Travertine Countertop ...Considerations & Expectations
Travertine countertops are slightly harder than marble & some dolomite countertops. Travertine is between a 4 and 5 on the mohs scale while marble is 3-4, with dolomite 3.5-4.
Travertine is a natural stone, a type of limestone, as is marble & dolomite. Travertine was created with heat and pressure during formation, so it is able to withstand heat and everyday wear and tear in your kitchen and bathroom.
Travertine is a sedimentary rock that consists principally of minerals calcite and aragonite, both calcium carbonate (CaCO3). It is formed by calcium carbonate separating from shallow or surface waters by a process of rapid precipitation in supersaturated solutions.
The color is often white to grey, impurities causing different colors include iron oxides (brown, yellow, red) or carbon (blueish, grey, black) with a fine grain size.
Travertine is characterised by pitted holes and troughs in its surface. Although these troughs occur naturally, they suggest to some eyes that considerable wear and tear has occurred over many years. Some installers use a grout to fill these holes, whereas others leave them open — travertine can even be purchased "filled" or "unfilled." It can be effectively polished to a smooth, shiny finish and comes in a variety of colors from grey to coral-red. Travertine is most commonly available in tile sizes for floor installations.
The countertops must be properly filled and sealed during installation, then need to be resealed as indicated.