Limestone is a term which applies to any sedimentary stone made up mostly of calcium carbonate. The most common source of this is from marine animals and so, unsurprisingly, Limestone is very commonly found near the sea.
As a sedimentary rock, it is made up of various different materials which are regularly deposited in the same spots (by tides, rivers, precipitation, so on) and, under the pressure of those layers, begins to solidify and harden.
Given this process, the deeper you mine these sorts of stones, the harder, more fine and high grade the material that is unearthed. This is why limestone quarries are often 100s of metres deep.
The stone is extracted in large blocks, cut directly from the vein of stone deemed most desirable. Once removed, the block or blocks which are formed are very roughly squared and then stacked. The off cuts, at this point, are still easily large enough to use as aggregates, or other, more rustic building materials.
Due to the huge variations in the composition of these materials, Limestone can be soft or hard, porous or non-porous, strong or fragile, and it's not all that easy to tell how these stones will turn out before they come out of the ground.
A good example of this is the Neranjo Limestone in our range. The Neranjo stone is quite a hard, dense stone, meaning that it is naturally relatively non-porous and strong. It has many different finishes available because it is not susceptible to breaking up under the many processes it takes to achieve these finishes. The most extreme of these finishes is 'seasoned' which usually indicates a very rough and uneven surface, but by comparison to other seasoned stones, Neranjo 'seasoned' is relatively smooth.
Another example, from the other end of the scale in our range, is Farley Limestone. A relatively 'soft' stone, Farley is also 'seasoned' (the only finish it is available in) and is incredibly rough and weathered looking. This is because it is far more susceptible to the impacts of the finishing processes.
Another major variable with limestone is the colouration. Limestone can basically be any colour under the sun. The pigmentation is actually brought on by several different factors and so no two limestones are ever the same. Within our range we have blues, blacks, reds, oranges, beiges, whites, greys, greens and in all sorts of hues and tones.
Limestone is the ideal all-rounder as, no matter what effect you're looking to achieve, there is almost certainly a limestone which will suit. Come in to our showroom to find out more and get a feel for it up close.