Travertine: Gaining Popularity in India

Travertine is one of the most demanded material being used in India for modern architecture. Its primary uses are in wall cladding, flooring and other applications. It’s neutral and exotic coloring makes it a great partner with other stones like marble, granite and limestone.

Travertine derives its name from Tivoli, Italy where extensive deposits of the stone are found. Tivoli was known as Tibur in ancient Roman times. The ancient name for the stone was lapis tibertinus, meaning Tiber stone, which has evolved into travertine.

Other major deposits of travertine can be found in Mexico, Turkey, China and Afghanistan. In the United States, there are only two active travertine deposits, including four quarries operated by New Mexico Travertine, 20 miles west of Belen, south of Albuquerque. The other American quarry is in Idaho. Pitted holes and troughs in its surface characterize travertine, which occur naturally. At first look they suggested that the stone has had some wear and tear. Some installers will fill the holes and troughs with grout. Others leave them in a natural state.

Actually, travertine is sedimentary rock, a natural chemical precipitate of carbonate materials, typically aragonite.

Pure travertine is white, but is often brown to yellow due to impurities caused by springs or rivers. These impurities can often create beautifully colored bands resulting from the presence of iron or other (e.g. organic) compounds.

The largest building in the world constructed largely of travertine is the Coliseums in Rome. In the U.S., one of the most famous structures in which travertine is used extensively is the Getty Center in Los Angeles.

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