Limestone is a natural beauty to add character to your home. Photo Credit: cliff1066
Usually formed in the world's oceans, limestone has been a building material almost as long as there have been buildings. This clever and versatile natural stone option has a wide array of uses in the home, from siding to flooring to countertops.
Limestone is naturally white, but impurities lend it a relatively wide spectrum of colors. Sand, clay, rust and other materials can penetrate limestone to give it a brown, yellow, or red disposition. Carbon will produce blue, black, and gray.
Limestone is abundant as far as architectural stones go. It is also very manageable and easily cut into blocks or more elaborate designs as function and taste warrant. At the same time it is also very durable. One downside to limestone is its weight. It is a heavy stone and therefore not suitable for tall buildings and remains relatively expensive despite its abundance.
Limestone has a number of uses, in and out of the home. It is used for making cement, conditioning soil, making glass, making toothpaste, and even as an additive to bread and cereal as a source of calcium (limestone derives in part from the mineral calcite). Limestone even makes up some of the best petroleum reservoirs in the world.
Anyone can see that limestone is a very busy stone indeed. In addition to its many uses in our daily lives, limestone has the more familiar task of enhancing homes. Here are some ways in which limestone serves homeowners across the nation.
Limestone Flooring – Worth the High Maintenance?
As flooring, limestone is not the most durable option. It holds up very well to exposure and moderate foot traffic, but high traffic areas such as entryways or hallways may not be the best location. Where it is used, limestone helps create a rustic look.
Note that limestone can last a very long time but will require more maintenance than granite or marble.
Countertops – Honed or Polished?
Limestone countertops will be honed or polished. Honed limestone has a flatter, satin-ish luster because, quite simply, the polishing process is only partially completed. This method gives the stone a more natural look. For the polished variety that polishing job is finished. The resulting limestone will have a much shinier and more resistant finish.
Limestone as a countertop is very susceptible to acid, so careful attention must be paid to spills and type of cleaner used. There are cleansers made specifically for it, especially for honed limestone, that can be used worry-free.
Siding…Choose Your Designer Color
Limestone is very popular choice for home siding for two big reasons. For one, it is exceptionally resistant to damage from exposure to the elements. And two, limestone is surprisingly diverse. Designer colors range anywhere from white to golden-yellow to spotted black and many more. Limestone siding can also incorporate into many different home designs thanks to its rich array of colors. Conventionally, limestone has been used as a classic, old world stone, but varying colors allow it to be used in contemporary settings as well.
A Naturally Good Choice
It is important to remember that limestone is a natural stone and may even be locally available -- making it a more eco-friendly option. That piece of stone surrounding the front bay windows happens to be millions of years old, with a natural beauty built up over eons of patience.
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