It is the most beautiful of ruins;
there breathes all the majesty of ancient Rome
There is a stone in the world that has delicate pastel color and unique texture. The first bridge in Ancient Rome, and the Flavian Amphitheater, which is known to us as the Colosseum were built of this stone. This stone is said to turn into marble only after a thousand years. Also, the legends and chronicles say a lot about this stone, but history and its powerful emperors change, while the stone from Tibur, or travertine, remains beautiful for thousands of years.
Travertine and its peculiarities
In nature travertine is formed neither of rock fragments, nor with the participation of microorganisms. There are various hot or warm temperate springs. When the hot water cools down and carbon dioxide is gone, the crystallization of calcite occurs. If the precipitation of calcite is extremely porous, this rock is called calcareous tufa. But travertine is something between the limestone and marble. The structure of the stone is characterized by moderate porosity, and so-called sponginess. Travertine is resistant to negative temperatures; therefore it is used for external cladding of buildings.
But in order to preserve the natural structure for a long time, spongy formations are filled with special solutions such as polymer-based compositions, siloxane emulsions, etc. Travertine is characterized by soft pastel shades like beige or sand, nut wood or golden honey, ivory or darker shades of mocha, brown and reddish. In nature there are no two travertine stones of the same color. White travertine is considered to be very rare. It is mined in Iran, and is typically used without additional treatment. The reason, why the white stone is a rarity, is the natural processes that occur with travertine once it is extracted. The structure of the stone can contain ferrous salts, and in the process of oxidation the stone changes its white color to yellowish, beige, yellow, sand and even brown.
The use of travertine in the interior
Travertine is very kind to different types of processing – grinding, polishing, aging techniques. The use of travertine in the interior makes it possible to create natural comfortable atmosphere, because the stone has a nice texture. It is used for cladding of walls, floor and rarely for ceiling. For this purpose special slabs, wall stones and blocks are produced of travertine. Moreover, amazing mosaics and panel pictures are inlaid out of it. For interior decorating the raw stone in its original form is used. It provides an opportunity to create unique interiors. After polishing, the unusual patterns appear on the surface of the stone. A technique of artificial aging “antique” can increase the porosity and make randomly scattered “honeycombs” more visible. In the interior travertine is well combined with wood, and in modern design – with metal elements. The stone is universal, as it is suitable for classic interior decoration, especially with “antique” effect, but also it is used for minimalism design, or ethnic areas because this stone gives any room a natural, harmonious atmosphere. Note that if the wall or floor is cladded with travertine, it is advisable to treat it with special protective polymer-based compositions and to use self-polishing metalized waxes for floor coverings. Also unique products for the interior are made of travertine: bathtubs and sinks, countertops and windowsills, steps and stair rails, or different decorative elements. Due to the texture and elegant pastel color of travertine, it is possible to create a visual effect of free space. In recent years, another fashion trend of travertine application has appeared – inside facing of wine cellars or wine collection rooms.
The use of travertine for external works
In its time travertine has become an elite building material. Bridges and amphitheaters, city gates and aqueducts, and other constructions were built of it. Resulting constructions were very easy, but persisted for centuries. Traditionally, the stone was used in its raw form, giving each building a certain charm of history. Today travertine is also used in its original form for external works, but it can be spackled, too. Plastered stone will be easier to polish, and much more resistant to external factors. When spackling, it is important to choose the filler so that its color matches the natural color of the stone completely. Today travertine is used for external cladding of facades, socles, arches and columns, terraces and porches. In landscape design travertine is used for decorating of fountains, paving of garden paths, arrangement of small grounds, and other elements. The ground area with travertine in the exterior looks elegant, especially if you are using aged stone – this design will be exclusive. Travertine has a non-slip surface, in this regard, it is also used for lining of pools. In this case, the idea of creating a mosaic of this stone is currently important today.