Euro Italia Stone

Finest European Travertine & Marble Collection

Euro Italia Stone - Finest Travertine and Marble Products

About Travertine

Travertine Quarries

The rock travertine is a natural chemical precipitate of carbonate minerals; typically aragonite, but often recrystallized to or primary calcite; which is deposited from the water of mineral springs (especially hot springs) or streams saturated with calcium carbonate. When pure, travertine is white, but often is brown to yellow due to impurities. When carbon dioxide-rich water percolates through rocks in limestone areas, the water dissolves the limestone and becomes saturated with it. When the water resurfaces later, the sudden drop in pressure and the change in temperature cause the water to release the carbon dioxide gas, much like fizzy drinks. The calcium carbonate then recrystallizes, often over minute underwater plants. The resulting rock is typically quite porous with numerous cavities. When exceptionally porous it is known as calcarious tufa.

Extensive deposits exist at Tivoli, Italy, near Rome. In fact, travertine derives its name from this town. Tivoli was known as Tibur in ancient Roman times. The ancient name for the stone was lapis tiburtinus meaning tibur stone, which has been corrupted to travertine.

Quarrying Travertine

Because travertine is plentiful, weighs less than marble or granite, and is relatively easy to quarry, it was the stone most commonly used by the ancient Romans.

The largest building in the world constructed largely of travertine is the Colosseum in Rome. Other famous structures constructed with Tivoli travertine include the Trevi Fountain, the facade and colonnade of Saint Peter's Basilica, and many Roman aqueducts. In the last century, Lincoln Center in New York and the ABC Entertainment Center in Los Angeles were faced with travertine from the same Tivoli quarries. Another notable building using travertine extensively is the Getty Center in Los Angeles, California. The travertine used in the construction was imported from Tivoli. The stone is most widely used in Italy, Greece and Turkey.

Travertine is split with the grain of the stone, making visible many more fossils than are seen in the more common banded travertine, which is cross-sectioned and polished. At least two species of fossilized leaves are fairly common in stone from Bagni di Tivoli -- evidence of a lakeside environment at the time of the stone's formation. Fossilized animal material is less common, but an occasional feather or bone is discovered. The rapid deposition of the travertine layers acts as a natural preservative for these traces of prehistoric life.

Travertine Terraces

In order to remove the travertine from the vertical quarry face, workers drill holes into the stone, outlining a block 6 meters high, 12 meters wide, and 2 meters deep. A diamond-studded cable is then threaded through the holes, lubricated with water to prevent heat buildup, and pulled against the stone with a set of pulleys. A large cut may take a day and a half, but eventually diamond wins out over the softer travertine. When the cuts are completed, the slab is pushed away from the quarry wall and falls onto mounds of earth, which help cushion the fall. The slab is then broken up into more manageable cubes, which are taken to factories for honing and cutting or splitting. An automated guillotine has been invented to split the stone along its natural bedding plane, or diamond saws can be used to cut standard or specially ordered cross-cut stones and slabs.

Travertine is one of the most frequently used stones in modern architecture, and is commonly seen as facade material, wall cladding, and flooring.

Travertine is one of several natural stones that are used for paving patios and garden paths. It is sometimes known as travertine limestone, sometimes as travertine marble; these are the same stone, even though it is neither limestone nor marble. The stone is characterised by pitted holes and troughs in its surface. Although these troughs occur naturally, they suggest to some eyes that considerable wear and tear has occurred over many years. Some installers use a grout to fill these holes, whereas others leave them open - travertine can even be purchased "filled" or "unfilled." It can be effectively polished to a smooth, shiny finish and comes in a variety of colors from grey to coral-red. Travertine is most commonly available in tile sizes for floor installations.

Travertine floor surfaces are anticipated to last at least 50 years before replacement or refinishing is needed in high-traffic areas. High-quality travertine is very durable, since it is formed at the earth's surface in relative equilibrium with the environment. Most other building stones are formed under different conditions, deep underground and may be less stable in surface temperature and pressure conditions.

About Marble

Marble Quarry

Marble Staircase


Carrara Marmorbrueche

Marble is a metamorphic rock composed wholly or in large part of calcite or dolomite crystals, the crystalline texture being the result of metamorphism of limestone by heat and pressure. It is extensively used for sculpture, as a building material, and in many other applications. The word 'marble' is colloquially used to refer to many other stones such as limestone or dolomite that are capable of taking a high polish, confusingly, the name marble is sometimes used to refer to any stone that takes a polish, although such stones may include alabasters, granites, and serpentines, as well as true marbles.

Marble - Is a type of stone traditionally used in sculpture and architecture, suitable as a building stone or ornamental stone. White marble has been quarried in Italy, Among the most renowned sources has been the quarries of Carrara in the Apuan Alps of Italy. Mottling or streaking that resembles the veined texture of marble is called marbling.

Marbles range in color from snow-white to gray and black, many varieties being some shade of red, yellow, pink, green, or buff; the colors, which are caused by the presence of impurities, are frequently arranged in bands or patches and add to the beauty of the stone when it is cut and polished. Marble is used as a material in statuary and monuments, as a facing stone in buildings and residences, and for pillars, colonnades, paneling, wainscoting, and floor tiles. Like all limestones, it is corroded by water and acid fumes and is thus ultimately an uneconomical material for use in exposed places and in large cities. The presence of certain impurities decreases its durability. Marble was extensively used by the ancient Greeks; the Parthenon and other famous buildings were constructed of white Pentelic marble from Mt. Pentelicus in Attica, and the finest statues, e.g., the Venus de' Medici, from the remarkably lustrous Parian marble from Paros in the Cyclades. These same quarries were later used by the Romans. Among the famous marbles of Italy are the Carrara and Siena marbles of Tuscany, which were used by the Romans and the Italian sculptors of the Renaissance.

About Limestone

Limestone is a common sedimentary rock composed primarily of the mineral calcite. Limestone constitutes approximately 10 percent of the sedimentary rocks exposed on the earth's surface. It forms either by direct crystallization from water (usually seawater) or by accumulation of shell and shell fragments. In the first case, it carries a record of the chemical composition of seawater and it provides evidence of how that composition has changed with time. In the second case, limestone provides a record of the evolution of many important fossils. Limestone usually forms in shallow water less than 20 m (70 ft) deep and thus also provides important geological information on the variation in sea level in the past. Limestone rocks are frequently riddled with caves. Limestone is an important building stone and is used to make cement and concrete.

Limestone Pools

The principal component of limestone is the mineral calcite, but limestone frequently also contains the minerals dolomite and aragonite. Pure calcite, dolomite, and aragonite are clear or white. However, with impurities, they can take on a variety of colors. Consequently, limestone is commonly light colored; usually it is tan or gray. However, limestone has been found in almost every color. The color of limestone is due to impurities such as sand, clay, iron oxides and hydroxides, and organic materials.

All limestone forms from the precipitation of calcium carbonate from water. Calcium carbonate leaves solutions in many ways and each way produces a different kind of limestone. All the different ways can be classified into two major groups: either with or without the aid of a living organism.

Most limestone is formed with the help of living organisms. Many marine organisms extract calcium carbonate from seawater to make shells or bones. Mussels, clams, oysters, and corals do this. When the organisms die their shells and bones settle to the seafloor and accumulate there. Wave action may break the shells and bones into smaller fragments, forming a carbonate sand or mud. Over millions of years, these sediments of shells, sand, and mud may harden into limestone. Coquina is a type of limestone containing large fragments of shell and coral. Chalk is a type of limestone formed of shells of microscopic animals.

Limestone Terraces

Limestone can also be formed without the aid of living organisms. If water containing calcium carbonate is evaporated, the calcium carbonate is left behind and will crystallize out of solution. For example, at Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone National Park, hot water containing calcium carbonate emerges from deep underground. As the hot water evaporates and cools, it can no longer hold all of the calcium carbonate dissolved in it and some of it crystallizes out, forming limestone terraces. Limestone formed from springs is called TRAVERTINE. Calcium carbonate also precipitates in shallow tropical seas and lagoons where high temperatures cause seawater to evaporate. Such limestone is called oolite. Calcium carbonate that precipitates from water dripping through caves is responsible for the formation of beautiful cave features such as stalactices and stalagmites.

Limestone shows high resistance in freezing and thawing conditions, which indicate that it can be used in any atmospheric condition without getting affected. Compressive strength of limestone is 30,000 lbs./sq. inch, which is the highest strength among the available stone categories. Most limestone has a very low absorption rate, usually under two percent.

Limestone is an important building stone in many parts of the world. It is normally quarried from surface outcrops. Limestone is used as cut stone for building, and is common throughout Europe in cathedrals and palaces where the relatively soft nature of the stone allows decorative carving.

When limestone undergoes metamorphism, it turns into marble.

What is limestone used for? It is used for flooring, walls, and sinks. Limestone is used for kitchen islands, range hood covers, vanities, and for limited countertop use. Fireplaces, statues, columns, steps, pool decks, paving... It comes in slabs (large pieces/blocks of stone) or in tiles. Limestone is versatile.