Natural Stone Selection – Limestone.
Choosing the right natural stone for your surfacing project; whether it be back-splash, counter-tops, walls or flooring tile, depends upon knowing the attributes of the stone with which you will be working.
So, let consider the natural stone called “Limestone.” Recrystallized limestone, compact micro-crystalline limestone, and travertine that are capable of taking a polish are promoted, marketed and sold as either limestone or marble.
Any stone capable of taking a polish, with the exception of granite, is known as “Marble”, commercially.
Marbles are sensitive to acids; including cleaning products and foods like citrus fruits, vinegar, wine, tomatoes, etc. They require different cleaning procedures than siliceous stone like granite. These types of stones include limestone, travertine and onyx.
Like most other sedimentary rocks, most limestone is composed of grains. Most grains in limestone are skeletal fragments of marine organisms such as coral or foraminifera. Because it is often formed from shells and bones, limestone is a light colored white, tan, or gray. The color depends on the other sediments in the mixture besides the mineral calcite, which is white; impurities such as sand, clay, and organic material are also present in limestone.
Because of its uniform texture and grade, limestone has gained worldwide acceptance as a premier dimension stone. It weathers naturally over time and its color mellows and blends into a pleasing natural patina. With no artificial coloring agents to fade, its appearance actually improves with age. Because it is a softer stone, it is easily carved. The ability of limestone to readily adapt to various architectural styles, along with its pleasing natural color, ease of shaping, and its durability are advantages that have all worked together to maintain the stone’s popularity.
From the viewpoint that function trumps form, the decision to use limestone in a residential environment seem questionable.
In the kitchen, the use of limestone as a natural stone counter-top is particular problematic. It is a softer stone than granite, so use with caution because of the chance for staining and scratching. An acrylic-based sealer, which adds sheen to its appearance, is recommended to protect the stone.
Limestone is popular for fireplace surrounds and is ideally suited for flooring, especially in the bathroom and shower. As beautiful as these limestone furnishings are, they need special care to maintain their condition. As striking as it can be, it is not for everybody.
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