You won’t find too many local contractors that will recommend limestone countertops for your kitchen, but they are one of the most interesting and pretty choices that you can make. If you’ve seen one you know just how gorgeous and intriguing those tiny fossil pieces are. There’s litereally nothing else like it.
If you have spent any time reading the on-line discussion about limestone you’ll find a lot of misinformation about them. People love to spread misinformation based upon what they have heard and not what they really know. The truth is that not all limestones are created equal. Since it is a totally natural product you’ll find that some are more dense and resist staining than others depending on exactly ow the stone formed millions of years ago.
All natural stone, including granite and marble, have tested to be porous to a degree. The question is how much is the one that you’re getting. It’s a tough question to answer and you’re going to have to place a fair amount of trust in your local fabricator to guide you to ones that he has success with in the past.
How To Minimize The Risk Of Staining
If you do decide to purchase limestone there are a couple thing you can do to reduce the risk of stains setting in from common household foods like coffee, wine, food coloring, oils, and lots more. The most important one is to buy a sealer that you spread on the countertop to keep liquid from getting into the pores of the stone.
You should reapply every six months or so even if you do read about lots of people that never do. They are the lucky ones that got a dense stone with small pores, you may or may not be as lucky as they are. Why would you want to risk it. Make the small investment in time and money and apply a sealer to your countertop a couple times a year.
This goes for you granite, soapstone, marble, or any other natural stone. Quarz is the only exception because it is actually made of ground up pieces of quartz and a resin that binds all those pieces together while acting as a sealer at the same time.
Ask the fabricator that you buy your countertop from for one. They will definitely have one that they have found to work well. If you’re looking to care for you existing countertop there are some excellent ones for sale on Amazon such as this one.
IF you have a stain that is driving you crazy you can try to get it out yourself but be careful what you use. Becasue of the porous nature of stones like limestone you can actually make the problem worse. Consider letting a professional come in for any stains that are proving exceptionally tough for you to remove.
Be Careful With Acids
Acids can cause etching and they can be an even bigger problem than stains. A strong acid will actually start to fizz and immediately eat away and pit your countertop. More mild and very common acids in your home like lemon, orange, vinegar, and tomatoes can also damage the surface of your counter if they are left there for too long. Be careful with drain cleaners too because they can do the same sort of damage.
If you think of yourself lazy or find that you slack on maintaining things around the house, I’d steer clear of limestone. Get yourself something that overall more durable like granite or quartz.
They Can Chip Or Crack Too
This really goes for any stone but it goes double for limestone. It needs to be very carefully installed and cared for, especially around the edges where they are most susceptible to chipping.
During installation it needs to be properly supported and installed on level cabinets. It would be prudent to install a plywood backer directly over the top of your cabinets and then to install your new limestone countertops on top of that.
Without some support they are much more likely to crack when someone decides to sit, stand or kneel on them. It might seem strange but believe me, stranger things have happened.
You shouldn’t have any trouble finding them at a local stone yard.
About Countertop Investigator
The Countertop Investigator is a Connecticut based company thats’ purpose is to connect homeowners that are looking to remodel their kitchen with local contractors that can complete a quality job at a fair price. They wrote this article for Virginia Lime Works to help dispel some of the common myths about using uncommon material around the house.