Design Ideas, Travertine Installation, Travertine Tile

What is the difference between travertine tiles and limestone?

If you’re considering a major remodeling project in your home, it’s important to know exactly what you’ll be spending your money on before getting started. After all, you don’t want to discover days after work has begun that you’ve accidentally selected the wrong material for your kitchen or bathroom.

One type of design product that is becoming increasingly popular in modern homes is travertine tiles. These beautiful stones are great for bringing warmth and a natural, traditional aesthetic as well as durability into homes of all shapes and sizes.

However, travertine installation is often confused with a similar material – limestone. Here’s some basic info to keep in mind about the differences between the two.

Sedimentary vs. metamorphic rock
If it has been a little while since you last cracked open your old school geology textbook, consider this a refresher course on the differences between various types of rocks. Travertine is a sedimentary rock, formed by mineral deposits left on the ground’s surface or the bottom of lake and river beds. Because of this, travertine stones are often found near bodies of water rich in minerals.

On the other hand, limestone is a metamorphic rock, meaning that it was created by the transformation of another type of stone through intense pressure and heat. Metamorphic rocks can start as sedimentary, igneous or even other metamorphic rocks before being molded into their final form by geothermal forces.

Rock structure
Now that you have some background on the geology behind travertine and limestone tiles, it’s time to talk about how this impacts their physical structure. Considering the amount of heat and pressure necessary to create limestone, these tiles are often solid all the way through, without many pits or dimples.

By comparison, the sediment deposits that create travertine stones often leave behind porous marks inside and on the surface of the rock. Because of this, travertine tiles are sometimes filled with concrete before being used for construction purposes.

Surface appeal
Limestone and travertine tiles can easily be confused, as they’re essentially cousins. For instance, both materials feature earthy tones, such as light brown, tan, beige and creamy white, with other natural color variations and patterns.

However, since limestone lacks the pores that characterize travertine, its surface may be somewhat smoother and more unified. As a result, professional travertine installation is necessary to ensure that any surface dimples are filled in before polishing.

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