Limestone has been quarried for centuries and was used in ancient applications, such as the the Great Pyramid of Giza. This page covers the geology of limestone, care and maintenance tips and examples of the material in application.

Limestone has been quarried for centuries and was used in ancient applications, such as the the Great Pyramid of Giza. Other famous limestone applications include the exterior of the Empire State Building.

Geology of Limestone

An organic, sedimentary rock composed primarily of calcite or dolomite.

General Information

All limestones will acid etch when exposed to acidic foods such as lemons or tomatoes. Most limestones have high absorption ratings and low abrasion resistance ratings. In general, light-colored limestone is difficult to maintain in flooring applications with heavier traffic, gray limestone tends to effloresce in wet areas, and black limestone tends to show more scratching.

Care + Maintenance Tips

  • Do not use limestone for kitchen countertop applications.
  • Always seal limestone prior to grouting or use.
  • Always check the absorption rating.
  • Always check the abrasion resistance rating. For limestone with a lower abrasion resistance rating, use walk-off mats at entrances and expect the material to patina rapidly.
  • Always use a grout that is similar in color to the stone to avoid a picture-frame effect.
  • To better understand which limestones may be used in wet areas, refer to the Usage Guide.
  • Always use a neutral detergent to clean limestone.
  • If maintenance is an issue, choose a limestone with a lower absorption rating and higher abrasion resistance.
  • To reduce the appearance of staining, always wipe up spills immediately. Oil and highly-pigmented liquids can penetrate and stain the stone and may need poultice to remove the stain.

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