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Apr 14, 2009 06:59 PM

Polished Travertine Countertop

I know there was a long thread about the best kitchen counter material (a couple of them I believe) but I don't think travertine was discussed.

A friend is installing a countertop in the bar in his family room. Another friend of his told him that a polished travertine counter would look great (there are other travertine accents in the room). My feeling is that it would look great for the first year, but I am worried about staining, even if he keeps up a regimen of applying sealer. Travertine is such a porous material, I just can't see it being suitable for this kind of application.

If anyone has any experience I would appreciate hearing about it.


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  1. Any comments made about marble
    in those threads would also
    apply to travertine. It's absorbent and
    thus not very resistant to acids and stains. Use
    at your own risk. An architect I know says
    take granite if you want stone.

    1. Sealer won't protect against etching and a polished surface will show every etch. Several drinks use citrus and tomato juice and these will etch immediately if dripped or spilled on the bar. Not a great choice. Corian has a design that looks like travertine as does a company called Mystic something. Caesarstone makes some limestone looks. I agree about the granite.

      I can't think of a worse choice than polished travertine for a bar top -- sorry!

      1. Travertine is very porous and actually quite soft, so it really isn't a great countertop material. You would have to seal it constantly, and I think it would be a losing battle pretty much right away. I have it for a backsplash over my dark granite counters, and it looks great. It also does not take the brunt of the kitchen activity, because it just sits there. We dotted an occasional small cube of the granite on the square, while we set the four inch travertine tiles on the diagnoal. If your friend is really interested in travertine it would be the best place to use it (but not behind the stove because of grease spatters).

        My brother, who is in the marble and granite maintenance business, tells me that light marble is just problematic no matter what type you use.