Travertine is a natural stone product created inside of hot springs. The escaping water vapor from the cooling stone creates numerous holes, pits and channels within the stone that give it a naturally rustic look. Travertine tiles are perfect for outdoor use in many applications around the home and garden. The warm-colored tiles can complement many areas of the home’s exterior in a variety of settings.
Use the Tiles as Pavers
Travertine tiles come in a variety of thicknesses, depending on the size of the tile and the manufacturer. You can use those measuring 1/2 inch or thicker in place of pavers to create walkways, driveways and patios. The tiles come in a variety of sizes and shades; create patterns by using one size and color of travertine on a walkway, and a second size, shape or color on a patio to delineate the two areas and create visual interest. Take care if using travertine tiles in this way not to use tiles measuring 3/8-inch thickness or thinner. Thinner tiles will need a mortar bed for proper installation and may crack outdoors.
Create a Pool Deck
Travertine tiles reflect heat on hot days, remaining cool to the touch, unlike brick or bluestone. Travertine does not discolor or become chalky after installation, either, which makes it the perfect material to surround pool decks. The texture of travertine ensures that the stone remains slip resistant for wet feet, while its cool feel prevents burns. Use large tiles to surround the entire pool deck, as well as the walkway or path leading to the pool from the house or patio to give the area a cohesive look.
Reface the Retaining Wall
You can reface or reclad retaining walls made of brick or stone in travertine tiles. While travertine stone does have some natural variation in color from piece to piece, it typically remains within one color palette. This can appeal to homeowners looking for a warm, natural-colored retaining wall without the grays, blues and reds so often found in fieldstone or slate. Depending on the type of travertine tile used, sleek, contemporary walls or rustic and weathered walls can be created. Select a honed and filled travertine tile for a more contemporary look or a tumbled tile for a more rustic finish.
Refacing Stair Treads
Complete the look of your patio, pool deck or travertine retaining wall by refacing the fronts of stair treads with travertine tiles. Travertine is freeze/thaw resistant, making it an ideal tile to use on steps or stairs outdoors. Travertine is also available in decorative, engraved and stained tiles, which can lend a decorative element to the steps leading up to the home or garden. Select a shade and finish of travertine that matches the stones used elsewhere outdoors. If covering the tread of the steps as well, consider using a more rustic finish to help give a better grip under foot when the stairs are wet.