The Indigenous Travertine Floor Tiles range

Travertine Floor Tiles

Travertine interior flooring has enjoyed timeless appeal throughout the ages. This natural stone has been deployed to striking effect in many majestic buildings of historical and cultural significance, from temples to monuments. Like exquisite jewellery or the finest leather accessories, travertine has a beauty and grandeur all of its own which can be used to add style and elegance in a range of interior settings.


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Travertine in detail

The name travertine comes direct from the Italian ‘travertino’. This in turn is derived from the Roman description ‘lapis tiburnus’ (stone from the town of Tibur). The present-day town of Tivoli occupies the site of what once was Tibur, the place where the Romans quarried travertine.

Geologically speaking, travertine is a type of sedimentary limestone rock which is formed from carbonate minerals in ground and surface waters, especially around the mouth of warm thermal springs, or in limestone caves. Hot spring travertines house both aragonite and calcite carbonate minerals. The purest of travertine rocks are white in colour, but the presence of impurities creates different shades of brown to yellow tones.

Historic applications

The Ancient Roman builders understood the beauty of travertine, which they used to build their temples, aqueducts, monuments and amphitheatres. The Romans also called upon this highly resilient stone when building the Coliseum in Rome, which still stands today. Travertine was also used elsewhere in the world to create many beautiful and imposing structures, including: the Colonnade of St. Peter’s Square and the baroque Trevi Fountain in Rome, the Sacré-Cœur Basilica in Paris, the ancient Turkish city of Hierapolis, and in the modern era, the Willis Tower in Chicago, USA.

Qualities, colours and finishes

Although travertine resembles finished marble (and is also known as travertine marble) it is more correctly described as limestone. Though its ivory to rich walnut colours are subtle and soft rather than dramatic, this natural stone will always lend a tasteful air of classic sophistication to both traditional and avant-garde settings.

In its natural state, the surface of travertine stone is covered with tiny holes created by the passage of water through the rock during its formation phase. And when the rock is cut into travertine floor tiles, these holes can either be left in their natural state or otherwise filled with resin material.

Different finishing treatments will suit different applications and will also give a slightly different look to the final product:

Polished Travertine: Polished travertine floor tiles have a smooth, glossy surface which will catch and reflect a substantial amount of natural light. The effect is fresh and modern, and very similar to the impact achieved with a marble floor – though, of course, at a considerably cheaper cost.

Honed Travertine: The ‘classic’ look of travertine floor tiles. Honed travertine has a smooth matte surface which is created by grinding one face of the tile. Honing techniques can achieve either a dull matte finish or a rich satin sheen.

Tumbled Travertine: The process of tumbling involves exposing the cut tiles to the abrasive action of grit and water. This produces a textured non-slip surface and gives tumbled travertine floor tiles a more rustic, weathered look which would work well in a traditional interior space.

While travertine can be readily obtained, the quality can vary between suppliers and the advice is always to source stone of the very best quality. Indigenous can supply an Ivory Travertine floor tile which has always proved a popular choice for homeowners – especially where there are budget restrictions. Honed and filled, with a square edge and a smooth surface, this classic tile is suitable for both walls and flooring. Ivory tiles are a rich cream colour but also feature a backdrop of beige undertones.

As with all filled travertine, the original holes can occasionally reappear as time passes. Should this occur, the best solution is to refill any area affected by means of a slurry grouting.

Timeless and elegant, travertine flooring is extremely versatile and can be freely used in a whole range of locations to enhance the beauty of your traditional or contemporary home.

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