Mar 252012
 

Travertine tiles seem to be everywhere that you look these days – it seems that practically every bathroom and kitchen remodeling project includes a travertine floor, or in some case, floor to ceiling travertine tiles. It is easy to see why this natural stone material has become so popular, it is a very beautiful material and is being pushed by many tile importers and stockists as well as appearing in almost every home decorating magazine at the present time.

Is it really the perfect answer to all of your interior design projects though? Well, as far as looks alone go then maybe it will be justifiably high on the list of choices for a contemporary and classy look. The crisp, clear lines of machine-cut travertine looks spectacular in modern bathrooms or luxury wet rooms, and travertine tiles with a tumbled appearance are just the job for a traditional look, and are a perfect match for classic oak or walnut cabinets or other furniture. Things are not so clear-cut when it comes to installing travertine tiles for the average DIY enthusiast, and installation is best carried out by a professional to minimize the risk of problems at a later date.

Tile Idea Book (Idea Books)
The main problem that will be faced when fitting these tiles is that travertine is nowhere near as robust as ceramic or porcelain tiles, so extreme care must be taken in handling them as well as fitting them. If 100% adhesive coverage is not achieved when laying the tiles then they are prone to crumbling under foot traffic where there are voids underneath, and for anyone not proficient in tile fixing then this is not as easy to avoid as it sounds, especially when laying tiles on an uneven floor. Another point is that travertine tiles need to be cut using a wet cutter and not the type of score-and-snap tile cutter that most people are used to using, so this may mean the added expense of hiring the correct equipment. Also travertine tiles need to be sealed before they are grouted (and preferably sealed again afterwards) in order to prevent permanent discoloring resulting from spills or splashes.

As you can see there are pros and cons with installing travertine flooring which need to be weighed up before installation, the main plus being the undeniable beauty of the tiles, and the downside is that you will need to incur extra expense in employing a professional to fit the tiles, unless you are a competent DIYer.

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