How Is Travertine Made

Those of you interested in stones have probably heard of the existence of travertine. So what is travertine, and what are the characteristics of this stone? It is an intermediate state from limestone to marble. It means that travertine is a limestone that has been under strong pressure for several thousand years. And if, in turn, it remains in this state for a longer period, then it will become marble. You can click here to see great examples of travertine tiles and how to utilize them, or you can continue reading. In this article, we will find out what this stone is.

Travertine is one of the most exquisite and sophisticated natural stones you can find out there. This stone is also very durable, making it suitable for interior and exterior spaces where you have a lot of traffic. It is often utilized for patios and decks or hallways and living room floors. 

What Is Travertine and Where Can You Find It? 

Travertine stone is used in building construction, room cladding, and decor of interiors in antique, medieval, or Italian styles. However, this is not a suitable stone for absolutely all areas. We will return to this issue later. 

As mentioned before, since it is associated with marble and limestone, travertine also includes calcium carbonate. This mineral element is referred to as aragonite, which consists of calcareous tuff. That’s what travertine is made of.

Travertine Stone and Its Main Chemical and Physical Properties 

The structure of a stone depends on where it is formed. If the rock is monolithic and hard, then it appears in stagnant water bodies. But porous and nodular stones form near waterfalls and get subjected to strong currents. In other words, this is why travertine looks spongy. Its porosity depends on how the water flows and the amount of elements from the water, including shells, leaves, bones, algae, etc.

The porosity is formed by bubbles of sulfur dioxide, which arise through the lime mixture. If the travertine gets cut in a direction – parallel to the formation of precipitation, the holes will be round. They remain from the gas outlet. And if the stone is cut perpendicular to the precipitation formation, then the holes in it will be more elongated to the side where the layers of lime are formed.

Water bodies did not always come out to the surface and in the same way the currents also changed. And as a result, travertine was formed during different periods. Sometimes the process of formation stops and then resumes. For this reason, several travertine stones contain brown spots or layers of the same color of clay origin. Therefore, it is also possible to explain the reason for the appearance of gray travertine, which got contaminated with elements from rivers.

How the Stone Changes over Time 

Travertine is always changing. In contact with air, the block or tile  of this stone would harden as calcium bicarbonate continues to be converted to calcium carbonate. After extracting the stone, even its color changes, so that if it was previously pale, then due to the oxidation of iron salts present in it, it turns yellow.

Even if we talk about dense natural stone, it will still not be difficult to work with. It can get cut without problems with a circular saw. Because it forms close to the surface, the rock is not under pressure and does not experience massive displacements. Therefore, it will not harden. In some cases, the stone crystallizes – it hardens and becomes denser. It happens when the next carbonate precipitates into the pores of the already formed rock, and the pores are full.

Strength improves over time. When interacting with air, its surface becomes denser. Stones that have sedimentary rocks harden over time. It explains the fact that the ancient buildings of this material have not yet collapsed. This stone does not absorb moisture and is resistant to temperature changes. For this reason, travertine is often used to build various objects.

Calcium carbonate can be white. It is most often brown or beige. It is due to the content of impurities in it that came from the water during the formation of the rock. There is also a red stone, mined in Iran. Travertine with yellow shades is exported primarily from Europe and Asia. Dark stones are the most wear-resistant stones that do not differ from marble in their characteristics. Brown travertine can withstand strong friction. So it is used for laying sidewalks and flooring.

You can find exceptional quality travertine at Saturnia Travertini. The tiles have amazing shades and beautiful coloring. The price of such a stone is much lower than marble. In terms of parameters like quality and beauty, travertine is not a whole lot different from marble. Regardless of your project, you can’t go wrong with this beautiful natural stone. 

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