4 REASONS TO CONSIDER LIMESTONE AS A MATERIAL OF CHOICE
Using natural stone materials for building projects—whether commercial or residential—allows architects, builders and designers to create unique designs that stand out from the plethora of cookie-cutter construction projects that dot the landscape.
Whether used in traditional or contemporary design, its beauty and unique characteristics are only some of the reasons to consider limestone as a material of choice; in fact, there are many. Today, however, we’ll look at the main four:
Its versatile use as a building material spans a large mix of applications, including exterior veneers, pool coping, door and window frames, plus interior details such as fireplace surrounds, countertops, stair treads, balustrades, columns, and other carved details. In addition, limestone is an exceptional choice for exterior retaining walls, pavers, terraces, fountains and much more, creating dramatic and inviting landscapes to enhance a building’s design.
The color and selection of limestone can accentuate a design as well, ranging from subtle neutral tones in a honed or matte finish to dramatic, rich hues of varying shades and patterns with a highly polished surface.
Some of the oldest and most iconic buildings in the world are constructed of limestone. Many of the famed cathedrals of Europe, the Empire State Building, and even the Egyptian Pyramids all use limestone as a construction material. Because of its fine grain, it’s a dense and sturdy material and a popular choice for commercial applications in the building and construction industry today, especially in northern climates where it withstands freeze-thaw cycles. Its fire resistance is also worth noting.
3. Cost Effective
The long-term investment value of using limestone is higher than wood, metal, composite or other common materials used in construction. While the initial investment may be more, the end result will have greater overall value in the long term and likely appeal more to buyers in the event of resale. The use of veneers or panels can help reduce costs and still provide the aesthetic beauty your design demands.
Its durability also results in less maintenance and fewer repairs. For example, an exterior made of wood, vinyl or metal is subject to rotting, corrosion, hail and wind damage, and much more, resulting in potential replacement or costly repairs. For interior applications, a limestone material can last for generations whereas a wood floor or laminate surface needs to be refinished or replaced in a comparatively short period of time. Additional cost savings may come in the form of a utility bill as stone buildings also are generally more energy efficient.
Limestone as a construction material complements many of the green initiatives being adopted by companies, design firms, and construction owners. Limestone is considered a “green building” material and helps conserve energy and create sustainable low maintenance buildings. Its use in interior applications will not produce air quality problems or release harmful VOCs or fibers—a benefit for those living or working in the finished building and workers who manufacture the product.
Conscientious harvesting of natural limestone won’t cause environmental degradation, depletion of scarce resources, hazardous by-products, or excessive processing waste. If sustainability is important to you, make sure you consider how long a material will last before it needs to be replaced, and what will happen to it after its useful life.