Comparing Natural Stone: Limestone Versus Travertine

Limestone, travertine, slate, marble... There are so many types of natural stone to choose from that shopping for the perfect material may sound intimidating. Learn the facts about two popular variations of natural stone - travertine and limestone -  so you can choose the material that will best suit your flooring needs.

Travertine

How it's made: When the flowing water of springs and streams deposit calcium carbonate, the result is travertine. The running water deposits carbon dioxide gas into the stone, causing natural holes to occur. Many times these pores can be filled, but the distinct porous look is what makes travertine so unique.

Design and color availability: Travertine, by nature is a soft material, lending itself beautifully to the elegance of historical buildings in Rome and Naples. Travertine is typically available in a variety of colors and finishes. Common colors range in the neutrals - like natural stone, Mediterranean ivory, and golden sienna. Considered one of the most ancient and decorative stones, travertine can be used on countertops, bathtubs, sinks, and floors.

Care: To care for your travertine, dry mop or sweep daily to pick up any dirt or dust that could scratch the surface. Once a week, use a mild cleaner to thoroughly clean the floor. Acidic beverages and other spills can seep into the stone and stain it, so use a sealer to protect your travertine floor. Do not use a bleach or harsh chemicals on travertine.

Limestone

How it's made: Like most natural stones, limestone is a composite. It is composed of calcium carbonate. Some limestone even has marine organism fossils, as it's found around current or past bodies of water.

Design and color availability: From whites to pinks to grays, limestone is available in a range of neutral colors, making it appealing to a variety of applications and rooms. The density of limestone varies and some variations may be softer than others. However, compressed limestone is a great natural stone flooring option, while also used for wall tiles, counters, shower surfaces, and outdoor paving.

Care: Follow similar instructions for cleaning as you would with travertine. Start with a vacuum, sweep, or dry towel and wipe up debris daily. Once a week, use warm water and a mild soap and mop away! To remove stains on limestone floors, use equal parts hydrogen peroxide and flour - and let it sit on the stain until the color is soaked up. Also, like travertine, make sure you seal the limestone tiles.

 

 

Travertine

Limestone

Durable

 

Yes

Yes

Good for bathrooms

Yes

Yes

Available in different colors

 

Limited to neutrals

Limited to neutrals

Decorative

 

Yes

Yes

Good for exterior and interior

Yes

Depending on the type

Versatile

Yes

Yes

Cost

Expensive

Moderate-Expensive

 

All in all, there is little difference between travertine and limestone, making it a hard choice for homeowners and remodelers to make. Explore our natural stone flooring options and find the perfect fit for your space. 

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