by : Joey Lewitin

Travertine is one of the most beautiful, versatile, and historically important stones used today. It is a form of limestone that is heavily compacted. Generally it is formed when minerals in streams or hot spring water, become deposited on river beds and dry out. If the chemical composition is calcium carbonate, then travertine has formed.
In its purest form travertine is a very pale color, however imperfections in its structural make up, such as the presence of iron, can cause beautifully colorful banding to occur across the face of this stone. Different minerals imperfections cause different colors, and the streaked nature of the imperfections cause different designs. This means that no two pieces ever really look alike. It is however grouped into quarry names where similarly shaded types of travertine are given common names.
Travertine is often used to resurface structures, in counter tops, flooring, and in cobble stones. It is also used in a number of unique stone home furnishings. It is not as hard as quartzite, or as smooth as marble, although it can take a honed finish. Travertine is also available as Tufa, and as onyx, a semi translucent stone.
Travertine is mined heavily in Italy, the U.S. and turkey. Historically it was used by the Romans, Byzantines, and ottoman empires in their ancient architecture. Today it is widely used both indoor and outdoor and is one of the most versatile components available on the market. It is easy to maintain and clean, it is durable, reliable, and it doesn’t show dirt very