The muted tones of limestone are perfect for today's more casual and comfortable lifestyles. Generally these soft beige's and tans, either polished or honed, is appropriate for bathrooms, fireplaces, counters and less-traveled flooring where a more informal decor is desired.
Exhibiting a fairly uniform surface with regard to color, veining and texture, limestone is the ideal choice for a subdued appearance fitting for the pared down minimalist setting.
Stone deposits exist in all continents of the earth. The rock is formed from the sedimentary process underground in riverbeds. As silt and organic matter settles to the bottom of these lakes and seas rock is formed. As more and more layers build up over thousands and millions of years, adding more and more weight, the heat and pressure cause chemical reactions to take place to harden the sediments into stone.
You will often find characteristic seashells and fossils embedded in the surface with a color range of milky whites, golden yellows, sandy beige's, and smoky blues/grays in this stone's color palette.
Many varieties of this rock have enjoyed a successful history of exterior application, and some of the most prominent government and financial institutions worldwide proudly display limestone as their exterior cladding. Despite the popularity of exterior vertical limestone applications, the number of varieties with successful history of exterior paving applications, particularly in freeze/thaw environments, is relatively limited.
Since these stones are some of the softer varieties of natural stone materials, they have long been a popular choice for intricately carved features and moldings, as well as statuary.
Limestone, like marble, is calcium based. It is vulnerable to alteration by exposure to mild acids. Abrasion damage is a concern, particularly if the stone is polished. Many varieties of these stone types will absorb water to some degree and must be sealed to protect them.
Another form of limestone exists, which is dolomite. Dolomite is based on the dual carbonate of calcium-magnesium carbonate, and the properties of this stone are influenced by this difference in composition.
Dolomite generally havs higher densities, lower absorptions, greater compressive and bending strengths, and higher abrasion resistance than the calcium carbonate based limestone. These property differences offer some application choices for dolmites where other limestone varieties are marginal or unsuitable.