What Is The Difference Between Limestone And Travertine?

Limestone and travertine worktops add a unique elegance to the interior design. But what is the difference between these stones? Are they suitable for both bathroom and kitchen or should you consider quartz worktops for the latter?

Limestone Worktops

Limestone is a sedimentary rock softer than marble and primarily composed of calcium carbonate. Natural limestone forms in warm and shallow marine waters from the accumulation of algal, shell, and coral debris, and as a result, the stone holds imprints of aquatic fossils and traces of many forms of life.

Industrial limestone is formed from the forced precipitation of calcium carbonate from ocean water and is often used in the interior design as a cheaper alternative to natural stone.

Due to its sedimentary origin, limestone is porous, it gets stained easily and it is susceptible to the action of acidic liquids, such as citrus juice or vinegar. For this reason, it might not be the right choice for a kitchen worktop. But natural limestone looks amazing in the bathroom.

This stone comes in a wide range of soft hues and it is easy to match with the other colours of the interior design. The shades of grey and silver complement a modern or contemporary environment, while the earthy tones of tan, cream or brown match with spaces furnished in all styles, from rustic cottages to luxury villas or flats.

Undoubtedly, limestone adds class to an interior, but to maintain its beauty it is recommended to treat it with an impregnating sealer for porous stones and clean it with pH-neutral cleansers.

Travertine Worktops

Travertine is also a sedimentary rock similar to limestone but formed through a different geological process. In fact, travertine is the result of the precipitation of calcite from mineral springs. Due to this difference, travertine rarely holds traces of aquatic fossils and its structure is characterised by numerous holes resulted from the flow of water through the sediment.

This intricate morphology makes travertine a versatile and adaptable stone to use in home design. On the downside, it also makes it weaker than limestone. Travertine is more porous and has a lower resistance to mechanical actions.

As a result, travertine worktops get scratched and stained easily and are not great in the kitchen. But they are an ideal choice for the bathrooms. Cheaper than limestone, travertine worktops are often used in both residential bathrooms and public baths and spas, providing a sophisticated elegance to the environment.

To maintain the beauty of travertine in time, treat it as limestone.

Quartz Worktops: An Alternative For The Kitchen

Neither limestone nor travertine worktops are suitable for the kitchen. But quartz worktops are perfect to use in heavy traffic areas and they match perfectly with both limestone and travertine.

Quartz, also called engineered stone, is an extremely resistant material made of a combination of natural stone and synthetic resins. This manufacturing process guarantees the compactness and resistance of the material, reducing its porosity. In other words, quartz worktops are indestructible, hard to scratch, almost impossible to stain and insusceptible to sudden temperature changes.

Just like natural stone, this material is available in a wide range of colours from cold shades of grey and silver to earthy tones and warm hues. The glossy, opaque or textured finishes add a playful versatility to quartz worktops making them easy to integrate in any décor.