Although travertine sounds as if it could be a strange medical ailment or even a musical instrument it is actually a natural stone. It is considered, by some, to be one of the best building materials for pool decks.
The ancient Egyptians used travertine in construction because it was far easier to carve than stone. It was also used in artifacts such as vases and statures.
From Rome to Yellowstone Park
In more modern times (comparatively speaking) travertine was also popular with the Romans who used it to build the Coliseum in Rome. Skipping forward again, it is now widely used as pool decking thanks to its beauty and durability.
Although widely used in Roman times, travertine is also present in Yellowstone Park. If anyone has ever visited the Mammoth Hot Springs in the park you may have noticed the amazing travertine formations.
Where Can I Get Travertine?
To make travertine you need some geo-thermally heated water, a fair dollop of carbon dioxide then leave it to cook for several hundred, if not a few thousand years.
In simple terms, travertine is made when hot springs which are high in carbon dioxide content pass through the rocks in limestone regions. The limestone is dissolved and the remaining stone becomes saturated with the mineral.
For most of us who do not have that a few thousand years to spare, or even a thermal spring, the easiest way of obtaining travertine is to purchase it. Although there are some deposits of travertine in the USA, such as in Yellowstone Park, the majority of that sold in the USA is imported from countries such as Turkey.
Can I use Travertine for my Pool Deck?
Thanks to travertine’s non-slip properties travertine is ideal for pool decks, particularly if you have children. It is also suitable for use in both cold and warm climates. For those in colder climates you will be pleased to hear that, unlike other decking materials, travertine can endure freeze-thaw conditions. If you are lucky enough to live in a warmer location, you don’t need to worry about getting toasted feet as you go to and from the pool, as travertine stays cool even in the hottest sun.
Is Travertine Expensive?
Since it is not man-made, travertine is slightly more expensive than other paving materials, but is cheap in comparison to other products such as limestone or marble. It shouldn’t cost any more to install than other products, and once laid is easy to maintain. The main advantage of travertine is that since it is a natural product it won’t fade after a few years. Other products such as acrylic decking may look good initially, but tends to take on a jaded look (due to fading) after a few years.
If you want to seal travertine to give it a polished surface we recommend using permeators. If you have children though it is important to consider whether or not it is worthwhile damaging the slip resistance properties of travertine just for a slightly different finish.
Travertine as Pool Deck Material?
Travertine is a versatile material which comes in a multitude of colors making it ideal for pool decking. It is extremely resistance to mold making it a low maintenance material once installed. If you are looking for a new pool deck why not consider travertine? After all, if it was good enough for the Egyptians and the Romans, why not give it a go?