As one of the most popular natural stones used in buildings and other architectural structures, travertine has been known for its natural and smooth look and durability. In fact, travertine is a type of limestone formed from calcium carbonate deposits near hot springs. This process happens on a large scale and takes millions of years. As a porous sedimentary rock, travertine has earthy color tones such as gold, brown, red, tan, ivory, etc.
When it comes to Turkish travertine, it is one of the most popular ones in the world. Turkey is well known for its travertine quarries, with the city of Denizli, home of plenty of travertine quarries. The facts show that almost fifty percent of Turkish travertine is mined in Denizli, in the middle of Turkey. It is followed by the city of Sivas and Elazig, in the northeast and the east of Turkey, respectively, and Eskisehir and Afyon in the center.
So what makes Turkish travertine so popular?
For this question, there are several answers.
First off, Turkey has a vast selection of travertine that has a lot of color varieties. Travertine colors include beige, brown, grey, gold, red, and green depending on the origin of the stones and their iron compounds and other organic impurities. Secondly, Turkey has massive travertine deposits and production capacity, meaning it is not an issue to supply any amount of travertine slabs. In addition to that, the pricing of Turkish travertine is reasonable and cheaper than its counterparts without compromising the quality. Last but not least, Turkish travertine’s durability is eminently high, making it a perfect option for extreme weather conditions such as direct sunlight or snowy weather.
As the Turkish Travertine is a highly durable and character-filled material, you can actually use it in a wide variety of places and areas. It goes well with the architecture, and interior design, including flooring, countertops, backsplashes, shower and tub surrounds, fireplace surrounds, and outdoor pavers used on patios and walkways and around swimming pools. Besides, as with all natural stones, one of the most important factors is the right laying and right material thickness. For harsh weather conditioned areas, it is strongly recommended the tiles be 3 cm thick. For indoor use, the thickness could be 1 cm or 1.2 cm.
Turkish Travertine Finish Types
Travertine from Turkey has broad finishes ranging from tumbled to bush hammer. To make it clearer, let’s explore what the popular finishes are:
- Tumbled finish results from tumbling the travertine tile’s surface by using small stones, sand, and water. At the end of this process, travertine looks more aged and antiqued like the stone has been used for a very long time. The surface becomes matte, rustic, and slip-resistant, with the edges becoming rounded. This popular treatment is suitable for interior and exterior designs, especially useful for exterior paving and backsplashes.
- The filled and honed finish is one of the most popular travertine finishes. In this method, travertine tiles are honed, and then the pits and pores are filled with cement. Filled and honed travertine has a smooth finish and dull look. It is a perfect option for indoor and outdoor applications, especially for the bathrooms.
- The process of polished travertine is the same as the process of honed ones. As a popular finish, polished travertine tiles have a glossy and reflective finish as well as a dynamic and sleek look. Generally, polished travertine tiles are used for interior designs and work well for benchtops and countertops. They are not recommended for outdoor floors as it may sometimes be slippery.
- Brushed travertine tiles are acquired by brushing the surface with brushes under high pressure. The brushed finish is not as popular, and with this method, the stone is often unfilled. This gives the tile a rough feeling and a slightly vivid colored look. Brushed travertine can be used anywhere honed travertine is used.
- The split face finish is obtained by cutting the stone at varying angles, and the surface is not filled or honed. Split face travertine has the roughest surface and natural look. It is mostly used for walls, backsplashes, and fireplace surroundings.
- The bush-hammered finish is achieved by striking the travertine with a mechanical hammer. At the end of this process, the travertine tile’s surface is fully covered by distinctive, even pits similar to the orange peel. With the surface being heavily textured, bush-hammered travertine tiles are best used for exterior areas such as walkways and pavings.
Turkish Travertine Cut Types
When it comes to cut types, travertine has two different cut options; vein cut and cross-cut. Since travertine stone is mined as blocks from quarries, these blocks need to be cut into thin slabs to be ready to use. And by nature, these blocks are full of veins that have various patterns and colors. With the vein cut type, which is the most popular, the slabs are cut parallel to the bedding plane. Thanks to the vein cut, the layers, and the veins can be clearly seen parallel to the tile’s surface.
On the other hand, with the cross-cut, the travertine blocks are sliced out at a 90-degree angle to the bedrock. At the end of this process, the tile’s surface seems to have a swirly and cloudy look thanks to the stone’s layers with different patterns and hues.
So what are the grades of travertine stones?
Travertine stones are graded based on the cut, the thickness, the level of filler, color, etc. Grades of travertine are divided into three; premium, standard, and commercial.
Premium grade travertine (sometimes called first grade) comes with the broadest range of colors without discoloration and color inconsistencies. They are perfectly cut with the beveled edges being smooth. With this top-quality travertine, the tiles are double-filled and checked, and there cannot be any large holes filled on the surface.
With standard grade travertine, you will have the second-largest color selection free from any discoloration, and the tiles are carefully chosen to have a color consistency. The surface is double filled and evenly sized with uniform beveled edges. However, there may be some large holes in the standard grade travertine, and the surface may contain swirls and striations.
Lastly, when it comes to commercial-grade travertine, there may be a limited color selection, which may include gray or black markings. The tile’s surface is allowed to have some unfilled holes, and there may be small defects in sizing and honing. The edges may be cracked and broken with the large filled holes on the surface.
Did you know that Turkey has approximately more than 30% of the world’s total known natural stone reserves? Having more than 1800 quarries, 2000 factories, 9000 workshops brings its complexities. As a SpaceStone, we are offering a one-stop solution for our customers’ needs by simplifying the value chain with truth, integrity, and ethical business practices.