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Natural Travertine Vs. Porcelain Tile With A Travertine Appearance For A Bathroom Floor: How Do They Compare?

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Travertine tile flooring is a beautiful choice for bathrooms due to its color. Travertine is a natural stone featuring earth-toned colors that will brighten up your bathroom, helping it to appear more spacious. Travertine's neutral colors also make it easy to work with when you're decorating your bathroom since they rarely clash with anything. 

Unfortunately, travertine isn't naturally waterproof. This can make it troublesome to maintain when installed in a wet environment like a bathroom. As a result, some homeowners are choosing porcelain tile instead. Porcelain resists water and staining naturally, and manufacturers can print on the surface of porcelain to make it look very similar to travertine. If you're considering remodeling your bathroom and are weighing your options, read on to learn more about the differences between travertine and porcelain tile.


Even when printing a travertine-like appearance onto porcelain, it still doesn't look exactly like the real thing. Travertine is a natural stone, so it has imperfections like color gradients and inclusions that make each cut piece of travertine different. While it's possible to vary the prints on porcelain to make them more diverse, it's not possible to match the variations provided by natural stone. Travertine flooring will always look slightly more natural than porcelain tile.

Maintenance Needs

When you're using travertine flooring in a bathroom, you'll have to seal it periodically in order to make it waterproof. If you don't seal it, then the travertine will develop stains. Water and cosmetic products will both stain a travertine floor that isn't sealed. When sealed, however, travertine resists stains and is easy to clean. You'll need to use a cleaning product meant specifically for natural stone when you're cleaning it, but you'll be able to wipe up spills easily.

Porcelain, on the other hand, never needs to be sealed. It's also very easy to clean, much like sealed travertine. If you're looking for the lowest-maintenance flooring option for your bathroom, then porcelain tile is the easy choice.


Another advantage of porcelain tile is that it's less expensive than travertine. It's also easier to install since it's not as heavy. As a natural stone product, travertine needs to be quarried straight from the earth and shipped before being cut into tiles. Porcelain can simply be made in a kiln, making it much less expensive to produce.

Overall, porcelain tile is less expensive and easier to maintain than travertine flooring, and this usually makes it the better choice. While travertine has a natural appearance, porcelain is very close. If you're trying to decide, the best option is to ask a distributor for samples of travertine and porcelain that's been manufactured to look like travertine. Place them on the floor of your bathroom to see how they look. If you're satisfied with the appearance of the porcelain compared to the travertine, then it will usually be your best option.

Contact a local tile service to learn more.