Travertine is a variety of limestone deposited by mineral springs, especially hot springs. The process leaves the stones full of bubbles that give the stone a rustic appearance. These bubbles can be filled with epoxy at a factory or grout during installation to improve the durability of the stone.
Travertine tends to have a beautiful natural veining. This luxurious stone typically takes a range of warm, earthy tones from the iron trapped inside. Travertine can be honed to a soft finish or tumbled to smoothness for a more rustic look, but it is not typically dense enough to be polished to a glossy surface like marble.
Travertine typically has an ancient look, its naturally rough surface complementing rustic design or antiquing processes very well. The stone is quite resistant to changes in temperature and is naturally slip-resistant, making it very appreciated in flooring applications.
Travertine is not always recommended for kitchen applications or high traffic areas as it is a softer stone and highly reactive to acids. It is also porous and should be regularly sealed to prevent staining. However it is a beautiful and less expensive alternative for those who want the classic feel of natural stone in their homes. And with a durability similar to marble, travertine is an excellent choice for applications where a matte or rustic look is desired over glossy finish.