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Considering limestone tile for your flooring, bathroom, or outdoor space? These are the pros and cons you need to know. Read on!
Natural stone has been getting a lot of attention lately, and more people are thinking of it as an option for their home. As limestone is gaining in popularity, more are realizing how great it is as a flooring and accent material. However, while it’s known for its natural appeal, durability, and versatility, limestone does have a few drawbacks. This is why you should make sure that you understand its limitations and the best applications for it. Let’s take a look at limestone as a material in closer detail, and at some of its pros and cons.
Limestone Pros and Cons
One of the biggest benefits of limestone is that it’s rather affordable as a natural stone when compared to other options. In comparison, stones like marble and granite are much more expensive, and yet, you can get very similar results with limestone. It can even be used as a countertop material in some cases. If you want to get the rustic appeal of natural stone without the price tag, then limestone is the perfect option.
Another thing that makes limestone such a great material is how naturally beautiful and versatile it is. No other material can replicate the rustic look quite like limestone. You can also find it in a wide variety of shades to match the look you’re looking for. Limestone is also very soft, which allows you to cut it in any kind of dimension you want. You can cut it into bricks, tiles, or even break it up in smaller pieces and create a mosaic.
Limestone also has this old-world charm that makes it very popular with Mediterranean real estate investors. As a matter of fact, there’s a wide variety of properties that feature limestone interior and exterior flooring. It’s also a very popular material among developers because of the high return on investment it offers.
As for the drawbacks, you should know that limestone is a high maintenance material. Limestone is porous, meaning that it needs to be sealed properly to prevent stains and scratches. Limestone also varies in density, and the most porous a variety of limestone is, the more maintenance it requires.
The softness of limestone is also one of the reasons why it’s not the best option for high traffic areas. So, it would not be the best option for somewhere like a busy kitchen, for instance.
So, to sum up, these are the pros and cons of limestone tile.
- Naturally beautiful and versatile
- Very soft and easy to cut to the desired shape
- Old-world charm
- High return on investment
- High maintenance
- Varies in density
- Too soft for high-traffic areas
As mentioned earlier, limestone comes in a variety of colors. Colors will vary depending on where the limestone was quarried and crystalized. Limestone is usually extracted from shallow sea beds and can range from white, grey, beige, and cream, to blue and yellow.
Some interesting colors include Azul Monica which is a greyish blue with white veining and Yulan Beige which has some visible impurities that give it a distinctive charm. Limestone also comes in a variety of finishes. You can get it with a smooth finish, or you can find some that will be sandblasted or tumbled to provide a more raw and natural look.
Limestone Tile Durability
Limestone has been known to last for centuries when properly installed and taken care of. But it is still less durable than other natural stones like granite because of how porous it is. However, when properly sealed and maintained, limestone will keep its pristine appearance and is very resistant to scratches and cracks.
Limestone Floor Tiles
Limestone floor tiles are an option, but you have to be careful with the application. Limestone might not be the best choice for areas where there’s a lot of foot traffic, but they are perfect for places like the bathroom.
When looking at limestone floor tiles, there are many details that you’ll need to pay attention to. For instance, seemingly small things like the edge of the tiles can make a huge difference. Tumbled edges will give you a more rugged, natural look. Square edges, on the other hand, will look more sleek and modern. Then you have tiles with broken edges that give the flooring extra character. Or rounded edge which is common on flagstones.
Then you have to start looking at the size of the tiles themselves. Some people will prefer to have a uniform size for the tiles, while others will want something with a random pattern. You also have to consider how well the subflooring is leveled. If it’s uneven, then you’ll have better results with smaller tiles. If there are no issues, larger tiles will give you a cleaner, more contemporary look with minimal grout lines.
Limestone Tile Outdoor
The limestone is perfect as an exterior flooring option and is very resistant to the elements. After all, this is what the Egyptian pyramids were made of. It is a great option for a garden path or a patio. However, you have to make sure that you choose the right grade of limestone. Darker stones are usually the best choice for outdoor applications as they’re more durable.
One thing you’ll have to pay special attention to, however, is the type of grout you use. Grout is not only essential to prevent the tiles from rubbing together and allowing moisture to escape from the joints, but it can also be used as a decorative element.
For outdoor flooring, you should stay away from cement grout at all costs. Cement is very porous and will let too much moisture in. It will also absorb dirt and grime, which will make it more susceptible to damage. You want to use a high-grade epoxy grout instead. Epoxy is very durable and will resist the forces of nature. You should also look for UV rated grout that will be resistant to sunlight and prevent it from fading over time.
Now that you know a little bit more about limestone as a material, you can start looking at the options available to you and talk to an expert. They’ll be able to give you more information on the material, and some additional advice on its benefits and best applications.
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