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How Much Does a Travertine Backsplash Cost?

When it comes to kitchen backsplash materials, travertine is a very popular option among today's homeowners. Travertine is made from limestone, which forms in layers near hot springs and is mined, rather than hand-made (like many other types of tiles).

Its elegant appearance and long-lasting durability make travertine an ideal option for kitchen backsplashes, adding a unique and modern look to any existing kitchen space. Still, homeowners thinking about adding a backsplash should first be aware of their various travertine material options, the pros and cons of travertine material, and the factors that can ultimately influence the total cost of the project.

The Costs 

  • The minimum reported cost for materials and installation is $1,000 for 50 square feet.
  • The maximum reported cost for materials and installation is $1,500 for 50 square feet.
  • The average reported cost for materials and installation is $1,200 for 50 square feet.

There are a few different factors that may influence the overall cost of a travertine tile backsplash installation project. One of the main influences is the specific finish of travertine chosen. Tiles that aren't finished or glazed will likely fall on the lower end of the cost spectrum, typically around $1,000 for materials and installation of a 50-square-foot backsplash. On the other hand, finished tiles may cost closer to $1,500 for the same amount of tile installation.

Another potential cost influence is the time of year in which the tiling is purchased and installed. Generally, homeowners can save a pretty penny on materials and installation during the off-times of a contractor's year, such as during the fall and winter months. In some cases, it may even be possible to negotiate with contractors or manufacturers for a lower price; homeowners can save as much as 20%.

Also, the amount of wall support needed to install the tiles can also influence the total cost of the project. After all, since travertine is a heavier stone, it is sometimes necessary to use extra support to hold the tiles in place. The same generally isn't true with lighter backsplash materials, such as glass and ceramic. Therefore, if additional reinforcement is needed, homeowners should expect to spend a little more on the project.

Homeowners can always make sure they're getting the best deal on travertine tile installation by not only shopping around for the best price on materials, but also requesting installation quotes from a number of area contractors to see who can offer the best deal. Of course, homeowners should also remember that the lowest quote isn't always the best choice. It's important to select an installation professional who has plenty of experience installing travertine tiles in the past.


Travertine comes in a variety of styles, colors and finishes. Specifically, travertine is derived from limestone, making it a very unique material. Because of this, one batch of travertine can vary drastically in look and feel from another batch. As a result, many companies that sell travertine tiling need to add dyes and finishes to the tiling itself in order to provide customers with consistent-looking tile.

Some homeowners, on the other hand, actually prefer the natural and mismatched look. It really depends on the homeowner's specific preferences. However, budget may also come into play, as travertine tile backsplash that's been dyed or finished tends to cost a bit more than tiles that haven't been altered in any way.

In addition to different dyes for travertine backsplash tile, there are also a number of finishing options that homeowners can choose from. Some of these include:

  • Natural (unfinished)
  • Brushed
  • Glazed/Polished
  • Honed

The best way for a homeowner to decide which finishing option is best for them is to visit an actual travertine backsplash tile supplier. In many cases, it's possible to purchase some sample tiles for just a few dollars. This way, homeowners can bring a few different sample tiles home and envision how they'll look in the existing kitchen space.

Advantages of Travertine Backsplashes

As with any backsplash tile option, there are several inherent pros and cons that come along with using travertine as a backsplash material. By being aware of the advantages and disadvantages and by weighing the pros and cons with one's needs, homeowners can ultimately make a decision that's right for them.

First of all, many homeowners enjoy the overall strength and durability of travertine tiles, especially as a kitchen backsplash. The material does a great job of handling grease splashes and other common kitchen spills or splats. Travertine tiles require very little maintenance. So long as they're cleaned regularly with a non-acidic kitchen cleaner or wiped down with a wet rag, there's no need to worry about staining or damage.

Also, since travertine tile comes in a variety of colors and styles, this makes it a great option for homeowners who want to add a bit of uniqueness and personality to their kitchen spaces. With travertine, it's easy to design and install a backsplash that's truly one-of-a-kind.

Finally, travertine tiling offers a great return on investment, making it a wonderful option for homeowners who may be doing last-minute renovations and improvements before placing a home on the market. Today's home buyers look for upgrades, especially in kitchen and bathroom spaces, so a travertine backsplash can make for a great selling point or bonus.

Disadvantages of Travertine Backsplashes

Travertine tiling doesn't come without its potential drawbacks. For starters, travertine may need to be re-sealed every few years to protect it from potentially harmful elements. For example, acidic materials like lemon juice, orange juice, and even vinegar can cause damage to exposed travertine over time. And even with a sealant, travertine may still be stained or damaged by acidic materials, especially liquids.

Furthermore, the cost to install travertine can be a bit on the high side; homeowners who are on a budget may have a hard time justifying the cost and may instead go with a hand-made, cheaper backsplash tile option such as ceramic.

Travertine makes for a great backsplash tile option for many homeowners. Its durability and natural beauty simply cannot be matched with other types of tile. Still, homeowners should be aware of the pros and cons of this tile type along with the factors that can influence the cost of the project before they make a final decision.

Last updated on Oct 19, 2016

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