How Travertine Is Formed and Processed – A Natural Wonder

Travertine In Nature

Noted as a beautiful material used to adorn homes, businesses and even civic buildings, travertine offers a design quality that exudes a “weathered” appearance. The color variations are only the beginning of the story that these expressive, wonderful stones contain within there many layers.

Where can you find travertine in nature? In a variety of environments. One notable environment that many have seen this amazing rock is in caves. Stalagmites and stalactites often consist of travertine; cave walls, ceilings and even floors being made up of the stone. In fact, many caverns are environments that offer the very conditions under which travertine is formed.

How Travertine Is Formed

As mentioned above, one of the reasons travertine is found in caves is because of the atmosphere found in them. Boiling the information down to keep it from getting overly technical, travertine is a kind of limestone. It forms through a process in which water and organisms interact with limestone. The result is a limestone-like rock with notable “voids” or pockets throughout the material.

The voids created in the stone during the formation process result in very creative looking design materials that get used in diverse places and projects. However, much of the travertine that makes it into homes and other architectural designs goes through processing to “enhance” or alter its appearance from its natural state.

Smoothing Out Natural, Raw Travertine

As mentioned above, raw travertine has distinctive holes throughout the material that are visually interesting. Yet these empty areas of the stone mean that the material can be weak. As a result, travertine is often filled with grout or epoxy. The travertine filler is used to strengthen the stone by filling the spaces in the material. Thus the material becomes strong enough for purposes that it might otherwise be too weak to use.

Travertine fillers come in many colors that compliment the natural appearance of the rock. Additionally, transparent fillers are available. These clear fillers allow for capturing the natural look as the stone is filled in to strengthen it.

Travertine Color Variations

Most of the time, when you see ready for purchase travertine, it will be in either grey, tan, or brown tones. However, it forms in virtually all colors and some travertine formations even sport a rainbow of colors including:

  • Rust
  • Orange
  • Peach
  • Yellow
  • Purple

Nonetheless, most of the time you will find travertine tiles to be a grey or beige hue.

There you have it; some basic facts that contribute to the marvelous nature of the natural stone known as travertine. As we have considered, it is a distinctive rock. How travertine is formed involves a particular process that produces pockets or holes in the stone. Additionally, it is filled or processed so that it can hold up to the architectural and design for which it is meant to be used.

If you have the opportunity to use this rustic, intriguing natural stone in your project, don’t dismiss the option without giving it serious consideration.

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