Limestone flooring is a gorgeous natural stone with amazing versatility. It comes as limestone tiles, slabs, pavers, and even mosaics. The muted earthy tones of limestone flooring makes it a popular choice in rustic, classic, and farmhouse home design.
According to the paint experts at PPG, the earth tones in their palette collections “evoke a sense of natural ease, comfort and intimacy.” Earth-toned flooring is a way to bring in another layer of depth to your overall design.
Limestone Flooring Basics
Limestone flooring is a natural flooring like marble or granite. Its unique composition makes it work well as a specific flooring style.
What is Limestone?
Limestone is a carbonic sedimentary rock with the main components as calcite and aragonite. It is a hard and durable stone. It has been used as a building material for thousands of years including as a component of the Great Pyramid of Giza. Architects continue to use limestone to fashion modern buildings. Manufacturers use limestone as bricks, tiles, cement, and as filler.
Limestone Flooring Types
Limestone flooring comes in four main varieties: limestone tiles, limestone pavers, limestone slab flooring, and mosaics.
- Limestone Tiles – Limestone tile is most used indoors. Manufacturers cut limestone tiles in regular sizes and are 1/4″ or 1/2″ thick. Limestone tile ranges in a variety of muted earth shades like beige, ivory, pink, rust, brown, gray, and gold.
- Limestone Pavers – These are cut limestone pieces used in outdoor environments. They range in size from 1 1/4″ to 3″.
- Limestone Slab Flooring – Limestone slabs are large pieces of limestone used in outdoor spaces like patios and terraces.
- Limestone Mosaics – Mosaic limestone tiles are cut into intricate and varied shapes to create a unique pattern and design in walls and floors.
Limestone Flooring Tile Finishes
Limestone is a porous stone with natural cavities. Some finishes mitigate the cavities by filling them, others leave the cavities untouched. There are five main finishes available for granite floor tiles: polished, honed, tumbled, brushed, and sandblasted.
- Polished Limestone Tile – To create polished limestone tiles, manufacturers fill the cavities of the limestone and polish the surface to a high sheen. This emphasizes the subtle color of the limestone surface. Their reflective surface is prized for floor and walls. The polished surface is the most slippery.
- Honed Limestone Tile – Honed limestone tiles are also filled. Unlike polished limestone tiles, the honed finish is matte and non-reflective. This mutes the color of the limestone and creates a surface that is more slip-resistant.
- Tumbled Limestone Tile – Tumbled limestone tiles have rounded edges and corners for a rustic and relaxed look. Designers use tumbled stone in indoor and outdoor installations.
- Brushed Limestone Tile – Manufacturers create brushed limestone tiles by using a wire brush to remove the soft surface of the limestone and expose the lower fossilization. This creates a slight rough texture. This is good in high traffic areas like kitchens.
- Sandblasted Limestone Tile – Sandblasted tiles have a more textured surface than brushed tiles. This gives the tiles a worn look. Sandblasted tiles are used in indoor and outdoor spaces.
Limestone is a porous natural stone so it does absorb some water in its natural state. Manufacturers fill the holes in certain tile types which will decrease their absorption of water. Treat your limestone with a sealant to mitigate its porous nature.
Limestone is a hard substance due to its high mineral content, but it is softer than other natural stones like granite and marble. Some people shy away from using it in high traffic areas like kitchens. Others love the gentle worn look of limestone tiles. Different types of limestone vary in terms of hardness. If you love the look of limestone and want it in a high traffic area, talk to a stone expert who will direct you to harder compositions of limestone.
Limestone Flooring Maintenance
The most important maintenance of your limestone floors is to apply sealer on a regular basis. Sealants will protect your floors from water, stains, and scratches. A sealant will also cover the small holes in limestone that will help keep the floor from trapping dust and debris. Use a sealer that is designed for natural stone like limestone.
Be sure to check for cracks and breakages in your limestone floor tile. Remove the broken tiles and replace them as needed.
How to Clean Limestone Floors
Vacuum your limestone floors on a regular basis to keep them free of dust, debris, and sand that may mar the finish of the tiles.
Mop your limestone tiles each week with warm water and a cleaner for natural stones. Avoid any cleaners with acidic components like citrus. Do not use a soaking mop. Instead, use a mop that you have wrung out to avoid leaving standing water on the tiles.
Location for Use
Limestone flooring has been used indoors and outdoors for thousands of years. In indoors spaces, limestone tiles are popular in foyers, mudrooms, kitchens, and bathrooms. Outdoor tile and pavers are used on patios, gardens, and porches.
Limestone tiles, like other natural stone tiles, are difficult to install for a beginner. You will need specialized tools like a wet tile saw in order to do the job well. Consider using a professional to help you with this installation.
Limestone Flooring Cost
Standard limestone tiles cost $3-$10 per square foot. Decorative or mosaic limestone tile costs $30 per square foot. On average, granite tile installation labor costs between $40-$75 per hour. The average cost for a 350 square foot room is $5,000-$8,000.
Limestone Flooring: Pros and Cons
Limestone is a gorgeous natural stone, but it has unique qualities which mean that it is perfect for some projects and not others.
- Beauty – A limestone floor has varied earth tones and gorgeous subtle textures that make this one of the most beautiful natural stone floors available.
- Cost – For a natural stone floor, limestone is one of the more cost-effective options compared to other types like marble and granite.
- Versatility – Limestone floor tile and slabs work well in various design contexts including modern, farmhouse, rustic, and traditional.
- Home Value – Using natural stone floors like limestone will increase your home’s value and appeal to prospective buyers.
- Cost – Compared to synthetic options like vinyl, porcelain tile, or carpet, limestone floors are more expensive.
- Maintenance – You need to maintain your limestone floors each day by vacuuming. You will also need to reseal the floors each year to keep them resistant to spills and stains.
- Durability – Limestone is softer than other natural stones. It works well for regular foot traffic, but it may wear with heavy foot traffic. For some people, the worn look is one of the reasons they love limestone.
Limestone Tile Ideas
It is natural to wonder how limestone tiles would work in your home. We have gathered some stunning examples of limestone tiles used in both indoor and outdoor spaces.
Limestone Bathroom Floor
This is a gorgeous example of a mosaic limestone floor using gray and creamy white limestone on this bathroom floor.
Limestone Kitchen Floor
Ancient Surfaces combined reclaimed limestone pavers with this contemporary kitchen style. The limestone floor balances the new style of the decor with a look of timelessness.
Traditional Limestone Tile Floor
St. Romain Interiors used cream honed tile to give this formal sitting room a surface that complements the walls.
Coeur d’Alene Limestone
Maiden Stone used creamy beige Coeur d’Alene Limestone pavers to create the floor of this sophisticated outdoor space.
Rustic Limestone Tile Flooring
Designers use rustic limestone tiles both indoors and outdoors. William T. Baker & Associates used rustic Tuscan limestone tiles laid in a herringbone design for this hallway floor design.
Minimalist Limestone Tile Floors
Limestone tile is versatile as designers use it in everything from modern to traditional design. Bradshaw Construction used sleek gray limestone floor tiles and mixed it with travertine and wood walls to give the room depth and texture.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)FAQ
Where can I find antiqued limestone flooring?
Some of the biggest supplies of antique and reclaimed limestone flooring are Historic Decorative Materials, Vintage Elements, and BCA Materiaux Anciens. These all supply collections of reclaimed French and Belgian limestone tiles, mosaics, and pavers.
Is limestone flooring durable?
Limestone is confusing because it is both hard and soft. It is harder than natural stones like travertine but it is softer than granite and marble. It will wear over time, but for some people this is a bonus. They love the look of limestone floors that are worn as they have a more antique look. Some limestone tiles are harder than other types, so check with a knowledgeable manufacturer to find the best kind for you.
Where can I find limestone flooring near me?
Look for limestone tiles at general home improvement stores like Home Depot and Lowes. For a better selection, find specialized tiles stores in person or online.
What are the best limestone tiles for kitchens?
Limestone floors are problematic in high traffic areas like kitchens. Some people love the weathered look of limestone tiles in a kitchen. If you do, choose honed, brushed, or sandblasted limestone tiles to increase their slip-resistance.
Lime stone flooring: Conclusion
There is no disputing that limestone floors are gorgeous, but these floors have a unique quality that means they don’t work for everyone.
If you are willing to invest the money to install limestone floors, they will increase your home’s value and appeal.
With proper care, these floors will endure for the lifetime of your home.