Travertine Tile Pros and Cons: Price, Colors and Maintenance

by Joanna Stewart

Wed, Nov 7, 2018

Article may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

contemporary living room travertineLooking for an inexpensive, yet durable tile?

At this point in your search, you may be ready to give up on your hopes of an affordable stone tile floor and settle for vinyl.

But don’t quit looking just yet, here’s why:

Travertine tile just might be the answer you’re looking for.

Travertine is a beautiful, natural stone that is durable enough for both indoor and outdoor use. Plus, it is less expensive than more popular stones like marble or slate.

But, that’s just the beginning. Let’s jump into a few more Travertine tile pros and cons…



How Much Does Travertine Tile Cost?

The size, thickness and quality of the tile all influence the cost of travertine tile.

Travertine tile is available in a few popular sizes. These include 12x12, 18x18, 12x24 and 24x24 inches.

At the time of publication we found a few Travertine tile deals on popular home improvement retail sites. While prices constantly change, these examples should give you an idea of how much your project will cost.

Remember, most large tiles are sold in bulk and prices are listed as cost per square foot. Don’t make the mistake of confusing per tile (piece) prices and per square foot prices.

To clarify, tiles that are larger than 12x12 are usually sold as price per square foot. In contrast, small tiles such as 4x4 or 6x6 are usually sold on a per piece basis. This can quickly screw up your budget if you get the two confused.

As you can see below, you’ll need to calculate the total square footage of each tile before you can calculate the cost of each tile. It is not necessary to calculate this cost, but it can be helpful when comparing your options.

Tile Size Tile Area Price per sq ft Price per tile
12x12 1.00 sq ft $2.65 $2.65
18x18 2.25 sq ft $2.49 $5.60
12x24 2.00 sq ft $3.25 $6.50
24x24 4.00 sq ft $4.59 $18.36

Is Travertine Tile Durable?

Travertine is actually a type of limestone that is created from mineral deposits. These minerals give Travertine a beautiful appearance with very unique grain patterns. No two tiles are alike.

However, the way travertine is formed creates the opportunity for gas to get trapped in the minerals. This process creates a porous surface with small holes throughout the stone.

These pores, or holes, in the stone make it very easy to stain. This is why most travertine you will find at your local home improvement store is filled with a cement-based compound and honed to create a non-porous finish.

To keep your travertine looking great for years to come, it should be sealed at least once per year.

Be sure to keep acidic liquids off the surface of your floor or counter as they can cause permanent staining.

Speaking of durability, if you order a large amount of tile, it is usually delivered on a pallet to your home - not in protective packaging. This means some tiles may arrive broken, cracked or chipped on the corners.

Home improvement stores usually state that they are not responsible to replace broken tiles if they account for less than 10% of the entire shipment. That is a huge margin for error.

Many of the readers we surveyed have been upset to find that many of their tiles were broken when they arrive at their house. However, since less than 10 percent of their shipment was broken, they were unable to get a refund.

When ordering Travertine tile for your remodel it is a good idea to order an extra 5 to 10% in the event it gets broken during shipment.

What Colors Are Available?

As we mentioned, Travertine is a limestone and is mostly made up of calcium carbonate. Why does this matter?

Because it tells us why Travertine tiles are only available in neutral colors like white, tan and cream. You see, chalk is also made out of calcium carbonate which is why natural chalk is white.

It is the white calcium carbonate that causes Travertine to be in light color variations as well.

So if you are looking dark tiles for your floor or backsplash, you will have better luck with marble, slate or granite tile.


As you can see from the pros and cons of Travertine tile, there is a lot of information for you to consider.

First, you should carefully consider your remodeling budget to determine whether Travertine tile is a cost effective option. During our research we found deals on Travertine for as low as $2.49 per square foot.

While Travertine is very durable and can be used outside, keep in mind that it is also very porous. That means you will need to seal it regularly to keep it in good condition and prevent staining.

From a design perspective I love Travertine tile and I hope you do too. It is a timeless material that has been used in homes for centuries and is a staple of classic Italian architecture.

Have a question? Let us know in the comments below.


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