Travertine vs. limestone

Travertine vs. limestone

travertine was not one of the common choices for using in constructional projects and different applications due to its porosity.   Porosity was considered to be a defect for any material. But as time passed, since a few years ago, architects and designers all over the world have made it to become a famous material for different uses. Travertine has gained special attention, so it is currently one of the most common choice of material and stone among the five main groups of building stones and as for limestone, it is a tough and high strength stone which makes it a perfect and ideal choice as a paving or flooring material. Also, it can be available in more reasonable prices than other building and constructional stones. Here, in this article we will discuss the differences between these two famous stones:

Travertine Applications

Travertine has a wide range from light to dark hues and it can have many different kinds of patterns in its texture. This stone has a unique property among other stones which make it difficult to recognize, if you are not an expert. If the suppliers are not professional or they just think about their profits, they can sell travertine stones as marble or even limestone to customers. Travertine is a sedimentary rock which is made out of combination of calcite which can give a special softness to it when used as pavers. If you use polish on the surface of Travertine tile and slabs, you will have a soft, golden and a matte appearance.

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Due to its porosity, travertine can provide a thermal and acoustic insulation characteristic. Also, the voids and holes in its texture makes travertine resistant to fire but this feature can cause some problems to. The holes and voids in travertines texture must be filled in different process, if not they can cause the stone tile and slabs to break and collapse. Travertine is tough stone that has a noticeable strength. Travertine can be available in shapes with waves and smooth ones without waves. It can also have high polishing properties which can create high luminosity makes it suitable for volumetric designs. One of the most common uses of travertine is for wall cladding and facades. Compared to other types of stones, travertine has a lower specific gravity which can decrease weight of the buildings and the loads bearing by the skeleton. Travertine is the most common choices for making a Roman facade.

Limestone Applications

Limestone is a kind of sedimentary rock with biological origins. The origin of limestone goes back to the deposition of different materials in earlier eras of earth. The limes tendency to metals can create problems in vicinity of metals. Limestone is one of the most beautiful natural stones that can be used for wall cladding or façade of designs.

This stone is highly durable, hardwearing and also it can pass the test of time. Another advantage to limestone, is that when they are used as a paving material, they will dry quickly after getting wet which can make these surfaces a safe place to walk on unlike the luxurious and more expensive natural stones such as granite, limestone and basalt.

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In comparison to extremely hard wearing stones such as marble, granite and quartz tiles, limestone tiles are soft, smooth and less durable. In this case before installing the slabs, you should have a textured surface and finishing applied on them.

Difference Between Travertine & Limestone

The two stones both have a natural beauty and durability which makes them an ideal choice for outdoor use, paving or wall claddings. But to make the right decision, you have to know and understand both benefits and downsides of each options; it is only then that you can easily make a wise and final decision. When it comes to choosing the right paving material for your project, you should consider the strength, durability, appearances, style, costs, maintenance and longevity. In below we discuss the differences between travertine and limestone in some specific features:


you can find both travertine and limestone on the floor of oceans, lakes and different bodies of water. Travertines formation process needs a certain amount of pressure to be applied on it. Whereas limestone, is formed with the presence of great heat and pressure. due to these stones formation and speaking of their prices, travertine is available in more reasonable prices and limestone is a more expensive choice of material for both interior or exterior applications.


Limestone and travertine both have durability but in comparison, limestone is more durable and more suitable for load bearing areas with heavy traffics. Due to the lower formation pressure of travertine, it is naturally more brittle than limestone. Also because of travertines texture, at extremely hot or cold temperatures it can easily chip or crack.

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They both has a vast color range and shades. Travertine is mostly available in warm yellow color tones with amazing vein patterns in its texture whereas for limestone tile and slabs can be seen in a variety of hues such as beige, tan, and cream.

Porous Texture

As mentioned before, travertine tiles have a porous texture by their nature which makes having big pockets or gaps common among them. This stone also has resin filler applied on it so the gaps are filled and the can have a smoother finish. This resin can detach form the stone over time, especially in contact with severe and direct heat. For example, the under-floor heating components can cause break down and separate the resin applied on travertine. There are other travertine pavers available without needing resin fillings, but they are more suitable only for outdoor applications. Limestone are porous materials to, and they don’t have the gaps that exists in travertines texture which need to be filled. With all that being said, limestone is a good choice of material that can match the under-floor heating components.

Here in Unikastone, we have various product from the two of these stones. Check them out, they are available in different colors, prices, styles, finishes, and etc. in the end if you didn’t find what you were looking for in regards to your project; contact us, we will be more than happy to help. Our aim is to please our customers.

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