Travertine is a sedimentary rock that is formed in hot springs and is sometimes referred to as travertine marble or travertine limestone. Travertine is similar to limestone in mineral composition (Calcium Carbonate), but is uniquely characterized by natural cavities in its surface and the various patterns available. Travertine can be cut in a “vein cut” to expose the linear patterns of the natural bedding planes. It can also be cut in a “fleuri cut” or “cross cut,” which exposes a more random and subtle flowery pattern. The small cavities that are inherent in all travertine are typically filled with grout to create a more durable surface. For some applications an unfilled travertine will create an interesting and unusual surface finish.
For a natural look, travertine can be used to complete outdoor patios or garden walkways. The most popular finish for travertine is a honed finish, which is a matte finish. The most notable uses of travertine are the Colosseum in Rome, the Sacre-Coer Basilica in Paris, and the Getty Center in Los Angeles.