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Travertine & Limestone & Soapstone

Extremely Unique

Travertine and Limestone are similar, both natural stones being made up of calcium carbonate. Travertine is the land formed version generally found in ancient riverbeds whereas limestone is typically found in marine based locales and often feature fossilized shells embedded in the stone – an extremely unique physical characteristic for these stones.

Travertine and Limestone Practicality and Functionality

Both stones come in soft, earthy color tones and are highly desirable in bathroom applications. In general, they do not take a polish, so an honed finish contributes to the softness of the look associated with travertine and limestone. These stone materials are easily scratched and sensitive to acids, so they generally are not recommended for kitchen or bar countertops. However, these stones perform best outdoors as they absorb water and moisture, and can tolerate the variations of weather.

Due to their softness and porosity, travertine and limestone are better suited for fireplace surrounds and outdoor applications. When used for bathrooms and showers, they require a high end protective sealant due to their absorbable quality. Both of these stone materials offer dimension and a unique detail to your stone design.

Key Differences Between Travertine and Limestone

Travertine stone material


Travertine, in its formation process, has naturally occurring holes, crevices and veining. It can look similar to marble and often has darker streaks throughout. In comparing to limestone, it favors darker color palettes, instead of creams or beiges. It is not as durable, but functions similarly.


Limestone surface


Limestone is typically more durable than travertine but should also be used in low-traffic areas. It is more dense and typically lasts longer. Limestone coloring and variations are more minimal in that they do not astray from neutral tones.

How to Maintain Travertine and Limestone

Travertine and Limestone require some upkeep. They are soft and porous, so any acidic liquids should be immediately removed from the surface to avoid staining and etching. They are soft but do not easily chip. To reserve the natural beauty of these stones, it is recommended to have routine sealings. These stones can be cleaned with mild, neutral stone intended cleaner or simply soap and water.

Our Care and Maintenance page has more details on how to best care for your stone.

Care & Maintenance

Granite and Marble Designs –Travertine and Limestone

Granite and Marble Designs know how to handle, fabricate and install travertine and limestone applications. We can achieve the finish and edge profile of your choosing through our high-end tools and machinery. Knowing the strengths and weaknesses of each stone and how to properly handle them gives us an edge in the marketplace.

We offer a selection of in-stock slabs and free quotes online as part of our many resources provided to our clients.

View our Inspirations Gallery to see some of our limestone and soapstone projects

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Travertine and Limestone FAQs

Are Limestone and Travertine non porous?

NO – these stone materials are highly absorbent to liquids and bacteria. They should be cleaned and maintained regularly

Can these stones be used for outdoor application?

YES – travertine and limestone absorb water and moisture. They are also UV and highly weather resistant. Removing any debris will help maintain your outdoor travertine or limestone

Are travertine and limestone heat resistant?

YES – travertine and limestone are heat resistant making them a good choice for fireplace surrounds or outdoors


Soapstone is a natural stone that has myriad uses over the years. It primarily consists of talc and is fused with other sediments over the years during Earth’s deposition process. Soapstone can be carved out into slabs and used for many different purposes.

Soapstone Practicality and Functionality

Soapstone is a non porous natural stone. As a testament to its durability, it has been used in science classrooms and labs for hundreds of years. It is also highly heat resistant. It can be used indoors as a fireplace surround or custom kitchen and bathroom countertops. As well as outdoors for kitchens and grilling surrounds. Soapstone is highly tolerable to temperature variations – hot or cold. Its tolerance goes to show that although it is not a common stone of choice, it is actually a very suitable surface for anywhere.

Soapstone’s natural colors vary from light grays and greens to deep blacks resembling a slate-like surface. The color scheme options in slabs are limited compared to other stone choices. We seal soapstone with either wax or mineral oil which will often darken the color. This should be considered when choosing your soapstone design. In general, soapstone is more pricey than other stone materials. But its pros significantly outweigh its cons.

How to Maintain Soapstone

As a countertop and being non porous, it won’t absorb spills or bacteria. Any surface stains can be removed to a degree by being sanded off. Soapstone can scratch but can be buffed to render scratches nearly invisible. While it is a softer stone that is prone to scratching, it can be repaired with low-grit sandpaper and a little elbow-grease. Soapstone is inert and not affected by acids or alkalis. Soapstone can be easily cleaned with just soap or vinegar and water.

Visit our Care and Maintenance page for more information on preserving your stone.

Care & Maintenance

Granite and Marble Designs – Soapstone

Before making your stone decision, you should consider Soapstone as an option. In the fabrication phase, we will give your slab a textured finish and edge profiling that fits your design style. We use state-of-the art equipment to cut and fabricate it into your custom design and install it into your residential or commercial space. Granite and Marble Designs is well versed with this stone and have completed many beautiful Soapstone projects.

Our resources will provide you with more information and answers to frequently asked questions. We offer a select online inventory for in-stock slabs and our free online quote makes it easy to get started on your soapstone project.

Browse our Inspirations Gallery to see some of our soapstone projects

Soapstone FAQs

How do I clean my Soapstone?

Soapstone is non porous and not as vulnerable to chemicals. It can be easily cleaned with just warm soap or vinegar water and a dish rag

How is Soapstone sealed?

Soapstone is sealed with wax or mineral oil

Is Soapstone good for Kitchens?

YES! – Soapstone is non porous so it can repel bacteria allowing you to prep raw meats and foods. However, we strongly advise to never cut on your Soapstone countertops because it could be easily scratched

Can I place hot pots and pans directly on Soapstone?

YES – Soapstone is highly heat resistant

Is Soapstone Repairable?

Soapstone is most susceptible to scratching, but that is easily fixed with sandpaper, buffering or some elbow grease

How does Soapstone compare to other stone choices?

Soapstone is excellent for Kitchens, Bathrooms, Classrooms, Bars, you name it! This is by far one of the most sanitary surfaces, is low-maintenance, and versatile

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We Can Help

Please call 303-551-6000 or fill out our online quote today to get started on your Travertine, Limestone or Soapstone project.

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Other Stone Options

If Travertine, Limestone or Soapstone are not exactly what you are looking for, Granite and Marble Designs have many other stone materials including Granite, Marble, Quartz, Quartzite, Onyx, or Porcelain!

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