Travertine tile production has been one of the pillars of historic construction. Italian travertine such as Roman Travertine, or Navonna Travertine has been quarried around Rome and Sienna area. Durango travertine has been quarries in Mexico and Ivory Travertine in Turkey. There are also American travertine quarries around New Mexico, Idaho, and Colorado.
Traditional travertine quarry had some metal tools and primitive methods of splitting blocks and shaping them. Ancient quarriers called them Dressing the Blocks. Travertine tile and slab production these days is very different. A modern travertine quarry has multiple loaders ( large earth movers ) Excavators ( large rock splitters ) and mechanized wire saws that literally loop around the mountain and cut gigantic blocks.
Giant blocks are taken to a sawmill where travertine tiles are cut into big shaped blocks according to the size. They are then processed in multiple polishing or honing machines. These tile production lines start with a large grid and end up with the finest polishing grid to give it a uniform surface. Travertine tiles are filled depending on the need. Natural travertine scraps are ground to a fine degree, chemical color dye is added to match the surface color of stone. Filling machines use multiple blades to fill all the holes inside and then it is set to dry naturally. If travertine tile fill is not cured properly, it may crack or discolor. All the broken pieces from production are cut to smaller pieces for mosaic production or subway tile production. This is one of the reasons travertine is affordable.
These modern production methods decreased the production cost tremendously and made travertine tile affordable. Today Travertine tile is mainstay of everyday functional building material. Large scale applications of pool deck tiling, pool coping, deck flooring mostly use travertine tiles. Travertine tile is easy to install and maintain. It develops a nice patina after decades of wear and tear. Travetine tile comes in honed and filled, honed unfilled, tumbled, and antiqued. These new distressed finishes make travertine tile ideal material for use in most residential and commercial buildings.