Stone flooring comes in many varieties, but two of the most popular are travertine and marble. Homeowners who are considering installing them will want to know the difference between the two, and although marble and travertine are both derived from limestone, each is distinct with its own pros and cons. Understanding the difference will better allow you to decide whether to buy travertine or marble tiles.
Marble and Travertine Differ in Appearance
Marble has a very distinct appearance which makes it easily recognizable. It consists of hard veins which appear in various patterns and colors. While marble may occasionally appear as one color, usually it will display two colors, one which is a streak and another which serves as a background to it, such as a solid white marble tile with black streaks running across it. Marble is known for its smooth texture and will often feature a finish that is polished. Common colors that it will appear in include blue, black, gray, pink and green.
Travertine tiles usually display tones which are both neutral and warm. It looks more natural than marble, and is compatible with numerous interior designs. As far as stone goes, travertine is soft, and because it is also absorbent, it needs multiple sealant layers so that it is protected from debris. Travertine appears in colors which are distinct from marble, such as yellow, gold, beige and red. Unlike marble, which is almost always polished, travertine can have a finish which is honed, saw cut or tumbled.
Marble and Travertine have Different Applications
While both materials are used for flooring their applications are different. For instance, marble is the preferred material in bathrooms, countertops and even walls since it provides a very sharp and elegant look. Marble is also extremely tough, which means that it can withstand a lot of wear from children, pets and foot traffic in general. However, the sealant will need to be redone at least once every year to ensure it doesn’t become worn.
Travertine is preferred in kitchens, ceilings and outdoors. The reason travertine works well outside is because its surface provides a great deal of friction, which means there is a reduced chance of slipping on it. This is very important near swimming pools, but because it can feel rough beneath the feet it is usually sanded a bit. Travertine tiles are also simple to clean; all you need is a damp rag. As with marble it will need to be sealed periodically, usually once a year.
Costs for Marble and Travertine Tiles
The last thing that must be considered is the price tag. Both marble and travertine are considered luxury materials, so the price for both options is steep. However, natural travertine will usually be more expensive than marble that is cultured, whereas natural marble will cost more than natural travertine. The specific price for each will depend on the quality of the stone, and will be measured by square foot. Both travertine and marble are beautiful to look at, comfortable to walk on, but are also hard to lift and carry. Both will require a sealant to prevent scratching, and installation should be performed by a specialist.