Limestone Flooring Advantages And Disadvantages
Natural stones are often used to produce high-quality tiles and interior design furnishings, including flooring. Among all options, limestone flooring stands out. Classic yet contemporary, attractive and warm, limestone adds a touch of style to any interior.
However, many experts suggest avoiding using limestone flooring. Soft and porous, this stone is considered weak. But is this true? Let’s have a look at limestone flooring advantages and disadvantages.
What Is Limestone?
Limestone is a sedimentary rock formed in the oceans by the precipitation of calcium carbonate. Organic material such as corals, shells and marine animal remains are also part of the composition, which makes limestone a unique interior design material.
Its natural formation also guarantees that no two pieces of limestone are the same, which means it will be easy to achieve an original design.
Limestone is found on many locations around the globe, but it’s mostly sourced in the Caribbean Sea and in the Indian Ocean. Both locations are rich in shellfish, corals, and other marine fauna that contribute to the formation of the rock.
A type of limestone formed through a different geological process but also composed of calcium carbonate is travertine. However, in interior design, these two materials are treated separately because of the differences in colors and structure.
Limestone Flooring Advantages
Undoubtedly, limestone flooring looks amazing. Appreciated since the ancient times, limestone tiles have been identified in prehistoric dwellings and Roman villas. In other words, it’s easy to feel like a Roman noble by simply installing limestone flooring in your house. Here are a few reasons to consider it.
Limestone is a lot cheaper than many other natural stones, including marble and granite. While marble and granite are renowned for their durability, these stones give a cold feeling to an environment. Limestone, on the other hand, adds a warm noble flair to any interior.
The great price is justified by the lower resistance to mechanical agents. Limestone also gets stained easily and needs constant maintenance, a thing that granite hardly needs.
Alternatives in terms of costs are only travertine and soapstone. However, limestone brings a special charm and if you’re lucky enough, you might even get a fossil in your tile.
Coming in a rainbow of colors, limestone is simply beautiful. The layered aspect of the rock enhances the beauty of the flooring. Shades range from warm hues of pinkish beige and cream to bluish greys, ivory, and white.
Aesthetics is also enhanced by the uniqueness of each tile. Fossils of marine animals can be spotted on limestone tiles or countertops, adding up to the beauty of this option. Then, the rugged, rustic effect of the stone brings elegance, traditionalism, and contemporaneity together.
Like any other natural stone, limestone will last indefinitely as long as you’re careful to maintain it well. The mineral composition makes this stone tough, even though it’s described as soft.
In all cases, limestone has been proved to last for years and can easily withstand the test of time.
Because of its above-mentioned softness, limestone is easy to cut to dimension and is versatile enough to use in multiple contexts. Use it in the living area or in the bathroom, either on the floor and on the walls. Limestone countertops are also a popular choice for both bathrooms and kitchens.
Play with tiles of different colors to achieve a unique look for your home. The only thing we wouldn’t recommend is using limestone as a kitchen or hallway flooring. A heavy footfall can easily degrade the beauty of the material.
Limestone is safe for you and for the environment. One of the main reasons to install limestone flooring in your home is because the material is not flammable. This means that you can drop a lit cigarette on the floor and nothing will happen.
On the other hand, limestone is a sustainable material that complies with all environmentally-safe regulations. It contains no harmful chemicals, at least as long as it’s not sealed, and can be safely disposed of in case you don’t like your flooring anymore.
Limestone Flooring Disadvantages
Limestone comes with disadvantages too. Here are the most important.
Limestone flooring needs a lot of maintenance. The material is porous and it gets stained easily. For this reason, you’ll have to seal it at least once a year with a stone sealer. When placed in a high-traffic area, you might even have to seal more frequently.
Maintenance comes with two disadvantages. It’s expensive and time-consuming. This somehow counterweighs the low cost of the tiles because, in the long run, you’ll have to spend a fortune on maintenance.
You’ll also have to dedicate time, or hire someone, to seal the surface which in one way or another is another added cost.
We can’t emphasize it enough. Limestone is porous and soft. This means that even if it’s durable, it may get damaged easily.
Damage includes chipping, cracking, or staining. Avoid using limestone in high-traffic areas. However, if you’re careful and seal the product regularly, limestone flooring can last indefinitely even in the kitchen.
Soft and porous but extremely heavy, limestone is difficult to maneuver. This isn’t a major disadvantage, but it comes with drawbacks if you want to install or transport the flooring yourself.
Handling limestone tiles is often difficult and risky because if you drop the tile it might injure you. Because of the weight, transporting the tiles with your car might also be inconvenient. Add transport and installation to the above maintenance costs and you’ve got a very expensive flooring to consider.
Nonetheless, limestone is simply amazing, and we do recommend considering it to enhance the natural beauty of your home.