Limestone is a common sedimentary rock often used in tiles and fireplaces. It offers a softer appearance than alternatives such as granite and therefore contributes a pleasing sense of warmth to rooms and surfaces. Limestone comes in many different forms, you’ll likely be familiar with chalk for example, some are more useful than others for limestone interiors. You may also have seen limestone in cave and cliff formations.
Where limestone is used
In contrast to granite, limestone is a much softer rock and can wear a lot more easily. This is not the material to choose if you’re looking for highly polished finishes, attempts to polish it would simply wear away at its soft surface. Similarly, because it’s a little less durable than other options, it’s less suitable for outdoor use unless you’re specifically looking for a natural weathered effect. It’s particularly vulnerable to erosion from acid, even rain water contains enough acid to wear away at it’s surface. Over time, this wear has actually created many of the stunning limestone geographical features we enjoy in the UK, but this erosion is generally less desirable when limestone is used in the home.
Maintaining limestone flooring
The reason limestone is vulnerable to the effects of acid is its composition; largely formed from calcium. The process of erosion is not entirely dissimilar to tooth decay and, much like your teeth, you’ll want to take care to keep it clean and avoid wear. Any spillages should always be thoroughly cleaned as a top priority, since once the limestone has been eroded it can be a challenge to return it to its previous form. Limestone needs specialist care to maintain its lifespan; using the wrong products can cause irreparable damage to its surface. A sealant is essential to create a barrier between the rock and intrusions which may damage it. Like all sealant solutions, this too will eventually break down and need to be re-applied, but only around once a year.
Limestone has the potential to last an extremely long time, it has been around for centuries. This beautiful natural material offers a luxurious appearance and brings natural warmth to any space. Providing proper care is taken to maintain it, limestone can look fantastic all year round.