Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Travertine Information and Formation

Author: Joey Lewitin

Travertine

Travertine is one of the most beautiful, versatile, and historically important stones. Its durability makes it highly useful in building applications, and it has been used in this manner since the Roman Empire.

Formation Travertine is a form of limestone that is heavily compacted. Generally it is formed when minerals in streams or hot spring water become deposited on river beds and dry out. If the chemical composition has enough of the mineral calcium carbonate in it, then the result is considered to be travertine.

Coloration In its purest form travertine is a very pale color, however imperfections in its structural make up, such as the presence of iron, can cause beautifully colorful banding to occur across its face. Different colors are caused by different minerals, and different shapes are formed in the stone dependant on how the impurity combines with its structure. Since the imperfections show up semi-randomly, no two pieces ever look exactly alike. It is however grouped into quarry names where similar strains of the marble taken from similar places are classified into categories.

Uses Travertine is often used in counter tops, flooring, to resurface structures, and in cobble stoning. It is also used in a number of unique stone home furnishings. It is not as hard as quartzite, or as smooth as marble, although it can take a honed finish. Travertine is also available as Tufa, and as onyx, a semi translucent stone.

Travertine is mined heavily in Italy, the U.S. and turkey. Historically it was used by the Romans, Byzantines, and ottoman empires in their ancient architecture. Today it is widely used both indoor and outdoor and is one of the most versatile components available on the market. It is easy to maintain and clean, it is durable, reliable, and it doesn't show dirt very much.

About the author: Joey Lewitin is an author and webmaster who runs a site that offers his Decorative stone wall clocks and rustic stone home decor gifts and furnishings

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