How to Use Travertine Tiles in Your Bathroom Design ~ Fresh Design Blog
When it comes to decorating a bathroom, travertine tiles are a great choice for both the floors and walls, especially as it comes in a variety of earth tone colors and beige hues. In this post, we take a look at the benefits of travertine and the different ways this distinctive natural stone with its rustic finish can be used in bathroom interior design.
What Is Travertine?
Travertine is a type of natural limestone that is a popular choice with homeowners for bathroom decor projects. Travertine stone tile has a varied pattern and comes in a range of natural earthy colours from pale cream and beige hues, through to rusty tan. No two travertine tiles are the same and its distinctive grain patterns and marble-like finish are very appealing, especially when used over a large surface area.
When wet, the myriad of colours within travertine tiles really come to the fore. Travertine stone tile is always beautiful, but it particularly stands out when wet. This makes travertine tiles very appealing for use in a bathroom. However, if you prefer a more uniform look, travertine is probably not right for you.
Are Travertine Tiles Suitable for a Bathroom?
Image: Archi_Viz, via Shutterstock
People often ask if travertine tiles are suitable for use in a bathroom. As travertine is a natural stone material, it is porous, which might initially dissuade you from using it in your bathroom. After all, bathrooms are typically wet, especially in shower areas, so a porous material is a recipe for disaster, right?
Actually no, this is not the case at all. Travertine can be effectively used on the floors, walls, or in your shower area and is a stylish bathroom decor material. The key to making travertine tiles successful in a bathroom design is to make sure you seal your travertine tiles properly after installation, as that way you won’t have a problem with leaks. Brush or roller the sealant onto clean travertine tiles and once the first coat has set, apply a second coat. When sealing a shower or bath area, leave the sealant to dry for 24 hours before use.
Travertine stone tiles don’t have to be used all over your bathroom, in fact they can be successfully mixed and matched with other types of stone or porcelain tile. For example, you could mix travertine with mosaic tiles and natural stone border tiles for a distinctive look.
Taking Care of Travertine Tiles
Travertine tiles are easy to take care of and look after on a daily basis. When you use your shower or bath, simply wipe down the tiles after use to help keep travertine wall tiles in tiptop condition.
You can use a wet mop on travertine floor tiles to remove spills and the tiles can be vacuumed to remove dust. Specialist cleaning products suitable for travertine and marble are available too. If you do decide to try this out, always patch test the product first in an inconspicuous location before you use it over the main area.
In terms of long time care of travertine tiles, it’s a good idea to reapply sealant every two years, or more often where travertine wall tiles are used in a shower area.
Benefits of Travertine Floor Tiles
Travertine tiles are tough and durable, so won’t chip like ceramic tiles too. When used for flooring, travertine floor tile is classed as a high-traffic material, making them perfect for a busy family bathroom. Once installed, this natural stone tile flooring is not going to break, chip or wear out easily. Honed travertine is most suitable for bathroom floors, but be aware that if you elect to use polished travertine, the surface of the tile can be slippery when wet.
Another benefit of travertine stone tile that many people love is that it tends to weather well with age, creating a patina style effect. This adds character, charm and a rustic look to travertine floors. If you have a small bathroom, it can be wise to choose large travertine floor tiles, as they could help the room appear to be bigger.
It’s important to bear in mind that travertine floor tiles are quite heavy, so the floor structure must be supportive enough to hold the tiles. If you’re unsure, always consult a qualified building expert for advice.
Using Travertine Tiles On Walls
Travertine tiles are suitable for use on walls as well as indoor flooring and any outdoor space. You can use travertine as a splashback or tile your shower area with this type of natural stone. Its neutral color tone, range of colors and ease of installation makes it a perfect fit for use in a bathroom. If you use travertine in a wet area, do make sure you choose filled travertine tiles, as there are fewer natural holes to soak up water.
Travertine wall tiles are available in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. To help give the impression of space in a small area bathroom, it’s a good option to use large wall tiles.
If you don’t want your walls to be all the same colour in your bathroom interior space, look out for packs of travertine mosaic tiles, with a subtle natural colour palette. As long as you look after your travertine bathroom tiles, they will continue to look beautiful for as long as your bathroom remains functional.
Types of Travertine Stone Tile
When natural travertine stone is made into tiles, there are typically several different types available. As it can get confusing when you’re shopping for travertine tiles, here’s a run-down of the main types to look out for.
Honed travertine – Honed travertine tiles are the most popular type of travertine floor tiles. The stone is filled and lightly polished to provide a nice sheen, but is left with a matte finish to ensure the tiles aren’t too slippery.
Polished travertine – As the name suggests, polished travertine tiles are given a high polish to make them very glossy, plus the stone has been filled to become sealed. Polished travertine tiles are renowned for being best for stain resistance. However, the surface of them is generally unsuitable for use on floors as they are too slippery for bare feet.
Brushed travertine – Brushed travertine tiles have been wire brushed to produce a matt finish. They’re a popular flooring choice.
Tumbled travertine – Tumbled travertine tile tends to have an antique style look, with rounded edges and corners.
Unfilled travertine – Unfilled tiles are a more natural form of travertine, which hasn’t been treated or filled. It still retains natural pits and holes on the surface of the stone, hence they’re not the best choice for use in bathrooms.
How to Cut Travertine Tile
If you’re using travertine tiles for a home DIY project, such as for travertine flooring or as a backsplash tile for tub surrounds, you’ll need to know how to cut it. Travertine tile is moderately hard – it’s ranked at about 3.5 in the Mohs scale of hardness – and is a very durable stone. Travertine tiles can have a rough surface as it’s a form of limestone or sedimentary stone, and some care is needed when you cut travertine tile as pieces can chip or break off.
When it comes to how to cut travertine tile, one of the best options is to use a wet saw, or a tile cutter that has a water reservoir in it. It’s a good idea to make your travertine first so that you know exactly where you’re going to cut it. Draw lines on lightly using a pencil and ruler to ensure your measurements are accurate. Then line up the wet saw tile cutter and slowly cut through the travertine. Ideally, you’re aiming to achieve a clean cut with minimal breakages. If any pieces do end up having sharp edges, you may want to use a sander to smooth them. Once your tiles are cut, use a damp cloth to wipe off any remaining pencil marks.
Alternatives to Travertine Stone Tile
If you love the look of travertine stone tile, but would prefer to replicate the natural stone effect on the walls with ceramic tiles or a more budget-friendly material, why not consider Travertine effect tiles instead. The travertine effect tiles replicates the authentic look of the stone whilst retaining the robust benefits of a ceramic tile.
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The Pros and Cons of Travertine Tile
by Henry Parker
© silverspiralarts / Fotolia
If you appreciate the luxurious and distinctive look of natural stone, travertine should be on your list of options to consider. Travertine is a natural sedimentary stone related to marble and limestone.
Most often used for flooring and paving, this stone also works well for countertops, backsplashes, and shower walls. Although an excellent choice for creating an air of casual elegance, travertine also has some disadvantages in terms of maintenance.
Kitchen, Bathroom, and Living Room Flooring
One of the biggest advantages of using travertine for flooring is the diversity of color schemes and designs it allows. Travertine is available in a rich variety of colors, ranging from ivory and beige to gold and deep reddish-brown. The stone’s subtle color blends and natural veining make it easy to create one-of-a-kind patterns and design exactly the look you want.
You can choose from four different finishes: matte honed, tumbled, brushed, and polished. The most popular choice, the honed finish, is smooth yet still natural looking. The rougher brushed and tumbled finishes provide textural interest. Polished travertine resembles marble and its glossy shine fits perfectly in contemporary decor schemes.
Travertine is difficult to keep shiny, but its natural matte state offers a beauty all its own. The weathered, antiqued look of brushed and tumbled travertine lends a relaxed yet upscale warmth to any decor scheme. These finishes work especially well in rustic designs. Better yet, if the floor is carefully maintained, the stone’s appearance will change little with time.
Because travertine tiles are available in a full range of sizes, you can use large slabs for a clean, seamless look in large spaces, mosaic tiles for colorful designs or anything in between.
Easy to Replace
If one of your travertine tiles becomes damaged or stained, you won’t have much trouble finding a tile of a similar appearance to install as a replacement. With porcelain tiles, finding a tile that fits in is more of a challenge.
The natural holes, pits, and troughs in travertine are susceptible to wear, especially where there’s heavy foot traffic. Even small holes tend to enlarge over time. Regularly filling these holes is part of the standard maintenance travertine floor require. Another downside is that travertine, like other types of limestone, is relatively brittle and therefore liable to chip or crack.
Relatively High Cost
Cost is one drawback of using travertine for a large area of flooring. Like many natural stone tiles, travertine is more expensive than porcelain, which is man-made. Higher-quality travertine requires less filler material (typically concrete) to look attractive, which further raises its value and price.
Installation requirements also add to the cost. Because stone tiles need a firmer subfloor than porcelain tiles, your floor may require some modification before the tile can be laid. The next consideration is the thinset, the adhesive used to attach the tile. Travertine typically requires modified thinset, which is enhanced with latex or polymers and is therefore more expensive.
Counters and Backsplashes
© BVDC / Fotolia
Using travertine lets you create striking countertops and backsplashes that fit your exact preferences. Maintenance, however, will take some effort. Travertine is highly porous, so it quickly absorbs any liquids on its surface. Spilling a little juice or wine can cause a permanent stain. Sealant improves the stone’s stain-resistances, but you’ll need to reapply the sealant regularly and even then it’s not a fail-safe solution. The most reliable way to keep the stone stain-free is to wipe up any spills as quickly as possible.
Travertine reacts to acidic substances. This puts it at risk for etching, which shows up as dull white blotches. Even common liquids such as orange juice and vinegar can cause etch marks. These marks are especially difficult to remove from honed and other matte finishes.
Bathroom and Poolside
© camrocker / Fotolia
Travertine is softer than many other stones and porcelain, yet it’s also strong and less likely to break. This combination makes travertine comparatively easy to cut, which reduces the labor and time involved in the installation job. It also means travertine tiles can be easily shaped to fit the small or oddly shaped spaces common in and around showers and tubs. This helps you achieve a seamless finish in these areas.
Travertine holds up to dramatic temperature fluctuations without cracking or shifting, making it well suited to use outdoors. Even in hot temperatures, the tiles remain cool, so they’re never unpleasant to walk on. This feature, combined with the exceptionally good traction of unpolished travertine, is why the stone is so popular for poolside use.
Weighting the Pros and Cons
Travertine is ideal if you’re looking for a natural stone that lets you give your creativity free reign. It’s perfect for quickly creating a look of timeworn grandeur, but it works just as well for inspiring a sense of rustic coziness.
On the other hand, it’s not the best choice if you have pets or young children because repeated accidents will quickly take their toll on this stone. If you’re looking for a low-maintenance tile, travertine is best avoided. This stone requires regular care to stay looking its best.
Henry Parker is a home improvement enthusiast who loves to share his passion and expertise with others. He writes on a variety of topics, such as painting, flooring, windows, and lawn care, to help homeowners make informed decisions and achieve their desired results. Henry strives to write high quality guides and reviews that are easy to understand and practical to follow. Whether you are looking for the best electric riding lawn mower, the easiest way to remove paint from flooring, or the signs of a bad tile job, Henry has you covered with his insightful and honest articles. Henry lives in Florida with his wife and two kids, and enjoys spending his free time on DIY projects around the house. You can find some of his work on Today’s Homeowner, where he is a regular contributor.
Can travertine be used in the bathroom?
When it comes to bathroom decor, travertine tiles are a great choice for both floors and walls. In this article, we look at the benefits of travertine and the various ways in which this characteristic natural stone can be used in bathroom interior design.
Travertine is a type of natural limestone often chosen for bathroom decor. Travertine stone tiles come in a variety of patterns and come in a variety of natural colors from pale cream to rusty brown. No two travertine tiles are alike, and the distinctive grain pattern and marbled finish is very attractive, especially when used over a large area.
When wet, the many colors of travertine tiles come to the fore. Travertine stone tiles are always beautiful, but stand out especially when wet. This makes travertine tiles very attractive to use in the bathroom. However, if you prefer a more uniform look, travertine is probably not for you!
Is travertine suitable for the bathroom?
A common question is whether travertine tiles are suitable for use in the bathroom. Since travertine is a natural stone material, it is porous, which may discourage you from using it in the bathroom at first. After all, bathrooms tend to be damp, especially in showers, so porous material is a recipe for disaster, right?
Actually no, it’s not like that at all. Travertine can be used effectively on the floor, walls or shower area and is a popular material for bathroom decor. The key to the success of travertine tiles in bathroom design is to properly seal the pores of the travertine after installation, as this way you won’t have any problems. Apply the water repellant by brush or roller to the clean travertine tile and once the first coat has set, apply the second coat, leave the sealant to dry for 24 hours before use.
Caring for travertine
Daily care of trvertine is easy. When you shower or bath, simply wipe down the tiles after use to keep your travertine floor tiles in top condition.
You can use a damp mop on travertine floor tiles to remove spills and the tiles can be vacuumed to remove dust. Special cleaners suitable for travertine and marble are also available. Always test the product in an inconspicuous area first before using it on the main area.
With regard to long-term maintenance of travertine tiles, it is recommended to reapply the water repellant every two years or more frequently if travertine tiles are used in showers.
Benefits of travertine flooring
Travertine tiles are strong and durable, so they won’t crack like ceramic tiles. When used as flooring, travertine floor tiles are classified as a high traffic material, making them ideal for a busy family bathroom. After installation, such a floor covering will not break, chip or wear out. Polished travertine is best for bathroom flooring, but be aware that it can be slippery when wet.
Another benefit of travertine stone tile that many people like is that it weathers well with age, creating a patina style effect. This gives travertine floors character, charm and a unique style.
It is important to keep in mind that travertine floor tiles are quite heavy, so the floor structure must be strong enough to support the tiles. If you are unsure, always seek the advice of a qualified building expert.
Use of travertine on walls
Travertine is suitable for use on both walls and floors. Use travertine as a backsplash or line your shower area with this natural stone. If you are using travertine in wet areas, make sure you choose filled travertine slabs as they have fewer holes for water to soak in.
Travertine wall tiles are available in a variety of shapes and sizes. To create the impression of space in a small bathroom, use large tiles.
Types of travertine stone tiles
Travertine comes in a variety of finishes:
- Sanded travertine is the most popular type of travertine floor tile. The stone is lightly polished to give a nice sheen, but left matte to keep the tile from being too slippery.
- Polished travertine . As the name suggests, polished travertine tile is highly polished to make it very glossy, plus the stone has been filled in to seal it. Polished travertine tiles are renowned for their stain resistance. However, their surface is generally unsuitable for use on floors, as they are too slippery.
- Matt travertine . Matte travertine tiles have been wire brushed to achieve a matte finish. They are easy to use on floors.
- Aged travertine
- Natural travertine. It is a more natural type of travertine, which has not been subjected to any processing. It still retains the natural pits and holes in the stone’s surface, so it’s not the best choice for use in bathrooms.
Travertine in the bathroom | Magma Stones
The use of travertine in the interior of the bathroom is an ideal option for connoisseurs of aesthetics and stylish things. A bathroom with travertine finishes definitely wins over other design solutions. Such a stone, as a rule, has brown and beige tones, and this property of it makes it possible to bring warmth, coziness, comfort and tranquility to the interior.
Why using travertine in the bathroom is a great solution?
First of all, this stone has unique aesthetic characteristics. It is worth paying attention first of all to those who are looking for an exclusive solution for their bathroom. In addition to decorativeness, travertine has such an important advantage as ease of installation. Provided that the technology is correctly chosen for installation, the sequence of actions is followed and all the nuances are taken into account, this stone is laid without much effort and easily tolerates processing.
Travertine is also worth choosing for its ability not to create a visual effect of reducing the room, which is especially important given the modest size of bathrooms.
To see how good this stone is in bathroom decoration, it is enough to find photos of such interiors on the net. Travertine is considered one of the best materials for solving such problems.
Important features when finishing with travertine
Consider the main characteristics of the stone of this breed. Travertine is a porous material, so there is a need to fill voids with a special grout. In terms of strength, travertine is ahead of limestone, but inferior to marble. It is quite light and is firmly attached, so that the structure has a small load. Stone can be used to decorate bathroom walls and floors. It is also used to make sanitary ware.
Provided that the finishing work is carried out carefully and regular maintenance of the stone surface is provided, travertine finishes can last for decades. When choosing a bathroom cleaner, keep in mind that travertine is a carbonate rock that is sensitive to acids. In this regard, it can only be cleaned with substances with a gentle chemical composition.
Natural travertine is able to create a harmonious combination with a wide variety of materials from which sanitary ware is made. But in the case of choosing this stone for decoration, it must be borne in mind that it has a porous surface. Dirt accumulates in the recesses, which is quite difficult to get rid of.