Although not as popular as granite, quartz, or marble, limestone is a beautiful natural stone that creates stunning countertops. Before you decide to install limestone in your kitchen or bathroom, take into consideration that there are some advantages and disadvantages to this type of stone.
What is Limestone?
Limestone is a sedimentary rock created from calcite and aragonite. It may also contain dolomite and small amounts of clay, iron carbonate, feldspar, pyrite as well as quartz. The stone is granular, and these grains are often microscopic fragments of fossil animal shells. Limestone is a very common rock in the Mediterranean and was used to construct churches, cathedrals, and more, many of which are still standing. This is a testament to the strength of limestone.
Look of Limestone
Limestone usually has a predominantly white or off-white color, with varieties that include shades of beige, brown, ivory, gray, red, or yellow. Basically, limestone is available in neutral colors which give your room a more natural look. There are some types of limestone in dark grays and may range as light as gold, depending on how much clay and fossil material is in the stone. Some types of limestone have extreme fossilization while others do not have much at all. Limestone that has been exposed to other minerals often has waves of dark colors which may have the appearance of sand.
Cost of Limestone
The average cost of limestone is $70 to $200 per square foot, making it slightly more expensive than granite which averages between $40 to $60 per square foot, or quartz which averages $50 to $65 per square foot. Limestone is usually less expensive than marble which ranges from $75 to $250 per square foot. There are several factors that will have an impact on the cost of limestone countertops. If you have several cutouts, like faucets or garbage disposals, the cost may be higher. Choosing a rare color can also increase the cost of limestone. The difficulty of the installation as well as how much limestone you need will impact the cost.
Choosing a Finish
If you decide to install limestone countertops, you will need to choose a finish. There are two options available, either honed or polished. A honed finish is similar to a matte finish on a photograph. It is not glossy and will give your counter a more natural appearance. A polished finish will be glossy and give your room a more sophisticated look. Honed finishes normally cost less than polished finishes.
One thing to keep in mind when choosing limestone counters is that they require more maintenance than other types of stone. Limestone is more porous than quartz or granite, so be sure to wipe spills immediately. Acidic substances such as coffee, wine, or fruit juice could easily stain the surface. Use cleaners recommended for limestone as harsh cleaners could damage your counter surface. Limestone is heat resistant but does not handle excessive heat well. Always use trivets and hot pads on the surface when removing pans from the stove. If you are installing limestone in your bathroom, use caution with hot hair appliances as well.
Because limestone is porous, it should be sealed annually to keep the surface looking as beautiful as the day it was installed. You can seal the counter yourself using a product recommended by granite companies nearby. Dry the counter with a soft cloth and make sure it is completely dry before applying the sealer. Some manufacturers recommend that you let the counter dry for 24 to 72 hours before sealing. Apply a thin coat of the sealer and let it soak in for 15 to 30 minutes, wiping any streaks with a soft cloth. If you notice streaks when the sealer dries, add a small amount of sealer and wipe them off. If you have a honed finish, you may need to apply several coats of sealant. Once you have sealed the entire counter, let it dry for 24 hours.
One of the reasons many homeowners choose limestone is that it provides a classic appearance to any room. Because the colors are neutral, it prevents your counters from becoming dated. Granite companies nearby say that limestone and marble are similar in that they tend to look the same when your house is 100 years old as it did when it was brand new. However, limestone is less expensive than marble and its surface gives a more natural look to the room where marble tends to look more sophisticated.
Durability of Limestone
Although limestone is more porous than other stones, it is very durable. Keep in mind that the Great Pyramids, the Parthenon, and the Lincoln Memorial were all constructed using limestone. This is a testament to just how durable limestone is and how strong it will be for your counters. If limestone is maintained and sealed properly, it should last a lifetime or more. With properly sealed limestone, it will resist bacteria, dust, and allergens. In fact, this also makes limestone an excellent option for flooring.
Limestone counters can also increase the value of your home. Because the stone gives a room a sophisticated look, buyers may be willing to pay a higher price for your home when it is time for you to sell. This is also true if you install limestone flooring in your home, according to granite companies nearby.
If you are considering stone counters or floors, Marble Concepts is here to help you choose the perfect material, including limestone. Our team will guide you through the entire process and help you select the stone that is perfect for you and your family. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff will work with you to be sure you get the look you want in your kitchen, bath, or any room in your house that needs a makeover. Contact us by calling 215-396-7393 or fill out the easy online form to get started making your dream become a reality.