When you can’t take the time to go to the beach, it’s time to bring the beach to your home. American homeowners have long been fascinated with marble and granite for home renovation and repair projects, and have started to become very creative with the uses for modern, colorful varieties of concrete. But travertine tile, a type of limestone that actually forms in hot springs around the world — and contains calcium carbonate, which also makes up beautiful beach shells — is gaining a reputation for being a lovely addition to any outdoor project.
If it’s time to completely redo your driveway, you may want to consider newer options for driveway and patio pavers. Asphalt is classic and has a finished surface that is attractive and durable, and concrete is often made of recycled materials. But travertine pavers and, on the inside of homes, travertine tile, can add a classic feel to new outdoor projects. It comes in colors ranging from white to tan, brown to gold, and it has a unique surface that is appealing to American decorators.
The surface of patio pavers made from travertine is sure to have some tiny holes and irregularities. However, home decorators should know that, in general, travertine patio pavers and other travertine tiles with smaller holes are a higher grade. Travertine is mined all around the world and imported to America, and is actually quite famous as a building material in other parts of the world.
Travertine has been used to build castles, to create ancient water systems, and to pave ancient roads. Although many travertine manufacturers will use some form of grout or other filler to cover up the slight imperfections of the tiles, a paving and flooring contractor may be able to help homeowners acquire patio pavers that have not been altered, for repair projects and other restorations with stone as a main component.
One thing is for certain: travertine will need to have sealant applied every three to five years. Experts differ on whether it is preferable to seal travertine tiles and patio pavers individually before grouting or whether to seal the tile arrangement as a whole after it has set, but travertine is naturally porous, like sea shells, and installing travertine tile does require a commitment to upkeep and occasional resealing.
Paver patterns can vary, and homeowners and designers are free to incorporate several colors of travertine in any patio or driveway design. Travertine can also be used for walkway tiles or even as bathroom tiles, but it is quite important to use mild, non-abrasive cleaning materials when cleaning travertine and other tiled surfaces. Bathtubs and tiles that are improperly sealed can act as sponges for ambient bacteria and viruses, and studies indicate that bathrooms can be among the most germ-ridden areas of any home.
Travertine’s natural surface variations make it highly sought-after as a building material. Pool deck pavers made from a range of travertine colors can be beautiful, and combining projects can make sense financially. Stone installation outside for driveways, decks, or pool tiles, and then on to the next project in your kitchen or bathroom. Sometimes, contractors can get homeowners discounts on bulk purchase of travertine or any other tile. Used for centuries, travertine may be the next “new thing” in the world of home design but it is much more ancient than designers may realize.