Travertine is an Italian building material made from limestone. It has many uses in the modern world, from flooring and bathroom tiles to stone cladding. It is one of the most versatile of all the building materials being used in the current construction industry. Travertine is imported here by both big industry and small family companies, so it is worthwhile shopping around for the best deal on travertine cladding.
Use as a Construction Material
Although Travertine is very popular as a building material, it has a number of flaws that can result in it being costly to use as cladding. Since Travertine is a natural rock, it often contains voids and holes, caused by vegetation trapped between layers of sediment and then rotting away. In order to make it suitable for use in the modern construction industry, any voids have to be resin surface filled.
In addition, modern cutting of Travertine has favored the Classico, or face bedded cut, rather than the traditional vein cut. While the former has proven to provide strong and durable Travertine, the Classico cut has been much less successful, sometimes leading to the collapse of the Travertine surface. Travertine may need to have ongoing re-sealing treatments, which are not cheap, and has less resistance than other cladding materials, such as granite or slate.
Using Travertine as cladding is not particularly cost-effective, as the tiles need to be imported from other countries. Shipping the tiles in can be costly, as it is not a very lightweight stone unless cut very thinly. This is also reflected in the cost of Travertine per tile: as much as $2 per tile for an average-sized cut, which can soon mount up. Cladding can cost as much as $20 for each square meter. Delivery charges can be almost double the cost of the tiles themselves.
Care of Travertine
The cost of caring for Travertine cladding can be quite high, as Travertine is made from porous limestone, and is vulnerable to a range of acids and other liquids it may come into contact with. An accidental splash of orange juice onto building cladding, in a kitchen for example, could be disastrous for your budget. The cost of maintaining a stone that is easily damaged by acids would have to be included in any domestic calculations.
The global price of natural stone has been the focus of great interest in recent years, and it would be remiss not to include the carbon footprint cost of Travertine in any calculations. Travertine, as previously noted, comes mostly from Italy. The cost of extracting and then shipping to the US would have to be included in any CO2 offsetting calculated in remodelling your home. In addition, as Travertine is a natural stone, it is not necessarily a sustainable product, meaning that Travertine cladding and tiling is, as a whole, costly to the environment. On the other hand, Travertine is not made of plastic and doesn't contain any of the toxic poly-compounds, so it is less damaging to the environment than some cladding and tiling.