Limestone is a sedimentary rock that is ideal for hardscaping your home. It’s an affordable, attractive, low maintenance material that can be used in a variety of iterations around the house, both indoors and outside. Limestone is usually sandy-coloured, but it can also have shades of pink, green, blue, or silvery black.
The reason limestone is so popular is it doesn’t crack easily or require much maintenance. You do need to avoid acidic contamination though, either through food products like tomatoes and red wine, or through acidic detergents like citrus flavoured dish soap.
To give your limestone additional longevity, you can have it sealed, and you should only wash or wipe it using a specialised limestone cleaner. Here are some ways to incorporate limestone into your home décor.
Many home owners are wary of using limestone for a countertop, because of its reactions to acids. It can be especially susceptible in kitchens, where a single drip of tomato sauce or the cup stains from fresh orange juice can etch your kitchen surface. However, limestone remains cool to the touch even when the rest of the kitchen is hot and stuffy, so it’s a good way to counterbalance temperatures when you’re cooking.
Having a limestone countertop can actually be good for kitchen hygiene, because you’ll soon learn to wipe spills as soon as they happen, before they get a chance to stain the surface. And of course countertops aren’t just for kitchens. You can install a limestone counter in your bathroom, or in an outdoor laundry area. It’s an affordable way to add style to your space, and if you do experience acid staining, a good poultice with get rid of it.
Depending on the type of finish you’re going for, you can give your counter a glossy polished finish or a honed limestone effect. The shiny look may be more attractive, but a honed matte countertop will show less staining. Either way, seal your limestone to prevent it from absorbing water and other liquids. If you don’t want to commit to a full counter, consider applying limestone on your kitchen or bathroom backsplash.
SINKS, TUBS, AND, BASINS
If you can find a large enough block of limestone, you could carve out a functional receptacle. Your tub or washbasin would have to be sealed of course, to prevent all the water from draining before you’ve had a chance to enjoy it. Then you’d probably need designated openings for the drain pipe and the faucets.
You could do anything from a soap dish or jewellery tray to a hand basin. A bath tub is a stretch but it’s not impossible. If tub dimensions seem too large, use a regular tub and then plaster it and put limestone tiles or slabs on the outside as a decorative feature. It adds a nice touch and gives you lovely colour coordination options with the rest of your bathroom.
Another choice is to carve a little foot basin that can be placed outside the door so that guests can wash their feet as they come into the house. It’s helpful in beach-side homes, and they can be installed next to a swimming pool. A shallow limestone basin can also be used as the floor of a shower cubicle, instead of using terrazzo, tile, or concrete.
TILES AND PAVERS
For the most part, tiles are used indoors and pavers are used outdoors, but that’s not always the case. For instance, limestone copings are great for pool sides, because their low heat conduction means they won’t scorch swimmers’ bare feet, and their low slip rating means they’re unlikely to cause accidental falls. Limestone tiles also do well for indoor-outdoor sections of your home, like a barbeque nook, an al fresco kitchen, or the seating area around your pizza oven. They work just as well on patios and decks.
On the other hand, for back yards, gardens, and driveways, limestone pavers are a better option. You can cut or tumble them for that raw, unfinished look that beautifies your outdoor hardscaping. Pavers don’t need to be sealed, and they’re very low maintenance, making them ideal for muddy winters. They can be affixed to the ground or ‘floated’ on sand and gravel. As you can see, limestone is a versatile, stylish, easy to use addition to any home.