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Limestone - Beautiful, Versatile Flooring For Discerning Home Owners

Anyone who has investigated stone flooring will be aware of limestone, but what is it, exactly? Limestone is a rock consisting mainly of calcium carbonate. It has been used as a building (and flooring) material for literally thousands of years. It comes in a good range of natural, earthy colors and a number of different finishes, including honed, brushed, tumbled, antiqued and riven.

The honed and brushed finishes are great for a smooth, contemporary look. While the tumbled, antiqued and riven finishes are perfect for those who crave a rustic 'country kitchen' vibe.

Needless to say, installing limestone flooring (or any stone flooring for that matter) is a major commitment of time and money, and as such, is not to be undertaken lightly. In this short article, I will cover a few of the advantages and disadvantages of limestone to help you decide whether it's right for your flooring needs.

The case in favor of limestone:

First of all, limestone is absolutely beautiful; it will turn any floor into a striking center-piece that will have you glowing with satisfaction - and your guests green with envy!

As mentioned earlier, brushed or honed limestone will provide a wonderful sleek, contemporary look. While limestone with one of the distressed finishes is perfect for creating that weather-beaten rustic look. Laid on a kitchen floor along with other earthy tones and traditional wooden furniture, it will make a kitchen any Tuscan mamma would be proud of!

And as with other stone flooring types, limestone is wonderfully cool underfoot in hot weather, making it a terrific choice for very hot climates. Plus, walking on a stone floor barefoot is deliciously soothing for the feet, it promotes a greater sense of well-being that only comes from contact with a natural material.

Another advantage of limestone is its durability. Although some limestones are relatively soft (see below), and therefore less durable, some are highly compacted and very tough indeed. These kind of limestone tiles are super-hard-wearing and will last a lifetime if properly cared for.

The case against limestone:

As mentioned above, some limestones are relatively soft and therefore less durable than the denser varieties. If you decide to install one of these softer types you will have to accept that your floor will be vulnerable to chipping, scratching and staining.

That said, some folks actively like the 'history' that a natural material that acquires over time. Indeed, it explains why the distressed finishes are so popular - the patina of wear and tear creates a surface that is full of character.

Another potential issue with limestone is its porosity and consequent susceptibility to staining. It's therefore essential to have a limestone floor properly sealed upon installation, and then re-sealed approximately every 1-5 years.

All in all, limestone is a wonderful, versatile stone that can transform any floor into an enviable center-piece. Choose carefully, and you will end up with a floor that will add financial as well as aesthetic value to your home.

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