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2017 Guide for limestone tiles pros and cons, design ideas and cost

Limestone

Limestone is a porous rock deposited by water or air over the time, leaving a solution that has become supersaturated with the chemical constituents of calcite; Calcium Carbonate. It is formed by the accumulation of coral, shell and algae or by direct crystallization method from water. Most of the times, this sedimentary rock is formed when marine animals such as clams, mussels and oysters in warm waters extract calcium carbonate from water to make shells and bones. When they die the shells and bones fall to the sea bed and are settled to form this structure.

Limestone is primarily to be found in locations such as Caribbean Sea, the Indian Ocean, Gulf of Mexico and islands around the Pacific Ocean. In these locations an abundant amount of fossils of Shellfish, coral and algae form huge amount of calcium carbonate which completely envelopes the ground.

Limestone Tiles

There tends to be increased veining, speckling and streaking found on the surface of the tiles. Varying degrees of veining and speckling are observed creating different designs. Some of the varieties of limestone contain very small specks, while many others are all streaks of contrasting colors, adding to the natural appeal of the limestone.

It is available in a huge range of colors that are a result of different elemental impurities present during limestone’s formation. Some of these popular limestone tile colors are listed below:

  • White, beige, creamy beige, Pewter, off-white
  • Rose, Pink , Pastel Pink
  • Light Gray, Gray
  • Straw, golden and sandy
  • Peachy, Orange, Rusty, Terra Cotta, Copper
  • Tan, Cinnamon, Light Brown, Brown.
  • Red, Raspberry, burgundy and plum
  • Blue/grey, also known as Blue Kota
  • Jet black, Charcoal.

Limestone tiles can be used anywhere in the residential and commercial sites. They are multipurpose and look nice in all types of rooms. The cherry on top is that limestone tile is comparatively cheaper than other stone tiles like travertine making it an economical option.

Pros and Cons of Limestone Tiles:

There are various positive and a few negative aspects of limestone tiles which should be considered when buying this natural stone. Its durability and resistance triumphs over all the other tile products in the market, be it your kitchen tiles, living room or simply your bathroom tiles.

The benefits and some of the disadvantages are discussed in detail so that homeowners can easily select limestone without any worry.

Pros

Limestone is a wonderful natural stone and its tiles have many advantages that put them in the top natural stone tile ranking in the market. Some of these pros are listed below:

  • Naturally Aesthetically Pleasing: Limestone tiles can give your place a warm and immaculate look. They have been used for centuries in castles due to its beautiful rustic ambiance which is incomparable to any other old stone. Also, its wide array of colors favors its selection over other rocks and products such as pastel shades that ranges from the blues and grays to even tans. Limestone pavers can be found in jet blacks as well. This happens when there is a high content of organic material in the rock deposited that too in varying patterns. When yellows and browns are evident, then iron oxides are to be found in increased quantity.
  • Work-ability: An important feature of being an extremely versatile stone. It is a soft stone in comparison to other available raw stones meaning it can be cut into any size of your choice such as large-format, plank or other geometric shapes, which increases their overall design versatility so whether it is small size floor tiles or a mosaic model made of really small chunks of limestone. This is only achievable because of the flexibility of this rock.
  • Cost Effective: The cost involved in the installation is a lot cheaper the ones in the market such as marble and granite. This is why limestone tile is a great option for anyone who cannot afford granite and marble but still wants the naturally rustic appeal of the area making it look elite yet sophisticated.
  • Durability and Resistance: Limestone is highly mineralized which makes floor tiles extremely durable especially in excessively trafficked areas. Not just that, it is also resistant to mold and bacteria. This stone has proven its efficacy in standing the test of time. Limestone pavers will last a lifetime if properly sealed and maintained in its original form, which is why its popularity has increased for use in bathroom tiles, patios, pool sides.
  • Cleaning and Maintenance: They usually require simple sweeping and occasionally mopping with a specific cleaner. Resealing it once a year to ensure the integrity of its structure is requested. With its proper care and regular maintenance, your limestone will last for years to come.

Cons

Although this particular rock does not have any negative features of its own but some cons are created and they become prominent because of the cost of improper and infrequent sealing, cleaning and maintenance. Some of these avoidable cons are:

  • Porosity: If it used as a flooring option, you have to seal it periodically for the best results. Otherwise, the contaminant will seep in the pores and stain the rock making it look bad within a very short period of time. So your limestone tile will look flawless if it is sealed properly periodically.
  • Softness: As compared to other natural stones, It is one of the most softer products out there so it has to be kept away from heavy furniture or any heavily trafficked areas which in this case can clearly result in breaking and chipping of limestone tiles. But it still is resistant enough to experience these consequences if kept under proper conditions.

What colors does Limestone tiles come in?

Limestone comes in a variety of colors, shades and distinct fossilized patterns, limestone helps provide a more natural feel and look to your floor, while also adding a rugged sense of sophistication. Limestone is used for flooring, wall décor, kitchen and bathroom counters and many architectural and construction uses.

Sefa stone carries light (white) limestone: Light Limestone Tile, Light Lymra Tile and Pool Coping, Shellstone French Pattern Pavers (Matches Jerusalem stone in color and pattern, but with tumbled finish), and Sunny Gold French Pattern and 6”x12” pavers. Sunny Gold is a light based stone with gold swirl patterns and diffused light gold color tone.

Limestone Design Ideas:

Limestone tiles can be used to decorate your house into a chic place. Below are shown a few ideas which can be utilized to create a warm cozy, luxurious ambiance of anything you desire:

  • Limestone bathrooms look magnificent. Light gray limestone is the epitome of class. It is perfect for a modishly  designed bathrooms. Add a unique shaped white bath tub and you have a stellar result.

  • If you want a more contemporary design with a separate shower room then go for this wonderful bathroom with a touch of contrast in terms of texture and color.

  • Then we have more traditional designs with a double sink and wood cabinets. A drop-in tub with beige limestone tiles creates a very soft look with the blue paint on the wall.

  • This out door kitchen meets the patio is created using Massangis French limestone. The smooth floor tile is in sync with the tumbled tiles used for the kitchen area. Who knew this could be made in such an affordable price with per square foot of limestone costing only $5.

  • This is a white limestone tiled bathroom, with three different colors used for a contemporary walk in shower.

  • This bathroom couldn’t look any better, with its wall being covered with 24×24 Egyptian limestone and floor is a soft tan shade of the same stone. A suspended white sink add glamour and vogue-ish touch. Talk about utter class.

  • Backsplash and counter tops are a prominent feature of this stunning kitchen. 3×8 cream honed and filled limestone tile used for the backsplash that looks amazing with the creamy off white cabinets and beige countertop.

  • Geneva Provence Limestone is a latest addition in the market. A soft grey limestone, hand-finished to recreate a traditional antique stone floor. A roughed up fireplace with this flooring looks right out of a Jane Austen novel.

  • Limestone tile paved patio with a stream of water running between two sections looks divine and is the definition of aesthetics. It will not only add a WOW factor to your garden but will also leave your guests stunned with your impeccable taste. Add dark colored furniture to complete the look.

  • The backsplash in this photo looks picture perfect for kitchens of homeowners that like the modern designs. The white backsplash is balanced with the countertop. The overall look is simple yet classy.

  • A contemporary flushed-edge limestone pool coping. Gray colors look great with the blue water and the landscape beyond. This deck area design can easily be recreated with minimal cost and will look stunning while you bask in the sun after a nice swim.

Modern bathrooms now focus towards a clean, design with neutral color tones. Luxurious homes offer amenities such as radiant heating, which does well with limestone. Unlike marble, limestone bathroom floors heat up far more quickly when this amenity, creates not only visually appealing atmosphere, but also a highly functional choice. Colorful rooms can be daringly designed by using variety of colors in this tile, they not only come in light shades such as beige, yellow or white but also in black, blue and green colors. Baitage blue is a sky blue shade that can really simulate an ocean spa feeling. Pistachio color offers a variety of green and blues. While, Gascoigne blue gives just a hint of blue. When you are remodeling your bathroom or lobby, do not only focus on the floors. Limestone tile is the best choice for a wall backdrop which can also be a feature of your new bathroom or your kitchen known as backsplash. Different patterned designs can be created with it, such as a diamond pattern. This design looks gorgeous with red tiles used for diamond shapes or they can also be combined with mosaics for more interesting patterns.

Mosaics are for the artistic souls who like their art portrayed in their walls, floors or even backsplashes. Mosaics are available in the market or you can unleash your creativity and have a one of its kind type of custom mosaic as well. If a little is enough for you then a simple pin-wheel mosaic pattern can also be created for a classic sophisticated look in the bathroom area.   

How much does the buying and Installation cost?

The Costs 
  • Minimum cost of the base material is $400
  • Maximum cost of the base material is $1,300

Although, they are available in a wide range of sizes, it is most commonly found in sizes from 12×12 inches and 18×18 inches. Slabs and mosaics can also be used when installing the limestone flooring, averaging around $2-$11 per square foot. This can vary based on the thickness, color or finishing of the tiles, also the quality of the stone. Tiles which are cheaper are generally sanded and more porous, while those priced on a higher end the type of limestone tiles that will have a more textured finish.

Price for flooring: Price for flooring generally depends on the installation, if it is being done professionally or through a Do It Yourself process. Professional installation raises the costs per square foot to $6 to $17 per square foot. If the project is done yourself then installation, other costs will need to be counted in, such as grout, sawing supplies also the sealant. This stone is extremely heavy and is most usually installed by professional hands, because of its tedious installation. Professional installation also means less chances of accidental breakages of tiles or incorrect installation of stone. A bit of investment on the services go a long way. A perfectly sealed professional floor can last through decades when installed perfectly.

Prices also vary according to the type. For example, accent and mosaic tiles can be more expensive, ranging up to $28 or even more per square foot. Limestone floors actually cost a lot lesser than many other types of natural stones. While ceramic and porcelain may be an inexpensive option to consider. However, when considering floors, this economical, resilient rock is by far the best option as compared to any other stones such as granite or marble.

Typical cost idea:

The average typical costs depend upon a couple of factors like: 
1. Prices go about $3 to $10 a square foot for just these floor tiles, depending on color, thickness (1/4 or ½ inches) and their finishing. For instance, a honed finish (which is sanded for a matte look) is typically lesser in cost than a water worn (aged stone), brushed/textured or polished and glossy finish. Basically, less-expensive limestone will be softer and more porous comparatively.
2. Now depending on local rates and difficulty of the project such as if the tiles are laid out as a square or on a diagonal or in a pattern like diamonds or pin wheel mosaic, professional installation as discussed earlier increases the total charge for labor and materials to even $600-$1,700 for a 10×10 foot bathroom only (but there can also be a minimum charge for small projects planned).
3. Mosaic limestone tiles, generally used for accent, can be $6-$30 or probably more a square foot, but it depends on how small the pieces are as well as the desirability of the colors. Certain brand and stores charge about $14 for a single 12″ square of mere 2″x2″ limestone tiles.
4. Do It Yourself installation of a limestone floor is also an option mentioned but very challenging. Not just the cost of the tiles themselves, grout, thin set ; adhesive mortar, sealant also the supplies such as tools brings the cost of DIY materials to $3.50-$11 a square foot, or as high as $350-$1,100 for a 10×10-foot.

Additional costs:

• Stone tile samples are sold for $6-$10 each, depending on the amount of samples ordered.
• Limestone is relatively porous, and needs to be sealed demanding several coats when installed, with sealing repeated on an average of every 1.5 years, depending on the amount of traffic suffered and wear and tear observed.
• Sealant costs about $30-$60 a quarter, or $100-$200 a gallon. Stone cleaners however can run $10-$40 for a quart. Maintenance of a natural stone floor averages $40-$300 or more, in addition to the floor’s condition and size.

Do not go over the board with concealed cost surprises. Plan accordingly and understand how much the average installed costs for limestone Flooring can be in your area/zip code by checking online on many sites.

Finally the 2017 breakdown for Cost of Limestone Floorings and the installations costs are mentioned right below.Do not go over the board with concealed cost surprises. Plan accordingly and understand how much the average installed costs for limestone Flooring can be in your area/zip code by checking online on many sites.

This Table ranges from Basic to better and the best quality:

Limestone Flooring – Material Prices $240.00 – $375.00 $390.00 – $425.00 $460.00 – $475.00
Limestone Flooring – Installation Cost $125.00 – $135.00 $150.00 – $165.00 $170.00 – $190.00
Limestone Flooring – Total $365.00 – $510.00 $540.00 – $590.00 $630.00 – $665.00
Limestone Flooring – Total Average Cost per square foot $4.38 $5.65 $6.47

What Criteria should be followed when selecting good limestone tile:

  • The shipping crates should be strong wooden pallets particularly for forklifts.
  • The face of the tile should be visible from both sides of the shipping crates.
  • Styrofoam should be used on the bottom and sides of the tiles for protection.
  • The filling should consist of a hard resin that will not chip; cement is unacceptable.
  • The side cuts should be perfectly perpendicular; a slope is unacceptable.
  • All four corners of the tile should be cut at 90 degrees.
  • The color of the stone should not be reflecting rust markings on either side.
  • Stone should not be porous.
  • Color consistency with limited variations in it
  • The thickness of the tile should be measured in inches and should be 18” x 18”.

Conclusion

Limestone tiles are a great option for covering all the aspects of creating an economical yet beautiful environment. These tiles are nice looking with their natural patterns and wonderful colors. Once used, these increase property calise as well. They can be used in any room of your house and they won’t clash with your design scheme. Instead of refurbishing your home with a fortune you can use limestone tiles and be done with it under a healthy budget. 

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