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Limestone Countertops

Limestone countertops have become the latest darling of kitchen designers everywhere. The soft texture and pleasing beige colors of this most natural looking stone fit today’s more casual and comfortable lifestyle. Limestone is a sedimentary rock formed as organic matter sinks to the bottom of lakes and oceans. As more layers build up over thousands of years, the increasing weight adds more and more pressure, resulting in heat that causes a chemical reaction that hardens the sediment into solid stone. Since limestone can be found in many parts of the world, there is a wide variety of color shades and texture to choose from.

Consider the following when buying limestone for countertops:

  • Since no two pieces of limestone are identical, adjoining pieces should come from the same source.
  • Although some limestone is almost as hard and dense as granite, most of it is relatively soft. Since it is susceptible to scratching, it should be protected by using cutting boards when preparing food. Hard objects with rough bottoms, such as some ceramics, should have trivets or placemats put under them.
  • Limestone is quite porous and so is easily stained. A penetrating sealer needs to be applied before it is installed and at regular intervals when it is in use. Because limestone is calcium based, it is particularly sensitive to any acidic liquids or foods such as citrus or tomatoes. These will cause the limestone to etch, meaning that the surface will dull and change texture, resulting in a visible spot. This will be less noticeable if the limestone has been honed rather than polished. For this reason, matte finishes are becoming increasingly more fashionable than highly polished ones.
  • Limestone is not particularly heat resistant, so hot pots should not be set directly on the countertop.
  • Limestone slabs are heavy. Make sure the -

    cabinets you are installing can hold their weight. The slabs are usually installed by gluing them to the tops of the cabinets with silicone or epoxy or by securing them to a plywood substrate.

Remember that limestone is also available as more affordable tiles.

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