Travertine is a timeless stone that’s typically found in the mountains of Mexico, Italy, Turkey, Peru, and Iran. It’s stylish and durable, but it doesn’t come without its drawbacks. If you’re considering travertine for your flip take a look at some of the pros and cons.

Positives

Appearance

Travertine is available in a variety of earth tones, like tan, beige, grey, off-white, rust, and brown. It has a surface that’s more subtle than granite or marble, and can give your floors a sense of old-world style. Over time travertine floors develop a patina, which can give them distinct character.

Durability

Travertine is a heavy, durable stone. Travertine tiles can take a lot of abuse, and a natural finish is able to conceal scratches, chips, and cracks. If a tile does develop a crack or breaks it can be removed and replaced.

Versatility

Travertine is ideal flooring over radiant in-floor heating systems, since it’s a great conductor that will gradually warm up a room.

Resale

This stone is a high-end finish that can be a great selling feature in your flip.

Negatives

Installation

Since travertine is a heavy stone the subfloor must be strong enough to support it without excessive bowing or flexing, so structural reinforcement may be necessary. And because travertine is such a hard stone regular tools used to cut tile simply won’t cut the mustard. To get the job done you’ll need a power wet saw that has a diamond blade.

If your travertine tiles haven’t been sealed they can become stained when grouting, so it’s best to apply a sealer before you grout. A penetrating sealer and a barrier surface sealer need to be applied at the time of installation (and periodically reapplied throughout the life of the floor). Because of these kinds of challenges installing travertine is usually left to the pros.

Cost

Travertine is on the expensive end of the flooring spectrum and averages about $15 per square foot for materials and labor. Marble averages about $20 per square foot, and granite $12 per square foot.

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