Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Achieving A Luxury Bathroom Finish On A Budget With Travertine

Whenever you open an interior design magazine you are faced with amazing looking bathrooms that take your breath away. We dream of enjoying a relaxing bath one of these luxurious rooms, but many believe that achieving such a finish is beyond their means. Up until recently I was one of those people, until I stumbled upon travertine tiles.

The material

Travertine is a natural type of limestone that has been used as a building material for many centuries. Traditionally it has most commonly been used in Italy and there are many old buildings in the country made from travertine, with the Roman Coliseum being just one example. The stone comes in a range of shades, including whites, creams and beiges and offers a warm feel to your room.

Although not quite as tough as marble and granite; travertine is extremely durable and will last for decades in a bathroom environment if not longer.

Considering cost

Whilst travertine isn’t as cheap as most porcelain tile options, it does deliver a plusher feel at an affordable price. Exactly how much it will cost depends on the style you got for as well as the shade, with darker hues costing more than lighter ones. Starting prices for travertine are usually about £15 per square meter, which is significantly less than marble and granite alternatives.

Fitting options

Travertine tiles are available in a range of shapes and sizes meaning that they offer a complete range of bathrooms solutions. If you are looking to add a mosaic pattern to your shower area then you can use ones similar to the photo below.

For a more complete approach you have the option of laying tiles on the floor as well as covering the all with them. Installing drainage capabilities before you lay the tiles also provides the opportunity to create a wet room; allowing you to have an open shower area in-line with the current trend.

Maintenance tips

Whether you go for the smooth finished honed and filled travertine tiles or the more rustic tumbled effect, you must make sure that either you or the tiler seals them properly after laying. Failure to do so can result in discolouring as travertine has quite high porosity and liquids will seep into it. Also avoid using any generic cleaning product which could cause etching on the surface, as can vinegar, ammonia and citrus fruit juices. Instead go for a purpose made travertine cleaning product, which can usually be purchased from the supplier where you bought your tiles from. Whilst travertine may take a little more maintaining than porcelain alternatives; the extra effort is worth the finish.