Travertine vs Porcelain - Help Me Choose? - Pics

lmalm53June 9, 2008

Ok, I have narrowed down my backsplash tile choices to a Mexican Travertine or a Porcelain tile with a natural stone "look". Would appreciate input from everyone regarding which tile you think would be a better match for my granite and cabinets.

I am leaning toward the Travertine but it is much more expensive and I suppose a little more maintenance involved with the sealing every year. I have never had natural stone tile before so any advice or tips on the pros and cons of Stone vs Porcelain would be appreciated also. :)

Oh... and the sample tiles are 4x4s but I will be using 6x6 tiles.

Desert Cream Imperial Mexican Travertine - FloridaTile

Ankara Porcelain Tile in True Beige and Noce - FloridaTile

This is my granite next to a cabinet door.

I appreciate your input and suggestions!

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To my eye... and on my monitor, the color of the travertine competes with your granite. The porcelain seems to blend better. I also prefer the edges of the porcelain... adds some visual interest.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 9:44AM
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I like the travertine color with the granite better than the porcelain. Also the edges of the porcelain tile are weird and don't look natural to me. The granite is beautiful with your cabinet color!

    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 9:45AM
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I like the porcelain tile better. You have a busy granite with a lot of movement (I love it, it's beautiful.) When you have granite with such a WOW factor, the other elements in the room need to be understated.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 10:25AM
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I love your granite. I think the warmth of the travertine really complements it.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 10:32AM
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Jean Popowitz

On my monitor, the travertine seems peachy next to your stunning granite. Personally, I would like to see a creamier tone. On the other hand, I like the simpler lines of the travertine.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 10:48AM
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I think the porcelain color is better (at least on my screen), but agree, the wavy edges are kinda strange. Do they make a clean edge?

    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 11:02AM
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Honestly they both work (omm=On My Monitor) but I think I prefer the porcelain as it seems a little less intense. Iagree the wavy lines are unusual, but I kind of like them.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 12:39PM
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I think the porcelain is very pretty and does not compete with your granite.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 7:03PM
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Heh - on my monitor the porcelain is too cool/gray looking for the granite.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 7:07PM
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Wow! Thanks for the comments. It seems like we are pretty evenly divided between the Travertine and Porcelain. I know how hard it is to get an accurate color to show in a photo, plus everyone's monitors won't show colors the same way. Each of the Travertine tiles are slightly different in color depth and pattern but they really don't seem all that busy to me when seen in person with the rest of the elements in place.

I am amazed at how different the stone and granite both look when in natural light vs indoor incandescent vs flash lighting. I still think I like the feel and texture of the Travertine better than the Porcelain, plus the color just seems to be a better match. Here are pics of the Travertine taken outdoors in natural light and the Porcelain and Travertine indoors together under kitchen lights without using the camera flash.

Travertine in Outdoor Lighting

Porcelain and Travertine in Kitchen Lighting Together (note the Porcelain has a little more sheen than the Travertine)

Does that help any? I like them both but still like the natural stone a little better than the porcelain. More Comments?

Thanks for the nice comments about my granite! I do like it alot and hope once I see it on all the countertops and island it won't seem too busy. Any comments on the difference in maintenance or wearability of Travertine vs Porcelain?

My installer says the Travertine will be easier to cut and work with on the install, but I'm wondering if there are other differences besides price I should be aware of?

    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 7:18PM
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In your original photos, I thought the porcelain looked too cool/gray (as pbrisjar said). Didn't like it at all.

In your outdoor photo, I still LOVE the travertine.

In your last photo, I kinda like the porcelain, too. But still prefer the travertine.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 7:52PM
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OK, what's the granite? Could it be Ivory Coast?

Anyway, we used Ivory Coast granite matched with Florida Tile (I am pretty sure) Mexican Noce' travertine subway tiles. It gives the backsplash a very Tuscan/rustic look, very soft in tones and compliments the Ivory Coast extremely well. No doubt the porcelain is easier upkeep but the stone is sooo natural looking and takes nothing from the granite.

I vote for the travertine!

    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 8:28PM
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Sounds like you really like the travertine. Go with what you love, you will always be happy!!!

    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 8:46PM
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I'm glad Breezy commented like she did. I like the rustic look of the travertine better, although I brought home some very similar porcelain to try with my Tropical Brown granite. My friend with the tile store always goes for natural stone and she picked a tumbled travertine to work in my kitchen. The rustic look of the stone is really nice for me.


    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 8:49PM
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Still like the travertine - even more so in the outside shot. I just don't care for the edges of the porcelain. However, the color is ok but not as warm and natural looking as the travertine. How about waiting on the backsplash until the counters are in and you see the granite in all its glory. It might be easier to select a backsplash at that point. Again, the granite is beautiful!!!!

    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 10:13PM
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mustbnuts zone 9 sunset 9

Travertine! I don't like the edges of the porcelain. It will be too busy with your movement of your granite. It will look beautiful! Want to see pictures when it is done!

    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 11:19PM
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Thanks again to everyone for the interesting responses! The name of the granite is El Dorado. I believe it is from Brazil but when I try to google the name the only thing I can find is something called Juparana El Dorado that looks nothing like my granite. Guess I need to ask the granite shop for more info on it. I do know that it looks a whole lot like Geriba Beach only without all the swirls of gray.

I agree that normally it would make much more sense to wait til the granite is installed before choosing the backsplash. In my case I have a very narrow window of time to get as much done on my remodel as possible. I hired my good friend and neighbor of 18 years to do as much of the remodel as he can. He is a certified electrician, carpenter and all around handyman who has been rehabbing houses in Florida. He is back in my neighborhood for only the month of June. We started the demo of my kitchen June 2. So far we have accomplished alot for the first week. My neighbor will be doing electrical work this week and next, new circuits, canlights, undercabinet lighting, moving switchplates, hang new light fixtures etc. Hopefully we will have granite ready to install the week of the 23rd and then my neighbor will hookup all my sinks, faucets and cooktop. If I have the tile ordered and ready to go, he will install it before he heads back to Florida end of the month so thats the reason for the rush. I will be doing the finish up work (removing old wallpaper, painting, window treatments, etc) whatever I am able to do myself and will have more time for additional decorating decisions then.

Regarding the tile, I think some of the responses hit the nail on the head for me. I am looking for a more rustic "Tuscan" feel to the kitchen, rich and warm and traditional. I think the Travertine fits that vision in my mind better than the porcelain. Now to decide on the pattern of tile placement and whether or not I should add an occasional "accent" tile in a few places. I definitely do not want the backsplash to be distracting, but rather a nice complimentary blend to the granite and cabinets.

Thanks to all for the wonderful responses! I don't know how I could ever do this remodel without having all the help found here on the forums!

    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 11:21PM
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Oh yes...the travertine does look nicer now that I see it in the outdoor light. What is the name of the granite color (it's gorgeous)?

    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 11:32PM
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The granite is called El Dorado :)

    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 11:39PM
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I know I'm late replying to this but I will anyway :)

    Bookmark   June 10, 2008 at 12:31AM
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