Can Travertine Tiles Be Used Outdoors?

Travertine tiles are a beautiful addition to any home, but can they really be used outdoors? Well, the answer is yes! Travertine tiles are a great option for outdoor patios and pool surrounds, as well as for use in yards or gardens. There are many factors to consider when deciding whether or not to use travertine outdoors, so keep reading this post to learn more! 

What are Travertine Tiles

Travertine tiles are naturally quarried limestone that is often used for flooring or wall coverings. They are named after their Italian town of origin, where the material is quarried.

Quarrying travertine can be done either through the dry process or through cycles of wetting and drying. In order to create blocks from a quarry, rocks are poured into vats where they fizzle out to form large slabs about 12-15’x12-18″x6″-8″. These slabs weighing 2 tons each are then carried by stonecutters into saws that slice these blocks into shapes with razor sharp accuracy. 

How to Clean Travertine Tiles

A good cleanser that contains natural ingredients is all you need. Many people think harsh chemicals are needed to clean their tile floors, but luckily it’s not the case! Natural coriander will quickly dissolve dirt both on and in-between tiles. Alternatively, for stubborn stains use vinegar and baking soda mixed with lukewarm water. For grout cleaning apply salt liberally to the stained area, then run boiling hot water over it for 5 minutes prior to wiping up with toilet paper or a cloth dampened with either vinegar or lemon juice which is acidic so it will cut through the dirt or soap scum without damaging the tile surface. Just remember never to use ammonia based products as they’re too strong and cause damage to the tiles. 

Pros and Cons of Using Travertine Tiles Outside

Reasons to use travertine tiles outside:

-Travertine tiles are made of natural calcite with a hardness rating of 6.5, meaning they will not scratch or dull as they age like concrete. 

Travertine exterior tiles provide an organic texture for any building or small outdoor space and can work well with modern architecture. 

 Cons to using travertine outside: 

-Travertine needs a stone sealant (or oil) in order to prevent porous edges from absorbing rain water and air pollutants, which may be corrosive over time.

-Some say travertine tiles can develop stains if not properly maintained (don’t overfill pots and planters). 

-When exposed to outdoor light for extended periods of time Travertine tiles can become discolored. The green color may change to a shady brown or dark grayish tone with black spots – this is usually only an issue if in full sunlight all day. 

Is there a Difference Between Indoor and Outdoor Tiles

The difference is in the variety of colors they offer. Outdoor variants are often darker, more natural-looking, and have a higher porosity. The outdoor variants will weather faster due to high humidity or temperatures, so you may need to resurface them every 2-3 years or for commercial purposes every 5-6 years on average. They do require sealing and regular maintenance but this should be done by professionals as self-installation can void warranties.

Indoor variants are polished smooth during production which gives them an etched gloss finish. These can be cleaned with soap and water and last much longer because they’re easier to seal but not quite as tough as the outdoor ones

Best Practices for Outdoor Use of Travertine Tiles 

When laying them on a horizontal surface such as the ground, you should make sure they are not laid down into any substrate that may be conducive to water absorption. For example, if you have an area of your yard that has a lot of sand in it. The fibers (fine specks) absorbed from the sand will eventually work their way into the tile and reduce its lifespan well before it would normally dissolve naturally over time (1-3 years for low grain sands). If one needs to lay the tiles on the sand, one can place sheets of plastic or use oil-based release agents to protect stones from absorbing moisture and expanding while stained by penetrants in wetting agents. When installing travertine tiles outdoors, a sealant should be applied to the joints of the tile where it will be exposed to moisture.

Can You Install Them Yourself or Do You Need Professionals for This Job 

Travertine tiles are fragile and require some expertise in stone cutting. Professional help is recommended to ensure the longevity, quality, and safety of your installation. 

It’s a good idea to have someone who knows what they are doing handling this project for you. That will translate into less stress and less chance of ruining your investment in your home or business space. 

If you know how to do basic masonry work, it shouldn’t be too difficult to even do it yourself, as long as you have reliable measuring tools and a level surface to install them on which has been prepared with suitable adhesive if needed (a thin layer).

 

Matt McWilliams
matt@mcwilliamsmedia.com

Hi there! My name is Matt and I write for Expert Home Report. I enjoy writing about everything related to home improvement, home tips and DIY. In my spare time, I'm either spending time with my family, doing a DIY project or learning a new skill.