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Types and Grades of Travertine

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In order for your choice in the type and grade of tile to be the most suitable for your intentions, it is important for you to learn the industry terms
There are no industry standard names for the grades of travertine. However, most establisments use the names listed below.
Although the two types of travertine tiles are different, they are made from the same stone. The difference is given by the cutting methods.


It is known that there are three grades of travertine. The first grade, the premium grade, it has a perfect cut and a uniform thickness throughout with very little inside. The second grade, also known as the standard grade, also has the perfect cut but has more filler in comparison to the premium grade. The third grade, or the commercial grade, does not have a perfect cut as the others, a uniform thickness and has a lot more filler than the others.

– this grade has no inesthetic black or gray discoloration in the travertine tiles
-the tiles are consistent in color
-filled first by machinery and then by hand if it has any imperfections
– none of these premium grade tiles will have large holes that were filled
-smooth edges and evenly sized with uniform edges.

-has the second largest selection of inesthetic black or gray discoloration in the travertine tiles
-consistent color throughout the lot
-double filled as in the premium grade
-there can be unfilled large holes.
– the color may contain strations or swirls
-smooth edges and evenly sized.

-large color variations with the tiles including gray or black markings
-small defects in sizing and honing (small unfilled holes that run from the surface to the bottom of the tile)
-filled only by machinery
-might have cracked or broken edges
-large voids might be filled
-tiles may be delivered without color selection

Travertine Types

Cut types
There are two cut types used for travertine tile and the type you choose may have a totally different impact than the other. The two types are: Vein Cut and Fleuri Cut. It is actually the cut that makes this stone to differ in appeareance.

Vein Cut
Is used when a cut is made against bedding planes or along the vein. This type of cut gives the traverline tile a linear pattern and exposes the edge of the formation

Fleuri Cut
It means that unlike the vein type, this cut is made parallel to the bedding plane and exposes a random pattern that is often circular. This is the type that is not recommended for high traffic areas because of the holes that may appear in case of heavy use. However, if holes do appear, it is recommended to fill those holes instead of replacing the whole tile.

What are the standards for a good quality traverline tile?
– the tile should not have any pores in the filling
– the cut has to be made 90 degrees
-the color should not be marred my rust colored markings on either side
-the filling should be of a hard resin that will no chip, no cement.
-side cuts perfectly perpedincular, no slopes
-consistent color with limited color variations throughout the lot
-the thickness of the tile should be 18″ x 18″
-shipping crates made out of strong wodden pallets, suitable for forklifts
– both sides of the shipping crates should have visibility for the face of the tile
-for protection, styrofoam should be used on the bottom and on the sides.

For more information on grade and standards of marble and travertine tile please visit the Marble Institute of America: Industry Resources Page

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