We often get asked what the difference is between Premium Select and Standard Grade Travertine Pavers. Besides the obvious difference in price, there are a few important factors that you should know about:
Standard Grade Travertine has many visible holes – by this, we don’t mean pores. People often confuse Travertine with Marble and assume that Travertine is supposed to be as smooth and as dense as Marble, but this is not the case. Travertine is a porous material. The surface of a Travertine Paver has hundreds, if not thousands, of tiny pores. This is one of the reasons why it’s so ideal for outdoor use. It absorbs water almost instantly and is one of the only materials that actually becomes less slippery when it gets wet!
Standard Grade Travertine can have holes the size of a quarter (and larger) – some of which go all the way through the paver, allowing you to see out the other side. Some people prefer the rustic look of Standard Grade. In some instances, it can even look like the much-desired coral rock!
Due to its large amount of holes, Standard Grade Travertine is much less dense than Premium Select Travertine. Because of this, Standard Grade can be seen as a weaker Travertine and may crack or crumble over time, especially in high traffic areas such as entryways and driveways.
Freeze/ Thaw Climates
We always warn against using Standard Grade Travertine in areas that experience freeze/ thaw cycles. Since Travertine is such a porous stone, it expands and contracts with the cycles. When there are large amounts of holes, water can enter, freeze, and crack the Travertine over time.
The best area for using Standard Grade Travertine is in southern states that don’t experience harsh changes in temperature.