If you’re looking into different types of tile flooring, you have likely come across travertine. This natural tile is one of the oldest building materials for its durability and versatility. Today, travertine comes in many styles and classifications. If you’re wondering how much does travertine tile cost per square foot, the price ranges from about $2 to $30, depending on several factors.
Travertine is a high-quality flooring material. However, the quality ranges greatly within the category. If you’re looking for tile with an even color and appearance, you’ll get the best results with premium travertine. Commercial grade travertine tile has more imperfections and isn’t usually sorted and sold with uniformity in mind.
Because premium tiles are the most popular, most flooring companies only have this type available. The best quality tiles have a uniform design with no blemishes or discoloration. This is the smoothest type of travertine. Only tiny pits or holes are permitted to qualify for this category. Still, indentations are filled and finished manually to give the appearance of perfectly smooth stone.
Premium travertine tiles cost $5 to $30 per square foot.
Standard travertine tiles look very similar to premium travertine. They have a uniform thickness and minimal imperfections. While these tiles shouldn’t have black or gray blotches, they may have some swirls or variations in the design. Standard travertine tiles are also allowed to have deeper and larger holes. Still, these divots are filled to provide a smooth surface.
Standard travertine tiles cost $5 to $15 per square foot.
There are fewer restrictions on commercial travertine than other quality levels. Therefore, these tiles can have a great deal of variation in the color and design. Commercial travertine is not always cut perfectly, delivering variations in thickness and edge structure.
These tiles may also have large holes, which can make the stone look like a sponge. Although the pores may be machine-filled, delivering a smooth appearance, the filler detracts from the overall quality and durability of the natural stone.
Commercial travertine tiles cost about $2 to $4 per square foot.
Travertine Tile Cut Type
Travertine is cut into blocks when it is mined from the earth. Those chunks are cut into slabs to create different types of travertine tile flooring and other products. The way that the travertine tile is cut affects its appearance, longevity and price. The same stone can be cut in different ways to deliver distinct looks.
Cross-cut travertine is becoming more popular than vein-cut travertine. Therefore, you can usually find it in a wide range of prices. Because vein-cut travertine is not as common, it may be more expensive.
Vein-cut travertine is cut along the natural planes where the veins are created. This produces a rich visual effect, with subtle lines running parallel to one another. These lines are slightly darker than the background, but the level of contrast varies. However, the slight undulations in the veining evoke the appearance of wood grain.
This cut offers the most uniformity between tiles. Vein-cut tiles complement one another and give your floor a continuous look without distracting breaks in the pattern.
Cross-cut travertine is sliced across the veins. It results in a flowery, organic pattern that varies from tile to tile. Cross-cut travertine looks more like marble than wood. The subtle patterns meld together in a cloud-like motif. Some veins may appear, but they don’t dominate the design.
Because every piece is different, this flooring doesn’t have the symmetrical appearance that vein-cut travertine does. However, it does create a more seamless look than vein-cut travertine when you lay the tiles next to each other.
The color can tell you a lot about the quality of travertine tile. Most natural travertine has warm, golden tones and almost no blue, black or gray spots. The most in-demand colors are cream, tan and amber. You can find these colors in just about every price range.
However, there are some unusual colors, such as blue, which is a light ivory color with a cool, bluish-gray tint. This color is reminiscent of marble. But there are a few advantages to choosing blue travertine over marble flooring. Although both are natural materials, travertine is more durable. Moreover, travertine usually costs less than marble. You can often save up to 50% per square foot by choosing travertine over marble flooring. Still, unique colors, such as blue travertine, tend to have a higher price tag than more common shades.
Black travertine is a striking color for this type of flooring. Also known as silver ash travertine, this shade combines hues like deep silver and charcoal with contrasting threads of white and gray. It infuses every space with a luxurious atmosphere at a similar price as other high-quality travertine tiles.
Types of Finishes for Travertine Tile
The type of finish refers to the way that the surface of the travertine is polished or sealed. This can influence the final price. Therefore, you should ask about different finishes within your desired color range.
Travertine has an inherently weathered appearance. The most natural-looking stones are often used as pavers outdoors. For indoor use, many homeowners and decorators choose a more refined surface.
- Polished travertine – To obtain this modern finish, manufacturers fill the holes and buff the surface. This is the glossiest finish, but it’s also quite slippery. It’s not recommended around bathtubs or swimming pools.
- Honed travertine – This common finish is much more matte than polished travertine. Because the pits are filled, it has a smooth surface. But it’s not as glossy and can be used as flooring in any room.
- Brushed travertine – To achieve this finish, the stone is mechanically brushed with stiff bristles to create a textured surface that’s not quite as rugged as tumbled travertine.
- Tumbled travertine – The most rustic finish, tumbled travertine is extremely textured. It’s not usually used for indoor flooring, but it’s a unique option for a shower or fireplace surround.
Polished travertine costs the most per square foot, whereas tumbled travertine has the lowest price.
How Much Does Travertine Tile Installation Cost?
The cost of travertine tile installation is about $30 to $70 per hour. Because most travertine tiles are not sealed, you will have to decide whether to add a sealant to prevent stains. This is not always recommended. However, if you choose to seal the tiles after they’re installed, expect the price of the project to be higher.
Some other factors that can increase the overall cost of the job include:
- Repairing or adding new subflooring – $2 to $7 per square foot
- Adding grout or mortar – $1 per square foot
- Renting a wet saw – $75 per day
- Sealing the surface yourself – $35 per quart
How to Choose the Best Travertine Tile for the Price
The cost of a home improvement project can quickly max out your budget. Therefore, it makes sense to save money where you can. No matter how much travertine costs per square foot, you can ensure that you’re purchasing a high-quality product by following these guidelines:
- Make sure the tiles are cut square.
- Look for travertine that has been filled with an epoxy or resin-based product; cement filler is not as durable.
- Avoid tiles with cracked, rough or discolored edges.
- Typically, fewer black or gray marks indicate better quality tile.
- Select tiles that are similar in color and pattern.
Protecting Your Investment
After you have installed travertine flooring, you should take steps to protect your investment. Sealing the floor will reduce its permeability and make it resistant to water damage and stains. Using cleaning products that are intended for your type of flooring and testing them before application will also ensure that your floors look great for years. Regular mopping will prevent the accumulation of grime and dirt, reducing wear and tear on the finish.