Natural Stone Guide: All About Limestones And Its Uses
April 30, 2020
Limestone has been around for many centuries. You can see this material being used for ornamental and building purposes because of its elegance, beauty, and durability. Limestone may not be as tough as granite, but it’s far stronger than alternatives for landscaping such as a wood / composite deck or concrete pavers. And with proper maintenance, limestone pavers can serve you for many years to come.
Limestone is an essential component of concrete and in gravel form, it is commonly used as an aggregate for roads. Interestingly enough, the Egyptian pyramids were made of limestone blocks and the Romans also used limestone mixtures to create a concrete mixture for building many of the structures in Rome.
With these types of historic and timeless structures still standing, it’s safe to say that Limestone is strong enough to withstand North America’s harsh climates and is one of the most durable building materials for landscape use.
How Limestones Are Formed
Limestone is a type of organic sedimentary rock and mostly composed of calcium carbonate. It is formed through the buildup of algae, shell, and coral or direct water crystallization.
Most limestones are produced when mussels, oysters, clams, and other marine animals in warm bodies of water obtain calcium carbonate from the water to create bones and shells. Once these mollusks die, their bones and shells will fall onto the seabed. These shells will then accumulate and form limestone over hundreds of years of heat, pressure, and compression.
You can find limestones in a lot of locations across the globe, from the Indian Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific Ocean. The amount of shellfish, algae, and corals in these places are abundant, producing a large amount of calcium carbonate. Limestone is abundantly found around the Great Lakes in Canada, and one very popular type of limestone – called Indiana Limestone – is found around the Indiana state in the United States.
Different Types Of Limestone Tile Finishes
These limestone tiles feature natural pores. Limestone is a porous material and a specific filling helps reduce these pores. After the process, the tiles will undergo some polishing to make them ready for your landscape project. Because of this process, the surface of the tiles becomes shiny, bright, and more reflective. Limestone natural stone tiles with this finish are ideal to indoor use on your walls and floors.
Limestones with a brushed finish are the simplest and have subtle colours. They are brushed using wire brushes, giving them a clean, matte finish. They’re mostly used for outdoor spaces.
Tumbled limestones are an additional added step as a part of the finish on the final stone. You can get a flamed finish limestone – for example our STONEarch Silver Valley limestone – and ask for a tumbled finish. With this process, the stone pavers or blocks will have a more matte appearance and it will also slightly round-off the edges of the individual tiles. Tumbled limestones are most commonly used for cobblestone driveway as they are easy to maintain, slip-resistant, and offer a soothing quality and appearance.
Our STONEarch Black limestone is an example of a natural-finish limestone. This is the most traditional form of processing limestone as it requires taking a natural block of stone and cutting it into individual pavers. Limestone tends to be a flat stone but with a natural finish on our Black limestone, you are left with very little natural clefts that remain on the surface of the stone.
Benefits Of Using Limestone Tiles
Limestones are one of the most dependable landscape stones out there. For this reason, Greeks and Romans utilized the hardscape material to build structures and statues that still stand proudly today. Thereby, limestone is a superb choice if you want a natural stone that will last for generations. Also, the stone is dense, strong, and has few pores, making it resistant to freeze-thaw cycles, scratch-resistant, and also allows for an anti-slip surface.
You’ll find our collection of limestones breathtaking. Likewise, it will add plenty of beauty to your property. And since they are available in different hues, you are sure to find something suitable for the current style of your home. What’s more, the landscape material can enhance colour or blend easily in your home.
Limestone is a highly versatile natural stone. It is softer in comparison to other types of natural stones. Thereby, you can cut them into whatever size you want, from small floor tiles to jumbo slabs.
One of the reasons why homeowners, architects, and contractors choose limestone over other landscaping materials often is because of its cost-effectiveness. Limestone allows flexibility when it comes to installation and is often a cost-effective choice when it comes to designing your outdoor landscape. Limestone’s upfront cost will not hurt your pockets, and you won’t have to worry about replacing it for many years, allowing you to invest more money into other highlight features of your project such as an outdoor kitchen, fireplace, or swimming pool. A pro tip – our limestone does not stain from chemicals from pools either so it’s a great choice for copings around the pool and surrounding areas.
Using limestone as your landscape material is an eco-friendly choice. It has a short and simple mining process, unlike unit-pavers which require heavy manufacturing and create a lot of pollution for the environment. Moreover, it doesn’t require an extensive finishing method in the factory. Hence, producing these natural stone tiles won’t consume as much energy, which, in turn, helps reduce pollution.
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