Uses of Limestone
- Wall cladding
- Vanity tops
- Cement Production
- Refining Metals
- Blackboard chalk
It is common for people to use softer varieties of limestone around fireplaces and in bathroom vanities and countertops.Limestone can be molded easily without affecting the existing structure, which makes it idea for kitchen countertops, fireplace surrounds, walling, and many other surfaces that require special fabrication.Although limestone is cheaper than granite, the cost of maintenance for limestone may be more than that of granite.Since limestone is one of the most versatile stones, it is always available in various sizes, textures and soft colors, giving a luxurious look and adding warmth to your kitchen. Back to the top.
Care and Maintenance of Limestone Surfaces
- Always use cutting boards when preparing food on your limestone countertops.
- Trivets and place-mats should be used under all vessels to avoid scratching your limestone surfaces and limestone tops.
- Limestone is a beautiful surface for kitchen countertops, but must be taken care of and maintained to avoid scratching, staining, and damaging your countertops.
- You are expected to wipe spills immediately and in order to avoid etching, you are supposed to use only those cleansers that are specified for limestone. Store perfumes and other such material on a sheet of glass to protect vanity limestone surfaces.
- Maintaining countertops made from limestone is a tedious job; because soft and porous limestone can scratch and stain easily. Soft countertops etch quicker than the denser varieties. Sealing can prevent staining, but it cannot stop problems with etching. This becomes a serious problem when dark-colored limestone is used for kitchen countertops. All types of limestones require regular application of a good penetrating sealer to keep your kitchen countertops and bathroom vanities looking like new.
- Limestones are acid sensitive. Calcareous stones readily dissolve in acid. Lemon or tomato juices are acidic and if spilled on limestone tops, can severely damage the surfaces. Acidic products can cause limestone to etch – the surface finish will appear dull and texture will also change. To avoid this, you must routinely seal your limestone countertops to avoid any such damage. Back to the top
Limestone is calcareous sedimentary rocks formed at the bottom of lakes and seas with the accumulation of shells, bones and other calcium rich goods. It is composed of calcite (CaCO3). The organic matter upon which it settles in lakes or seas, are preserved as fossils. Over thousands and millions of years, layer after layer is built up adding weight. The heat and pressure causes chemical reaction at the bottom and the sediments turn into solid stone, the limestone.
The rock which contains more than 95% of calcium carbonate is known as high-calcium limestone. Recrystallised limestone takes good polish and is usually used as decorative and building stone.
If part of calcium molecules are replaced by magnesium, it is known as magnesium lime stone or dolomite limestone.
Limestone that will take a polish are considered marbles by most people, but technically, if there are still shells visible or the structure is not crystalline, it is still a limestone. Back to the top.
Physical Properties of Limestone
Physically, Limestones are quite impervious, hard, compact, fine to very fine grained calcareous rocks of sedimentary nature.
|Hardness||3 to 4 on Moh’s Scale|
|Density||2.5 to 2.7 Kg/cm3|
|Compressive Strength||60-170 N/mm2|
|Water Absorption||Less than 1%|
Chemical Properties of Limestone
Chemically, they are calcareous rocks principally of calcic minerals with minor amounts of alumina, ferric and alkaline oxides.
|MgO||0.5 to 3%|
|FeO + Fe2O3||1-1.5%|
|Loss On Ignition (LOI)||30-32%|
Note: Limestone, like marble and other calcareous stones, are referred to as acid sensitive. Calcareous stones are readily dissolved in acid, therefore acidic products should not be used on limestone and marbles.
Ocurrances of Limestone
Lampasas River area
Khasi, Jayantia and Garo Hills of Meghalaya
Satna limstone belt, Madhya Pradesh
United Kingdom Alston, Cumbria
Doncaster, South Yorkshire
Airedale Road Weston