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Exhausted by my recent endeavors with the ceilings (see my previous blog) my builder forced me to turn my attentions to the next looming problem - the kitchen floor.

Not lucky enough to have acquired a house with a lovely original floor I began to consider my options. Of course the disgusting lino had long since been removed and revealed floorboards. Not your lovely aged and rutted wooden planks but thin, uneven, untreated and frankly quite forlorn looking boards.

A tad disappointed, but not deterred, I naively suggested I’d attack these myself, hiring a machine to strip them and then staining to get the colour I wanted. Geoff the builder looked bemused and I’m sure I observed a slight twitch above my other half’s right eye. They too remembered the ceiling saga.

Actually, a wooden floor was not my preferred option, both design wise and for cleaning and maintenance in such a hard-working area, but I believed my options were limited. With an existing wooden floor and a cave below, natural stone was out – or was it?

Geoff to the rescue, bringing me a sample of Travertine to tease me. Oh my, it was love at first site! But what about the wooden floor Geoff? Geoff was quietly confident, a special resin would level and provide enough ‘give’ to prevent any cracking.

My next worry (yes I worry a lot - mainly at three in the morning!) was the maintenance. Travertine is a natural stone and has many holes and troughs that can make it a little demanding to clean. But, with the right application of grout and sealant and the recognition that this is a natural stone which will give you a beautiful but irregular finish, I think a little extra maintenance is worth it. It’s also worth noting that the Roman’s used it a lot in their aqueducts and bath complexes so it’s great for pools too!

But the best thing about Travertine is it goes beautifully with the lovely French stone houses, especially when you add the warmth of wood to compliment it.