Limestone or Marble: What’s the difference?Rebecca Hinshelwood
If you’ve narrowed down your choice of kitchen worktop to stone, you’re only part of the way there! With several different types of stone out there, you will need to specify your choice to natural or engineered stone. And then still further to granite, marble or limestone. The last two of these can be the trickiest to decide between. To many intents and purposes, the two are very similar. So when it comes to limestone and marble, what’s the difference?
These two types of stone are marked by geological differences. The main one being the metamorphic process. Limestone is a sedimentary rock, typically composed of calcium carbonate fossils. When sedimentary limestone is compressed through rock-forming processes under extreme heat, marble is formed by the recrystallised grains. This process is only really important to geologists, though! For kitchen designers and suppliers, the differences are all visual.
So what is the key visual difference between limestone and marble? It’s really all to do with the markings of the stone. Slabs of marble will feature those unique veining patterns that you will have seen on marble pillars and suchlike. This is what gives marble its elegant and stylish reputation. Conversely, limestone carries a smooth, fine grained appearance. Which can make it feel subtle and natural. Marble can be striking in basic slabs, while the softer limestone can be carved into more intricate shapes.
When making a decision, between limestone and marble, the range of potential colours must be a key consideration. Marble is available in a wider variety of colours than limestone. The spectrum of available colour include hues of white, black, pink, green, blue and grey. So if your kitchen concept hangs on tones of blue, you can only reinforce this scheme by choosing marble. On the other hand, perhaps your kitchen design is more of a country style and features neutrals. Here, the muted and more rustic tans and browns of limestone can be more fitting.
When sealed, both of these stones are durable and easy to maintain. There is a minor difference in that limestone is a softer rock than marble. However, this should not suggest that it is easy to damage. With due care to absorb spills and avoid acidic cleaners, your marble or limestone worktop will enjoy a long life. As it is a softer stone, limestone can be more prone to scratching, which is why maintenance of the seal is vital. On the other hand, marble can be susceptible to staining. So avoid red wine spills on your bright white marble to prevent lasting damage.
This is not actually a straightforward question. Overall, limestone is generally more affordable than marble. It is commonly occurring in the UK, which makes mining and transportation costs lower. However, it all depends on the specific stone that you fall in love with for your kitchen! For example, a rare limestone that’s travelled a long way may be more expensive than a local marble.
How to choose
Of course, the answer is that there is no right answer. The right stone for you will depend on the style of your kitchen design and the predicted traffic through the space. Consider how you and your family will use the kitchen worktops. Do you have a specific colour scheme? Are you planning a contemporary or traditional kitchen? The answers to these questions will guide you when assessing the difference between limestone and marble.
It may be that your ideas for your new kitchen are still forming. You may need to sound out how you want your space to look and which practical considerations you need to make. For informed and expert guidance and advice throughout your journey in stone, just contact us here at Zenstone.