Travertine vs Granite: What is the Difference?

by Amanda Kaiser / October 21, 2020

Table of Contents

Last updated on October 23, 2020

 

Whether designing a new space or doing some home improvement there are a lot of factors that should be considered before you pick which natural stone is best for you. There are many different kinds of natural stone used in interior design; two of the most popular are Granite and Travertine. Granite is used as kitchen and bathroom countertops as well as other high traffic areas. Travertine is typically used in low traffic areas of the home or for backsplashes and flooring.

Here is everything you need to know when comparing granite and travertine.

 

Where do Granite and Travertine come from?

Granite is a natural igneous rock. It takes hundreds even thousands of years for granite to form in underground volcano chambers. It forms slowly during a crystallization process of magma. Granite is made of mostly quartz and feldspar but also includes small amounts of other minerals. Most of the granite sold in the United States is from Brazil, India, Italy, and Canada.

Travertine is a type of limestone deposited by mineral springs specifically hot springs. Rock formations called stalactites mostly found in caves, primarily consist of travertine. Travertine often has a natural yet elegant appearance. Travertine only comes in neutral tones such as white, tan, brown, and cream. Travertine imported to the US comes from quarries in Italy, Iran, Mexico, Turkey, and Peru, where this natural stone is quarried.

Granite and Travertine Appearance

Granite has a much wider variety of colors and styles than Travertine. Granite comes in vibrant colors and unique patterns. There are several kinds of post-finishing decisions that one can make on a granite countertop that changes its overall cost and appearance.

Travertine on the other hand offers only neutral colors such as white, tan, brown, and cream-colored. There are many different styles of travertine available, including honed, tumbled, polished, and brushed. Travertine is most known for its porous veins that create long streaks and consistent color. Travertine comes in numerous earth tones. If you want a natural stone surface that will brighten up the mood in a room, keep travertine in mind.

Where is best to put Granite and Travertine stone in my home?

Granite is a multipurpose and durable stone making it perfect for almost anywhere in your home. For kitchen countertops, bathroom countertops, backsplashes, vanities, or anything else, this natural stone is an excellent choice. Granite is a highly attractive, durable, and easy to care for stone that will transform your home.

Travertine is perfect for low traffic areas in the home. Travertine is an ideal natural stone material for bathroom vanity tops, bath surroundings, flooring, and backsplashes. You can use Travertine as a countertop however you must be very careful. Travertine countertops are susceptible to damage from harsh spills that will leave permanent staining.

 

Granite and Travertine Durability

Granite is a very durable resistance to scratching, cracking, and chipping. Granite is also one of the most heat resistant countertop materials. A properly installed and sealed granite countertop will look like new for an entire lifetime under normal use and proper care.

Travertine is a weaker material than granite. Due to the porosity of the stone, it requires sealing regularly making it a high maintenance material. Travertine like granite is also resistant to heat.

Granite and Travertine Maintenance

Granite is considered a low maintenance stone, typically it only needs to be resealed about once a year, if that.

Travertine countertops will require resealing about every 3-4 months.

On average how much do Granite and Travertine cost?

Granite typically retails anywhere between $35- $75 square per foot and goes up from there. The cost of granite and travertine can be affected by thickness, appearance, porosity, and country of origin. Both granite and travertine are high-quality natural stones.

Travertine about cost $25 to $50 per square foot. Travertine tiles are about $3 per square foot cheaper than both marble and granite.  Travertine is great when remodeling because it allows for an elegant look without taking up the majority of the budget.

What is Granite typically used for?

Granite is mostly used in slab form for kitchen countertops, bathroom countertops, backsplashes, and vanities. Granite tile is also an available option for this stone but not very common. Granite is one of the best building materials that you will find adding both beauty and value to your home.

What is Travertine typically used for?

Travertine tile is the most common use of the stone. Travertine tile is used for backsplashes, flooring, and outdoor areas. There are many different types of tiles that travertine comes in such as floor tiles, shower tiles, and wall tiles. Travertine can also come in the form of pavers that can be used outdoor. A travertine floor, backsplash, or countertop is a beautiful addition to the home

 

Travertine Backsplash and Black Galaxy Granite  countertops

Combining the Two: Granite & Travertine

Travertine and granite are commonly combined for kitchen designs since they complement each other so well. Most commonly travertine is used for backsplashes while granite is used for countertop surfaces making them the perfect pair.

Comparing the Two

Granite

Travertine

Heat and Scratch resistant

More fragile

Minimal maintenance 

Needs regular maintenance

Large color and pattern selection 

Elegant streaks and natural colors

Great for high traffic areas 

Low traffic areas

Alternative Stone Tiles

If you don't love the look of travertine there are numerous types of stone that come in tile forms such as porcelain tile, marble tile, ceramic tile, and granite tile.

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