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Travertine is a variety of limestone that tends to form in caves or around hot springs where carbonate-bearing water is exposed to air. When the water evaporates, a small deposit of calcium carbonate is left behind.

Travertine is a porous material with naturally-occurring holes that may remain unfilled or be factory-filled with resin or cement. All travertines will acid etch when exposed to acidic foods such as lemons or tomatoes. All travertines have high absorption ratings and low abrasion resistance ratings.


  • Do not use resin-filled material outside, as the resin will discolor over time. Choose cement-filled or unfilled materials as an alternative.
  • Fabricators will often need to resin-fill the exposed edges to match the filled surface of the material.
  • Do not use travertine for kitchen countertop applications.
  • Always seal travertine prior to grouting or use and keep sealing every 6 months.
  • Use walk-off mats at entrances and expect the material to patina rapidly.
  • Always use a grout that is similar in color to the stone to avoid a picture-frame effect.
  • Always use a neutral detergent or professional stone care cleaners to clean travertine.
  • To reduce the appearance of staining, always wipe up spills immediately. Oil and highly-pigmented liquids can penetrate and stain the stone and may need poultice to remove the stain.