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Are travertine paver patios slippery when wet?

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Virginia may not be that far south, but our summers do get crazy hot. It’s especially challenging for our clients building patios or pool decks with western exposure who want to be outside in the afternoon. Travertine is a great choice for a cool, light colored paving material, but our customers often worry: are travertine paver patios slippery when wet? 

closeup of travertine

I like any question that can be answered using data and objective measures so I love this question! Many flooring or paving materials are tested to determine their coefficient of friction. The data we have for travertine pavers comes from the older ASTM-C1028 test, which gives us the static coefficient of friction (SCOF). 

According to the Tile Council of North America, “static friction (from which SCOF is determined) is the frictional resistance you push against when you start in motion. A slip occurs when you push off with more force than the surface can resist.” [source] The accepted standard for patio and pool deck surfacing material is a coefficient of friction of 0.60 or greater. 

walnut colored travertine paver patio in Culpeper VA

So does this mean travertine paver patios are slippery when wet or not? It depends. If you use honed or polished travertine, a little moisture is going to create an incredibly slippery surface. Antiqued and sandblasted travertine surfaces are safer. One of the travertine vendors we use is Marmiro Stone, in part because they make their testing data available. For example, we’re currently working on a patio using their antiqued Grano travertine. I can look in their catalog and see that it has a (dry) coefficient of friction of 0.76, which is definitely greater than the minimum recommendation of 0.60. 

Are travertine pavers slippery when wet? The bottom line

Antiqued travertine is a good choice for patios and pool decks. The color palette is much lighter than most flagstones and concrete pavers. There are colors that complement the rest of your home and landscape, whether you need warm or cool tones. And, most importantly, travertine pavers have a decent amount of “grip” so you can feel safe walking around. Just remember that I said walking. You’re still not allowed to run near the pool! 

Have you been trying to find a landscape company that researches their materials extensively and can talk nerdy to you? That’s us! Contact us today to set up a consultation and we’ll make your landscape the best on the block. 

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