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Travertine Patios and Pool Deck–The Pros and Cons

Choosing the right materials for your outdoor living space is an essential step in the design process. Not only does hardscaping dictate a large portion of the aesthetic, but the material you choose can determine how much maintenance and repair work your patio or pool deck will need later on. One popular material for both patios and pool decks is travertine. But is travertine the right choice for your outdoor living space?

What is travertine tile?

Travertine is a natural stone material that is often used for patios and pool decks. While there are many stone materials that will work for pool decking and patios, travertine is an upgrade from concrete or stamped concrete for a multitude of reasons. Of course, that doesn’t make it perfect.

If you’re thinking about using travertine in your outdoor living space, it’s important to do your research. Let’s talk about some of the biggest pros and cons to using travertine on your pool deck or patio.

Pros of Travertine Patios and Pool Decks

Beautiful, long-lasting, and comfortable underfoot–the pros of travertine are numerous. Here are some of the materials best qualities when compared to similar materials.

Durability

One of the most notable pros to using travertine on your patio or pool deck is its outstanding durability. Unlike some other natural stone materials, travertine is an exceptionally hard stone. This makes it a durable choice for high traffic areas.

Where concrete can become vulnerable to cold weather or climates with more significant shifts in weather patterns through the year, travertine does well. Travertine will stand up well to rain, snow, wind, and cold. Additionally, it is resistant to staining and scratching, which means outdoor furniture is less likely to damage it. From dining sets to pool loungers, travertine should stand up against heavy use.

Slip Resistance

When designing a pool deck, safety is as much of a priority as appearance. This means that any material you decide to use should be slip resistant. This makes materials such as glass tile a poor option for this purpose, where concrete shines. If you’re looking for an upgrade, however, travertine provides notable natural slip resistance.

The texture of travertine underfoot is rough and textured. The stone contains natural pores that absorb water and promote drainage. Together, this means that even a wet travertine pool deck will be relatively safe.

Attractive

Most people agree–natural stone just looks better. Travertine is no exception. Due to its organic occurrence, travertine provides a wide range of color and texture options. This means that no matter what your aesthetic preferences are, you’re sure to find something to fit your space.

Cool In The Summer

There’s nothing worse than stepping off onto your pool deck or patio in bare feet, only to jump in pain from hot tile or concrete. Travertine stays cooler in the summer than other options on the market, making it more comfortable underfoot.

Easy to Maintain

Some hardscaping options are more difficult to care for than others. Hardscaping that stains easily or is difficult to clean is more likely to become a headache as time goes on. Travertine pool decks patios are easy to clean, simply requiring a regular hosing off. For a deeper clean, consider using a mild outdoor detergent that will not harm your plants, pool, or pets.

Cons of Travertine Patios and Pool Decks

Travertine is beautiful, durable, and easy to maintain. However, it’s not perfect.. Every hardscaping material will have its list of drawbacks that are important to know before you invest your money. Here are a few cons of travertine to keep in mind before you commit.

Cost

Natural stone costs more. If you’ve ever sat down with a designer or had a landscape consultation with a professional, you know that quality and cost definitely correspond. Unfortunately, this means that travertine is a pricier option for patios and pool decks, though still more affordable than options like granite or marble. If you have your heart set on travertine, consider talking to a professional designer or with your contractor to see what options exist.

Color Fading

While travertine is exceptionally durable, no material is impenetrable. Travertine does great in most weather conditions, but like any natural stone it is still vulnerable to the elements. Years of intense, direct sunlight can contribute to fading or changing color in your travertine pool deck or patio. Most homeowners accept this as a reality of aging stone. Still, if you’re not a fan of patina, it makes sense to explore other options.

Chipping

Again, even the most durable materials are not invincible. Travertine is a great option for heavy traffic areas, but it can chip in rare circumstances. High impact events like falling furniture can chip travertine. And if repairs do need to be made, they can be pricey. Use caution when installing or moving your outdoor furniture pieces to ensure your travertine patio or pool deck will last.

Sealing

Travertine’s porous nature makes it a great option for a slip resistant finish around the pool. However, porous stone does come with its own set of challenges. Any stone that absorbs some amount of water can become prone to weathering over time, especially with exposure to salty air or salt water.

If you are considering a lower quality travertine option, you can prevent issues by having your stone sealed. This is an extra cost, however it will go a long way to improve the finish of your patio or pool deck over time.

Is travertine right for your patio or pool deck?

All materials have their benefits and drawbacks. Natural stone such as travertine makes a beautiful and durable choice for outdoor spaces such as patios and pools decks. However, travertine is also expensive, and its quality is highly relational to its cost. If you’re on the fence about choosing travertine for your outdoor living space, it’s worth consulting a professional. Landscape design consultants are experts that can weigh in and tell you whether or not the price tag will be worth the finished product.

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