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Limestone Siding

Think of ancient monuments still standing today. What are they made out of? The answer is stone. Natural stone is beautiful and virtually resistant to the weather. If you want your homes siding to last and you want it to look great with minimal maintenance then stone is the way to go. The types of stone you’ll find on most homes are limestone, slate, sandstone, and granite. This article focuses on limestone as a superior material for your homes exterior siding. Limestone is a durable material that holds up well to exposure and, because it is readily available and easy to cut into blocks or more elaborate shapes, limestone is a popular building material in architecture.

What is limestone?

Most limestone is formed in the ocean mainly of animal shells; however some are formed in lakes, rivers, and on land. Limestone is the most copious of the non-clastic sedimentary rocks. It is produced from the mineral calcite (calcium carbonate) and sediment. The calcium carbonate can be precipitated from ocean water or it can be formed from sea creatures that secrete lime such as algae and coral. The various types of limestone are differentiated by the material from which they were formed.

Limestone is usually white but may be colored by impurities such as sand, clay, organic remains, iron oxide and other materials, making it brown, yellow, or red and carbon making it blue, black, or gray. The texture varies from coarse to very fine. Depending on the method of formation, limestone can be crystalline, granular, clastic, or dense. Crystals of calcite, quartz, dolomite or barite may line small cavities in the rock. Chert nodules are common in limestone layers. Limestone deposits are frequently of great thickness. The action of organic acids on underground deposits causes such formations as the Luray Caverns, the Carlsbad Caverns, and Mammoth Cave.

Designer Colors by Mother Nature

Limestone is aesthetically diverse. Its color palate is among the most distinct available in nature. The range of colors can go from coffee brown, latte-tinted beiges, and various shades of gray to richer shades of honey, speckled black, light blues, and many other hues in between.

Old World Charm or Contemporary?

Though often incorporated into designs of old world charm, due to the various color hues limestone provides, it’s also a popular material for contemporary and modern homes as well. As a building material limestone is adaptable to many applications and building styles.

Time Will Tell

For centuries limestone has been a common building material. Monuments, government buildings, churches, and other structures are still standing today as a testament to its durability. Many of Europe’s medieval castles were built with blocks of limestone and still stand today. Perhaps the best known of all ancient limestone structures are Egypt’s pyramids.

Statistics of Limestone - Medium-density limestone as defined by ASTM:

  • Sawn (rough)
  • Abrasion resistance, minimum hardness:10
  • Maximum absorption rate (%): 7.5
  • Minimum density (pcf): 135
  • Compressive strength (psi): 4,000
  • Modulus of rupture (psi): 1,000 (min)

Limestone Finishes

  • Bush hammered
  • Honed
  • Polished
  • Rubbed
  • Sandblasted
  • Split face

Benefits of Natural Limestone

  • Unique – every stone is different in texture and color
  • Long-term – your home will last a few lifetimes and will provide a legacy for future generations.
  • Timeless – not only will it withstand the test of time, its beauty will never age or date. Limestone hasn’t gone out of style in thousands of years so there’s a good chance it never will.
  • Rich beauty – natural limestone cannot be replicated. Every stone is a piece of art. Every speck and fleck has history behind it.
  • The real thing – genuine natural stone is formed over millions of years and is, to this day, still the leader in the most durable building product.

Disadvantages

  • Cost – Limestone siding can be pretty expensive but worth every penny.

Think of ancient monuments still standing today. What are they made of? The answer is stone. Natural stone, including limestone, is beautiful and virtually resistant to weather, making it an excellent siding option for your home. Best of all, natural limestone cannot be duplicated. Every stone is a piece of art—every speck and fleck has history behind it. Here’s how to decide if it’s right for your home.

Costs

According to the Masonry Advisory Council of Park Ridge, Illinois, a 10x10 foot wall section of limestone (without windows, doors, etc.) costs about $43.00 per square foot. That’s using 4x8 x24-inch blocks of Indiana limestone.

Pros

Every limestone has a unique texture and color.

Limestone hasn’t gone out of style in thousands of years, so there’s a good chance it never will.

Genuine natural stone is formed over millions of years and is, to this day, still the most durable building material.

Cons

Limestone is one of the most expensive siding materials.

Durability

When it comes to durability, limestone is one of the best siding options available. It will last for many generations to come, making it worth the extra money.

Maintenance

What’s even better than a durable, long-lasting siding material? One that requires no maintenance. Because it is impact-resistant, bug-resistant and virtually fireproof, limestone siding will look just as good years down the road as the day it was installed.

Common Questions and Answers

What are the types of limestone finishes available?

Limestone finishes include bush hammered, honed, polished, rubbed, sandblasted and split-faced.

What type of design style is limestone siding best suited for?

Though often incorporated into “old world” designs due to its various color hues, limestone is also a popular material for contemporary and modern homes as well. As a building material, limestone is adaptable to many applications and architectural styles.

History

For centuries, limestone has been a common building material. Monuments, government buildings, churches and other structures are still standing today as a testament to its durability. Many of Europe’s medieval castles were also built with blocks of limestone, but perhaps the best known of all ancient limestone structures are Egypt’s pyramids.

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