Limestone worktops Introduction
Limestone Countertop is a sedimentary rock, generally light in colour. It is primarily composed of minerals like aragonite and calcite, which are different crystal forms of calcium carbonate (CaCO3). Their origin can be traced back to biological and chemical processes occurred in the marine lifeforms, about hundreds of millions of years back; formed either from the build-up of organic debris like coral reefs, algae, faecal materials, shells, etc or process of chemical sedimentation like calcium carbonate precipitation from marine water-bodies. Limestone countertop used for kitchen countertops, bathroom and Floorings. This common rock is found all across the world and pretty much contributes to all our daily life activities from minerals in water, food we ingest, cosmetics we apply to walls of our homes.
Uses of Limestone
It is very commonly used in architecture for building of walls, decorative items, work-top surfaces, and cabinet surfaces.
As a raw material for production of cement, mortar, slaked lime (calcium hydroxide) and quicklime (calcium oxide).
Agricultural lime a.k.a. aglime, garden lime or agricultural limestone made out of pulverised limestone is used as a soil conditioner to neutralize acidic soils.
Limestone in its crushed form is used as a solid base for road preparations. In the manufacture of soda lime glass. It is used as an additive in toothpastes, papers, plastics, tiles, paint, etc.
In underground coal mines, methane explosions are suppressed with the help of limestones.
Purified limestone is added to eatables like bread and cereals as a source of calcium. Incorporated with poultry and livestock feed as a calcium supplement.
Historical Significance of Limestone
Limestone was admired by ancient sculptors for its work simplicity and excellent carving properties. There is evidence of redefined sculptures made of limestone by The Maya people from the preclassic period, which dates back to almost 200-100 BCE. These sculptures were carved with social and political messages the king wanted to convey to his people. The Maya would also decorate the ceilings and cover walls of sacred buildings with limestones.
Limestone regained its popularity in the late 19th and early 20th centuries where limestones were used for building banks and train stations, exteriors of skyscrapers etc. Many medieval castles and churches in Europe also show traces of limestone.
Characteristics of Limestone
Limestone being a natural stone, every slab is entirely unique. based on frequently observed hues, they are graded into three categories
white, beige, cream; limestone worktops in these lighter shades like Fine White, Rhine White, Yulan Beige, and Ivory Cream make the kitchen look airy and spacious.
Grey and Blue:
These are comparatively darker shades like Azul Monica and Sino Blue, plus our Ruoms Adouci and Vert Giverny and are suited for kitchen flooring,
Brown and Red:
When a limestone Countertop is embedded with impurities, it results in these shades like Poiseul, Fontenary Dore, and Chassagne Violine. with increase in level of impurities they even appear rose colored, Hauteville C Flamme or Rose De Bourgogne B5. These earthy tones make a kitchen and bathroom worktops look very elegant.
Limestone Countertop show some amount of brittleness. Causes could be breakdown of binder, effect of external factors, or innate fragility of limestone itself.
Limestone Countertop are extremely durable but when exposed to extreme natural effects of wind, rain, thermal instability, they seem to deteriorate. It happens because limestone being a carbonate rock shows high reactivity upon coming in contact with even mildly acidic rain water. However, with kitchen worktops, it won't be as problematic since they are indoor surfaces.
Most common types of staining agents in a limestone are rustic stains of metals, Bronze and copper stains from unattended copper salts, dyes and inks, organic stains from tea, coffee, etc.
Chopping boards are to be used permanently in order to avoid cuts, knocks and scratches.
Limestone work-tops show a great deal of heat tolerance which means your countertop will not be damaged upon placing a hot pan or dish directly on the countertop. However, it is advised not to leave hot and heavy objects for longer periods and avoid dragging them over laminate worktops. Proper sealing of limestone before installing as kitchen worktops and at regular intervals after being so can ensure longevity of it. Upon spillage, a clean sponge or paper towel can be used to blot, followed by rinsing with hot water . You can then use neutral or mildly alkaline based cleaners . Acidic chemicals, detergents and cleaners, vinegar, lemon, and undoubtedly chlorine bleach are to be strictly avoided from Limestone worktop. For usual cleaning, clean soapy water and microfibre cloths are best recommended.
The benefit of limestone countertops is that they're cheaper than other natural stones like granite or marble.
Composition of Limestone
Limestone is a crystal form of calcium carbonate, prevalent either as aragonite or calcite. Every limestone comprises of 50% calcium carbonate at the least, by weight, significant amounts of magnesium carbonate (MgCO3), which is also known as dolomite, and negligible portions of clay, iron carbonate, siderite, sulfate, feldspar, pyrite, and quartz. Pure limestone is exclusively white or almost it. Upon getting mixed with impurities, they exhibit a range of colours from pale to beige, yellow, gray or blue.
This type of finish makes a limestone surface shiny, enhancing its quality of reflection. It is achieved by rubbing the surface of the stone with a series of increasingly fine diamond grit pads. They are best kept with a sharp edge. The level of perfectness in a polished limestone is decided by the density of the stone. The softer limestones tend to wear and tear within a shorter duration of being polished. The harder ones respond well to being polished, comparatively.
A honed finish is created similarly to the polished finish but with a coarser grade of grit which makes the limestone worktop appear matte, less glossy and reflective but still smooth. Honed limestone tiles are the most in demand. The degree of honing depends on the purpose. For example, they are honed to a lesser grit if they are being used in an area where it should not be slippery like bathroom floors.
This type of finish gives the kitchen worktop an aged, weathered and bleached look. This type comes with round edges. Tumbled tiles are best known to suit old, traditional looks. However, it can make modern furniture like kitchen worktops and bathroom worktops look exquisite if handled professionally.
This finish is brought to life by brushing the stone with hard nylon or steel brushes. This increases the capability of the surface to withstand scratches and marks. This brings about a slightly textured surface.
Flamed Finish; to create this finish, an oxy-acetylene torch is passed over the stone surface, quickly followed by pouring cold water under pressure that leaves the top of stone fractured. Only some quarries have this specialised technique which creates an anti-slippery surface ideal for public areas and terraces.
Bush-hammered; this look is achieved by hammering the stone with a sequence of steel points that breaks up the surface and creates a scarred look. This is quite similar to flamed finish and is also used in creating slip-resistant surfaces. Based on the requirement, it can be done to a greater or lesser degree.
Fabrication and Installation Limestone
Limestone Fabrication and installation are best advised to be done with verified professionals with the right technology. Our registered KBB network fabricators have the experience of installation and knowledge of the product to give the best results. Our KBB network offers planning, designing, and implementation of the design that perfectly suits to create your dream home.