LIGHT CHISEL - Used primarily for exterior cladding on buildings and landscape walls. Could be used at the lower part of a building or column and honed or bush-hammered for the upper part. Another choice would be for interior walls adding texture to the same stone used on a honed floor.
HEAVY CHISEL - Also know as pineapple finish for it's resemblance to the skin of that fruit. Mostly used for exterior building cladding and landscape wall applications. This is a great choice for the back of a fountain, the flowing water down the heavy chisel is wonderful.
SPLIT LINE - On a rough surface, lines are etched into the stone. A modern look can be created by installing the stone with the lines on the vertical.
SPLIT FACE - The Getty Museum is an example of split face and honed travertine. Over 108,000 square meters of Classic Roman travertine from the Lippiello family quarry at Bagni di Tivoli were used at the Getty Center. The Roman Coliseum was clad in travertine from the same area, you can visualize the huge Coliseum clad in brilliant stone when you look at the Getty Center perched on the hillside. When a stone is split along its natural bedding plane the backs of the stone vary in thickness and make intallation impossible. In order to create a uniform thickness, an automated guillotine was created by Mariotti to cut the backs off the stone. The honed tiles on the ground are actually the backs of the split-faced wall cladding.
TUMBLED - Travertine is the most common stone that is tumbled. Backsplashes are painted on tumbled Botticino or Crema Marfil marble, so sometimes a match of the material is more of a design choice. Double thick pieces are placed in a cement mixer with rocks to knock off the sharp edges. The tumbled pieces are sawn in half to make the tiles. Some of the pieces are left intact and used as pavers. The travertine tiles are full of holes which is the nature of the stone, however, these holes are filled with grout. Because of the breakage in the tumbling process the larger tiles of 18" X 18" are hard to find and expensive. I don't recommend tumbled travertine on the floor, especially in high traffic areas, the grout fills are soft, can crack and then fill up with dirt. The maintainance may outweigh the design choice in the short run. Tumbled is fine for walls and backsplashes.