However, no matter how restricted in number – travertine tiles does have its share of drawbacks. Regardless of the many perks, there are a few things that we can complain of! It is important to talk about the good and the bad features of the travertine tiles because when you set out to choose a material for your home; you have the right to be fully aware of both sides. Only after full knowledge of a material should you have to make a choice. So, without any further ado, let’s breakdown the drawbacks and take a look at them individually.
Drawbacks Of Travertine Tiles
As with any material, Travertine tiles may have a few features that might disappoint you.
Drawback 1: Porous Surface
Do you understand what a porous surface means? It means that the entire surface of travertine tiles is made of tiny little holes aligned besides one another. This is one of the highlight characteristics of travertine tiles; the porous surface. The tiles are itself weather resistant, but the porous surface is prone to damage with frequent contact with air or moisture when proper maintenance is not observed. The porous surface can also make the tile look worn out. In most cases, the travertine holes are very minute in size. However, they are big enough to be noticeable and hence can mess with the overall visual appearance of the tiles. In case you don’t want the pores on the tiles’ surface to show you will have to use aids like polishers or sealers to cover the surface with an external coating.
Drawback 2: Highly Reactive And Responsive To Acidic Elements
Another drawback of the travertine tiles is its highly reactive nature to acidic elements. A few basic acidic substances involve orange juices, caffeine, and vinegar. It may also involve substances like citrus and lime. Therefore, if any acidic substance comes in contact with the travertine tile’s surface it is most likely to react harshly. The basic chemistry behind the tile’s reaction to acidity is its natural composition. It is naturally made of calcium carbonate through a geothermal process. Immediate contact with anything acidic in nature causes severe damage to the stone.
Travertine tiles are very commonly used in kitchens and bathrooms for the floorings and side walls construction. Whilst it looks visually amazing and is very durable for long run use – extra care needs to be taken when it comes to cleaning the surfaces. In the kitchen, one should make sure never to spill food items like lemon juice or vinegar over the tile to prevent damage. Similarly, cleaning the bathroom floors should be a very careful task as well. Always remember that in order to clean the stubborn stains off the bathroom surface, never use vinegar, acetic acid, or any bathroom cleaners that are acidic in nature. They will only cause irreversible damage to the tiles.
Drawback 3: Tiles Are Very Heavy In Weight
Yes, we promised durability for long term use with travertine tiles but we never said that they are light as feather. This is not the case but in fact the complete opposite. Travertine tiles are very heavy in weight which means that the installation process will be very challenging and overwhelming too. If you are looking for a quick and swift installing tile, travertine is not the ideal option for you. Since there is no processing involved in the manufacture of these tiles, it is safe to say that there is nobody to blame for its heavy weight too. It is naturally heavy. Thus, the installation will not be easy at all; let alone shifting the tiles from the manufacturer’s den to your house. There will be a lot of labor fee involved which you should be prepared to pay.
Drawback 4: It Is Pricy
Ironically, in the benefits we published in last week’s blog, it is very cheap. But let’s not forget that we were talking about the travertine tiles in comparison to marble and granite. But there are many other stone options available out there as well such as limestone or porcelain. It you look at these latter options, you will definitely find the price to be higher for the travertine tiles. But before you criticize the tiles for its price, let’s not forget that the aesthetic value and appeal is much greater for the travertine tiles than the latter picks. Hence, one must keep that in mind too.
Drawback 5: Requires A Great Deal Of Maintenance And Care
Travertine is one of those stones that are considered to be very durable for long-term use. But let’s not forget that its durability over the many years is because of it requires a great of maintenance and care on your end. In comparison to other flooring stones and tiles such as granite, limestone, vinyl, ceramic and marble – it requires a great deal more of attention and care to stay in a visually presentable and elegant condition. As we already mentioned above, the natural surface of travertine tiles has tiny little pores over it. This means that in its natural form the tile is more prone to damage. As an added measure of maintenance, it is very important that the surface of the tiles is covered with an added protective layer of polishing. The external layer could be anything from polish to sealants. Either way you are just protecting the external surface from damage which should be the primary purpose.
Drawback 6: Lack Of Consistency
Consistency is important; whether it is in our lives or in the things that we buy. One of the biggest letdown features of the very popular travertine tiles is its lack of consistency in general. Travertine tiles lack consistency as far as its color tones, texture, and layout is concerned. The lack of consistency results in the tiles not looking exactly like one another. Every tile will be different. This is because travertine tiles are made of naturally occurring stone. There is no synthetic processing involved and hence there is no homogeneity whatsoever. Bulk quantities of tiles will fail to look the same. The patterns and textures and color tones will hardly every match. This means extra caution is required when the tiles are being arranged in order on the floors, walls, or counter shelves. Since they are not identical, the closest looking ones have to be placed side by side.
Drawback 7: Color Shades Various But Only Earthy/Neutral
Yes, we told you above that you are lucky when you decide to buy travertine tiles because of the great variance in colors that you get a chance to enjoy. But we didn’t promise what color shades and tones you can get. If you are a bright, lively person and want your home to look the same – you will find it hard to find a color of your preference with travertine tiles. This is because the shades that you find with travertine tiles are always very earthy, subtle, and natural. Again, this is because it is a natural occurring stone. Hence, the stone is always available in shades of white, beige, and browns – all earthy tones. You sadly, will not be able to find travertine tiles in shades of bright red, orange, or any similar funky colors. Travertine tiles cannot be dyed too because they are all-natural and dyeing messes with their natural composition. Hence, if you actually do want a darker tone of tile you might have to settle for marble or granite. Travertine tiles, however, can provide complimentary color to brighter or darker colors in your home’s design.