Travertine vs Marble Tile: The Key Differences Explained

April 13, 2020

There are several different types of tile options to choose from for your home. You can check out our guide here comparing travertine vs marble.

travertine vs marble

There are over 4000 types of minerals in the world. Some examples include quartz, calcite, mica, halite, and feldspar.

Put these compounds together and you’ll get something like marble, which is a type of limestone. They’re rocks that have undergone intense heat and pressure.

Some of them, however, such as travertine, is a little different in that they undergo a different type of metamorphosis.

Regardless, these rocks are highly versatile and are often used for things such as countertops and tiles.

Thinking of getting the latter? Keep reading for travertine vs marble guide!

How are Marble and Travertine Formed?

Marble begins as limestone. Over time, as it’s exposed to pressure and heat, the sedimentary rock transforms into marble.

This occurs at the convergent plate boundaries where the Earth’s plates move toward one another.

Travertine is similar to marble in that it also starts as limestone. While it can also form under intense heat and pressure, it generally develops in limestone caves and hot springs.

To be more specific, it forms due to the precipitation of calcium carbonate.

Travertine vs Marble: 4 Main Differences When It Comes to Tile

Travertine and marble are both used for floor tiles. Interested? You can get the former from this travertine supplier

Anyway, here are some of their key differences:

  1. Travertine is a Little Harder 

Both stones are porous, however, travertine is slightly harder than marble. To give you a better idea, the former scores 4-5 on Moh’s hardness scale whereas the latter has a score between 3-4.

For this reason, travertine is slightly more durable, which makes it a good option for floor tiles.

  1. Appearance 

Marble is available in a range of colors from black to pink. It’s also known for its characteristic swirls and veins, which are striking regardless of the background.

In contrast, travertine is often found in warm, neutral tones. For example, it comes in cream, gold, white, and beige. 

  1. Slip-Resistance 

Travertine naturally has a rough, high friction surface. This gives it an anti-slip quality that can’t be found in marble.

Given that, it's not surprising to know that travertine tiles are often used by pools to prevent slips. In contrast, marble can be a slip hazard, which is one of the reasons why they’re generally not used for bathroom floors.

  1. Cost 

The price of the natural stone depends on various factors such as the quality and finish. With that said, natural travertine tends to be cheaper than natural marble.

However, it's more expensive than cultured marble aka “faux marble”, which isn’t surprising, seeing as how it’s made from a blend of stone particles and resins.

Choosing Between Travertine and Marble

And there we have it—travertine vs marble guide. As you can see, the two are different in various ways!

Want to read more similar posts? Then you'll want to check out the rest of our blog!


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