Myths about Honed Blue Stone & Travertine – Are Natural Products A Risky Choice?

Inexperienced ‘sales people’ advising trusting customers = confusion.

“Why would I choose natural stone?” she asked me while slowly walking around the showroom.  She looked over to her husband for support and continued “I really like the look and feel of natural products but the salesman at another tile shop told us that natural stone is really risky… and too hard to maintain…”  Unbelievable.  Who is hiring these people?

Low risk information is no substitute for knowledge of course, however how do you know if you’re being fed ‘safe’ answers rather than truth?  Well lets take a look at a few myths and see if we can shed some light and clear up a few grey areas.

1) “Travertine looks nice now but it stains too easily…”

          TRUTH: No it doesn’t.  Just seal it properly.

2) “Bluestone discolors and is hard to clean…”

          TRUTH: No it’s not.  Just seal it properly.


Above:  Honed bluestone creates a smooth non-porous surface, perfect for bathrooms, image via Pinterest

3) “Natural Stone in the bathroom gets damaged by soaps & cleaning products…”

          TRUTH: No it doesn’t.  Just seal it properly.


Above:  Honed limestone creates a beautiful smooth under-foot experience – perfect for bathrooms, image via Pinterest

4) “Maintaining stone is such a pain and you have to keep sealing it and protecting it….”

          TRUTH: No you don’t.  Just seal it properly.


Above:  Honed bluestone creates a smooth non-porous surface, perfect for bathrooms, image via Pinterest

5) “My friends Mums friend has stone that they installed themselves and it never looks clean.. it’s too hard to clean…”

          TRUTH: No it’s not.  Just seal it properly.

classic travertine veincut h-2

6) “Once I start sealing I have to keep doing is and it’s just too difficult…”

          TRUTH: No it’s not.  Just seal it properly.

GAME CHANGER: The new generation of sealing products use different technology that is guaranteed for 15yrs 


Ok, now that we are done with the myths around sealing lets continue..

7) “Travertine is a soft stone that will scratch and is not good to have with kids and pets…”

          TRUTH: Stop this nonsense.  The only product that will truly satisfy the demands of kids, pets, hammer throwing contest etc. is a commercial quality product but unless you have comercial cleaners who frequent your home you may want to think twice about it.  General spills cleaned up in a reasonable amount of time will not cause any problems.  Yes, if you smash a bottle of red on your beautiful travertine floor and then leave it there until you wake up in the morning it will probably leave a mark.  But then again so would a timber floor – and a bench-top – and carpet…  True, Travertine is etched by acids (fruit juice, some cleaners etc) however these need to sit on the surface for a while for this effect to take place.  We have had many clients over the years who have installed Travertine throughout their homes and only have great things to say about their decision.  Living areas, kitchen, bathrooms – outdoors – once correctly sealed and armed with a little knowledge you can have a floor that looks amazing and stays amazing until the kids are all grown up and have kids of their own.


Above:  Travertine products available in our showroom

8) “Stone is a lot more expensive than regular tiles…”

          TRUTH: This one really depends on a few factors, and you may end up spending the same amount for the total project (or maybe even less, slate is an excellent example of this).  Factors include stone material choice, size/format choice, install locations, installer costs & sealing options.  By getting the right advice and adjusting these to suit your budget you may very well end up achieving the look you are after without needing to organise a second mortgage on the house.  Talk to someone who understands the product, your budget and what you are trying to achieve.


Above:  Honed bluestone ‘Rhombus’ 5m tall display instore here in Geelong

Make good choices.  Ask better questions.  Get better results.

The many types of Natural Stone and the different properties of each do present a variety of options for the home owner/builder/renovator/decorator.  Yes we all consult the web for decision guiding information daily and this will continue to remain a valuable source of info.  However we would be remiss to forget that just like the inexperienced store person with a preference for immediate sales, just like the overcautious websites hidden agenda message, or the person with a cough searching medical sites for answers only to self diagnose themselves into a disaster – nothing substitutes for good old fashioned sound advice from professionals who actually know.


Before we finish up here are a couple of thoughts for your mental digestion while deciding to or not to invest in natural stone.

  1. Stone looks awesome
  2. Stone never follows the same pattern and the natural variation is beautiful
  3. Adding an element of natural stone to your project will give an instant lift to the ‘luxury level’
  4. Natural stone compliments so many other building material choices
  5. Never do we ever have clients who tell us that they are tearing down their beautiful marble bathroom walls to replace them with anything else, ever
  6. Every few seasons Natural Stone is back on trend – your stone walls and floors will look good for a long, long time and a smart product choice may even leave you with a ‘timeless’ look
  7. And finally here is something cool – the Roman Colosseum was pretty much constructed out of travertine – travertine and cement.

Honestly, this blog has been written for those people who genuinely want something nice but have been talked out of it because of miss-information and conversations with ill advisers.   Ask better questions and get what you want.  All the best with your next project.

By Pat Sgro


Above:  Honed travertine creates a smooth luxury surface, perfect for bathrooms, image via Pinterest


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About Patrick Sgro

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