Travertine is a form of limestone deposited by mineral springs, especially hot springs. Despite the common and traditional reference to "tavertine marble", it is really a type of limestone. It is actually the terrestrial (land) formed version of limestone, as opposed to the marine based formations of many other limestone varieties.
Travertine often has a fibrous or concentric appearance and exists in white, tan, and cream-colored varieties. It is formed by a process of rapid precipitation of calcium carbonate, often at the mouth of a hot spring or in a limestone cave.
Featuring soft earth tones, interior designers integrate these stones into their designs with great flexibility. Flowing uninterrupted across a room like the sands of an untraveled desert, travertine provides a perfect backdrop for those wishing to highlight more prominent elements within their space.
This stone is an exquisite flooring material that has the innate ability to transport you to another time and place, ideal for instilling Old World ambiance. It's surface variation can be somewhat more diverse and rugged than limestone.
Travertines's color palette normally resides within the confines of earth tones, beginning with the palest hues of ivory and transgressing down through the rich deep shades of gold, red and brown.
It's predominate color trait is that it actually never appears as one solid color, but instead the perception is swayed by inherent tonal variations and veining characteristics. Only after laying out a sizable portion of tile do you begin to perceive the overall coloration.
Travertine, like marble, is of calcium carbonate base, an as such, is vulnerable to alteration by exposure to mild acids. A variety of stones are included in this group, and absorption varies from slight to high.
The combination of acid sensitivity and absorption limit the number of varieties that are suitable for countertop applications.