Dating all the way back to the pyramids of Egypt and Roman structures that still stand today, limestone has been a foundational building material from the very beginning. The stone is formed under high pressure over millennia as deposits of rock and accumulation of coral, mollusks and algae break down along the seafloor. These layers of sediment build over time under the currents, eventually being compacted under high pressure to form the tough stone we make use of today.
The reason it has been used so extensively over centuries is because of its durability, availability and versatility as a building material. In modern times, it’s a nice aesthetic choice as a relief from ubiquitous engineered materials that have taken the place of stone in so many places. So here are 6 benefits of choosing limestone for your project:
1) Many Colors and Styles
Due to the wide range of mineral makeup and the different geographic locations where it is mined from in coastal areas around the world, limestone can be had in a number of shades and with natural streaking or speckling. We commonly think of limestone as being a light tan, but it can be had in shades including blue-gray, cream, yellows and browns.
You can also find quite a few finish options, from mirror-like polish, to matte-honed finishes, and more textured looks like bush-hammered and tumbled. This gives you plenty of options not only for the aesthetic you’re going for, but has practical differences as well, such as rougher finishes providing more grip for flooring.
As evidenced by the fact that we have still-standing limestone structures dating back over 5,000 years, the stone has proven itself as a material that quite literally stands the test of time. This makes it a fantastic choice for flooring, as you would be hard pressed to produce any significant wear on the stone over the lifetime of your home under normal use.
That being said, it is a little more susceptible to chipping and cracking when compared to some tougher stones out there, so it’s important to be careful with heavy furniture on limestone tiles. It is still tough stuff, but it’s not indestructible.
3) Resale Value
As mentioned before, the use of any natural stone is a welcome relief in comparison to any number of manufactured materials on the market. It’s a timeless design and the practical benefits of using such a tough stone speak for themselves. That gives your home an edge over others in the area when it comes time to sell, as use of stone has become a mainstay on the wishlist of any new home buyer.
In contrast to porcelain tile, linoleum or concrete, limestone makes a much better impression on prospective buyers, and can give any room a warm feel that is missing in some other flooring options.
With classic earth tones, limestone pairs well with a wide range of decor and design choices. That along with the different finish options we covered earlier makes the stone a great option for aesthetic as well as practical reasons, whether used indoors or out.
It’s also available in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, as it can be cut into a range of sizes, from large format cuts to pavers, planks and different geometric shapes to make a mosaic.
5: Ease of Maintenance
Like any common natural stone, care is pretty simple. Limestone is naturally resistant to mold and bacteria, making it a great option for kitchens, bathrooms and outdoor spaces such as patios or around a pool. Keeping limestone floors is easy with regular sweeping and then occasional wet-mopping with a stone-safe cleaner, such as Granite Gold Stone & Tile Floor Cleaner®.
One important part of maintaining any natural stone is to maintain a good seal. The stone will be sealed when it is installed, but that will need to be reapplied periodically. This is to protect the stone against staining and damage from spills. It also provides protection from acidic chemicals such as vinegar and many common household cleaners, which should be avoided on natural stone at all costs, as this can chemically etch the surface of the stone.
The general recommendation for sealing your stone is every 6-12 months, though that greatly depends on the amount and kind of use it sees.
Sealing the stone is a straightforward process:
Spray your natural-stone sealer evenly over 3-foot sections at a time, and immediately work the solution into the stone with a microfiber cloth. Once the sealer is applied, buff the area with another clean microfiber until the surface is dry to the touch between applications (20 minutes should be plenty). For best results in heavily trafficked areas, repeat the process 2-3 times to ensure a strong seal.
Looking to read up on more natural stone care tips? Check out all the helpful resources we have available here, or give our stone care experts a call at 1-800-475-STONE. Also, to make sure you get the most out of your investment, be sure to check out our full line of stone care products!