What is Travertine made of?


Travertine is a famous type of limestone which is made out of fast precipitation of calcite (another name for calcium carbonate). This sedimentary stone is made out of mineral deposits. The mineral deposits involved in the process of making travertine can come from natural springs.



Travertine is a famous type of limestone which is made out of fast precipitation of calcite (another name for calcium carbonate). This sedimentary stone is made out of mineral deposits. The mineral deposits involved in the process of making travertine can come from natural springs. When other minerals mix with calcite in unique processes, they make travertine stone with its specific characteristics.

Formation process

The sedimentation of travertine mostly occurs in places where limestones are common which is mostly near circulating ground water that contain great amount of calcium carbonate. The perfect time for making travertine can be around the mouths of hot springs in streams. The two main rock formation categories that are known as stalactites and stalagmites which are mostly seen and found in caves, consist primarily of travertine. Generally natural process of making travertine happens where geothermally heated alkaline waters highly charged with dissolved gases or minerals emerge at the surface. At this stage calcium carbonate and other minerals precipitate, exactly due to the water degases and its evaporation. Making travertine happens with a rapid precipitation, so this rock has numerous voids and cavities in its structure. most of the times, travertine is formed on other younger materials.

Key elements and steps involved in process of making travertine


The key element needed for natural process of making travertine, is calcium carbonate.


In natural process of making travertine evaporation has to happen. Because travertine can only be made when the calcium carbonate gets separated from water.


based on the place where the natural process of making travertine is taking place, various minerals are involved. They are important factors as they can change the color of travertine.

Travertine uses through history as a building material

The natural process of making travertine has never stopped which has resulted in many quarries of this stone all over the world. Travertine has been around through history and you can find many monumental structures or buildings to prove that. For instance, if you search around the world, you will see that one of the largest building constructed from great amount of travertine is the Colosseum in Rome. There are many other monumental buildings made out of travertine; such as the Sacré-Cœur Basilica in Paris or another example in California is the Getty Center in Los Angeles.

Travertine applications

Travertine is a versatile product. If you carfully look aroud, there is no doubt that you will find some sort of travertine slab, tiles or even blocks installed. Also there are many choice as for color and finishing that makes it easy for you to choose one of them for any application that you have.


Travertine is one of several natural stones that can be suitable if used as patio pavers or garden paths in constructional projects. It is available in decent color pallets. As for degree of slip- resistance, travertine has a porous texture so it's not slippery when its wet by its nature but to improve that there are various finishings applied on travertine slab and tiles.

Façade and wall cladding:

Travertine slab and tiles are highly durable and they can stand the test of time - the Colosseum in Rome can vouch for it! - which makes it to be one of the most frequently used stones in modern architecture; especially as a façade material or for interior wall claddings.


The natural process of making travertine occurs in many different environments so they can have various characteristics as a result. Due to these features, some of the travertine slab and tiles available on the market are recommended for designing fireplaces. These slab and tiles can withstand the heat of fire and won't get harmed, so they can also add elegance to the place.

Outdoor purposes:

Travertine slab and tiles can have many applications in outdoor projects and open areas such as paver for driveways, making pool decks, designing the patios, walkways and lastly for facades of buildings.

Travertine finishes

As we mentioned above, travertine slab and tiles can have various finishings applied on their surface. In below we name and introduce them:


The polished finishing can create a luxurious look for slabs that makes the tiles surface shine. It will also provide a smoothed and glossed surface for the travertine slab and tiles. The polished travertine can add elegance to the place and project.


Honed finished travertine slab and tiles have many uses like travertine coffee table. They can provide a smooth and yet matte surface that won't shine. The honed travertine can be available in two different ways, filled or unfilled. This finish made when only one side of the unfinished stone is grinded. Brushed: the brushed finish can provide the easiest yet most natural look for travertine slab and tiles. The brushed travertine is suitable for designing rustic yet sophisticated styles. This look is made when the surface of the stone is brushed with a brush or wire wheel.


Having tumbled travertine, is not easy as other finishes. only in this finishing, the edges of the travertine slab and tiles are softened or worn down. Like brushed finishing, the result can provide a natural and worn look. The only difference between the two finishing can be that, the tumbled travertine has more soft edges.

Travertine appearance

The natural process of making travertine can result in having many beautiful stones. Just Like any other natural stone, travertine has its uniqueness in appearance. Color of the pure travertine is white which can be seen rarely, because mostly due to the presence of other minerals in various environments, travertine is formed in many colors. The colors include shades of beige, brown cream, tan, greenish, taupe and shiny silver grey. The stunning and amazing variety of color pallet of travertine can be one of the significant reasons why it is known to be a versatile natural stone all over the world.  

Travertine characteristics

• The texture and structure of travertine represents a uniform stone.

• Most of the times, travertine has a soft and smooth surface.

• As for durability and hardness, travertine can be labeled with low hardness. This is in comparison to other natural stones, it doesn't mean the dysfunctions or lack of function for travertine if used for purposes like paving and driveways. travertine is not as dense as granite.

• Travertine can be easily mined and processed. also due to its density, its light in weight which makes it manageable and easy for transportation.

• One of the key characteristics of travertine is its porous texture.

• The natural process of making travertine can happen rapidly.

All of the characteristics and features that we named, has led travertine to be one of the most favored natural stones among many people.

Hunters Pavers have been a paver, blocks and retaining wall supplier in Australia for a long time, you can even check our reputation online based on the reviews. Here at Hunter Pavers we always try to provide you all the information and content that you need to know about various types of natural stone, or as in this article "natural process of making travertine".

Even if you are not sure about the material you want to buy, we have a group of experts that can guide you. They will help you through the process of finding the suitable material for your projects. Contact us, we will do our best to help you in any way we can.