Limestone Countertops – Are They the Right Choice for Your Home?
Gone are the days when a formica type counter top in the kitchen or bathroom was really considered attractive or trendy. The hot trend in the 21st century is natural stone. Granite is probably the most commonly used choice but there are alternatives to granite counters that are every bit as beautiful while offering their own unique benefits. One of those alternatives is limestone.
The Beauty of Limestone Countertops
Limestone is a unique natural material that can be used both inside and outside the home. Limestone flooring and tiles have been in use in homes for decades and recently the use of limestone kitchen and bathroom countertops has increased in popularity. A great many people love the look of this stone in general, it has a muted quality and it's naturally rather muted and earthy tones allow it to blend seamlessly with other décor elements around it, wherever it is used. Opting for limestone counters allows homeowners a great deal of leeway when it comes to the overall visual make up of their décor as lime stone compliments the modern stainless steel appliances and minimalist décor of a contemporary kitchen or bathroom every bit as well as it does more traditional choices.
Limestone Countertops Pros and Cons
Like any other commonly used choice opting to install limestone counters or work surfaces in your home comes with its own set of pros and cons:
- It comes in a fairly wide range of colors and textures. It can also easily be cut into a variety of different sizes to accommodate different sized living spaces.
- It ages very well and has a unique natural ability to withstand damage from humidity, making it a good choice for the sometimes steamy environments of both the average kitchen and bathroom.
- It can be molded and customized when creating counters more easily than some other options .
- Like wood countertops and to some extent marble, limestone work surfaces are porous, making them somewhat prone to scratches and stains if not finished correctly.
- If hot pots and pans are placed on it. limestone can burn or scorch. Sealing limestone properly though can prevent staining like this to a certain extent.
- Acids are not kind to limestone. That means that you have to be rather vigilant about using citrus juices and vinegars around it.
Limestone Countertops Cost
As is the case for a number of the popular natural counter top options – granite, marble, recycled glass countertops, limestone could not exactly be considered the most inexpensive choice a homeowner can make. Prices do vary quite a great deal from supplier to supplier but you can expect to pay somewhere between $100 and $200 per square foot installed. The sealing and finishing that limestone needs to add to its natural durability can add to that cost in some cases as well.
Limestone is a long lasting choice for use as a counter top though, meaning that the initial investment should be one that you do not have to make again for decades, provide you follow some basic maintenance guidelines.
Honed Limestone Countertops
A great deal of the limestone you will encounter for use in the home is polished it. It has a shiny texture to it, even after finishing. Honed limestone is different in that it has more of a matte quality, which some people prefer as it has a more "natural" appearance as it is closer to the way the limestone is found when it is quarried.
Whether you opt for a polished or a honed limestone finish the key to maintaining the beauty of either for years is in the care and maintenance you give them. When installed your limestone work surfaces will have been finished to help prevent damage but this will not mean that they are impervious to it. Sealinglimestone helps it perform better but it still needs tender loving care toremain at its best.
The maintenance process is not very hard though, basic daily dusting to remove crumbs and loose grime and good old fashioned soap and water, rinsed off and dried carefully right away every few days to lift dirt. There are special limestone cleaning products on the market but always read the instructions carefully before you use any of them. You should also wipe up any spills as soon as possible and use trivets rather than putting hot kitchen items directly onto the limestone surface to prevent staining.