Can I use Travertine Tile in my Pool?

Sep 6, 2010
We are picking out the tile for around the waterline of the pool.

We have found some travertine tile that we would like to use, however my wife had heard that it is not good to use marble/travertine under the waterline because it will breakdown.

Has anyone here had experience with Travertine in the water?

Also what size of tile should we use and how far down from the coping should the tile go? We have the option to use either 2" or 4" tile. Should we use 2,3, or 4 - 2" tiles or 1 or 2 - 4" tiles.



Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
Apr 1, 2007
Sebring, Florida
Hey, Todd,

If you keep your water chemistry correct, I believe you could use travertine because of your hard freezes.

However, it'll still have some drawbacks. Algae loves to find little nooks and crannies in which to flourish and you are providing that with's manageable but a troublesome issue.

Also, because of the softness and permeability of travertine, it will be far more prone to stain than other tiles.

For me, the practical disadvantages would outweigh the appearance, but that's ultimately your call.

Porcelain tile is the most moisture resistant and stain resistant so I would suggest looking there first.

Most scum line tile comes down about 6" with the water line hitting the tile about the midpoint.


Well-known member
Dec 3, 2009
Central Massachusetts
My 2 cents is I wouldnt use it; it's too soft. The mason who put my limestone coping in said that limestone is the softest he would put in. He said he has seen travertine on, in, and around pools and it doesnt hold up well. But then again I'm in New England where it gets cold and freezes, so YMMV in warmer climates.


LifeTime Supporter
Jun 30, 2008
League City, Texas
Hi, Todd...I used travertine for my coping (sealed it with Dry Treat), but put a marbelized double glazed ceramic tile on my waterline. It looks very much like my travertine without the worry and hassle. Click on my pool build link to see it. It's been a win/win for me since I wanted an all-natural stone and glass look for the pool, but easier upkeep. HTH.

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