One way to save money when purchasing a baking stone for baking pizza and homemade bread is to buy floor tile instead. If you can find a tile store that will sell you individual tiles, you could save some money. The kind of floor tile you choose is important, and Travertine might not be the best choice.
Travertine is a kind of stone made into a tile. It comes in glazed or unglazed varieties. Pizza stones are ceramic, and they must be unglazed. A glaze might contain lead, which would be very unhealthy, and glaze also changes the porous nature of the stone, which is important for baking with dough. A better choice than unglazed Travertine is unglazed ceramic tile, sometimes called quarry stone. This kind of tile is recommended by the Food Network's Alton Brown.
Travertine tiles can be quite large, which could be one reason someone might recommend their use as a pizza stone. Depending on which store you go to and how much you want to spend, you can buy baking stones that are eighteen inches or even larger. While many floor tiles are small, twelve by twelve or smaller, you can look for larger sized ceramic tiles, or buy small ones and place them next to each other. The smaller sizes work best when you bake on parchment or a baking tray, on top of the tile. If you are going to want to move the tile with the bread or pizza on it, you will need one large tile.
Resistance to Heat
Though a large, unglazed Travertine tile satisfies the size requirement, heat resistance is another key feature. Pizza recipes vary, but most recommend baking the pizza at 232 to 260 degrees C. If you choose a floor tile instead of a commercially made pizza stone, you risk it breaking or cracking due to the high temperature and repeated heating and cooling. Ceramic floor tile is likely to hold up to a higher temperature than Travertine tile. The upside is that if a floor tile breaks, you haven't spent much for it compared to a real pizza stone.
A pizza stone will come with a warranty. Some of them are guaranteed for life. A Travertine floor tile may have a warranty that covers its use as a floor covering, but probably not as a pizza stone. Another benefit is that some pizza stones come with accessories that are hard to find separately, such as a metal rack for carrying and sitting on the counter or table, and a pizza peel, a large specially shaped piece of wood with a handle meant for transferring the pizza from the stone and back again.