Limestone Tiles – Are they right for flooring?
Limestone is a sedimentary rock of biochemical origin. Its composition is mostly formed from the mineral calcite. Although Limestone can be almost pure calcite, it is often filled with other minerals and sand which gives the name to dirty Limestone. The calcite in Limestone derives from the remains of organisms which live on the bottom of the sea. When such sea animals like clams, oysters, snails and corals, to name but a few, die, their shells accumulate into piles of shelly debris. The build-up of this debris can then form beds of limestone. Limestone may also derive from non-biogenic calcite formation, some being purely calcite but mostly includes a large amount of sand or silt.
Limestones form usually close to the source of shelly debris and Reefs are a great source for limestone creation. Reefs have existed from the beginning of life and Stromatolites, which are complex living structures of more than one organism, formed the first reef like structure in the Cambrian Period. Limestones are also formed in fresh-water environments associated with caves, springs and lakes.
The main three British Limestone are:
- Carboniferous Limestone.
Originating mainly in the Peak District, Mendips and Yorkshire Dales. It is a tough rock and commonly used as roadstone and cement making.
- Jurassic Limestone.
Occurring in the Cotswolds and pale brown in colour, softer and more porous. Used as building stones.
- Cretaceous Limestone.
These are various chalks dominating from SE England, such as North and South Downs. Generally too soft to use for building but used a lot in cement making.
Limestone is a natural stone and very similar to marble. Limestone tiles have been a favourite for flooring and wall tiles and are a perfect combination of durability and style being both economical and practical. The different varieties and variations easily blend into whatever style you choose for your home being either traditional or contemporary. Limestone can be granular, crystalline or very dense. This gives a combination of textures from coarse to very fine grained. Dolomite crystals in Limestone create a harder stone which can be highly polished.
The composition of Limestone gives a variety of different finishes and colours with the complex fossiling making each unique. From natural stone with different mottling and speckling through to golden browns and the finishes of the smooth honed to the rustic tumbled variety there is a limestone to suit every choice. The versatility in colours taken from nature itself creates a wonderful look and feel to your tile which will bring each room to life. As with all natural stone, Limestone tiles are porous but with the correct sealing and maintenance become very durable and hardwearing. Limestone can be cut into tiles of any size to enhance layout or to suit a particular pattern preference which allows creativity and to give your home a very individual look.
Limestone flooring not only looks fantastic but can add great value to your home being competitively priced and can withstand the rigours of family life, is easy to clean making it the ideal choice addition to your home.