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Where does Limestone come from?

Limestone tiles are a great flooring option. Limestone is sedimentary rock formed at the bottom of lakes and shallow seas with the accumulation of shells, bones and other calcium rich materials. Limestone is predominantly composed of calcite (CaCO3). The organic matter which 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 call limestone.

Limestone constitutes over 10% of the sedimentary rock exposed on the earth's surface. As well as calcite, Limestone frequently contains the minerals dolomite and aragonite which are clear or white. Consequently the majority of Limestone tiles are generally light coloured, however with impurities such as clay, iron oxides, organic material, hydroxides and sand, Limestone tiles may be found in many colours.

The surface markings on Limestone tiles will vary due to content of organic material and oxides.

Limestones 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.

Technological advancements in engineering and quarrying, has enabled many previously labour intensive finishes to be created by machinery. This increase in productivity is reflected in the now competitive pricing of high quality natural limestone tiles, in fact prices are much lower than in previous years.

Where can you use Limestone Tiles?

Limestone is an important building material and has been used for several thousand years around the world. Limestone has long been used as a stone for building and is common throughout Europe in Cathedrals and Palaces.

Limestone tiles are an aesthetically pleasing option for use on walls and floors and offer a distinctly natural and luxurious look. Limestone tiles provide a tough and durable high quality surface with surprisingly good grip and can be easily cleaned and maintained.

Common Sizes for Limestone Tiles

Limestone tiles come in a variety of sizes and thickness. Most common sizes for indoor flooring, walls and paving are 300mm x 300mm, 400mm x 400mm, 600mm x 600mm, 600mm x 300mm, 600mm x 400mm.

Ideally Limestone Tiles used as indoor floor ties should be less than 20mm thick. For use on bathroom walls the ideal thickness is 12mm. If used outdoors as a paver, 30mm thickness is recommended unless laid on a concrete base where a thinner Limestone tile may be used.

Thickness will increase generally from 12mm for wall tiles, upto 20mm for floor tiles and 30mm for pavers.

Larger and smaller tiles are available usually by special order.

Common Surface Finishes for Limestone Tiles

Polished: Sanded to a shiny surface
Honed: Semi polished to a matt finish.
Brushed: Textured surface to give an antiquated appearance.
Tumbled: Rough finish to give an aged look
Sandblasted: Finely textured surface

Choosing the right Limestone Tile for your Project

When buying Limestone tiles, it is important to note that there are numerous styles available that are suitable for different areas of the home.

Due to the robust and versatile nature of limestone tiles, most are suitable for all rooms and living conditions. Limestone tiles are the perfect choice for kitchens, bathrooms and all other rooms that experience moist, humid or wet conditions on a regular basis as they comprise low porosity and high durability. Limestone is perfect for all outdoor applications.

Natural Limestone tiles will help to create a relaxing and peaceful ambiance in the home as their seemingly fragile beauty is one to which the human eye is subtly attracted. Natural Brushed Limestone is often used in bathroom and kitchen floor tiles and features a delightful matt finish.

Brushed or sandblasted limestone are ideal as an outdoor and pool surround tile.

Installation of Natural Stone Limestone Tiles

Limestone tiles are always subject to slight variation from tile to tile and batch to batch. This is normal as they are a product of nature. Rosa Stone recommends the blending of tiles.

The tiles should be set aside to dry prior to tiling to check for unsightly tiles and colour variation. If you have selected a large number of tiles you may want to mix them up to separate any batch variations.

Once you have installed the tiles we can not accept any responsibility for damaged tiles or wrong tiles being fitted.

Quite often the limestone tiles appear darker than the samples you observed. This is generally because the tiles are wet, and only appear darker. Natural stone tiles are produced in a wet environment using a lot of water. You will need to dry your tiles out before tiling to make sure they are the same colour.

Some natural stone tiles have little chips due to the packaging and movement during transit, this is normal and is accepted as the norm in the tile industry. Always inspect and shuffle your tiles prior to tiling to get the best results.

Limestone Pavers & Tiles should be laid by a Floor & Wall Tiling Services Specialist.

Physical Properties of Limestone Tiles

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%
Porosity Quite low
Weather Impact Resistant

Chemical Properties of Limestone Tiles

Chemically, they are calcareous rocks principally of calcic minerals with minor amounts of alumina, ferric & alkaline oxides
Lime (CaO) 38-42%
Silica (SiO2) 15-18%
Alumina (Al2O3) 3-5%
MgO 0.5 to 3%
FeO + Fe2O3 1-1.5%
Alkalies 1-1.5%
Loss On Ignition (LOI) 30-32%

Note: Limestone Tiles, likeTravertine Tiles,Marble Tiles 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 Tiles, Travertine Tiles and Marble tiles.

Please contact us if you would like to discuss your project requirements with one of our natural stone specialists.

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