Travertine and Marble 

Many people wonder if travertine and marble have the same stone characteristics. Some even wonder if they are the same stone. The truth is that both are naturally formed under high pressure and temperature. However, there is a slight difference in formation, and both look different from each other. Travertine, for instance, is formed under higher pressure and temperature than marble. It is also formed in hot springs and limestone caves. The stone has tiny, porous holes, noticeable on the surface. These holes aren’t imperfections. They are what make this stone so beautiful and unique.

In terms of durability, both stones are durable, and they can both withstand everyday use. Both stones are used in kitchens, bathrooms, and outdoor spaces. You can find great high-quality travertine tile choices at Saturnia Travertini. If you want to learn more about the difference between travertine and marble or find more information about travertine, keep reading this article. 

Travertine at First Glance

Travertine is a soft limestone that is often confused with marble. In fact, marble is also a soft stone, so the resemblance is not accidental. Like marble, travertine is pressure resistant and durable. 

What Is Travertine Made Of?

Travertine is a porous limestone that consists of almost 100 percent calcium carbonate. The porosity is visible visually through large pores and holes that make up the distinguishable texture of the stone.

Is Travertine a Type of Marble?

If you were wondering if travertine is a type of marble, the answer is no. However, travertine and marble are both limestones, therefore, both belong to soft stones – unlike granite, for example. The big difference between marble and travertine lies in the texture. While travertine is characterized by its typical hole structure, marble stands out due to its dense structure. Marble has a transparent, closed surface – made of fine and coarse crystalline limestone.

The Special Properties of Travertine

Travertine is several million years old, so it can be called ancient. The stone comes in a wide range of the color spectrum, from beige to brown, to yellow and gray. Natural stone has several positive properties.


The ancient stone is relatively soft and not as hard as granite or other hard stones. However, it is very durable and stable despite its lightness, which may be the reason why the Colosseum in Rome was built of travertine. As you probably know, it has lasted for many centuries. If you buy natural stone tiles or terrace tiles made of travertine today, for example, to place your terrace in the Roman connection – a free type of natural stone laying – you will be able to use stone for decades to come.

Scratch Resistance

How resistant and durable is soft travertine? The durability of the floor covering can be seen from its scratch resistance. The so-called Mohs hardness scale varies from 1 to 10. If you can easily scrape a rock surface with a fingernail, this is hardness class 1. Many hard surfaces such as diamonds are at the end of the scale, and hardness class 10 is extremely durable. Travertine can be classified in hardness class 3 on the Mos’schen scale.

You can scratch natural stone tiles, interior tiles, or facing bricks with a coin or knife. But there’s no need to worry. Because due to the open porous structure and special processing (such as collapsed stone), such traces are not noticeable. They blend with the overall stone structure surface. That’s especially true if the Roman connection is chosen as the laying model, in which the panels are laid in the wrong pattern, and the hinge pattern is incorrect. Due to the inverted edges, the overall impression is initially rustic anyway.

Frost Resistance

If installed properly outdoors, travertine can handle temperatures below zero degrees, so it is quite resistant to frost. It is important that it’s placed on gravel and that the water can drain. The ideal form for outdoor laying is free laying without grouting so that you can quickly remove moisture. If the water is on a travertine tile and it freezes, in the worst case, it will burst.

How to Clean Travertine?

We can compare travertine floor durability to parquet or board in the house. You have to take care of it to enjoy it for a long time.

In the interior, experts recommend completely darkening the floor. The slurry closes the joints and fills the pores. It is best to seal the surface. Otherwise, dirt and dust can accumulate on the tiles. If you want to keep the Mediterranean charm of open porous travertine flooring in your home natural stone tiles, you may have to clean the tiles more frequently. Then you need to vacuum the surface regularly.

Proper care of travertine means using neutral cleaners specifically suitable for limestone. Cleaning products that contain acids (such as vinegar, toxic detergents, etc.) are unsuitable. They attack the surface.

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