Add Beauty And Quality To The Home With Presence of Travertine Flooring

Qualified Flooring is necessary for a home and what is says about the age of the home. Though there are many types of flooring, it is your responsbility to choose the consistent one for your home. Travertine flooring is there to help you acheive your goal.

Travertine flooring is not limited as it includes tile and mosaic. If you want to increase the durability of your flooring, then travertine mosaic is your only solution.

Travertine is basically a type of stone flooring which will give both durability and also beauty to your home. It is a natural sedminetary rock that belongs to the category of limestone family. Its beauty is calssified into onyx marble, Mexican onyx, Egyptian alabaster and oriental alabaster. 

You may ask what is the special purpose of this flooring for various locations like home and office?

Pros & Cons Of Installing Travertine Flooring

  • Various Style Options
  • Easy to Install
  • Long Lasting
  • Beautiful Flooring Choice
  • This stone may react with acidic products
  • It may be slippery in wet conditions

Creation Of Travertine

Travertine stone is made when minerals are disintegrated in ground water. They are supposed to be brought to the surface by geysers, rivers and springs. It is also obtained if limestone is placed under pressure for long periods of time.

If travertine is placed under pressure for a long time, it will become marble. Travertine is better quality than limestone and marble is better than travertine.

When this travertine is supposed to udnergo the manufacturing process of travertine tile, it follows a cutting operation. The stones are getting converted into thin tiles. These tiles undergo further finishing touches to give them a smooth look.

Under the finishing are four kinds of Tile
  • Polished
  • Honed
  • Brushed
  • Tumbled

Polished tiles have a a brighter shine, since it undergoes polishing untill it is flattened and smoothed enough to catch and reflect light.

Honed tiles have a matte finish and also look flat and smooth. Brushed and tumbled tiles are textured.​

The consistency of travertine is equal to other tile stone floors. It is equal to marble in that it may break and crack. In order to make it last for a long time, it has sealant added. The unsealed travertine should not be used in food preparation areas, since it will absorb any straing quickly and is very difficult to remove.

If the place is a more populated area, then travertine mosaic would be a more suitable choice. Mosaic is able to carry heavy loads in comparison with travertine tile. Travertine tile with most often come with a hardness rating of about 4 in manufacturing which is similar to marble strength.

Application In Residential Buildings

Travertine has been used for thousands of years for residential buildings. If you compare marble with travertine, travertine is easy to see and so its vast application can be seen in higher trafficked areas. Today, it is used not only for flooring but also in wall coverings.

If it is unsealed and unpolished, it may react with acids. Even a simple orange can leave a stain on the floor. For this cause it is more important to avoid unsealed flooring particularly in food preparation areas.

If you want to add flooring to your home in a timley manner, you can opt for travertine flooring, since installation of travertine flooring seems to be very easy. On the other hand, if it is polished and sealed, it will become durable and reliable.​ It may not be a suitable choice for bathroom flooring.

If you want to add bauty to your home, you can install this travertine. It comes in various colors like ivory, beige, walnut and gold.​

Travertine Is Easy To Clean

Travertine stone flooring is very easy to clean and is said to be eco-friendly. It will be more prominent for your home as it does not absorb odors or gases. Since it is sealed, the dirt will remain in an upper layer of stone instead of staying in the ground. Therefore, it can be easily removed. 

There are both pros and cons of travertine flooring and you should adjust the lifetysle and needs according to the technology. Travertine tile flooring​ will help you create a new look for your home. If you want to increase the durability of your flooring, then you can opt for travertine mosaic flooring. The consistency can be observed with travertine flooring. Therefore, if you think that flooring is also associated with the responsibility of adding beaty to you home, then you can choose this flooring. It has various advantages: 

  • It is an eco-friendly stone
  • It is a very decorative stone
  • It adds quality to your home

Sealed travertine flooring is more prominent for the kitchen, since it will help in removing staind easily. If you add beauty to your home, then you can choose for travertine mosaic flooring which will not only serve to beautify but also add quality to your home.

263 thoughts on “Add Beauty And Quality To The Home With Presence of Travertine Flooring

  1. I am having travertine installed at this time. It looks beautiful without any grouting and the installer is recommending that we install it as such. He says he always does travertine this way. Others have told me that I should definately have 1/16 grouting. Can you advise?

  2. I don’t have personal experience with travertine, so had to do some of my own research on the subject. I hear and read comments on both sides of the argument. It seems most people use grout and have a 1/16″ to 3/16″ gap. The floor would indeed look great without grout though.
    Ask your floor installer for references of people he’s installed travertine for and ask them how they like that approach and how they like the work. If the fit isn’t exact it seems to me the joints will be a great spot for collecting dirt and food.
    Let us know what you learn and decided to do.

  3. All travertine used as flooring should be grouted-I am assuming that the paving is filled travertine as opposed to unfilled. Renember most travertine tiles or paving come with a sharp edge at the interface of each tile not arrised as in ceramics hence the joint should not exceed 4mm or 3/16″
    this ensures that the edge of the tile or slab is not damaged by pedistrian or other traffic.
    If the joints are not grouted damage will occour. The grout is normally white but if using colour additive ensure that it is compatible with the Travertine and does not stain the face of the tile
    The grout should first be applied very wet mixed to a pourable consistency-not unlike cornflour and milk -using a tundish (funnel) pour the mixture into the joint using a squgee pass over the joint depending on the tempreature this grout will tend to set within 30 mins and on the drying shrinkage will occour leaving a gap on the surface a thicker grout should then be applied and again using a rubber squgee ensure that the joint is completly filled even if one has to revisit the joints untill inital setting has occoured.
    To clean the excess grout off the face of the tile use a sharp scraper with the outside edges arrissed so as not to mark or scratch the tile. Ensure that the grout is level with the adjacent tiles .
    If a really professional job is required then after laying the floor should be mechanically ground and polished this ensures a level surface with no lipping at the joints and ensures that the cementicious grout does not discolor and achieves the MOH of the tile Travertine does not require sealing unlike Limestone

  4. We are renovating our kitchen which is a high traffic area. We have two dogs that eat, drink and are constantly walking through the kitchen to go out back. We really like travertine and would like to install it in our kitchen. I was informed by a contractor that travertine in NOT that durabile and he would NOT recommend using it for a kitchen floor. What do you advise??

  5. It’s not uncommon to hear a specific product isn’t good in the kitchen, or bath or entry for that matter. And most of the time I find that with proper installation, care and maintenance the product works fine. Travertine in the kitchen is one of those combinations that’s not good IF you don’t seal it properly, then take precautions and clean it frequently.
    If you like the travertine look, have it sealed before anyone can use it. Then put the dogs’ food and water on some kind of mat so the floor stays clean of the crumbs and drops. But even with that precaution you’ll need to clean the floor around the “dining spot” frequently.
    Maybe the traffic will cause the travertine to wear faster, but it could be a beautiful look because of the patina that comes from use.

  6. First check with your vapor cleaner’s manufacturer to see what they recommend/allow. I’ve never thought about this before so did some research. The manufacturer’s I reviewed indicate marble, tile and grout are all fine for cleaning with vapor.
    So I guess you can.

  7. I have sealed travertine flooring in my kitchen. The fill is starting to come out of the holes. The floor is close to two years old. Was the floor filled/grouted improperly? Is this a usual occurrence when the floor has filling? Should I be doing something about this or is it ok to let the filling chip out and take on a more natural look?

  8. The grout is probably cracking and coming up because the subfloor isn’t thick — and therefor strong — enough. As you walk across the floor the subfloor flexes ever so slightly and that subtle movement cause the stones to move. As the stones move the grout gets loose and starts to break.
    If you like the look of the travertine with chipped out grout the biggest problem I see is dirt, food and particles getting caught. I suppose that any water that gets spilled on the floor also has a better chance off getting to the subfloor which can cause damage.
    If you don’t like the look of the chipped grout you are in for a big job for a couple of reasons. You could chip all of the grout out and use sanded grout which flexes better than grout. Or you could chip the grout out, remove the stones and hope to get them cleaned of all of the grout and cement they are in, beef up the subfloor and relay the travertine. Whew!

  9. I am trying to compare utilizing a travertine paver around a pool deck versus a concrete paver that mimics travertine. My question is can you provide the pricing comparisons for both (utilizing an 18×18 paver), including typical labor charges for installing both? Is there an up charge for normally installing a natural stone? Thank you. J in SC

  10. Shopping around will help you hone in on the pricing of the various tiles you are considering as well as the installation costs. I don’t know if there is a premium charged for installing stone versus other tiles. Even if you have to call out of your area to ask that question, consider it time and money well spent.
    Make part of your consideration in the decision between the two how slippery they will each be when wet. You sure don’t want to endanger people in favor of having a great looking pool deck.

  11. I recently had a travertine floor installed in my kitechen. Because we purchased 18″ tiles the contractor told us having a totally flat floor was impossible. What can we do about the sharp edges where the tiles don’t perfectly line up? Many are off by 1/16 to 1/8 inch.

  12. Those height differences could cause problems between tripping hazards and stubbing bare toes. Ouch! Now that they are installed it may be a bit of a challenge, but I’d try to “sand” the edges down or bevel the edges so they aren’t quite so high or sharp.

  13. I live in the country and remodeling kitchen, mudroom, and hallway. Currently have laminate flooring in mudroom and do not like the look of it. In the hallway I have carpet which gets a lot of foot wear due to bathrooms are at the other end of the house. In the kitchen I have lanolum which has held up well but I thought I’d like travertine or wood flooring to replace these floors. I have marble and granite in the bathrooms and love it even if the surface is slippery (I use throw rugs). Please tell me what would be better choices and or the suggestions.

  14. I can see you go either way — as you obviously can. Since you already have marble and granite in the bathrooms, maybe the contrast of wood in the hall would be nice.
    The consideration for what you use in the kitchen relates to how much time you spend there. Standing on hard surfaces is ultimately hard on your body, especially your back and knees. Both travertine and wood are hard, but the stone is harder. I think wood in the kitchen would be good and then maybe travertine in the mudroom.
    You could also place travertine in the hall and use a wood “trim” as the transition in the doorways. You have lots of exciting ways you can use the two surfaces. Let us know what you decide to do.

  15. I just had travertine tile installed in my new kitchen. I would love to keep and maintain its shiny surface, do I need to seal it every year? Also, what products do you recommend for cleaning?

  16. I think the care you take daily and the amount of traffic you have on the floor will dictate how often you need to reseal the travertine. I have a friend who hasn’t had to reseal his in the 2-3 years he’s had it in the kitchen and entry. But, he has a matte or satin finish, not the shiny finish, and that might make a difference.
    To reduce the frequency of resealing the floor, use door mats to catch the bulk of the grit and grime from shoes and sweep/vacuum frequently so the dirt and dust the are on the floor won’t get ground in. That will help the shine last longer.
    For washing the floor, I’m partial to vinegar water. A product I’m testing might be a good option; I’ll report back later when I’m comfortable with it.

  17. I am considering installing travertine on a second story roof top deck. I am concerned about how it will handle the occasionally freezing night. I live south of San francisco, and the weather is pretty mild. How does it hold up outside?

  18. If it’s sealed properly to keep water out of the grout and stone, it should hold up fine. As noted in this article, when polished it is slippery when wet so you probably want to avoid polishing it. The rough texture will look great on your deck.

  19. I am looking at a house to buy that has travertine from the 60’s…square tiles with fine “grouting” in between. It really looks dated. Is there any way I can contemporize the looks?

  20. Is it the travertine that looks dated, or the cabinets, other flooring, and house colors that are dated? Travertine is almost ageless, but the decor will make a huge difference in how it all pulls together.
    If you want to talk about it further, give me more information and let’s brainstorm.

  21. I am at a loss. I found a deal on travertine that I just couldn’t pass..$2.00 each for 18 x 18. I’ve layed ceramic tile in the past but at a loss for travertine. Most of the tile is pitted and kind of rough, I’m guessing it unsealed. Do I seal the tile before grouting to avoid grout stains. If I seal prior to installing and the grout fills in some of the pitted areas do I seal again? Lastly, I saw something a Lowes that was a sealer and put on a gloss. I would like the tile to look kinda wet because all the colors seem to come out then. Any help is appreciated.

  22. I hear both sides of the argument on whether to seal before and/or after installation. You want the grout sealed too, so I can see the argument for sealing afterward. But then you have to be more careful with the grout to make sure it doesn’t stain the stone. You could do before and after, if you wanted.
    I think you may want to test that Lowes product before going with it across your floor. Maybe do the underside of your travertine where it won’t show later; see if it brings the colors out the way you want and that they stay good after the product has dried.

  23. Hi, We are thinking about using travetine for an outside walkway and patio. It is a beautiful stone. We were told it doesn’t get too hot but we were wondering if it gets slippery? Please respond as soon as possible with any pros and cons you may have, Thanks

  24. Travertine is a beautiful stone. I agree it doesn’t get too hot, especially compared to a dark colored stone, but it is a reflective surface so will be hotter than a green ground cover would be.
    If the stone hasn’t been honed and polished until it has a smooth surface it shouldn’t be too slippery. The texture of natural-finish stone provides topography that you don’t get a hydro-plaining surface going.
    Are you going to lay it in concrete or sand? I recommend sand so water can drain away from it and not cause deterioration.

  25. Hi, I just purchased enough travertine for my kitchen and bath; always have loved the look and couldn’t pass it up at $2 per SF. Now that I am reading about it though it seems like it’s pretty high maintenance. Anyone have any input on stains? As we don’t have any children yet but a dog who likes to let about half of the water she drinks slip out of her mouth on the floors. I am sure we’ll seal, but what do you mean when you say be careful to not stain the tiles with the grout? We are going to first be installing in our bath then in out kitchen. Is it a good idea to use travertine in the bath since I have read that it’s not good to expose to excessive water…? Finally, what type of saw do yoy recommend since we hope to install at a diagonal? Thanks for all your help , the Kunkels

  26. If you get the stone and grout sealed before using it you’ll have no problems with stains. The comment about staining the stone with grout was just to caution you against getting too exuberant with applying the grout and getting more than you need on the stone.

  27. We are installing travertine throughout a home we are renovating. The home was built in the 70’s, so it has lots of “sunken” rooms. In 3 places, the travertine will be on the edge of a small step back up into another room, one of which will be highly travelled.
    We’re concerned about the softness of the stone on the edge of the step. Do you have any recommendations for an edge or bullnose material that would be more durable?
    Love your site!

  28. Lynn, great catch on your part about exposing travertine to the edge and traffic. I have a friend with two travertine steps, though he doesn’t get all that much traffic there, and he has no special bullnose to protect the stone.
    But I think you could create a great look with an oak bullnose, or another hard wood. The contrast of color and texture will also help the eye see the step better, which is a good safety measure. Put several coats of water-based polyurethane on it before installation and then another one after the nail/staple holes are filled in with putty to protect the putty from chipping out.
    Either way you go — travertine or wood edges — you have a floor that sounds as if it’s going to be beautiful.

  29. Hello! We just had 18 x 18″ travertine (honed and polished) installed in the main living areas of our home (approx. 800 sq ft). Due to the location of these areas, we were basically “watching the process from afar” and it was not until the tiles had been layed and the tilesetter had left for the day – he’ll return tomorrow to seal and grout – that we realized there are many areas that have anywhere from a 1/8th to 1/4″ difference in the level of one tile to the next. The tiles were layed using 1/16″ spacers and the floor was fairly level to start with…I’m so upset and scared that this is permanent – will the grouting do anything to improve the situation?? Is there anything we can do? The tilesetter came highly recommended by several acquaintances including the ceramics shop we purchased over $2200 of stone from…not to mention what we will owe the tilesetter. From the only viewpoint I had during the day it looked beautiful – then we were able to enter and walk upon it and eek! we will never be able to go barefoot again – we’ll bust a toe! Any help or insight you can offer will be greatly appreciated. My husband thinks the problem lies in the small spacer size used, however everything I have read and all of tile shops I visited recommended butting up completely or at the most 1/16th “, so I’m confused and hoping we can somehow salvage this mess. Thanks for any HELP!

  30. Shari,
    How distressing! I too have walked into a work zone after the worker/installer had left for the day only to find a job that didn’t match my expectations. I’ve handled it differently each time, but what I’ve learned from that is the only thing you can do is talk to the installer.
    Know what you want to have happen and stand your ground to make it so. Find out what extenuating circumstances the installer had to create such a floor surface. Know what you’ll do to work with him to make it right.
    You need to have him redo the flooring. If the tiles weren’t of equal height/thickness he should have stopped installation, talked to you, and come up with o new game plan. No floor should be uneven like that. Aside from what that will do to your bare feet it’s a tripping hazard you don’t want — can’t have even.
    Again, know what you want before starting your conversation so you can firmly stand your ground. I’m not sure what he can do with those beautiful tiles, but you can’t accept the job as is.
    Good luck.

  31. Thanks for the words of support and encouragement- I felt better just venting to someone who has had some expeprience with these matters! Well, the tilesetter showed up this morning and the sun was streaming in the windows higlighting the uneven flooring and he was very stunned and embarrassed – says this has never happened to him before and he will do whatever it takes to correct and to make us happy with the job he has done…word of mouth referrals is always important to a self-employed craftsman. As I write this he and his sons are tearing up tiles, doing some grinding and replacing. He advised us that he would pay for any extra tile, which is a relief. At the moment it looks 100% better but will reserve final judgement til the job is finished! I’ll let you know…

  32. We are planning to use travertine for our kitchen floor. If you can help me then you would have my gratitude but I am not sure what else I can offer you in return.
    We like the scabos travertine; however, we have a concern regarding the durability since the one sample tile we have has much orange in it and it seems to flake and crumble easily (too easily).
    One dealer says this is because the particular tile is a lesser quality and comes from Turkey. Do you know of any differences between Turkish and Italian origin travertine.
    The same dealer said that he had seen an installation where the legs of a chair had worn grooves in the travertine due to crumbling.
    Any thought and recommendations?

  33. Much of the travertine that comes from Turkey is inferior to Italian travertine. Trust your instincts and run away…….. very far away from the travertine you have a sample of! I’m not saying that all travertine is a bad idea – far from it! Just be careful of what you buy and make sure that it has a guarantee so that if you have the same problem that the manufacturer or store will take care of any problems that may arise – even if it means ripping out the floor and installing something totally different if the floor should exhibit flaking, chipping, etc.
    If you do go with travertine, please, please, please be sure to read up on how to care for it properly – and do it! Often, problems arise from the owner not caring for it properly!
    Good luck with your project and feel free to report back on how it goes!

  34. We have yet to install our travertine tiles in our kitchen and bath and read your comment about the inferiority of the turkish travertine. What is the best way to find out if we have that origin of tiles? We purchased our from HD, large 18′ tiles that were on sale. They’re beautil with line and mauve colors and the packaging says natural travertine. I don’t see any chipping, they seem pretty solid.
    Is a ceramic tile saw sufficient for cutting the travertine tiles?
    Is there special grout specifically for travertine?
    Is thinset ok to use?
    Jess kunkel

  35. We are considering travertine for our kitchen floor but I am confused. I understand that polished tile + water would be slippery but what about sealed tile + water? Should we seal first and then grout and then seal the grout? Thanks

  36. Hi Jess!
    I would think the manufacturer’s name is somewhere on the packaging? You should be able to get all the answers to your questions from the manufacturer, this will also help to keep you from voiding their warranty. Usually, a medium thinset is recommended over hardback board (cement board). I’m sorry I can’t help you more on this, but it would really help to know who the manufacturer is. If nothing else, HD should know who the manufacturer is and what the warranty (and specs!) is for your tile.

  37. Hi Randy,
    It might be a good idea to seal first – travertine is porous and you could get problems if you get *sloppy* when grouting – everybody does! :~) The grout will also need to be sealed as well after cleaning the tile to make sure that there is no grout residue on them from where grout got onto the tiles during the grouting process. You really should have a few coats of polish down to protect the work that you’ve done. Again, it depends on what the manufacturer recommends and if you do need to polish it – make sure it’s a polish specifically for travertine/stone.
    Some manufacturers don’t recommend sealing before grouting – in which case, do a small section at a time so that you can clean the tiles along the way before the grout has dried. The thought behind this is that any sealer in the grout join will effect drying time.
    My recommendation (check your warranty first!) If grouting with a limestone or beige etc. don’t seal first, just work the grout over the whole tile to avoid leaving stains near the joints. Work quickly and in smaller areas, clean the tiles in more stages, don’t try to get a finished look from the start, Gently sponge the tiles clean three or four times then buff off the bloom with a dry cloth.
    I would suggest using your favorite search engine (mine is google!) to read up more on this. The methods for laying stone tile are very different than laying ceramic tile because you’re dealing with something that is porous. Just remember to take your time! Many stone floors are ruined from the beginning because of not having done the homework beforehand!
    Hope I haven’t confused you further, but there really is a LOT to consider before you even begin to lay your beautiful new floor!

  38. When Travertine has lots of “pock” marks and some large “gouges” and is approx. 4 years old, what is happening to the floor? It doesn’t seem shiny or smooth in most places. Thank you.

  39. Hi Merrilee!
    I sounds like your flooring hasn’t been polished really well in a long time. You need to find one that is specially formulated for travertine stone and apply a few good coats. Travertine is porous, so you should make sure it is still sealed ok in the “not so shiny” areas. This is easily done by checking to see if water will still bead up on those areas. If so, it’s still sealed ok and you should just use some polish. If not, then it’s going to need to be sealed again with a product that is specifically for travertine flooring. You could try just sealing the spots the spots that need it, let dry thoroughly as per the product’s instructions and then apply polish. It might work ok, and it might not!! If it doesn’t look good enough to where you can live with it, then you’re going to have to strip the flooring, possibly reseal the whole floor and then apply the polish. I know, not fun and time consuming. :~( Let’s hope you don’t have to go to those legnths!
    Gouges are probably caused by something heavy being dragged across the floor, perhaps repeately as with chairs. If it’s a case of chairs being moved back and forth from the table as people are scooting themselves to & away from the table, this is easily avoided with with the little those little protectors that you put on the bottom of the chair legs. I’m not sure what could cause the pock marks, could be anything from something being dropped on the floor, maybe small pebbles that get stepped on and leave the indentation of the pebble? It may also just be little weak areas in the stone itself that have crumbled away, leaving those little pock marks. I really have a feeling you’re going to be stripping the floor and making sure it’s well sealed and then polished…… sealing and putting down a few coats of polish helps to protect that beautiful stone.
    This might not be something you have the time or inclination to tackle yourself and you may want to hire a professional who is experienced in travertine.

  40. Hi,
    We just had Travertine installed in our living,dining room and kitchen. I noticed the next morning that it appears to be dirty looking. The installers grouted and sealed the floor, could these marks be grout? I have dry dusted and mopped and it will not come off. I don’t know if this is just the matte finish or tumbled look? If so, can this be polished or removed?

  41. Hi Angela,
    Yes, it sounds like the installers didn’t clean up well after grouting – this is called “grout haze”. Give your installers a call, tell them what you think the problem is and hopefully, if they care about their reputation at all, they’ll come back out, strip the sealer and make sure the tile is nice & clean before they re-seal it.
    Feel free to post back and let me know how things turned out.

  42. I just bought a house with over 2000 sq. ft of travertine I needed to know the process of sealing it and if it can be polished. I do not know who the manufacturer is so any advise would be appreciated.

  43. The sealing process can vary slightly depending on the directions from the sealant manufacturer. Your best bet is probably going to be to go shopping for a sealant that is made for travertine flooring and follow the instructions. If you have any questions, the sealant manufacturer should have a phone number you can call and may even go into more detail on their website.
    Usually, your floor can be polished too! Again, it’s going to depend on the sealer you purchase and what they also recommend.
    Friends use AquMix’s Enrich’N’Seal on their travertine flooring and are quite happy with the results.

  44. We installed our travertine and made the grave mistake of grouting and sealing at the same time. We now have grout gaze and the floor looks dirty all the time. I understand we have to use an acid of somekind to strip the sealer then re-seal it properly. I just don’t know how to do this. Any suggestions?
    BTW, we installed it ourselves, so we can’t call an installer to fix it.

  45. If you know what you sealed it with then you can find out from the sealer manufacturer what to use to strip it off again. I don’t know what product you used, so I’m sorry I can’t be more helpful than that. Of course, stripping instructions will vary somewhat depending on the product used.

  46. Recently I have moved into a home in which a contractor installed over 1800 sq ft of travertine flooring (18 x 18). It is a ranch style home with a walkout basement. The upper level travertine grout has cracked in the kitchen, dining area and bathroom. In some places the tiles are loose. Is it normal for all grout to crack along each tile? What are my options for repairing. I will need to approach my contractor with some solutions. Please advise.

  47. Hi Edie,
    No, it is definitely not normal for the grout to be cracking everywhere as you’ve described. It really sounds as though either the floors were not level, the floor joists are not strong enough to support the weight of the flooring material, there is a widespread moisture problem either above the tiles or below (maybe tiles weren’t sealed well if at all and when mopped this let moisture into the grout). If there’s a moisture problem under the floor, then that should have been addressed. If a thinset mortar was used, then it could be that it didn’t adhere to whatever is underneath the tile, possibly because of not cleaning well first, or again, a moisture problem where some sort of moisture should have been laid first.
    You didn’t mention what the tile was laid on; wood floor, concrete, etc. so it’s really impossible to figure out what’s gone on without more information.

  48. I recently had a travertine floor installed in my kitchen, dining and hallway. Several tiles have cracked. It was installed over the original wood platform of the previous floor. What can I do and what can cause this breakage? Thank you.

  49. Hi Flooring Lady-
    Below I have copied and pasted your response to my inquiry about cracked grout , etc.(see June 16). The travertine was laid on plywood and then I believe thinset mortar. Are there any solutions to this issue, short of tearing out the entire floor? This house s only 4 months old.
    Thank you,
    Hi Edie,
    No, it is definitely not normal for the grout to be cracking everywhere as you’ve described. It really sounds as though either the floors were not level, the floor joists are not strong enough to support the weight of the flooring material, there is a widespread moisture problem either above the tiles or below (maybe tiles weren’t sealed well if at all and when mopped this let moisture into the grout). If there’s a moisture problem under the floor, then that should have been addressed. If a thinset mortar was used, then it could be that it didn’t adhere to whatever is underneath the tile, possibly because of not cleaning well first, or again, a moisture problem where some sort of moisture should have been laid first.
    You didn’t mention what the tile was laid on; wood floor, concrete, etc. so it’s really impossible to figure out what’s gone on without more information.
    The Flooring Lady at June 16, 2008 09:07 PM

  50. Edie,
    I’m going to guess the subfloor isn’t strong enough. That means either the plywood is too thin or the floor joists are too far apart, or need bracing. It’s possible too little thinset was used so they aren’t being held down tightly enough, but if the floor isn’t flexing that shouldn’t be an issue.
    If my hunch is correct the solution is to have bracing put into the floor support system. I’d think your builder should make good on that for you.
    Good luck.

  51. Tracy,
    I think your problem is the same as Edie’s — the floor isn’t strong enough for the weight of the travertine. Read other comments in this thread to better understand the solutions.

  52. Hi
    I am considering installing Travertine in my house the house was built in the 70 s and we are close to the coast and have a lot of Moisture coming through the foundation. I know this because we put Pergo in the back bart of the house and we did moisture are the questions
    1. will moisture coming through the slab cause problems.
    2 how oten does the floor need sealant applied
    3 How will thi product work with pet accidents
    Thank You
    David Sullins

  53. Hi David,
    Yes, moisture coming through the concrete will cause problems. You will have to use a concrete sealer, and even this may not be totally effective depending on how much moisture is coming through. You’re best bet is to solve the problem that makes your concrete damp.
    As far as how often to apply sealer, that depends on the product you choose, how many coats of sealant you apply initially, what you put on your sealant afterwards and how much traffic the floor gets. Obviously, the finish will wear faster wherever it’s walked on the most. Please be sure to buy only products recommended for travertine flooring, follow the directions, visit their website for helpful tips, FAQ, etc. and even call their customer service number if you feel the need.
    On the topic of how this flooring will hold up/react to pet accidents, again, it’s going to depend on what you are going to be using for the sealer and finish on your floor.

  54. I’m planning to install 18″X18″ travertine in a 14’X 14′ area. Floor joists are 2X10 #2 Southern Yellow Pine spaced 16 o.c. Underlayment is 3/4″ plywood. I plan to use 1/2 hardibacker to bring the underlayment thickness to a minimum of 1&1/4″.
    Q: Will the area I’m tiling meet the L720 minimum for deflection?
    Q: If not, any suggestions as to how to reinforce ?

  55. Hi Ron,
    I do’t know if it’ll meet L720 or not, it’s a measure of stiffness, I presume a requirement for a building code where you are. To meet L/720, a joist can only bend 1/6″ (120″/720=1/6″). Your joists are 2″x10’x ???
    Main thing is you meed to be sure that your joists are going to be able to support the weight of the plywood, hardbacker & stone tiles. If you don’t think the joists are going to support it then you’ll have to reinforce them. I don’t know how wide your joists are, so I cannot tell you for sure. You might have luck talking to your local building inspection office and telling them what you plan and the 3 measurements of you joists.

  56. We are considering installing travertine in our kitchen and breakfast ares. I like the unpolished more natural stone looking travertine verses the polished slippery travertine. Can the unpolished stone be sealed or is only the polished and honed travertine sealed?

  57. Hi Carrin,
    Yes, unpolished stone can be sealed. A good product is Aqua Mix. Exploring their Travertine options will give you a good idea of what kind of products you might need.
    Travertine flooring is a beautiful flooring choice – I know you’ll love it!

  58. our house is 24 years old with original sheet
    commercial grade vinyl in eat in kitchen and util rm with half bath. open to family room that is carpeted.
    time to replace. i just cant find the right flooring material.
    custom built house we built..everyone says vinyl isnt good enough. it is for me…if it is the right floor.
    want to do entire great room area and take out carpet. so it needs to be easy care in passive solar home. 2 large dogs. toddler grandchild,
    us older people not too slippery. hardness is a bit of an issue. this is also a horse
    stuff gets tracked in. we allow full sun and have to use those rubber backed door mats.
    foyer is italian ceramic tile. original, that
    opens to kitchen at one door. so level height is important. we will have to tear out added
    subfloor to bring level up to tile in foyer.
    i love tile. better than any vinyl that looks fake or cheap.
    wood look is too much wood for me.
    i like the natural tiles and stone best,but worried about unpolished staining, polished too slippery.
    too hard if we drop something or fall down.
    dogs need to not slip and slide.
    vinyl is less hard..but sun fade. dents. rug stains. still slippery for dogs. considered less suitable for higher end homes.
    what would you use?
    there just doesnt seem to be the perfect floor for us. thanks, mary

  59. Hi Mary,
    I can understand your concerns. Stone flooring is still a very good option and can be sealed so that stains don’t penetrate the stone and there are products that help with the ‘slippery’ issue for surer footing. It’s very important though, that the floors are sealed/polished very well to prevent staining. A big thing to watch out for are those rubber-backed rugs because many times the rubber winds up adhering to the floor, creating a real mess and is a pain to remove.
    While vinyl is not considered appropriate for higher end homes, linoleum often is.
    Finding the perfect flooring can be difficult, especially when hardness is an issue.

  60. Dear Flooring Lady:
    Is travetine suitable for showers? I understand I will not be able to use cleaners due to the porous nature of travertine.

  61. Hi Glenn,
    There are sealers for Travertine and so long as your tiles are well sealed and properly sealed you should be ok. Make sure to use only cleaners recommended by the sealer manufacturer so that the sealer doesn’t get damaged. AquaMix makes a very good line of products for travertine.

  62. I spilled some vinegar on my travertine floor and it has marked. Are there any products I can use to get the stain out? It was sealed whennit was layed last November, but it is a high traffic area in the kitchen and probably needs another coat.

  63. Jeni, check out AquaMix’s products for Travertine. They’ll have something to help take care of the problem. I don’t know if it’s available in your area, but at least you can also find out what the products contain (the MSDS link at the bottom of the page at their site).

  64. Dear flooring lady:
    Hello, im a tile installer & was wondering if u can help? I set the travertine in a mud bed to get it perfectly level but the problem im running into is finding a threshold of some sort that looks nice to make up for the difference in height for the surrounding areas which are lower in height. Its very hard to find travertine thresholds. Do u have any ideas? Thank you. :)
    Tile Installer

  65. Hi Justin,
    Go to google and type in a search for travertine threshold – you’ll find lots of leads for where they can be obtained. Here are some results from my quick search. I’ll bet you’ll find a source that you can get one from.
    Could you use a hardwood too?
    Happy hunting!

  66. Flooring Lady,
    I am building a new house and want tile throughout (except Master Bedroom). Can you tell me the pros/cons of ceramic vs marble vs travertine? Are there any others I should consider?

  67. You’ve read the article above I presume. Read the ones on ceramic flooring here and here and marble flooring here.
    You might also want to consider porcelain tile flooring, quartzite flooring, granite flooring, faux stone flooring. Each has pros and cons, it’s up to you to decide what you can live with the best. You might also want to read the article about Durable Kitchen Floors as well. Best of luck making a decision – there’s lots of good flooring products to choose from!

  68. Hi
    I have a travertine tiled bathroom (all walls and floor), installed about sixteen months ago.
    We are now starting to notice tiles are cracking. Two questions:
    1) Is this normal ?
    2) if so, is there anything I can do to mitigate the damage ?

  69. Hi Andrew,
    No, this is not normal. The only way to mitigate the damage is to figure out why the travertine is breaking. Could’ve been a bad batch (this isn’t unheard of, in which case you need to know what kind of a warranty this tile has and if it’s still covered – should be!), are the tiles sealed well? (wondering about too much water seeping in the tiles). How much space is in between the tiles (grout)? What is behind the travertine? Is the tile cracking on the walls or floor, or both?
    My guess is that the problem lies with what is under the tile, it should have been cement board.
    If you could give me some more info, I might be better able to give a more educated guess. ;o)

  70. Andrew, my question is whether the subfloor is sturdy enough to handle the weight of the tiles, and if it’s thick enough to not flex as you walk across the tiles. Flexing subfloor would cause the stone to crack. I think the same could be said for the walls not supporting the tiles.

  71. I am putting in ceramic tile in my daughter’s house, it is an old house and the floor is made up of 1/4″ plywood covered with particle board. Well to say some of the particle board needs to be replaced is an understatement but will be done. I wonder if the floor is stout enough to support the large 16×16 tile. I am afraid it might crack. The living room floor will be covered in Bamboo and carpet in the bedrooms and tile in the baths. How much more do we need to add to the floor for support? Thanks in advance.

  72. I very much like the look of Trevartine tiles which are unhoned and arranged in a random pattern. Should I find a specialist tiler to fit and will the sealant provided provide sufficient protection for a havily used kitchen area?

  73. Hi John,
    I don’t know how much more support you’ll need – not only do you need a strong, sturdy subfloor – but you also need to make sure that you have strong enough floor joists. When laying tile you’ll also need to lay hardbacker board (cement board) over the plywood – makes for a sturdy, strong subfloor. You may need to beef up your joists to support the extra weight of the tile. Make sure the floor is level & even before laying the tile – that’s the biggest reason why cracks occur.

  74. Hi Annie,
    A professional is recommended if you don’t think you can do it yourself. Make sure that he seals the tile before putting down the travertine – it makes the grout easier to remove. When sealing/finishing after it’s laid, just don’t be stingy with the products – especially since a kitchen is such a high-traffic area. Check out the AquaMix website to get an idea of what kind of products are needed. Even if you hire somebody that’s supposed to be a professional, that’s no reason why you shouldn’t educate yourself so that you can make sure that the professional is doing the job correctly – it can really avoid a lot of heartache down the road.

  75. Annie – my wife and I put brick pavers in our house several years ago and our contractor wanted us to have a minimum of 1/2″ of subfloor since we had 16″ on-center floor joists. He said he’d recently done a floor with 18″ oc joists and gone with 3/4″ subfloor.
    You don’t want the floors to give at all or the tiles and/or grout will crack. More subfloor is better than less, within reason — just don’t block your built-in appliances into their spaces.

  76. It is obvious from reading these comments that floor rigidity is a major issue and that it just might be wise to err on the side of caution. A more rigid floor is a better floor in my opinion.
    Rididity is related to the square of the thickness (oh no…math!). This tells us that 3/4″ is more than twice as rigid as 1/2″, and that 1″ is almost twice as rigid as 3/4″. 1″ is exactly 4 times as rigid as 1/2″. I use 1″ if at all possible because I don’t even want to think about a beautiful floor cracking. 1 1/8″ is even better (27% better than 1″). Remember that this refers to the thickness of a single sheet. Two layers of 1/2″ for a total of 1″ is only half as rigid as a single 1″ sheet.
    Plywood is cheap. A complete floor is not. If your floor joists are inadequate, stiffening the subfloor can only mitigate but not fix that problem.
    Anyone installing tile should look at the Schluter Systems Membrane system that claims to eliminate the other half of the cracking problem–water infiltration. It also eliminates the need for cement board which makes your overall floor thinner. This is a German system that has been in use for over 10 years, is gaining wide acceptance and is readily available.

  77. This question is to any of you that have some experience with Travertine. I have a older home (60+ yrs) that is on a raised foundation. The kitchen floor is at least 30 year old lanolium, with 3-4 layers below that. I really like the look of Honed & Polished Travertine, and was thinking of having this installed. Do you think this would be okay? Would it be alot of maintenance to keep it polished?
    Thank you,

  78. We would like to use travertine on our countertops in our kitchen? What do you suggest? If we apply a protection regularly are there problems or risks? We also want to use on bathroom floor. Are there other risks than slippery floors? Would you install this in your own bathroom and kitchen floor? or counertops? Thanks Rick

  79. Hi Teresa,
    So long as the travertine has been installed properly (I can’t stress ‘properly’ enough!), maintainence really isn’t any more of a problem as any other flooring. The main key is sealing/finishing really well and making sure that it stays that way (especially in high traffic areas). That’s the rule of thumb for any type of flooring.

  80. Hi Rick,
    Yes, travertine can be used for all of the above. On countertops, make sure that whatever it’s sealed with is food-safe. You have to be diligent about wiping up spills as soon as possible, especially anything that can stain and anything that is acidic. A good sealer/finish will help to keep such things from penetrating.
    I wouldn’t recommend sitting a hot pot on the surface. Yes, I know, it’s stone…..but it is possible that very high temperatures could damage the finish or that you’d have grease, dirt, etc. on the bottom of your pan. Like any other countertop, you should use a hot pad or something under the pot.

  81. Hello,
    Wish I had found your site a little earlier :( My wife and I just bought a house with travertine in our den, which looked as though it had not been properly cleaned and/or sealed. Our contractor recommended a tile man who came in and acid washed the floor and then supposedly sealed it (a couple of sprays from a bottle of sealer here and there). The result was atrocious and we have noticed areas which look streak like and other spots which resemble claw marks on the travertine. My thought is that the acid wash cut through some of the tile. The tile man now wants to come out and wash the floor with acetate/acetone? and then apply a wet look sealer (I think he mentioned Behr by name). Anyone have any suggestions on what we should ask him to do to the tile? Is there anyway to fill or cover the claw marks on the tile other than grinding the stone? I fear it has been an expensive blunder and has made our move a nightmare as we cannot put furniture into the room yet. Any help is appreciated.

  82. Geez…….. what a nightmare.
    Acids should never be used to clean travertine – high-alkaline products should have been used instead. Travertine is a calcium based stone, acid eats it. I don’t think I’d let this guy touch my floor again and if he does, you certainly shouldn’t have to pay for his blunder! Seriously, you might want to consider looking for somebody else. The gouges/scratches in your travertine can be filled in with epoxy, stains can be used to help conceal the epoxy.
    I don’t think I’d recommend any Behr products – it appears that they only have sealers for concrete/masonry work. These would not be suitable for Travertine, he needs to use products created for stone – not concrete. I always recommend AquaMix products. The link will take you to the page that shows all their products for Travertine. Their phone numbers are on the right hand side of that page (in the blue section). Describe your problem to them and they should be able to steer you in the right direction for what needs to be done.
    AquaMix ‘rebrands’ their products too (sells them under different names). Sometimes this costs less, give them a holler to find out what their rebrand names are – I can’t think of any of them off the top of my head, though I know I answered a question the other day and mentioned one of the rebrands. If nothing else, you can do a search (on the upper right-hand corner of this page) using aquamix and find it. Unfortunately, for your searching purposes, AquaMix is mentioned a LOT in this site. Heh – wish they’d give me a nickel for everytime I’ve mentioned them! Shame that they don’t have an affilliate program…….
    Seriously, be extra careful with this guy – if you invite him back into your home to work on your floor, make sure he uses products that are approved by YOU. You might have to do your own homework on what to use, but at least you sound like you have enough intelligence to pick products that are for stone (or especially created for Travertine, marble, etc.). ;~)
    FYI – just in case you wind up needing the info for later, make sure to find out what products he used when he acid-cleaned and “sealed” your Travertine. Take some pics of your travertine before he touches it again, hopefully you have photos of the travertine floor before he worked on it. You never know, they might come in handy later.

  83. We just put in travertine tiles down on the kitchen floor. It is polished so do we still need to seal it or can we just seal the grout. And can I buy special cleaners for the floor at like walmart or homedepot or do I have to order it onlline. I’m not to sure what to use to clean my floors.

  84. When you say it is polished, I presume you mean it was bought that way? If so, that’s a polished finish – it doesn’t have polish on it. So, yes, you do need to seal it and be sure to do a very good job when you do seal. If you read through these posts you’ll find that most problems occur because the travertine wasn’t sealed or wasn’t sealed well. Trust me – you’ll have stained floors in no time if you don’t and it’s much more difficult to remove the stains well – it’s well worth it to prevent stains from being able to be absorbed into the travertine.
    When looking for sealers & cleaners, make sure that you use products that are specifically formulated for travertine. I really like AquaMix products – the link takes you to their product page for travertine. Chances are, you can find it somewhere near you – there is a number to call on their website. I know that they also sell their products under another name at large home improvement store chains (and it’s a little cheaper!), but for the life of me, I can’t remember what the line is called. If you call their number, I’m sure they’ll be happy to supply that information.
    Read over their products for Travertine so you get an idea of what products their are for different situations.
    Be sure that before you seal that all of the grout film has been thoroughly cleaned off the tile or you’re going to find yourself back here complaining about a white film on your travertine. Nothing worse than going through the time & expense of sealing only to find out that the travertine hadn’t been properly cleaned beforehand and having to strip it all back off and do it over!
    Good luck!

  85. I have a new swimming pool with a travertine tile deck and coping. The travertine is a light color and is “honed and filled”. Question – Do I need to seal the travertine decking and coping, or will it make it slippery? It does not seem slippery right now, but again, it is not sealed.

  86. Hi Gary –
    You might want to consult with the manufacturer before you do anything. It should be sealed (and make sure it’s totally cleaned of grout residue first!), but you need to see what the manufacturer recommends. I would recommend Aquamix – the link takes you to their page of products specifically formulated for Travertine.

  87. I have a few questions about intalling a travertine floor
    How thick should the subfloor be…..i had vinyl flooring and 3/8 of inch of plywood……i removed all of that and i am left with 5/8 of an inch of plywood….how much more should i add? the largest span i have is 12 feet and the house is approximately 20 years old
    can electric floor heat be installed under travertine, i understand the heating grid to be mesh like?
    how do you seal the tiles before the grout? can you lay the travertine tiles and seal it then, apply the grout later and then put another coat of sealer after the grout?
    or do you seal them one at a time before installation?

  88. Hi Dan,
    I can answer some of your questions at least! Yes, you should seal before laying – real easy to do, just use a brush and set yourself up to do it assembly line style. The purpose of this is to create a moisture barrier on the underside, on the topside, it greatly aids you when removing excess grout. Travertine is porous, as I’m sure you already know, and you don’t want any of the grout getting embedded in the pores. After grouting and cleaning excess grout/grout haze, you then seal again, so that the grout is sealed too.
    As far as whether your floor is going to be strong enough to support the weight, that’s something that a construction type site would be better able to figure out. Hehe… takes math. Seriously, there’s mathematical equations to figure out if your joists are going to be strong enough to support the tile, grout and set (like a mortar you lay the tile in, unless the particular type you’ve chosen doesn’t require it). They’ll need to know how far apart your joists are.
    Yes, you should have no problems with in-floor heating with the travertine.
    The nice thing is that once you go shopping and decide what products you’d like to use, you can always go to the manufacturer’s websites for all kinds of handy tips, instructions, photos and sometimes videos as well as contact them with any questions you may have. You need to know what you’ll be doing before you do it. ;~)

  89. Hi Billy,
    Just about any kind of flooring product can be scratched, the secret is applying a hard, durable sealer/finish and keeping your pets’ nails trimmed. Your dog will probably be more problematic than the cat, cats don’t usually care for stone floors for sharpening claws. Usually.

  90. What is the best way to apply a sealer to travertine – a contractor told me to pour the sealer into a sprayer and spray it on instead of using a spouge to avoid streaks – any suggestions? Thanks

  91. Hi Bill,
    Your best bet is to follow manufacturers instructions. A sprayer can be a handy thing, but don’t forget about overspray. I don’t know where you’re planning on spraying, but if inside, you’re definitely going to have to worry about overspray and plan accordingly.
    Seriously, check the instructions, visit the manufacturers website (usually has very helpful info!) and if in doubt, call the manufacturer.

  92. hi, are tiles have a shiny finish so does that meam we dont have to seal it also can they be put down with out grouting them. many thanks gill

  93. Hi Gillian,
    They still need sealed. It’s a good idea to seal them before laying, that way it’s easier to clean the grout off of them. I presume you’re wanting to use these for flooring, so yes, you have to set them in thinset mortar and grout them. Not trying to be nasty, so please don’t take it that way, but it sounds like you need to search for a do-it-yourself website with detailed instruction on what all is entailed when you install tile – you’ll be thankful in the long run as you will have the information you need so that you have a successful ending for your project. Best of luck!

  94. Hi I was curious about what you think.
    We are about to purchase some travertine pavers for our patio. We decided on a French Pattern (a mix of four sizes, 16×24, 16/16, 8/16 and 8×8) in Ivory color in the tumbled form. We found this website named
    Travertine Mart
    and they sent us samples and we really like the quality and the color. The price is $3.59 per square foot. Do you think that this is a good price and quality material? We have researched for one week on the internet and have not been able to find neither a better quality nor price.
    Thank you.

  95. I love the natural look of travertine before it is sealed or polished. I would like to maintain as natural a look as possible but of course still seal it, as I have an active household. Is that possible? And if so, what sealant would your recommend for that?
    Thank you!

  96. I was told that travertine sealer has to be sprayed on then “burned” (burnished?) in using a polishing machine, and that this is something a novice should not tackle! Is this true, or can I apply the sealer myself…with or without polishing it in? (Can I use a car polisher and do a section at a time?)
    Thanks for your help!

  97. Hi Nancy,
    It really depends on what product you purchase and what the manufacturer’s directions are. Renting a buffer and buffing yourself it needed should not be a big problem for doing it yourself. Sometimes though, it’s better to hire a pro the first time, be there when they do it, watch them do it and ask questions so the next time you can do it yourself.
    A good line of products is manufactured by a href=”″>AquaMix. You might want to call their toll-free number too – I know they carry their line under another name that is usually a little less expensive.
    You do know about sealing the stone before it’s installed, right? You seal it afterwards again too.

  98. I am buying a repossessed home and the listing says the flooring is travertine. It looks like regular ceramic tile to me. Is there anyway I can know for sure since I do not know the original owners? Thanks!

  99. I would think that if you get in a person who does flooring that they could tell you. Travertine, if it’s been polished, could very well look like ceramic. It’s going to be more of a visual thing, which means I sure can’t help. What size are the tiles? Travertine is usually larger tiles than ceramic – usually – not always.

  100. The tiles look like 16 or 18 inch. They are pretty big however, I found an extra box of tiles hidden in the garage and they are ceramic not travertine. So, mystery solved! Thank you anyway for your reply :)

  101. I recently had Travertine tiles installed in my house and 2 months latter holes began to appear. is this Normal? there appears to be “filler” that has come out in high traffic areas. Is the filler normal or indicative of a lower grade product?

  102. Hi Tony,
    The “filler” is usually nothing more than grout or epoxy (tinted if needed). Was the flooring sealed after installation? Did you do it yourself or did a professional install it? If it was a professional, give them a holler and tell them what is going on so that they can fix it properly and SEAL it well afterwards. Not necessarily an indicator of being low-grade, but it also depends on the quality of the base stone.

  103. A local tile store lists the durability of their stones from light to heavy traffic. Most of the travertines, limestones, and marbles are listed under medium traffic. Granites are listed for heavy traffic, and onyx is useful for light traffic. However, a handful of the travertines, all from Peru, are listed for heavy traffic.
    Is there a standard meaning to the designations of light, medium, moderate, and heavy traffic for natural stone?
    Are the travertines from Peru more durable and generally a safer choice for floors, such as in the entryways and kitchen?

  104. Hi Micheal,
    It depends on the hardness of the stone. It could be that the Peruvian travertines they carry are indeed harder. The harder the stone is, the more durable it will be. You’re best bet is to as them for specifics on how hard the stone is and the hardness of the other stones so that you can figure out if the travertine from Peru is indeed harder.

  105. Hi, we are in the process of totally renovating our bathroom and we would love to use Travertine tiles though we are concerned about their suitability. We are struggling to find an alternative as nice so to help make our minds up can you answer the following a) Which type of Travertine are sealed? b) Do they need re-sealed at any time c)If we were to use unsealed tiles, how effective is sealant and how often does it need done? d) We intend having a “wet zone” ie a flush drain with no shower tray and intend using Travertine mosaic in this area. Does that seem suitable, whether sealed or unsealed??. And finally, e) Are Travertine suitable for walls and given that some are heavy, which type and size??. My apologies for the questions and thank you so much in anticipation!! Jimuk

  106. Hi James,
    Yes, travertine can be used in a bathroom – even on the walls. The biggest thing is to make sure it is well sealed – both before and after installation. Some travertine is already sealed, some isn’t – it’s just something you’ll have to find out when you’re considering your purchase. You need to be aware of what types of products you will want and not want to use. For example: many penetrating sealers will make the stone darker. That’s ok for some people, but others don’t like it. There are sealers that aren’t supposed to change the color as well. Many of these questions can be answered sufficiently if the store you intend to purchase from has a knowledgeable staff – many of the answers you can find here on the site.

  107. Hi my name is lupe;
    I ahve a concrete slab, I want to cover with travertine but it needs to be raised about 2.5 inches what is the best way and what tipe of materasl should I use to float the entire slab to meet the level I want?

  108. Hi Lupe,
    Is this concrete slab in a basement? Whether it is or not, the concrete slab should be moisture proofed as moisture (not necessarily “wet”!) can seep up through the concrete. The travertine should also be moisture proofed as well before you ever lay it. You could use layers of plywood to raise your level or put another thin coat of concrete – which would be more durable of course.

  109. I am having travertine installed in my kitchen. When I asked the installers what happens if I have to ever replace my dishwasher, they told me that I would have to remove the travertine from in front of the dishwasher. This doesn’t sound right to me. How should the travertine be installed near the dishwasher since it is so thick?

  110. I have travertine floors in my kitchen and was told that they are sealed. I was wondering if I could use a swifer wet jet on it for cleaning and if not, what is the best thing to clean them with?

  111. Hi Michelle,
    This is where planning ahead makes all the difference and changing the height of the flooring, consideration of how it may affect appliances, doors, etc. is something very important to consider – which you now know! You have a few options – a. go along with what the installer says b. choose flooring that is not so thick c. raise the height of the dishwasher – which is going to be a pain because I would assume that you’ll have to raise the countertops/cabinets too.
    Something you haven’t mentioned is if there are previous layers of flooring that the travertine would cover or if old flooring will be removed down to the floor joists and having new subflooring installed. Then again, for all I know, your kitchen might be on a concrete slab. A bit more info would be of help.

  112. I want to put travertine on my concrete slab floor containing underfloor heating (wet system). I’ve been told it doesn’t go well with underfloor heating and may be likely to badly crack due to the direct heat. is this true? or would a flexible adhesive overcome the problem.

  113. I am buying a model home and noticed that over 30 travertine tiles on the first floor have cracks in them. Some of them are minor cracks, while others run across and through the entire tile. The builder claims that this is due to the foot traffic since it is a model home. I am suspecting that it could be a problem with the subfloor, or that they were installed poorly without using a membrane. Any input would be appreciated.

  114. Hi Liz,
    Is the heating actually under the concrete slab? If so, I don’t see how it could cause any problems, except that your floor won’t feel quite as warm due to the extra layer on top. A flexible adhesive can cause it’s own problems with helping tiles to crack – it’s kind of an evil circle.

  115. Hi Immanuel,
    I think you’re right – the cracks shouldn’t come about just because it’s a model home and gets lots of foot traffic. Think about how many hours during the day a model home is open. Now, think about how many hours a day your kitchen is open. I’d be willing to bet that your kitchen is going to see more foot traffic. ;~) As to what the problem is with the flooring in the model home? Your guess is as good as mine…. it’s not like either one of us can rip it up and check it out. Sure doesn’t speak well of the builders.

  116. Hello Flooring Lady, I love the look of Travertine floor(Tuscany Walnut) but I am really afraid of the maintenance/installation part of it. I am looking to cover around 1000 sqft of basement floor on concrete. Can you suggest a porcelain tile that look really close to Travertine? Also, I decided to use polished marble tiles on the wall in the bathroom, do you recommended the same marble tile but with honed surface on the floor to prevent slippage?
    Thank you very much for your input, your column is very helpful.

  117. Hi Maggie,
    I cannot recommend a tile that looks close to travertine as product lines are changing all the time. I can only suggest one remedy – go shopping! ;~) Seriously, shop around or look online at different choices to help give you an idea of what your flooring options are.
    As to the marble, that’s more of a personal choice. Any stone is going to become more slippery when it gets wet (or when your feet are wet!). Using the same type of marble is a personal choice too. Some people would be afraid that it would be ‘too much of the same thing’, others would like the look of being harmonious.

  118. i have travertine not polishes, honed outside around a pool. live in sw virginia has been down less than 1 yr. multiple tile have cracked,delaminated and almost come of in sheets . the ones that are doing this seem to have more orange color to this . please help

  119. Hi Mark,
    The travertine should have been sealed on both sides before being put down (even better is sealing and having a moisture barrier under between the stone and ground/concrete pad). It really sounds like it wasn’t sealed well. After being laid, it should be sealed again. It sounds like a moisture problem combined with expansion/contraction from the varying temps (winter/summer). Travertine is porous and when moisture gets trapped within the stone and freezes, the moisture expands within the stone, the expansion makes the stones crack, layer, etc.
    If the stone wasn’t sealed from underneath, you’re best bet is going to be to start over. Yeah, I know, not what you wanted to hear. Also, go to to look at their products for travertine – their site explains what each product can be used for. Very helpful for making a good decision on what types of products you should use for certain situations and why you should use them. Not saying that you should buy their brand (the products are good though!), just that the site is very helpful and has good descriptions of their products. Good luck!

  120. For Maggie.
    Cerdomus makes a porcelain floor tile (13×13 grade 5) called denverstone. It comes in three colors. I lay tile professionally. The denverstone Beige and Tan look so much like Travertine it will fool everyone but the professional. The cost is about the same as a good tavertine so don’t expect to save money. It is a matte finish which looks and feels like honed travertine. The patterns also contain random fill spotches which complete the travertine appearance. I have even mixed this tile with Travertine to create borders and contrast. Look into buying direct on line.

  121. for Mark ..
    The reverse side of a travertine stone tile is exceedingly pocketted. It will absorb a great deal of sealer. Natural stone needs to Breathe. I am not so sure about sealing both sides.. I’ve never done it. I seal the finished surface primarily to avoid grout haze. alwys use a solvent based sealer. There are many good ones. I like Tenax Hydrex. It is made in Italy where the knowledge pool on stone is quite high.

  122. Hello Tom,
    You’ll find that the sealers that are made just for stone allow for vapor transmission, but not moisture transmission. Moisture seeping into stone will cause problems, vapor transmission is important though because, as you said, stone needs to ‘breathe’.

  123. We had a dispute with our builder when they took travertine out due to cracks and replaced with porcelain. After debate, they agreed to re-install with travertine, which was sealed. Now we are getting chips in the tiles (one year later) and the inside of the chipped area looks like chalk. Is this real travertine? Does travertine chip from normal wear and tear? These are 1 inch holes! When you rub the inside the chalkiness comes apart! Help!

  124. Hi Dawan,
    I think that this chalkiness is either efflorescense or the grout that is used to fill in imperfections – this is done at the manufacturing level to even out the travertine. This is a very common practice and is not considered a “bad” thing. Sometimes the filler pops out when the flooring hasn’t been sealed properly or the sealer hasn’t been maintained. It’s not like you seal your flooring once and that’s the end of it. I’m guessing you haven’t applied additional sealer to your travertine floor? I doubt that it’s efflourescence. There’s more info on that throughout the site and it is a moisture issue.

  125. We are getting ready to lay our floor in our sunroom which has sliding doors to the outside. We would like to have a heated floor in there – we love travertine – can we do a heated floor with travertine and because we have a pool outside and sometimes wet bodies and feet will go through here – would travertine be a good solution?

  126. We recently had (what appears to me according to your description) a brushed travertine floor installed and sealed. Today one of our dogs had an accident on the floor and the surface appears dull and no longer smooth where the urine was. Is this etching? How do we fix it? Occasionally this type of thing happens when you have animals; how do we protect the floor so that it does not happen in the future? Our contractor told us he sealed the floor, did he use an inferior product or the wrong product?

  127. Hi Mellisa,
    It’s either etching, or the urine basically stripped the sealer because of the acidity of the urine. Will water still bead up on the area? If not, then the stripper is gone and needs to be reapplied.

  128. I love the look of Tavertine, brushed and tumbled or chisseled. My concern is the maintanence. I wish to install it, in my kitchen, dinning and living room. I live on a small 3 acre ranch, in Southern California. I have dogs, animals and 3 children. Would it be wiser to look at a ceramic tile, that immitates the look of Travertine. I have been reading all the problems, people are having with this type of floor. I am concerned.

  129. Just moved into our new home and have probably 200 square feet of travertine. I know for sure it is not sealed. It’s taking a beating already in our kitchen, bar and master bath. I have 2 ?’s…
    1. Some of the holes that were probably filled in have turned to powder; is there a filler available that we can buy to fill some of the larger holes before we seal it?
    2. Being that it’s in 3 very high traffic areas, what sealer would you recommend?
    Thanks in advance for your help!

  130. Oops… make that 2000 square feet of travertine! The rest is all hardwoods…sigh! I’ll probably be your new high maintence emailer.
    Thanks again for any help!

  131. Hi Kowboy,
    I can understand your concern about travertine — keep in mind though, that most of the people who have problems with their travertine has been because it wasn’t installed properly or maintained properly. Whether you go with ceramic tile or travertine is entirely up to you, either would work. Keeping the doggie toenails trimmed will help keep them from scratching the floor. Do your homework to decide what kind of products you want to seal with — which ones are going to meet your needs better. The biggest thing you can do for yourself is learn about the flooring choices that you decide you’d like to incorporate into your home — looks like you’re on the right track already. :~)

  132. Hi Karen,
    The filler is usually a colored grout, and yes, you can do it yourself. :~) I’d recommend that you look at the products available at – they’re very good. I’m not trying to say that you have to use their products, but they do have a wonderful, simply designed website and they explain what the products are used for and what the product does. If nothing else, it will give you a very good idea of what type of product/s you should be looking at to purchase. MSDS sheets are also on the site so you can see what the product is made of.

  133. Hello.
    I just had travertine installed on our bathroom floor. It appears they grouted the entire floor, filling the holes and seems of the tiles and then they sealed it. Is the the correct way of doing it? Should them fill all the holes with some type of filler(epoxy,etc) and then grout?
    Also, should the holes be filled completely so that the surface of the entire stone is even, or should the holes still have a little concave in it? I can imagine over time how dirt/dust will collect in the holes.
    Please let me know if they installed it incorrectly and if you can suggest the correct way of installation/filling in the holes.

  134. Hi KK,
    Sounds like they did ok to me so long as they made sure to clean the excess grout off the tiles. Be sure to keep it sealed well so the filler doesn’t pop out of the tiles. Though I know the whole process probably sounds odd to you, much of the travertine on the market today is already pre-filled when the consumer buys it.

  135. Hello!
    We had polished limestone tile installed in our kitchen and hallway about 5 weeks ago. Now some tiles are already chipped in spots and the polished surface is gone. Is that normal?

  136. We are looking to install a new kitchen floor. Our current floor is ceramic and it has chipped really bad. And the grout is hard to clean. I do not think it was sealed properly. The guy we talked to suggested traventine flooring. My question is what kind since it is going in the kitchen I know we should not get the polished because it is very slippery when wet. And what is the difference between the honed, brushed and tumbled?

  137. Every few days, it seems our dog has an accident on the kitchen floor. The floor is a sealed travertine floor. The man who laid our tile used the highest quality sealer from home depot, but still every time there is a dull spot left on the floor. Other places on the net say it is impossible to protect travertine from pet urine and that every time it happens it requires light sanding and reapplication of sealer. Is that true? Or, is there a high quality sealer out there that will make it possible for us to have our dog in the kitchen.

  138. Hi Cedric,
    Here’s some basic definitions in regards to the different manufacturer finishes of travertine:
    Tumbled: Is literally that. Softened, uneven edges and un-polished, un-filled surface gives a ‘soft’ rustic finish.
    Honed & Filled: The surface is filled to give a smooth, even face before being polished flat and smooth. The edges are cut sharp and straight to give a uniform finish with tight joints.
    Brushed and Chiselled Edge: Open grained (un-filled) but brushed to give a semi-polished surface. Edges are chiselled to give a rustic finish.
    Polished/Honed: Open grained (un-filled) but polished to give a smooth surface. Edges cut straight and even.
    Commercial Honed & Filled: As Honed and Filled above but with more filling.

  139. Usually, it takes a good 5 coats of polyurethane to hold up against pet urine. This will also depend on just how acidic the urine is of course and what type of poly you use. Chances are though, the urine is still going to dull the finish – the higher sheen finish you have, the more noticeable this will be.

  140. What flooring is best for the kitchen? I received the answer concerning the traventine. If we have to decide on that it will be the honed. But what do you think about granite or a better quality ceramic for the kitchen? Which would be better??

  141. I have completed installation of a Travestine honed tiled floor in powder room. Am confused as the best way to proceed with grouting and sealing. Some say seal tile before grouting, others say grout and then seal both tile and grout, and yet others say don’t seal, just grout. What is best process to follow? Can you help?

  142. Hi Jack,
    Definitely seal before grouting – makes cleaning grout/haze so much easier. Travertine is porous, so grout can actually get into it’s pores and when that happens it takes a lot of cleaning to try to get it all. Seal again after you grout and get the tiles cleaned up. Good luck!

  143. We’re building a house, I love the porous look of the tumbled travertine tiles and definitely want to use it on the walls around the tub & wonder about using it on the floor & in the shower area (the travertine with the unique holes in it), can that be done or do you need to fill all those character giving holes to gain water proofing for the shower? What about dirt filling in the holes if used on the floor, is that anything others concern themselves with (or just me)?

  144. Hi Glen,
    Nope, you don’t need to fill in the holes. You DO need to make sure they’re sealed well (before and after grouting!). They would be sealed with a clear sealer, the texture would still be present. Yes, dirt will lodge itself more in the depressions, but if you don’t mind keeping it clean then it’s not a problem, right? ;~)

  145. I have a honed travertine. I sealed it with a penetrating stone sealer from HD (TileLab), 2 coats. Now I would like to put a gloss coat on it. I tried the TileLab gloss which said it could be put over the penetrating sealer. But, the gloss sealer has brush strokes that don’t go away when it dries. On some tiles it soaks in partially and so it ends up spotted. Should I use an oil based sealer, and can I use something like polyurethane? Basically, I want a shiny surface that is smooth and doesn’t have brush strokes or other patterns in it when it dries. Any suggestions? I know to achieve this on wood I apply polyurethane, then sand and apply again for a total of 3 times to achieve a nice smooth finish. Do I have to do the same for a tile floor?

  146. Hi Diane,
    Ooh, what a dilemma. Perhaps there is something that can be used to thin the sealer. I would suggest calling the manufacturer and ask. It may be that you need multiple coats. I don’t know much about TileLab sealers. I presume it’s a water based sealer? If so, you cannot apply an oil based sealer without stripping the other sealer first – otherwise you’ll have a tacky, gooey mess.
    I usually recommend AquaMix products ( – they have wonderful products for travertine.

  147. When finding someone to install travertine flooring that I have purchased a)how do I go about conducting the search(how do I find an individual that will install already purchased travertine) and b)what should I look for in an installer? Secondly, what is a decent price per sq ft for an installer to charge for the installation?

  148. Hi Thomas,
    You need to simply search your local yellow pages to find contractors, home improvement contractors, tile installers, etc. Ask them questions – have they ever installed travertine? Ask for references as well from past travertine projects. Obviously, you would want to look for an installer who has done this before and can give you good references.
    Price per sq ft will vary according where you live – it’s usually higher in metropolitan areas and somewhat cheaper in a more rural area. Certain states just seem to cost more and goes hand-in-hand with the cost of living in the area. ie: Florida, California, New York City are going to be more expensive than say, Indiana. Some contractors won’t charge per sq ft, but just give you a price for the whole job.

  149. I would like to use travertine honed and filled (with a matte sealer) in my high-traffic (5 kids, 2 dogs)kitchen. I do plan to re-seal it yearly. Is the stone so soft that kitchen chairs, stools, normal family activity will make it a scratchy, ugly mess? Currently we have hardwood floors from which the finish is now completely gone. What I love about the travertine is the variations and natural look and feel. I have not been able to find any porcelain that I like nearly as well. Am I going to be sorry?

  150. I have honed travertine tile on my bathroom floor. I have about 6-7 tiles that have some major and minor cracks and chips. The floor is 14 years old and I don’t want to replace it right now. I am pretty good at fixing thinks and I am also good with matching color. I was trying to figure out a way to do a make-shift repair. I thought maybe bondo would work to fill in the cracks and then lightly paint/stain the area and seal it. Do you think this will work? Any other ideas?

  151. I just installed travertine throughout my house. I had the tiles sealed by the contractor who installed my tiles. I then re-sealed the tiles again with Dupont Advanced Stone Sealer. My dog urinated on the travertine tiles, and I immediately cleaned it up. However, it left a stain on my travertine. Why did this happen, and is there anything I can coat it with to prevent this from happening again? Thanks

  152. Hi Kathy,
    It’s really going to depend on the sealer – the sealer really helps to protect the floor and give it a harder, more durable surface. Check out – they have really good products. The first time you seal it – don’t be stingy – apply a couple of coats extra. ;o)

  153. Hi Claudia,
    I don’t know if bondo would work or not – isn’t that usually used for body work on vehicles? I would suggest some sort of grout material (which is also used for fillers). Some you can add colors too before, some are are made to take stain afterwards. Sounds like you’re creative and know how to think ouside of the box! I’d suggest looking at the products for travertine at – they have really good sealers.

  154. Hi Rakesh,
    The acid from the urine eats at the sealer – a chemical reaction. Urine is a big no-no on any kind of floor. You’re just going to have to make sure that the dog doesn’t urinate on the floor.

  155. I have just installed a travertine floor in my kitchen, sealed it and it looked great with a nice shhen to it. However my husband decided to hoover it and now it has small scratches from the hoover wheels all over it – help! what can i do to remove the scratches

  156. Hi Carole,
    Yeah, tell the hubby not to do that any more, though I’m sure you already have! ;o) You can either buff it out or apply another coat of sealer to get it back to where it should be.

  157. Hi Debbie,
    I use a vinegar & water solution – read through the thread please (link right below my reply). I’ve covered this many times. This is of course, assuming
    that your floors are well sealed.

  158. I just had travertine installed (700 sq. ft) They put Miracle Seal & enhancer on it- It seems to have a film on the floor-I feel like I need to go and wash my feet after walking on it. The floor seems to need washing- what is wrong?

  159. Hi Judy,
    I’m not sure. Can you see this ‘film’ or is there anything that transfers to your feet? It may be that it actually does need washing, it may be just the natural roughness. It’s hard to tell without more information.

  160. My travertine tiles just arrived. There is much more variance from tile to tile (24″ x 24″)than I expected. Maybe 1 in 4 or 5 looks like the store sample. Is this unusual?

  161. Hi,
    I just had a beige travertine installed in my kitchen, bath, and laundry area. After they installer sealed it with a low sheen penetrating sealant, the floor looks dingy and there are swipe marks on the floor from the sponge they used. I was told that there was nothing wrong with the floor. What should it look like- it is honed finish. Leah

  162. Hi Leah,
    Honed travertine can have a “matte” appearance. it is very fine and smooth. There is little gloss or no gloss at all and can be rather porous. Please keep in mind that the colors in honed travertine are not going to be as vibrant as those in polished travertine.

  163. I am in the process of buying a home. It has about 1000 sq ft of travertine. the travertine has holes in it meaning that grout was never placed in the wholes. The home owner is telling me that the floors are sealed and that is the way they wanted them. What do you think?

  164. Hello, I have a 75yr old home in FL, so I would imagine that the home has settled years ago. I installed 18X18 travertine in the kitchen in May of 2008 with thin grout lines. This morning I was wiping a spill on the floor and noticed a hairline crack in the middle of the tile that ran perpendicular to the floor joist. it ran through about 5 of the tiles. It was in the middle of the floor. Then when searching around I found 3 more tiles over near the kitchen sink with the same hairline crack, I can’t feel them when I rub my hand over them, but they are there. My sub floor runs diagonal with 1″ planks. My joist are the huge old style and are approx 16″ to 18″ apart. I installed staggered Hardibacker down before the tile was installed. It seemed pretty solid and didn’t sag. Is this a common problem with travertine? I didn’t install a membrane or tar paper before I put down the hardibacker. Could this be my culprit. Should I rip it all up and start over or just wait a while and fill the tiles or replace the bad ones? Or just pretend that they aren’t there? Any input would be appreciated. Thanks

  165. Matt, I’m not sure what’s going on with your travertine tiles. It’s not uncommon for floors to not be adequately supported and the flex eventually causes tiles and/or grout to crack. You possibly needed to either add a layer of plywood before putting the backerboard down, or add supports to the joists. You can still add the support. Those tiles weigh a lot and the least amount of bending will cause cracking.

    What is below the tiled floor — unfinished basement or crawlspace, slab, or a finished basement? If it’s an unfinished space I highly recommend putting a ” target=”new”>vapor barrier.

    I’m sure your renovated home is beautiful. I hope you can figure out what the problem is before it gets worse.

  166. Thanks so much for your input. It is a crawl space with about 1.5′ in height over sandy dirt. I will take your advice and add some more support to the joist. There is no insulation under the floor and their is no vapor barrier either. Should the vapor barrier be stapled to the bottom of the floor boards from underneath? Or just buried under the house with some sand/or gravel covering it?
    I was under the house last night and I had a friend walk on the kitchen floor. I didn’t notice any flex, but I know it just takes a little. We did have over a straight week of torrential rains recently. I never saw the cracks before this and the added moisture in the air may have made the wood a little more flexible. It is extremely dry under the house and the rain does not flow underneath it all though.
    2nd question is how hard is it to bust out the 18×18 tile with out chipping the good ones next to the bad? Is there a good technique besides patience that I should know about? I may go this route after I brace up the floor a bit. I’m not quite ready to chip it all out, then add the plywood and redo the hardi. I’m glad that my kitchen is pretty small if I do have to end up doing that.

  167. We are renovating our kitchen and have found some travertine tile we love. However, I find a lot of conflicting advice on-line about sealing vs. not sealing this tile and also issues with scratching or ‘looking dirty’. We intend to set the tile in mub over hot water radient heating. What advice would you offer as to the viability of travertine in a high trafic, high use kitchen & entry?

  168. Hi Bob, if you are planning to install travertine in a high traffic kitchen area, then I would definitely recommend sealing it. Unsealed travertine is very reactive with acids because it is very porous. I would recommend going with either honed tiles or brushed and tumbled tiles in a kitchen area.

  169. Hi Matt, It sounds like an excellent start! I’m guessing you live in a warm climate, thus not needing insulation. The vapor barrier that I recommend – the Raven product – would be excellent. Follow their directions, even asking them before you order it so you can get the right amount.

    I have this product at my house and am loving the benefits.

    The water may not stand or flow in the crawlspace, but the ground does get damp, even wet, and that moisture impacts the floor and flooring above. You really owe it to yourself, and your house, to get the moisture barrier down.

    Chipping the tiles out isn’t so hard, but cleaning them from the cured grout/concrete would be next to impossible. Of course, if you are looking for a new hobby it could be a good one to tackle. It will keep you occupied a very long time. I suggest bracing from below and working with the vapor barrier as your most cost- and time-effective approach to fixing the problem.

  170. I have several whitish spots on my travertine floor that appear to be etched areas. I did seal it but the sealer appears not to be acid proof. How can I repair these areas and what sealer should I use to keep it from happening again?
    Thank you

  171. We really loved travertine and was wondering how suitable it would be to be used on the floor ?
    I mean compared to marble would you allow choose travertine as your floor, we are thinking of very low maintenance as both of us work during the day.
    Any advice would be much appreciated.
    Thanks in advance,

  172. We have smooth flat travertine floors in our entry and formal dining area. I love the look but we started with 2 pit holes or mini craters at move-in and now there are too many holes to count !!! Our builder told us that the floors are travetine and this happens with this natural stone. We’ve only been in our new home for 4 months and I’m scared to think what the floors will look like in a year !!!
    Is this true ? Does mini craters appear naturally in travertine or is there something wrong with our floors ?
    Please help!

  173. We have smooth flat travertine floors in our entry and formal dining area. I love the look but we started with 2 pit holes or mini craters at move-in and now there are too many holes to count !!! Our builder told us that the floors are travetine and this happens with this natural stone. We’ve only been in our new home for 4 months and I’m scared to think what the floors will look like in a year !!!
    Is this true ? Does mini craters appear naturally in travertine or is there something wrong with our floors ?
    Please help!

  174. Hello Anonymous, I’m sorry, but pitting is not a natural occurrence in travertine. It sounds like you have an inferior batch of travertine or it was sealed improperly. You need to take this up with your builder and the installer.

  175. We have a sealed Travertine floor in our kitchen. It is naturally pitted but our supplier told us that when it was laid it would be grouted so that the surface would be smooth and level. That didn’t happen, and dirt collects in the craters even though the floor is often washed, which doesn’t enhance the look of the floor. We have another floor layer coming Monday to remove the existing sealant and re grout the tiles so that the holes are filled, followed by a re seal. Do you think that this will work, or do you have to ensure that you buy smooth stone in the first place?

  176. What do you think about 18″ square travertine tiles? More appropriate for a bathroom wall than the front entryway floor? And how often do you have to reseal/repolish travertine?

  177. How do you prevent scratches on travertine flooring and how do you install a crack suppressant as you have mentioned above.

  178. Malini,
    I would contact your installer to discuss which type of crack suppressant is needed.
    Here are a few options that will help with scratching.
    Place floor protectors under furniture
    Clean, wipe or blot spills immediately to help prevent stains.
    Place doormats at every door- this helps to trap dirt at the doorway instead of transferring it to the floor inside the home.
    Take care when moving heavy objects like furniture and equipment- utilize furniture coaters to transport heavy objects across floors.
    Dust and vacuum floors regularly to maximize beauty and decrease buildup of debris.
    Exercise caution when using bleaches, tile cleaners, mildew removers, oven cleaners, drain openers and plant food as these contain strong chemicals that can discolor floors.
    Always follow your manufacturer’s guidelines on products that are safe for your flooring.
    Treat grout with a sealer to simplify cleaning.
    Vacuum travertine tiles without a beater bar and use a microfiber mop which is gentle on the floor to prevent scratching.
    Never use steel wool, scouring powder or any other strong abrasive on a travertine tile. This could leave permanent scratches on the surface.

  179. Hi:
    I have 4 children with allergies and was considering installing honed travertine, throughout my 1st floor. Someone told me it is very soft and and not a good idea for large areas. I was planning on doing different sizes of tile in a pattern, 12″ to 6″. Is this going to be a HUGE mistake???

  180. Jenn,
    Travertine has it’s pros and cons. It is easy to match and replace. It is also very porous and I would suggest sealing to protect it. Travertine does react to acidic fluid, like orange juice and vinegar which may cause a stain.

  181. I have travetine flooring in my foyer and kitchen, and I just love it. the stone has been sealed and it is very very low maintenance. Even when the flooring is dirty, no one knows. But installation is quite costly but worth I get so many compliments onthe flooring. when you look at the floor at different angels you see different hues in the stone.

  182. I install travetine tiles in the bathroom, before the installation we installed backer board on the floor for support, after the grouting couple of days later we noticed that the floor was shifting and the grout was chipping.
    Also what is the best way to remove stains from the tiles? I had paint spot on the floor while painting? Thanks

  183. Elizabeth,
    It sounds like a subfloor issue, concrete backer board should be screwed into a substrate with rust-resistant screws.. If nails are used they allow the board to more easily and the substrate will shift.
    I would contact a professional in your area to address your concerns.

  184. I’m going to add to what The Flooring Lady says here. I think your subfloor isn’t sturdy enough, even with the backer board. It’s too late now to beef up the plywood/OSB subfloor but you can add braces to the joists, assuming you have access from below. If not then you’ll just have to deal with the shifting floor and replace the grout with sanded caulk that flexes with the floor.

  185. Thank you both. Unfortunately I can’t access the floor from under I did add the sanded grout and looks like it might work. Thanks again

  186. My travertine was installed less than 2 years ago. For the past few months it has more and more areas that were once filled, which are now coming out. The filled areas are crumbling and/or popping out completely. I use a neutral pH cleaner weekly and dry swiffer daily to every other day. We never wear our shoes in the house. We were told by the company that installed it that it was sealed. Is there a way to tell if it was in fact sealed, and if it was done correctly? Is this normal? How can it be remedied?

  187. Julie,
    I don’t believe the issue is with the sealant use or if it was not used.
    The grout is probably cracking and coming up because of the subfloor. As you walk across the floor the subfloor flexes ever so slightly and that subtle movement cause the stones to move. As the stones move the grout gets loose and starts to break.
    You are in for a big job for a couple of reasons. You could chip all the grout out and use sanded grout which flexes better than grout. Or you could chip the grout out, remove the stones hoping to get them cleaned of all of the grout and cement they are in, beef up the subfloor and relay the travertine. Whew!

  188. Regarding your answer to my post from August 25 at 10:57 pm – it isn’t the grout which is coming out. It is the filled areas of the natural stone surface. Does this change your thinking in any way?

  189. Hello again Julie,
    I appreciate you following up and yes if the issue is specifically the filler it could be caused by faulty fillers or stones, wrong material being used upon installation or even a poor reaction to the sealant.

  190. I have exactly the same problem as Julie above. My travertine floor is beginning to look a real mess. I have spoken to the suppliers, a tiling chain, and their initial response is that it must be due to the naturally occuring holes in the travertine caving in – it is a bit worse in areas where there are chairs. They say that this should be expected of Travertine. He said that when the stone is filled they have no way of knowing whether or not there is a void immediately below the surface, so when pressure is applied from say a chair leg, then it caves in. They are trying to source a resin filler that can be used to repair the holes but I’m not happy about this . It is my belief that this Travertine was not good enough quality to be used as floor tiles. I still have some spares. Is there a way of verifying this?

  191. I had travertine installed in my bathroom about a year ago. I’m not sure which finish it was, but I know it isn’t the polished. When you look at it, it seems to have some dull areas almost as if the sealant wasn’t put on evenly? Not sure if that’s the case or if it has to do with the finish (I purchased the travertine from Home Depot). My question is, if I want to try to reseal it, is there any prep work I need to do besides clean it? Do you think the sealant is what is causing the variations in the way the sheen is?…dull/rough looking in some spots but smooth in others?
    Thanks in advance for you help!

  192. Bernie,
    What product was used initially?
    Your stones will vary in hardness and softness and in doing so impacts the way a sealer will absorb, for example softer stone absorbs more sealant than the harder stones. Application style can make a difference as well.
    You can continue to talk to differing suppliers of travertine, gathering their opinion and perhaps try a different product, or even have the stones polished before re-filling.

  193. My Travertine was supplied as “filled and honed” and it was sealed using 3 coats of a product called stonefix which is a satin finish acrylic sealant. I dont believe this is a problem with the sealant but a problem with the quality of the travertine. I cant imagine that the floor would look good if it was refilled.

  194. Bernie,
    Going back to our previous discussion and also including the new information that the stones were filled and honed.
    I do want to add that Travertine can have natural holes and the holes are normally filled at the factory. If the tile is in a high traffic area or in a place of wear, as you mentioned the chairs causing the holes, then you will have to fill them. Part of owning travertine does include caring for them by filling the holes as they appear. The holes can vary in size, which can pose a safety issue, thus requiring them to be filled. The holes can be filled with grout or by epoxy resin that closesly matches the travertine color.

  195. I am installing travertine in an upstairs bathroom. In addition to hardibacker does the floor also need to be floated? Or can we install travertine directly onto the hardibacker? Thanks.

  196. Jeannie,
    Yes you should still float your floor. If you are using large tile or stone and the floor isn’t rigid enough, it will crack without floating the floor.
    Another product you might want to look into is Ditra, it is similar to Hardibacker but waterproof. That is an awesome quality to have in a bathroom where water is sure to get under that tile to some extent and you would want to protect the sublfloor.

  197. Thanks. Unfortunately the contractor who installed the upstairs bathroom floor didn’t float it first. It looks fine but it’s not nearly as smooth as the same travertine that was installed throughout the first floor (by a different installer). What to do at this point? Grind & sand? Tear out and replace? Thanks again.

  198. Does anyone have experience in filling holes in travertine with the epoxy resin? Any tips in getting the fill even and look more “factory”, original quality?

  199. Deanna,
    I do not have that experience with Travertine flooring. I would suggest contacting the manufacturer of either the floor or the epoxy you are using and ask for suggestions. They may also have a website with tips on applications.

  200. Jeannie,
    If you do remove the stone, it will be trashed since it has grout attached to the edges now. If the lack of even-ness really bothers you, then grind and sand — it would be a shame to waste the present stone. If you do decide to tear it out and replace it, you would still want to float the floor.

  201. travertine is a porous floor material and as such is not allowed to be used in kitchens and wash rooms in the state of massachusetts.
    * a liquid sealant does not change the material classification it is still a porous flooring and banned in those areas
    If it’s factory glazed then it is sealed per the state of massachusetts and in that case it considered water resilent

  202. Our floor is prone to cracks that have & are developing over a 2 year time frame. We have underfloor heating which may confuse the issue further. Any ideas?!

  203. What kind of tile would you suggest for a hall bath. There will be a seldom used shower in it. If we go with a polished look, would travertine or marble be better- or should we stay away from both

  204. Andy,
    The best option with the travertine flooring is to be sure it is sealed well to increase its strength and durability. However, the hot/cold – on/off of the heating system may be adding to your problems.
    I would check with the manufacturers of the stone and see if this is a known issue. They may be able to offer suggestions.

  205. Karen,
    Both Travertine and marble are slippery when wet. But, with a seldom used shower maybe you could put down a bath mat for those stepping out of the shower. Design is personal preference and you should pick the one that looks best to you.

  206. We have run into a problem on our travertine floors at our office. We see that the area’s that use the rollers on our desk chairs in the office wear down the travertine tile floor in that area. It looks like it has lost its appearance and looks very dull. The area looks like it is starving for more sealer. We often apply a sealer to bring some of the finish back to this area. We are looking for a product that will stand up to rollers under the desk chairs all year round and retain that beautiful finish and still look like the rest of the floors in the building. The lobies and walk ways all look fine. It is just where the desk chairs with rollers wear down the finish.
    Hoping you can help with a product that will retain a matt finish or a slight shine on the floor in the desk area and throughout the office.

  207. It seems that all the postings and questions are repetitious, i recomend that the reps and installers make their clients aware of the fact that travertine is very porous and soft thus making its beautifull on display and when first installed but like a wood window needs very high maintanence

  208. 4 years ago i bought & had installed 18 x 18 travertine floor in our theater room. 2 years ago had problem with filler popping out. had it fixed & resealed. 2 years later having same problem. the highest traffic area seem ok ” strange! ” while other areas having problems. once the filler pops out the hole becomes larger very quickly. i was told that my tile was not good quality but as i looked before i bought my tiles have less filler & looks better than a lot of tiles i have seen in flooring showrooms. i need to resolve this, how & what should i use to fill & seal this room. i like the look & feel of the room. HELP !!!

  209. Richard,
    It seems to be easy to get variable quality stone within a pallet, or purchase. Perhaps you need to go to the store where you bought the stone and resolve it with them.
    Some questions: What’s that floor above — another part of the house, a finished
    or unfinished basement, crawlspace, — as opposed to the floor that’s lasting
    well? What kind of vapor barrier or moisture proofing does the house, or those
    specific spaces have? How is the grout in that room, holding up?
    (wondering if there is some kind of moisture issue in that area)
    Filling travertine is outside of my expertise and I really don’t know what to suggest about the repair. But, I would suggest that you talk to the stone supplier.

  210. My husband and I are currently looking to replace half of our main floor area with tile. We have considered slate and now travertine. We are replacing a ceramic tile floor that has cracks and grout problems. We are going to replace the sub floor and hope to get an ace installer to do the work. We take good care of our current floor. Keeping it vacuumed and washed with liquid dish detergent once a week. It is currently low maintenance. As much as i like the look of travertine, I am hesitant to take on a 550 square foot nightmare. It would be under our kitchen table, in the food prep area, front entrance and back laundry room entrance as well as the entrance to the garage. Is this a poor choice. Should we just go with a high quality porcelain tile for ease of care?

  211. Calgary,
    Travertine flooring should have sealant in order to increase travertine’s durability; unsealed travertine shouldn’t be used in food is prep areas because it will absorb grease and food spills.
    For high-traffic areas, some experts suggest using travertine mosaic flooring because the smaller size of the stones can help prevent cracking as occasionally seen in larger tiles.
    I would compare the advantages of both the porcelain and the travertine, and choose which one you feel will fit your needs the best.

  212. Hi there, I just found your website. We recently bought a house with travertine in the front hallway. The finish seems rather dull and does have some ‘circle’ stain marks on it.
    Of course, I don’t know what caused the circle marks. Should this floor be sealed and what is the best way to take care/clean travertine floors?

  213. Hi,
    We are about to install Travertine in our kitchen and baths. I was wondering if you can recommend the best sealant to use? And is it better to lay with grout or without.
    Thank-you for your advice!!

  214. We are redoing our kitchen,entrance,and laundry room,and are thinking of going with dura stone,or polished travertine,or dura ceramic. Can you tell us the pros and cons of each,or which would be the overall best to go with. My husband does not like to go with just plain hard ceramic tile. Thank you.

  215. I’ve bought travertine tiles as well a bathtub, with its natural condition, our projector is going to put on some sealant but still a lot of holes on the surface. Should we be brave to go ahead or we should stop and turn to another material? Pls help me out.
    Thank you,

  216. Fran,
    The main problem with this stone is that it is porous and susceptible to acids when it is unsealed and unpolished. Even common things such as vinegar or orange juice can affect and stain your unsealed travertine flooring.
    Polished and sealed travertine, on the other hand, is considered durable and reliable.
    When cleaning the floor, be sure to follow manufacturer’s instructions for the sealer that is used.
    Another article that may help is Stone Floor Care.

  217. Michael,
    If the holes are just indentions on the surface and are sealed, the tile should be alright to use. But, they may hold water in those places and you may want to install those further from where water will be dripping regularly.
    I would also check with a professional installer or the manufacturer on the weight of the bathtub being on the tiles. Just to be sure that the tile you have will be strong enough to not crack under the full weight of a tub filled with water.

  218. Thank you for the post on adding beauty and quality to your home with travertine flooring. I had never heard of travertine flooring before my friend talked about having it installed. I like that you mention the quality of tile in terms of travertine is better than limestone and marble is better than travertine. That helps gain a better understanding of where it sits in terms of price and durability.

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