Purists who want to use real stone in their construction instead of the new manufactured stones often turn to limestone to meet their needs. Limestone is durable and widely found. It comes in a variety of natural colors that can accent the beauty of a home.
Limestone costs more than fabricated stone, but should last hundreds of years, and you can know that you are using the real thing. As for durability, many of the ancient castles of Europe are built of limestone. In fact, the Great Pyramid of Egypt is a limestone structure.
Naturally occurring limestone in the earth developed from the presence of shelled animals long ago. As a result, there are often fossils visible in limestone. Since the entire planet has been under water at one time or another, you can find limestone virtually everywhere. It is usually some shade of gray, and has been found in every shade from white to black.
Limestone Building Products Available
Of course natural stone of any type is heavy. That is one reason it is so durable. But when formed into panels for building, limestone can crack under its own weight. Products have been designed to counteract this tendency.
These stone panel products take thin layers of stone, including limestone, and bond it with fiber reinforced epoxy to honeycomb aluminum. It sounds like space age technology and it is. It is too expensive for most homeowner applications, however, it is sometimes used on exterior and interior walls of high-end residences.
Natural limestone has been a building material for millenia, with one of the big advantages to its use being that it is easy to carve. Limestone is used for floors, counters, and walls in building.
If it takes a polish, people sometimes call it “marble” although technically marble is older limestone that is harder. It can also be cut into blocks for exterior siding.
Limestone floor tiles are a natural alternative to ceramic tile. They are usually available in brown and beige colors. The floor must be sealed well with a penetrating sealer because the limestone is porous and can stain if a drink or other liquid is spilled on it.
Because it is so porous, it is not recommended for use in bathrooms or kitchens. It is suitable, however, for the entryway of your home. Keep it clean with a daily dust-mopping. If it is sealed well, you can mop it as needed.
More About Colors of Limestone
Sometimes limestone includes iron oxides or other naturally occuring chemicals, and the result can be a red, yellow, or brown cast to its color.
Carbon compounds occurring in the limestone can cause a black or blueish color. These naturally occurring rocks also vary in texture. Some limestone is crystalline, some is granular, and other has a fine, smooth texture.
Dolomite limestone has magnesium in the mineral mix and is therefore harder than plain limestone. Dolomite is able to take a flame finish. Limestone of any type is a popular material for prefabricated fireplace mantles and surrounds.
It is also suitable for indoor applications where you want to cut down on the amount of noise in the room because it is a good insulator. Limestone is also an attractive alternative to concrete to use for walkways in the yard.
Honed Limestone Counter Care