Contrary to popular belief, travertine isn’t just a fancy word for marble. In fact, the two materials are widely different from each other. Here are some things you should know when considering travertine or marble tile for your next design or construction project:

  • Travertine is a visibly porous stone, which gives travertine tiles a textured, more natural look. Some choose to have the stone sanded down and sealed for smoother tile applications such as indoor flooring or for shower surfaces. Soft and absorbent, travertine requires several coats of sealant to ensure that debris won’t penetrate and damage the stone. Travertine vary in color from light weight to cream, beige, gold, and darker hues like brown or red. The slight pattern and color variations between stone pieces keep them from looking alike, which makes travertine suitable for different types of tile patterns.
  • A marble tile is distinct because of its veiny patterns, although it can also come in a single, solid color. In addition to its characteristic streaks and natural colored veins, marble is also known for its hardness and natural smoothness, with a slight glittery sparkle. Marble usually comes with a high gloss polished finish or a satiny honed surface.
  • While both tiles are suitable for use indoors and outdoors a marble tile is better used for applications like bathroom walls, countertops, and floors because of its crisp and clean appearance. Travertine tiles on the other hand, are great for use in higher traffic locations like kitchens and outdoor spaces, like patios and pool decks. Travertine is also an excellent choice of material for decorative applications, such as in walls and ceilings. Its unique combination of colors and streaks or grain make the material ideal for creating different tile patterns.
  • In terms of cost, natural travertine tends to cost more than cultured marble, although natural marble tile is a lot pricier, depending on the materials quality.