Travertine is the terrestrial (land) formed version of limestone, as opposed to the marine based formations of many other limestone varieties. Some limestones are formed completely by the chemical precipitation of calcite or aragonite, i.e. travertine. Impurities (such as clay, sand, organic remains, iron oxide, and other materials) will cause limestones to exhibit different colors, especially with weathered surfaces.Despite the common and traditional reference to “travertine marble,” travertine is a banded, compact type of limestone formed by mineral spring deposits, especially those of geothermal springs.
“Limestone” formations created through evaporation are chemical sedimentary rocks, also known as travertine. They are formed when droplets containing calcium carbonate percolate through cave ceilings and evaporate. As each evaporated droplet leaves behind a small amount of calcium carbonate, a stalactite forms.
Travertine is referred to as either cross-cut or vein-cut. Vein-cut travertine has a banded, directionally striped or “strata-cut” appearance while cross-cut travertine exhibits a non-directional, swirled or flowery and random movement.
During the formation of travertine, hot water percolated through the stone thus causing holes and voids that are not always seen in Limestone. If these voids are filled at the factory during processing, the travertine is referred to as “filled.” The composite fill done at the factory is more durable and smoother than sanded grout, though unlike your grout color, you will not be able to choose the fill color.