There are so many different materials to choose from when it comes to flooring, so why choose limestone? Plenty of reasons! To begin with, limestone is a very old flooring material, having been in use for many centuries. Because of this, limestone looks wonderful on floors in rustic settings where there are old style rooms with old wooden furniture from a bygone era. Limestone flooring is also tougher and more hardwearing than many people imagine. Although it is a softer stone than marble and is therefore prone to more wear and tear, as long as it has been treated and sealed properly from the outset, it will give many years of good service and can last a lifetime if properly cared for. Here we will go into the pleasures and pains of owning a good looking, timeless, durable and long lasting material for your interior flooring.
Firstly, the main reason for having a limestone floor in a room is its rugged, timeless good looks. It compliments a rustic environment perfectly and suits an old-fashioned style of living space such as a lounge or study adorned with country style, old wood furniture. Old distressed solid wood cabinets and bookshelves of oak or pine, with chairs and tables of similar materials are aesthetically offset perfectly and harmoniously by a beautiful old limestone floor. Underfoot, a limestone floor also feels good, a sound, safe and secure footing cool to the touch with a sensation of softness which belies its solid durability.
Limestone is a softer stone than marble, meaning that it is less suitable than other types of stone flooring in high activity rooms such as kitchens, where caustic or acidic spills will stain and in some cases badly damage its surface. It therefore
requires more regular maintaining than marble to keep it looking its best. It is also prone to scratching from grit and sand brought in from the outside on the soles of shoes. Because of its susceptibility to this kind of damage, limestone is best avoided as a flooring material in kitchens, bathrooms or other high use rooms.
Maintenance of a limestone floor placed in a more tranquil setting is little more than regular sweeping and mopping with either plain warm water or water to which has been added a small amount of a pH neutral propriety floor cleaning liquid specially formulated for use on limestone and marble floors. Strong acidic cleaning agents or those containing bleach should be avoided at all costs, as these will eventually stain or discolour the limestone. A limestone sealant should be professionally applied every few years to keep the stone looking good and to prevent its porous nature becoming a problem with the ingress of dampness that will spoil its appearance.
So we can see that although a limestone floor can be susceptible to damage and staining when regular maintenance and general cleaning are neglected, it can conversely last a lifetime looking absolutely marvellous underfoot in an older style home or rustic setting if properly cleaned and cared for. As far as a good choice as a flooring material goes, it is entirely subjective depending on the décor of the house and its overall style and appearance.