Travertine tiles are an excellent choice for renovating a shower. You can use them either as wall tiles around a tub or as an entire shower stall on the walls and floors. A travertine shower has a very nice Old World look and feel because these types of tiles were very popular during the peak of the Roman empire. Many people assume that marble was the stone of choice but in reality most people used other tiles.
Travertine tiles are cut from blocks of travertine stone which is quarried and then taken to a work site with massive stone saws. These saws actually cut the block using industrial diamond cutters and lots of water. It is a fairly slow process but not as slow as cutting marble.
The reason for this is travertine is a sedimentary rock not a metamorphosed rock like marble. Thus it is not near as dense making it very easy to work with. It is also lighter due the natural voids and air pockets which are found within the stone structure. This lightness makes it very easy to attach to walls as little support is needed during the drying time. This lightness also has a draw back though, it means the tiles are porous and will allow water to seep through. Thus, before the shower can be used it must be sealed to stop the water from seeping into the voids and out to the subfloor and sub-wall beyond. Often times, these tiles are also filled to make them smooth when they are going to be used as travertine floor tiles or in a wet area like a kitchen or bathroom.
If the tiles are applied to a wall that is not associated with water then there is no need to fill the crevices. This actually gives a very nice 3-D effect with good depth. Many people choose this type of tile particularly because of the rough texture from a naturally cut stone.
When you install a travertine shower normal tile setting instructions are followed. The floor needs to be hard with no give. The walls should be covered with water proof green board before applying the tiles. After the tiles have set, a grout must be applied in the spaces between in order to seal against water. Then a good tile sealer needs to be applied as a final seal. Often times with tiles like these it is recommended that a second coat of sealer be used.
If you are looking for a very nice earth tone tile for your bathroom and shower then travertine is a very good choice. A travertine bathroom has an elegant old world feel and appeal.