Is Limestone a good choice for Kitchen Worktops?
Natural stone makes any space look and feel more luxurious and can completely transform the appearance of a kitchen, bathroom, or living area. In addition to all the premier manufactured worktops, including solid surface, quartz and solid wood, home owners have a vast choice of natural stone, such as granite, marble, slate and limestone to suit every preference.
Limestone is a beautiful natural stone, used for centuries by architects, stone masons and sculptors to create buildings and objects of great beauty. Some people associate Limestone with the outside of stately buildings, monuments, pyramids, outside furniture, or floors and walls and actually have little or no experience of limestone as a worktop and are therefore reluctant to use it, although in recent years it has become much more popular due to its natural appeal and consistent appearance. While it is true that of all the natural stone used for worktops, limestone is by far the softest and most porous and needs some special care to maintain and clean its surfaces, with the proper attention and treatment they will retain their natural beauty and last for many generations.
What is Limestone?
Limestone is a natural substance that improves and actually looks better as it is allowed to age and mature. It is a type of rock that forms from the gradual sedimentation of bits of marine organisms such as shells, coral or foraminifera, compacted into mud layers that eventually harden into limestone over thousands of years. There are some limestones, known as travertine, that do not consist of these grains, but are formed by the chemical precipitation of calcite or aragonite, often formed near mineral hot springs.
The longer limestone takes to form, the more beautiful the surface details when cut into slabs for worktops. Some limestone slabs are embedded with fossils, giving the worktop surface even greater natural beauty and individuality.
Marble is a type of limestone that has hardened even further by pressure and heat in the earth’s layers. Therefore, limestone is similar in appearance to marble and can have the same dramatic effect.
What are the benefits of using Limestone worktops?
Limestone is aesthetically pleasing and works well with other natural materials, making it great choice for your surfaces in your home, as it is a luxurious and hardwearing natural stone with lots of charm, which stand up to all sorts of bumps and bangs for many, many years.
Being a relatively soft stone, it can be easily shaped and cut, making it a popular choice for architects, interior designers and home owners alike to create unique shapes and forms.
Limestone is found in white, cream, off-white, gold and certain reddish hues. The naturally light colours of these stones create a classy and elegant ambience for every environment and can be polished for a smoother look and texture. Because of this wide variety of natural colours, textures and sizes, limestone worktops can be easily matched to your kitchen’s existing, or new, cabinets in a vast variety of materials and colours, and also harmonized with the flooring and walls.
Although limestone is the softest of the natural stone used for worktops, it is nevertheless durable and hardwearing. It can withstand almost any climate, including particularly humid environments and is also heat-resistant — so hot pots and pans shouldn’t pose a problem – is mould an UV resistant and hygienic if treated and sealed properly.
Limestone maintains and even improves its appearance as it ages and has been used in many historic settings over the centuries.
Heavy stains and scratches can be erased without a trace simply by rubbing with household cleaner
Proven to be remarkably durable, a versatile material that is easy to live with in both domestic and commercial environments
Bacteria and mould have nowhere to take root. When it looks clean, it really is clean
Inconspicuous seams result in a smooth surface that enables you to create large designs fashioned from a single element
Easy to Clean
With a non-porous surface that prevents dirt and stains from penetrating the material.
How to care properly for Limestone Worktops.
Although special care and regular attention are required, limestone worktops are not difficult to maintain. Here are some guidelines that should help you keep your limestone worktops looking stunning for generations:
- They should be sealed properly before installation and at regular intervals (at least annually), according to the instructions of the fabricator to make it resistant to the absorption of liquids, by sealing the pores. Worktops.net supplies a DIY kit and will provide you with expert advice.
- Clean them with neutral or mildly alkaline based cleaners. Acidic chemicals, detergents, generic household cleaner and abrasive cleaning agents (including lemon, vinegar, etc) are best avoided as they can be harmful to the stone or sealant in the long run. Of course, one product that should never be used on any limestone surface is chlorine bleach.
- Invest in ph-balanced cleaners developed specially for limestone worktops. If uncertain whether a specific cleaning material will damage the worktop or sealant, test it on a small unobtrusive part first.
- It is best to use microfibre cloths and clean soapy water when cleaning. Spills should be blotted with a clean sponge or paper towel and rinsed with hot water. Then use the proper cleaning solution to wash away the stain. Remember to rinse again with clean water to remove leftover particles and excess soap.
- Avoid scratches, cuts and knocks by using cutting or chopping boards and trivets. Avoid dragging heavy objects across the surface.
- Avoid oil or other stains and clean them immediately when they do occur.
- Avoid leaving hot or heavy objects on the surface for prolonged periods.
- Sudden, extreme changes in temperature can cause damage.