FILLING BEAUTIFUL TRAVERTINE HOLES - WHY?
The holes in travertine are revered for the character they impart on the stone. On indoor surfaces there is a perception that the holes might gather dirt which is fair enough. These days though, vacuum cleaners are the preferred weapon of choice for cleaning hard surfaces while brooms are fast becoming a thing of the past. Some homes even use robotic cleaners!
Many homes have pets so stone floors are a sensible option as they are easy to clean if the favourite pooch leaves telltale hair behind or paw tracks in wet weather.
Selecting Stone & Allergy Freedom on Offer
If you are someone who is concerned about dirt accumulating in the travertine holes, there are 2 things you must do.
- Buy first grade stone as the hole size will be smaller and hole frequency lower. The stone will also have greater density and durability.
- Volunteer to help a friend doing renovations by helping them lift old carpet – you will be thunder struck by the mass of accumulated dirt and dust. Not an enjoyable experience!
For those who suffer from hay fever or allergies, natural stone floors are a gift from heaven!
Travertine is usually available with a soft and sometimes silky honed surface. In this form it is a magnificent looking surface but has relatively low slip resistance despite the presence of holes.
Travertine that has been tumbled (image right) is lighter in colour and has a more informal look and better slip resistance. It is very popular in Australia for use in indoor/outdoor rooms, paths, patios and pool decks.
The textured surface of unfilled travertine might create minor difficulties for wheelchairs, trolleys or women wearing high heels in commercial or office environments.
Some of the softer, more rustic stone often has high hole frequency – some of which can be quite large. Chipping and crumbling may occur if 2nd grade stone is used creating uneven surfaces.
Options for Filling Travertine Holes
Filling the holes with a colour matched resin at the factory creates a beautiful flat, silky surface. The holes may also be filled by the tiler after laying when the joint gaps are grouted. In general, the multiphase filling carried out by well equipped manufacturing plants has the best durability.
For many, factory filled travertine is a little too perfect resulting in a loss of character. If so simply grouting over the holes after laying may be a good option as the surface will have small and interesting indentations marking the spot where the holes once were.
Premium quality travertine is a thing of beauty, the holes that once held little bubbles of trapped gas are a reminder nature’s patience and millions of years in its making. The best quality travertine is never available at the cheapest price, you have to pay a little more but it is worth it.