How Can Honed & Filled Travertine Be Used in a Shower?

Change your notion of a traditional fiberglass or tiled shower. Unusual materials in the shower can turn it into a custom escape. Travertine in a shower is an unexpected change from typical tile. This stone is not suitable for every part of the shower though. Using it properly ensures its longevity and long-lasting beauty in your shower.

  1. Travertine

    • Travertine has a dense, marble-like texture, making it useful as a marble alternative. Composed of tightly compacted calcium carbonate, similar to limestone, travertine needs special preparation before it's added it to a wet area, like a shower. When purchasing travertine tiles or panels, you have the option to order it filled or unfilled and to pick the type of finish you want. For showers, opt for filled travertine for best results. Whether to choose a honed finish is a matter of personal preference.

    Honing

    • Finish choices change how the travertine in a shower looks. Honing creates a casual, matte finish that contrasts sharply with a glossy, polished finish. Unless your bathroom is styled formally, honed travertine will fit in. When travertine possesses a honed finish, its naturally pale color comes through better because light does not reflect from the stone as it does when it has a polished finish.

    Filling

    • Travertine has natural holes in the stone. These must be filled with an impregnating sealant before using the stone in a shower. The sealant, usually an epoxy resin or cement, keeps water from getting deep into the stone, where it can damage the material over time. Filling is done at the factory and it differs from surface sealing, which repels surface water and dirt.

    Shower Walls

    • Both honed and filled travertine is usually used on shower walls. The filling process keeps water out of the stone in this wet location. Water impacts travertine on the walls less than on the floor of the shower. Over time, you will need to refill the travertine on the walls to protect the stone from water damage.

    Floors

    • Travertine on the floor of a shower is more susceptible to water damage since more water runs over it. If you choose to install travertine on the shower floor around the drain, be prepared to refill it more often than you would travertine on the walls of the shower. You can still use travertine on the floor of the bathroom itself. The honed finish makes the stone non-slip, creating a safer surface for when you step out of the shower.

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References

  • Materiality and Interior Construction; Nancy Gesimondo and Jim Postell
  • 1001 Ideas for Stonework: The Ultimate Sourcebook; Richard Wiles
  • Stone Style; Michael Reis and Jennifer Adams
  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images

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