Is there a test to verify the quality of a travertine stone?


Is there a test to verify the quality of a travertine stone? I am a certyified FloorCovering Inspector, currently working on a 2500 sf home with Travertine installed over Mapei Guard with mud set and thin set buttered back

Over a 12 month time frame there has been monthly repair trip by Installer to fill voids in travertine. Some fillers poped out 2 and 3 times plus the new ones, some are clear thru to substrate.

Question: is there a test for travertine quality, is it 1,2,3 grade?


ANSWER - There are ASTM standards for the minimum/maximum physical property requirements for a travertine stone, which is ASTM C1527.   They do classify the stone as either Class I Exterior or Class II interior use, although the physical properties are the same for both except exterior use requires a higher compressive strength.   The stone can be tested for these physical properties, although the test protocols require a thicker configuration of the stone sample to be tested.  Although modified testing can be performed and the results extrapolated.

Travertine naturally have voids as it is quarried from fresh water areas where it developed.  Some stones have more voids than others.  The travertines with a lot of voids are normally less expensive, but doesn’t make it defective.   Filling the voids is common and consistent with the standards and practices.  Why the fill keeps coming out might have to do more with the underlying conditions such as excessive moisture or excessive deflection in the floor assembly, or that it isn’t being filled with the proper fill in an appropriate method.

Generally speaking when there is a problem the cause isn’t due to any one single factor, but is due to multiple compounding defects.   The only way to determine the cause is to perform a thorough forensic intrusive inspection and perform some laboratory testing.  In some cases it may not be practical to invest in those costs depending the situation.

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