What’s so Lovely About Limestone?Rebecca Hinshelwood
In geology terms, limestone is essentially a non-metamorphosed marble. Many forms of marble are derived from limestone which has been subject to extreme heat and pressure. In design terms, however, these two stones are markedly different. With differing aesthetic and practical properties, limestone can be an even more desirable stone than its rivals.
The patterns that we find in limestone are much more granular than the clear veining that is distinctive in marble. However, the relationship between these stones means that they are reminiscent of one another. So if you find natural grains appealing but marble feels a bit harsh for your kitchen worktop, then limestone is ideal for you.
For a kitchen design which seeks to benefit from unusual shapes or curves, limestone is a great material. It is softer and more pliable than other stones, allowing a more diverse range of shaping. The softness of this stone can also be a disadvantage. Like other natural stones such as granite and marble, limestone is sealed prior to installation. Despite this, the surface is more susceptible to scratches and discolouration so extra care is needed in day to day use.
Limestone is hard wearing when compared with non-stone alternatives. Despite the care that limestone requires to avoid damage, it remains a very popular choice of stone in a kitchen. In this way, the durability of the stone is in some ways due to its lasting, and growing, appeal. Using this stone in a kitchen refit will add value to your home since it will last both physically and aesthetically.
With hues that move through white to beige to grey, limestone remains natural in its attitude. This is great because it means that a worktop made of this material is in keeping with a plethora of kitchen styles. Traditional country kitchens will benefit from tan shades that highlight natural wood elements and shaker style cabinets. For more modernist designs or professional kitchens, light and bright whites and greys sit perfectly against stainless steel.
As the impressions found in limestone are un-metamorphosed, they tend to be clearer than other stones. Patterns and features are formed through calcites or minerals. Some varieties can even exhibit distinct shapes of fossilised shells and organisms. This provides a natural and non-uniform aesthetic which many find appealing. Much of the appeal lies in the uniqueness of the stone: the promise that your kitchen will be one of a kind!
It is fairly simple to take precautions to avoid contact that will cause damage: hot plates for pans, chopping boards for knives. These things are a habit that is very achievable. As the surface is porous, take care to avoid acidic spills. Any liquids should be both washed and dried from the worktop. So if limestone is the right stone for the space then you should not be deterred.
Limestone is commonly mined across Europe, making it the most accessible option for those looking for a stone worktop. Its availability often means that the cost of the stone is less than its rivals granite and marble. However, your chosen variety will be the deciding factor on the price level of a worktop or surface.
It is clear to see why limestone is growing in popularity among kitchen designers and their clients. Each variety offers a truly unique appearance which is chameleon-like in its appeal. Right for almost every space, it is a durable material that will last a lifetime and beyond. All this comes with a lower bill than many other stone worktops. Despite its requirement for ongoing care and attention to prevent damage, many people feel that in the case of limestone committing to a bit of diligence is certainly worthwhile.