All About Travertine and its Use in Paving


September 25, 2015

Travertine is a form of limestone that has classically been used as building material, but slowly turned into a luxury paving material. The price of travertine had slowly declined over time, allowing it to become one of the most common types of paving for pool decks and for warmer climates. Travertine stays cool to the touch even in the hottest weather, making it great for people who walk bare-footed on their pool decks or backyards. Naturally found in springs and caves, travertine has small holes throughout its mass, similar to Swiss cheese. This gives travertine a unique texture and makes it slip-resistant. The main source of travertine comes from Turkey, and costs between $8 to $12 per square foot of pavement. Travertine on its own can cost as low as $3 per square foot.

The benefits of having travertine pavement outweigh the issues it presents. Most importantly, travertine does not absorb heat, even in direct sunlight. Travertine remains cool to the touch, making it perfect for all sorts of patio furniture as well as bare feet of people and pets. Travertine comes in varying color shades that never fade, all of which are affordable and priced similarly. Its porous texture not only looks unique compared to concrete, but makes it slip-resistant, reducing the likelihood of slipping and falling on the pavement; however, people should still take care not to run on the wet pavement just in case of an accident. Travertine pavement can come preformed, meaning you can lay it dry and not have to mortar it in place. Compared to concrete, travertine generally costs a little bit more. Rarer color shades and textures of travertine may cost more than generic travertine, but these resemble the more luxuriously produced travertine.

Like other natural stone pavement, travertine pavement comes in varying sizes, colors, and finishes. The most common travertine pavement sizes are 6”x12”, 4”x8”, and 24”x24”. Outdoor pavement usually measures 1.25” thick, but may come in 2” thickness especially for cooler climates to endure freezing temperatures. Common colors of travertine include white, light tan, ivory, and light caramel. Colors that tend to cost a little more include chalk grey, gold-brown, and tan-grey. Finishes typically come in three styles: tumbled (rough texture, looks aged or natural), honed (lightly sanded, looks smooth), and filled (holes are filled, surface is sanded until very smooth). Travertine pavement requires little maintenance other than a light pressure washing. If exposed to sunlight, every few years will do. If in shaded areas that may collect moisture, once a year is required to remove any mold or bacteria that may grow.

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