Travertine Flooring vs. Porcelain Tile

May 2024
Anton White

Choosing the right outdoor flooring for your garden can significantly elevate the look and functionality of the space.

In this guide on travertine flooring vs. porcelain tile, we delve into the specifics of each option, examining costs, installation requirements, lifespan, durability, and maintenance. We also compare their aesthetic appeal, repair needs, and suitability for various locations.

We aim to provide comprehensive insights to help you make a well-informed decision for enhancing your outdoor living area.

What this article covers:

What Is Porcelain Tile?

Porcelain tile is a type of ceramic made from finer, denser clay than standard ceramic tiles. These tiles are fired at very high temperatures to achieve a vitrified, glass-like substance that is incredibly durable and impervious to most wear and tear.

From our experience, porcelain tiles offer a versatile and low-maintenance option, coming in a range of colours and designs due to modern printing technology that can mimic other materials, including natural stone and wood.

What Is Travertine Flooring?

Travertine is a type of limestone that forms around mineral spring deposits. As a natural stone, it brings a unique, earthy warmth to settings, with its characteristic pitted surface and tumbled edges.

According to our research, travertine tiles come in a variety of finishes, including honed, polished, and brushed, each providing a different aesthetic and slip resistance level.

Porcelain Tile vs Travertine Floor


When considering the cost of flooring, porcelain tiles emerge as the more economical choice both initially and over time. Typically ranging up to £40 per square foot, porcelain tiles are significantly less expensive than travertine, which can cost anywhere up to £50 per square foot.

travertine flooring vs porcelain tile

The lower end of porcelain's price range makes it accessible, while its upper end competes in quality with higher-priced travertine options.

From our experience, the ongoing costs associated with porcelain are also lower due to its minimal maintenance needs and durability, making it a cost-effective solution for both immediate and long-term flooring investments.


When it comes to any kind of limestone vs porcelain or porcelain paving vs natural stone, both require professional installation to ensure a quality finish and lasting durability.

However, porcelain tiles are generally lighter and easier to handle compared to travertine, which is heavier and requires more meticulous installation to prevent breakage.

This not only speeds up the installation process for porcelain but also reduces the labour costs involved. Travertine's installation is more labour-intensive, typically resulting in higher overall costs due to the special handling and tools required to properly set this heavier material.


In terms of lifespan, porcelain tiles provide exceptional longevity. With proper care, porcelain flooring can last well over 50 years without significant wear.

This surpasses travertine, which, while durable, tends to have a shorter functional lifespan of around 25-30 years under similar conditions.

Porcelain's robust composition and resistance to environmental factors contribute to its extended lifespan, making it a prudent choice for those looking for a long-lasting flooring solution.


Our porcelain patio tiles excel in durability, boasting a hard, dense composition that resists scratching, staining, and moisture penetration. This makes them particularly suitable for high-traffic areas and environments exposed to spills and humidity.

Travertine, though also sturdy, is inherently porous, making it vulnerable to staining and water damage unless it is sealed regularly.

porcelain tile vs travertine floor

The need for frequent sealing and the potential for wear and tear from everyday use makes travertine a less favourable option compared to porcelain, which maintains its appearance and structural integrity with minimal upkeep.


Maintaining flooring involves understanding the specific needs of the material used. Porcelain tiles are renowned for their ease of maintenance, making them ideal for areas with high foot traffic or exposure to moisture.

In contrast, travertine flooring requires more intensive care due to its natural porosity, which makes it susceptible to staining and moisture penetration if not properly maintained.

The distinction between these maintenance requirements highlights the need for potential owners to consider their willingness and ability to undertake regular upkeep.

Maintaining Porcelain Tiles

Porcelain tiles require minimal effort to maintain their appearance and durability. Here's a straightforward approach to keeping them in top condition:

  1. Daily Cleaning: Sweep or vacuum to remove dirt and debris.
  2. Wet Cleaning: Use a mop with warm water and a mild detergent to clean the tiles weekly. Avoid using abrasive cleaners which can scratch the surface.
  3. Stain Removal: For stains, use a damp cloth with mild detergent. Porcelain tiles are resistant to staining, so stains should lift easily without harsh chemicals.
  4. Sealing: Unlike travertine, porcelain tiles typically do not require sealing, especially if they are glazed. This reduces maintenance efforts significantly.
difference between travertine and porcelain

Maintaining Travertine Flooring

Travertine flooring, being a natural stone, requires more detailed and frequent maintenance to keep it looking its best, much like with Indian stone vs porcelain:

  1. Daily Cleaning: Sweep or vacuum daily to remove any dust and debris that can scratch the stone.
  2. Mopping: Use warm water and a pH-neutral cleaner designed for natural stone. Harsh chemicals or acidic cleaners can etch the surface of travertine.
  3. Spill Response: Clean spills immediately to prevent staining. Travertine is porous and can absorb liquids quickly, leading to stains.
  4. Sealing: Seal travertine regularly—every one to two years, depending on traffic and wear. Sealing helps prevent stains and moisture absorption.
  5. Deep Cleaning: Occasionally, it may be necessary to use a steam cleaner or a brush with soft bristles for a deeper clean, but always be gentle to avoid damaging the stone.


Porcelain tiles offer a versatile aesthetic that can be tailored to match any design preference, making them a superb choice for a modern or traditional look. These tiles also come in a variety of colours, from brown to light grey porcelain paving.

While travertine is known for its classic beauty and unique variations from piece to piece, porcelain tiles can be manufactured to mimic this natural stone appearance with remarkable accuracy.

The advanced digital printing techniques used today mean that porcelain can not only replicate the look of travertine but also other natural stones, woods, and even textiles. This gives homeowners the beauty of natural stone without the variability, meaning that you don't need to choose between marble vs porcelain.

travertine vs porcelain flooring

Additionally, porcelain's uniformity allows for easier matching during repairs or expansions, a benefit not as readily available with the naturally varying patterns of travertine.


Repairing porcelain tiles can be seen as both a limitation and a strength. While it's true that a cracked porcelain tile usually needs to be replaced, the uniformity and consistency in the production of porcelain tiles make finding a matching replacement relatively straightforward.

On the other hand, while travertine can be filled and repaired more easily, matching the repaired area with the original stone's texture and colour can be challenging, often resulting in a patchwork appearance.

Porcelain's low maintenance and resistance to cracking under normal conditions mean that the likelihood of needing repairs is lower compared to travertine, which is more susceptible to damage due to its porous nature.

Usage Locations

Porcelain tiles shine when it comes to versatility in usage locations. Their low porosity makes them an ideal choice for high-moisture environments like bathrooms, kitchens, and even outdoor settings.

Porcelain can withstand exposure to moisture without the need for sealing, maintaining its strength and appearance over time.

Travertine, while undeniably beautiful and effective in adding a touch of elegance, requires frequent sealing to protect against moisture absorption, making it less ideal for areas prone to wet conditions.

Furthermore, porcelain's ability to resist temperature fluctuations makes it suitable for use in outdoor areas exposed to the elements and UV rays, providing a practical and durable flooring solution that travertine cannot match without significant maintenance.

Should You Choose Porcelain Tile or Travertine Flooring?

When it comes to choosing between porcelain tile and travertine flooring, porcelain typically stands out as the better option. Our extensive research and customer feedback consistently highlight porcelain's superior durability, ease of maintenance, and cost-effectiveness.

travertine vs porcelain tile floor

Porcelain tiles are highly valued for their practicality, offering a durable solution that withstands harsh conditions like high traffic and moisture exposure without significant wear. This makes them especially suitable for outdoor spaces or busy areas within the home.

Furthermore, porcelain does not require regular sealing, which significantly reduces the ongoing maintenance efforts and costs, making it an ideal choice for those looking for a low-maintenance flooring option.


Porcelain consistently offers the best combination of durability, low maintenance, and cost-effectiveness. Its ability to withstand high traffic and exposure to moisture, along with its minimal upkeep requirements, makes it an ideal choice for both residential and commercial settings.

So for those seeking a reliable, long-lasting flooring solution that maintains its appeal with minimal effort, porcelain is undoubtedly the superior choice. For a wide selection of high-quality porcelain tiles that promise to elevate your space, visit Ovaeda today and find the perfect match for your project.

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