the beauty and elegance of your polished travertine stones, you’ll have to take care of it very diligently. Wiping up any spills as quickly as possible, especially acidic ones, is absolutely necessary to keep the polished travertine flooring in tip-top condition. Polishing your travertine flooring after every couple of years will be a must to preserve its glossy appearance. Sealing your polished travertine floors is also something to consider in order to increase the life of your flooring. A sealant can do wonders for polished travertine flooring, however, it must be reapplied after a couple of years to maintain the immaculate look of the stone.
  3. Polished Travertine Flooring Is Not As Hard As Compared To Other Floorings: In comparison with other floorings such as marble flooring, polished travertine flooring is ranked to be less hard, hence making it slightly less durable. This means that the chances of polished travertine flooring getting abrasions or damaged from falling of heavy objects or dragging furniture are higher. But polished travertine flooring will undoubtedly last longer than any most flooring options such as laminate, wood, vinyl or ceramic.
  4. Polished Travertine Floors Are Only Available In Neutral Colors: One of the main cons of polished travertine flooring is that it is only available in neutral tones. Now this may not seem like a con for most homeowners who prefer earthy tones but it can most definitely be a problem for those who prefer to experiment with bright or dark colors. Polished travertine flooring can be availed in beige, cream, gold, white, mocha and their varying tones but that’s about it. The reason is that travertine stone is made of calcium carbonate which is white in color. If you prefer bold colored flooring then you’ll have to invest in either man-made flooring or marble, granite etc.
  5. Polished Travertine Floors React With Acidic Substances: The basic component of travertine’s composition is calcium carbonate which can easily react with acidic substances such as coffee, alcohol, tomato juice, orange juice etc. Therefore, polished travertine flooring is susceptible to permanent damage caused by reactions with acidic substances. It is mandatory that any sort of spill is instantly wiped with a napkin or tissue to prevent damage to the flooring. If acidic spills get absorbed by the permeable surface of the travertine flooring then irreversible damage can be caused. It’s best to be diligent and super careful when it comes to taking care of your polished travertine flooring because replacing a tile can be a messy procedure and odds of finding one with the same hues and tones are always slim.

Travertine Flooring Tips:

To achieve maximum results from a travertine installation there are a few things that should be kept in mind.

  • Always do your research for colors and tones before actually buying travertine so that you can know about all the available options before the actual purchase. Some sellers even provide samples on request.
  • Use travertine pavers for outdoor flooring and travertine tiles for indoor flooring. Pavers are thicker and sturdier which makes them perfect for outdoor places like patios, pool decks, walkways, fountains and gazebos.
  • It is generally approved practice to apply sealer to the tiles before installation but you can do it after installation too. Sealers are important as they help in protecting the stone from seepage of dirt, moisture and other harmful entities. Sealers are of different types and their usage depends on where the travertine flooring is being installed.
  • Invest in a good stripper for your polished travertine flooring. Dirt and wax build-up can make the appearance of the flooring look dull so it is best to remove the grime in order to preserve the immaculate look of your travertine tiles.
  • It is mandatory that you clean you travertine tile regularly to prevent the buildup of grime and dust. If the dirt seeps through the upper surface and gets absorbed into the pits and depressions of the travertine then it is almost impossible to clean it. There’s a wide list of options to choose from when it comes to cleaning your polished travertine flooring. You can use anything from a steam cleaner to simple mop or cloth. The bottom line is to prevent buildup on the flooring and keeping it glistening and clean.

Travertine Flooring Installation:

The beauty of travertine is that you can easily install it yourself and save the additional labor cost by following the six golden steps that are given below:

  1. Measure the area: Accurately measure the room where travertine is to be installed by measuring its length and width, multiplying the two dimensions and then adding 10% to the result. The additional 10% includes the wastage and cushion for some cutting mistake or tile breakage.
  2. Draw the layout: To achieve a professional look determine the center of the room with a measuring tape and draw horizontal and vertical lines that intersect in the middle. Now start laying out the travertine from the center in any desired pattern. Once the layout has been selected and tested you can start the installation.
  3. Cleaning: Clean the area from dirt and dust before installation. If the floor is varnished then use a sandpaper to achieve a rough and coarse texture.
  4. Lay the tiles: Using a trowel apply thinset to the floor and spread it evenly to make sure no gaps are left. Start laying the tiles from the corner of chalk line’s intersection. Place the tiles in the thinset one by one and press down firmly for a strong hold in the thinset. Place the tile spacers around the tile’s corners and place the second tile next to the first tile’s spacer. Repeat this process till all the tiles and tile spacers are in place. It is important to keep in mind that the travertine tiles should be placed as close together as possible.  Rectified edges ensure minimal seaming.
  5. Cutting: As you will reach to the outside of the room the tiles will require some cutting. Measure the exact dimension you need and then use a wet saw, preferably a diamond blade, to make the required cut.
  6. Grout: Once the tile’s adhesive has dried (this takes at least 24 hours), you can start the grout process. Grout float should be used for application of grout to tile joints. Make sure no gaps are left in grout and maintain the grout space between tiles as per the recommendation of the tile supplier. In the end, by using a wet sponge wipe down the tiles to smooth out the grout and remove any extra layer as well.

So this was all about Travertine flooring from our side. If you need any specific guidance, let us know in the comments section and we will get back to you.

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