1. What is Travertine?
Is Travertine Man-Made?
Travertine is a sedimentary rock made from layers of calcite. It has a honeycomb structure which occurs due to water flowing through it and is extremely strong.
When cut into tiles small holes are exposed on the surface. These can either be left unfilled to form a natural texture of factory filled with hard resin and smoothed down. With age the filled travertine may develop small holes on the surface of the tiles, but this is simply part of its charm.
It was used extensively for building by the Romans and is renowned for its durability. Examples of travertine constructions in Turkey include Hierapolis and Ephesus.
Is Travertine Available Locally?
The majority of travertine used in the USA is imported from Turkey. Travertine was used extensively for building by the Romans and is renowned for its durability. Examples of travertine constructions in Turkey include Hierapolis and Ephesus.
The majority of travertine is imported from Turkey.
Can Travertine be used with Pools?
1. No Burnt Feet
Travertine is an ideal material to use with pools due to its resistance to heat which means that it remains cool even on the hottest of days, so burnt feet as you get out of your pool.
It’s resistance to mold mean that it will remain attractive all year round with only the minimal of maintenance.
2. The Science Part
Research undertaken by ASME (American Society Testing Materials) has indicated that travertine pavers are suitable for use in colder climates as they are freeze/thaw compatible. They are also considered to be “conditionally slip-resistant” which means that assuming there are no other factors involved, travertine is slip-resistant.
3. Child Friendly
In terms of safety features its natural cavities and holes ensure its slip resistance. Although some people like to seal travertine (more on that later), in order to maintain its slip resistance we would recommend using a water based sealant and limiting it to one coat.
What are the Benefits of Travertine?
Apart from the outstanding beauty of travertine each piece is totally unique. This means that your pool deck design will be a bespoke and exclusive design, regardless of whichever color you select. Travertine comes in a wide range of colors and patterns. It is possible to select the pattern and color of your choice to match your own personal taste and also gives you the opportunity to mix color palettes to create an original design.
Travertine pavers are easy to remove and replace if they become damaged.
Even in freeze-thaw conditions travertine remains undamaged whereas may other decking material crack under these conditions
Even in hot weather, travertine remains cool under foot so is perfect for your pool side paving.
Although slightly more expensive than other paving materials, travertine is inexpensive compared to other products such are limestone or marble. Once laid its durability and easy maintenance mean that in the long run this is an inexpensive product.
Other products such as acrylic decking tend to fade after a few years but travertine does not suffer from this problem.
Do I need to use a Sealant with Travertine?
If you wish to use a sealer there are three different types:-
1. Topical Sealants
This is essentially a coat which sits on top of the travertine. If used they can produce a glossy surface finish, but are not ideal to use with stone. If permanent seals are used they can be difficult to remove but if strippable ones are used this involves constantly stripping the product and recoating which can be messy and also hazardous as the fumes from the sealant are toxic.
2. Impregnating Sealants
These can be either solvent or water based. The solvent based ones give out toxic fumes so require careful application. The advantage of water based solvents is that they provide a small window of time in which to mop up small stains but they cannot prevent staining from items such tea, coffee or wine. They penetrate the surface of the travertine so don’t scratch or peel in the same way that a topical sealer does but will display dust.
Although it is still possible to obtain a glossy finish it isn’t as good as that obtained with a topical sealer. On the other hand it is quick and easy to apply and can be maintained with the used of regular cleaning.
These act, as the name implies, by permeating into the stone and will protect the surface in the same ways as a topical sealant. The main advantage of these is that they offer protection against strong liquids such as coffee, wine or teas, without the toxic fumes.
If you wish to seal the travertine, permeators appear to offer the best solution. Although the treatment takes slightly longer to do it does not require reapplication or special cleaning solutions in order to maintain it. It will also help to prevent mildew
Whichever option you consider it is important to weight up the advantages of sealing with the disadvantage of reducing slip resistance.
Do I need an Expert to Install Travertine?
Whilst it is possible to install travertine on a do it yourself basis we recommend seeking professional advice. If the travertine is installed incorrectly it can cause a lot of heartache after. Installing travertine shouldn’t be more expensive than any other product to install and conducting a full ground assessment will ensure that the correct installation methods are used.