Travertine driveways lend an upscale elegance to any property. It is an expensive but effective driveway material and well worth considering for your home driveway project.
Travertine is a type of limestone that comes in light colors, most commonly variants of white, tan or cream, though there is also a more exotic coral-red color. Because the coloring is natural to the stone, rather than an artificial dye or paint, the coloring will not fade over time or with regular use, thereby saving you time and money that might otherwise be spent repainting or recoloring your driveway.
Travertine also has a rich construction history, dating back to Ancient Rome: the Roman aqueducts, temples, monuments and bathhouses were largely constructed of travertine; in fact, the Coliseum, the ancient arena where gladiators fought for the entertainment of the masses, is constructed entirely of travertine, the largest travertine building in the world. Today, the vast majority of travertine used in construction in the United States and Canada is imported from Italy, Iran, Mexico, Turkey and Peru; there are almost no local travertine quarries.
Because of the local scarcity of travertine, the cost of using it as a driveway material goes up considerably: not only must the stone be cut, and the contractors and builders paid for their time, but the cost of importing it is factored into the price as well. For this reason, those people who opt to use travertine in their driveway construction often do so sparingly: rather than construct an entire driveway out of travertine, they might choose to do a travertine edge or border. Travertine is commonly cut into tiles, and used for flooring, walkways or, in this case, driveways. Through a smoothing and polishing process, the texture of travertine can be controlled as well: it can be brushed, tumbled, polished or honed.
As the Coliseum testifies, travertine, if well maintained, is a durable, dependable construction material, and travertine driveways, whether tiled or used only on the periphery, add an elegant, timeless touch to any home.
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