Travertine vs. porcelain tile

October 3, 2013
I would like to get opinions on which is easier to keep clean and looking nice- travertine or porcelain tile? Why?

Comments (8)

  • 0825sam
    Travertine is a natural stone that I believe requires sealing so I think porcelain is less maintenance and easier to deal with overall. I don't have personal experience with travertine so I don't know if has the the same level of maintenance issues as other natural stones like marble.
  • PRO
    Someone's in the Kitchen, Inc.
    I'll assume that you mean natural travertine stone tile. Here's some of what I understand. This is a sedimentary rock in the marble family, by nature relatively soft and quite porous. It can be very attractive. Usually with striated pattern from its formation as material settled into layers over the eons - on the floor of a body of water. Many holes usually are present, too - formed as lodged crustacean shells, etc. dissolved over time.

    Travertine is often filled with colored polymer, smoothing out holes and striation gaps, and adding color vividness to its layers. Often, though, these features are left open, usually with rougher, "tumbled" edges and corners. Silicone-based sealers are important to use with all travertine - both initially and periodically, especially in wet-wall applications.

    Porcelain tile is a manufactured product. Much harder and stronger than travertine stone. ...and not porous. Especially with recent digital imaging advances recent years, some nicer porcelains are getting closer to the visual beauty of travertine tile - with more of the detail and tile-to-tile uniqueness that typifies natural stone.

    There is no question that porcelain tile is easier to maintain.

    Best wishes! Mark
  • PRO
    Interior Archaeology
    Porcelain tile is incredibly low maintenance and can take a beating. It is almost impervious to anything. Travertine is a softer material being a natural stone, but has all the charm that goes along with it being a natural material. Travertine also has a lot of variation and therefore can be very forgiving when it comes to wear.
  • smileyface2013
    Porcelain tile is easier to maintain. I have both in my house, and I have to check every cleaner I use to see if it's safe for natural stone, because many if not most, are not.
  • jmvman
    I thought I wanted Travertine in my Florida condo because I love the shine. But that shine shows every footprint, etc. I am putting in porcelain tile that looks like wood.
  • Jolene
    I have travertine in two bathrooms and have sealed them 1x in 5 years with no problem. I mop normal and swiffer it. I have the kind that is not polished/not shiny nor does it have the pits filled in. I love it! One bathroom I sealed with normal sealer and one with color enhancing and I love it even more. It may stain if you have something spilled that has strong color vs porcelain tile can usually just be cleaned. They do have some great porcelain tile that looks like travertine also.
  • cmfbattle
    I love my travertine in my bathroom floor, but being a natural product, it does give in to 'slight chipping'. Whereas, tile is more forgiving. So, you have to accept the 'little chips' as part of the beauty of the product.
    sadieloulou thanked cmfbattle
  • PRO
    Creative Innovations & Designs Inc
    Travertine can be purchased in polished, or honed. Honed would give you a more matte look. Be sure to use a matte sealer to keep it that way. Polished stone will show all the footprints. Porcelain is the strongest tile product you can put on the floor. They make some very realistic looking stone porcelain, which is a photograph of the actual stone imposed on the porcelain surface. Find a nice one, and it would be hard for people to tell if it is real or not. You'll pay less for porcelain, and the install cost will also be lower.
    sadieloulou thanked Creative Innovations & Designs Inc

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