There is no “best” material for your countertops. Instead, the ideal countertop material depends on your personal tastes, the colors and materials used around the kitchen or bathroom that you are building or remodeling, your budget, and what you expect to happen on the countertops. With that in mind, travertine – an ancient stone material that has been used for thousands of years for all kinds of construction and detailing – may be the countertop material for you.
Classic, Elegant, and Widely Used
Travertine bears a resemblance to marble, so if the look and feel of marble appeals to you, travertine is a good place to start. The primary difference is in the delicate, antique look of travertine; it can provide a sense of lightness and even fragility to a countertop, whereas marble looks heavy, dense, and often quite inelegant. Travertine evokes the arches and aqueducts of Rome, whereas marble reminds us of the massive marble pillars of ancient Greece; which would you rather have in your kitchen or bathroom?
Travertine is quite good at reflecting light as well. If you want your kitchen or bathroom to have a bright, airy feel to it, then travertine is a fantastic material to use for the countertops. It will not absorb light and generally darken up the room unlike granite or Formica.
Many Uses, One Travertine
Travertine easily absorbs water and moisture, which makes it ideal for installation near sinks or in bathrooms. You won’t have to worry about water gathering into pools and generally making a mess with travertine!
Of course, as with any countertop, you’re going to be doing a lot on it – cooking, cleaning, washing, and generally making a mess. While travertine is easy to clean up, there is always the possibility of doing damage to the countertop – chipping off a piece, gouging it, or straight-up putting a crack in the counter!
Fortunately, travertine is very easy to cut and shape, especially when compared to materials like porcelain. You can easily replace existing pieces of countertop, or cut it to fill in awkward parts of your counter that other materials might have trouble covering.
A Budget Within Reason
Consequently, travertine is a very affordable material to use. If budget is an issue to you, travertine may in fact be your best possible choice as far as countertop materials are concerned. Compared to granite and many types of marble, travertine costs considerably less per square foot – how much less depends on the grade of travertine you are purchasing, of course.
The ease with which it is cut, along with the ability to buy it in bulk to take care of all of your kitchen and bathroom tiling and countertop needs, means that you can easily afford to outfit your kitchen and bathroom with travertine. And why not? What other material cleans up easy, looks classically elegant while still being modern, and is sturdy enough to stand up to all of the stress modern kitchens and bathrooms go through? Not many – but travertine can do all of this and more. The ancients knew what they were doing when they used this material for everything from sidewalks to countertops to the Coliseum itself.
Credit: Travertine Mart