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Materials - Travertine

Travertine is a sedimentary rock. It is a natural chemical preciptate of carbonate minerals; typically Aragonite, but often recrystallized to, or primarily, Calcite.

Travertine is formed when calcium carbonate is deposited from the water of mineral springs, caves or rivulets that are saturated with dissolved calcium bicarbonate. The spring water from whivh the calcium carbonate precipitates can be hot, warm or cold. The rate of deposition increases with the temperature of the water, or alternatively, when biotic material accelerates the process of precipitation. Being formed very slowly, it often incorporates dead matter such as tree debris that later rots away to leave a voided structure.

The performance of travertine as a constrcution material greatly depends on the size and density of the voids, which, on most instances, are routinely resin surface filled before the finished stone is supplied. The nature of the fill material must be compatible with the travertine and not sublect to discolouration or decay.

Traditionall travertine was naturally bedded and generally referred to as 'vein cut'. Recently, travertine that has been cut face bedded and referred to as 'classico' has appeares on the market. Whilst the 'vein cut' material has a long and proven history of use, the cross cut or 'classico' travertine has niy yet proved to be as suitable because of surface collapse and filler failure. Before this material is considered, its limitations in performance must be taken into account.

Generally travertine is suitable for flooring and cladding purposes, but only after careful consideration. Strength may be lower than most other stones and the presence of hidden voids below the surface may lead to ongoing repair when the filling material collapses.

Unfilled travertine has been used for flooring purposes but only after strict quality control of the size and distribution of the voids.

We include here a palette of some or our most popular materials. This display is not extensive as there are many others to choose fromthat are available to us from worldwide resources.