Lustro Italiano > Natural Stone Care > Caring For Limestone > About Limestone

Kitchen With Limestone Backsplash

What is Limestone?

You might be surprised to find out that limestone is much more common than most people realize. In fact, it is in a lot of places and can be used ofr a lot of purposes. Taking a little bit of time to consider some uses for this natural stone can prove to be beneficial. That is what we will do in this article. Along the way, we'll take a look at some of the forms that this material takes and what it means to take care of limestone.

Limestone is basically, formed mainly of skeletal fragments of marine organisms. The major minerals that that compose limestone are clacite and argonite. These two minerals are crystal forms of calcium carbonate. The high content of calcium carbonate is what makes this natural stone similar to marble. In fact, marble is a metamorphic rock that is transformed from limestone. This makes caring for limestone very much like maintaining marble. But first, what is limestone used for?

Rustic Limestone Fireplace

Uses For Limestone

The uses for limestone are many. This timeless material has been utilized for thousands of years. Limestone has been used in public and private buildings in various ways. Some of the many uses for this sedimentary rock include:

  • Limestone Pavers
  • Limestone Fireplaces - even beyond the face of the fireplace, limestone is employed in the following capacities:
    • Hearths
    • Mantles
  • Limestone Steps
  • Limestone Stepping Stones
  • Limestone Floors
  • Limestone Tiles - in various locations and for an array of purposes tiles formed from limestone go into the construction of:
    • Tile Fireplace
    • Tile Floor
  • Limestone Window Sills

You may never have realized that limestone has been used for that many functions or purposes. Yet, limestone tiles, slabs and panels can be found in a variety of environments; serving a number of uses. With limestone appearing so ubiquitously in architecture, it makes sense to consider how to clean this popular stone used for flooring, countertops, and even limestone steps.

Limestone Swimming Pool Deck

How to Clean Limestone

As mentioned previously in this article, limestone is composed of the same minerals as marble. As a result, cleaning limestone could be described in much the same way as marble cleaning is described. Additionally, because of the calcium carbonate in limestone, it is good to understand some basics about stain removal as well. Let's consider some of these cleaning procedures, now.

Cleaning limestone pavers and cleaning limestone tiles are two ways that you may find yourself maintaining limestone. Either way may require some of our products. If the pavers or tiles are outside and used on the ground, you may not need to clean them often. On the other hand, there are interior surfaces that you may want to be very clean. Some of these indoor surfaces include:

  • Limestone Countertops
  • Limestone Flooring
  • Limestone Bathroom

If you are looking to clean limestone surfaces inside your home, there are products for cleaning limestone and removing stains here on Lustro Italiano. Now that we have taken a look at how to clean limestone, what about removing stains?

Limestone Floor With Chevron Pattern

Removing Stains From Limestone

At times, people hear or read that bleach is a good limestone stain remover. However, there are things to consider if your thinking about limestone stain removal. The Natural Stone Institute recommends specific action for certain kinds of stains. By following the recommended process, you can determine which type of stain you have and use the appropriate removal product for that kind of stain.

Much like marble, limestones stains come in various forms. There are acidic stains, oil based stains, stains that discolor limestone. How to get stains out of limestone depends on what kind of stain it is. Let's look at a couple of types and see what to use on each kind.

Limestone Slab

Oil Based Limestone Stains

Contaminants such as salad dressing, cooking oil, etc. sit on a natural stone long enough, it absorbs into the pores of the stone. This causes a stain or "darkening" of the affected areas. If the substance that stained the surface is oil based, using our stain remover poultice powder can be an effective way to lift the stain from your limestone surface. In other cases though, as we will see, you might need a different solution for acidic stains.

Acidic Limestone Stains (Etched Limestone)

A limestone stain is very similar to a marble stain because the materials both contain calcite. When an acidic substance comes into contact with calcite, it "eats it" or dissolves it. If the limestone surface is polished, acids that sit on the material's surface will cause a dull spot to appear on the surface. This dull spot is called and "etch".

You may have learned about etching when reading about marble. The same thing can happen to polished limestone. Floors, tiles, or countertops that have a polished finish can show etching very easily. For limestone stains that are etched or for etching in limestone, we offer our etch remover.

    IMAGE:      Outdoor Flooring

    IMAGE:      Pool Deck

    IMAGE:      Limestone Fireplace Rustic

    IMAGE:      Limestone Backsplash

    IMAGE:      Banded Limestone Slab 
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