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What Is Travertine?

Outdoor pool by forest

Travertine is a form of limestone. It’s a popular building material because it is lightweight yet strong and relatively easy to work with. It also has good thermal and acoustic insulating properties. Dense travertine creates excellent decorative pavers. In fact, travertine pavers are a great choice for pool decking – not only for their beautiful aesthetics but also for their functional reasons.

Travertine has been a favored building material since ancient times – and its popularity endures. Some famous landmarks that were built with travertine tiles include the Colosseum in Rome, Sacre Coeur in Paris, and Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) in Chicago. That said, you might wonder: Are travertine floors outdated? NO! Travertine pavers are still popular today, thanks to their many benefits.

What Are the Advantages of Travertine as Pool Decking?

It’s your swimming pool, so you should make the best choices for your backyard. When deciding how to complete the decking, consider some of the reasons why travertine has become so popular as an around-the-pool paver. Let’s talk about some important advantages.

  • Non-Slip Surfaces: Perhaps the most critical consideration when it comes to a swimming pool surface is whether if it gets slippery when wet. Because of travertine’s porosity, water absorbs into the tile rather than beading on the surface. This absorption also prevents puddling, which is important after heavy rains or flooding.
  • Heat Resistance: Travertine’s porosity also acts as an air conduit, transferring the cool temperatures underneath while reflecting the sun’s rays. The moving cool air repels heat and keeps the surface cool to the touch, so there’s no risk of scalded feet, even under the midday sun.
  • Durability: Travertine can, quite literally, last a lifetime. Average-grade travertine pavers could last over 100 years. This means that paving your pool area with travertine is a one-and-done solution. Travertine pavers are thick and durable, standing up to harsh weather conditions like extreme heat or cold and holding up well under the weight of your patio furniture.
  • Versatility: You can find travertine pavers in a wide variety of colors, textures, and shapes to customize your pool for a truly unique backyard space. With the available color variations, you can create your unique style for any color palate.
Ivory Travertine Pool Deck Ivory Travertine

This light color is smart if your pool deck is under the near-constant sun because it will stay cooler as it absorbs lesser heat. Smooth, milky Ivory Travertine pairs great with vibrant landscaping poolside.

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Penthouse Porch Walnut Travertine

This light yet warm hue keeps your pool deck cool while looking cozy.

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Multicolored or Scabos
Chairs In a Garden Scabos Travertine

This color combination brings subtle golds, greys, silvers, whites, greens, and reds to your pool decking for unique vibrancy.

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Garden Furniture Silver Travertine

These neutral tones provide a contemporary pool deck.

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Side of House with Noce Travertine Noce Travertine

Noce Travertine will highlight your outdoor living space with understated tones of brown and beige. There are Light, Medium, and Dark Noce Tones.

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Country Classic
Front of House with Country Classic Travertine Country Classic Travertine

This color formerly known as “Autumn” is the perfect choice if you can’t decide between ivory and cream.

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How Does Travertine Compare in Price to Other Pool Pavers?

Travertine is less expensive than granite, limestone, marble, and slate but more costly than ceramic, concrete, porcelain , and soapstone. The average price for travertine pavers – without installation – ranges from about $5 to $30 per square foot.

Sure, this is quite a gamut, but travertine prices depend on a variety of factors like source location (where the quarry is), cut and size, installation process, and others. Speak with your local pool professional to get a more accurate picture of the costs in your areas.

Stone Steps

What are the grades of travertines?

There are three grades of travertine, premium, standard or commercial. The grade of travertine is based on some properties like pores, cut, and thickness. For example, a travertine with fewer holes has the higher quality.

Premium grade, which is called the first grade, has tiny filler. This grade of travertine offers the greatest selection of colors free from black or gray discolorations. It has been entirely cut and has a uniform thickness. None of the premium travertine tiles will have large holes that were filled. The tiles are double filled, first, by machinery and then if there are any holes remained, filled by hand. The edges of the premium tiles are smooth and they have evenly uniform sizes.

Standard grade, known as second grade, has the second largest selection of travertine tile colors. Tiles are double filled like, in the premium grade. In standard grade travertine tiles, there can be large holes. Besides, some holes may be filled through the full thickness of the tile.

Commercial grade or third grade is the third type of travertine grades. There are also large color variations. Edges of commercial grade travertine may be cracked or broken. Filling large voids is acceptable for this grade. Also, the tiles are not hand filled.