There are a certain things you should keep in mind when shopping for these tiles. First thing first, zero in on the type of travertine that best suits your requirement. If you are looking for rustic tiles, the finish you require is either tumbled or chiseled whereas for contemporary areas, honed & filled, polished or brushed tiles are recommended. Secondly, make sure you buy the best quality stone.
Varieties – Soft travertine/ hard travertine: Softer version of travertine is less expensive and feels cheap when touching it. You can perform a simple experiment to determine the quality. Take a small piece of the stone and try to crumble the edges. If the edges easily crumble, there is a strong possibility that the tiles are of soft material. Soft travertine is not recommend to be laid on the floor as it can cause problems in the due course.
Samples: Samples are only guides and not the guarantees, still it is strongly recommended that you go through some samples to determine the quality of the material. In m most cases 10×10 samples will be supplied by the seller which does not necessarily manifest the characteristics of the stone. If you are working on big projects, order larger sized samples to get a better idea on the variation of the stone.
Variation: Less variation means higher price whereas more variation means lower price. Normally all the Travertine tiles of a particular retailer or distributor comes from the same production line which means all the product range has got the same quality irrespective of the sale price. The difference in price will be variations on the same tile. If you find slightest of variations on a range (the background colour is consistent within the tile), it might be categorized as premium selected stone.