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Limestone

Limestone is a sedimentary rock formed closer to the earth's surface and often captures fossilized plant and animal life. Like marble and granite quality limestone is used in a wide range of interior and exterior building applications, including floor tiles, counter tops, fireplaces, columns, balustrades, steps, pool decks and exterior wall cladding. Hard limestone will take a high gloss polished finish, but it is traditionally honed (matte) or antiqued for floors. Haifa General also offers a patina finish with a square edge and worn surface. For walls material can be honed, patina, bushammered, chiseled, split faced and all custom sized to best fit your design goals.

The porosity of limestone is one element, which is especially important when selecting the material for countertops, Haifa General, has a simple, but vital test that you must perform on UNSEALED stone. Sealed stone will not provide you with an accurate evaluation as the sealant will block the pores of the stone temporarily, but wear off over time, leaving the possibility that inferior porous stone has been installed.

  • Porosity  rating for a quality limestone needs to be 3% or lower. This is important for absorption of all moisture the stone may be exposed to.
  • Easy test for porosity:  On the unsealed stone place a drop of water and wait about 10 minutes. Use a clean towel to wipe dry. Superior quality will either be dry immediately or become completely dry in under 1 minute. Poor quality stones, due to their porosity will absorb the water and, remain wet for an hour or more, even after being wiped with the towel.
Density rating is important because it measures the hardness of the stone.
High density should be a minimum of 160.0 Lbs/cf (good for all applications)
Medium density would be 135.0 Lbs/cf (select use only)
Low density is 110.0 Lbs/cf (carving, cladding, but no floors)
  • The key test is a simple test anybody can do

Simply scratch a standard house key along the stone. If a metal line appears on the stone, this is a high quality, dense stone because it is wearing down the metal key. If, as you scratch the key along the surface, you notice an indentation in the stone and a dust trail beginning, this indicates the stone is too soft and should be rejected.

  • Why the trend towards limestone?

Throughout the world designers are turning to Haifa General limestone for new projects and for remodeling assignments. The 1980's aesthetic of marble is now considered cold, aloof and passé. Fueled by the desire for something new, people are becoming enamored with limestone’s European essence and historic feel. There is a yearning to add more character and depth to the personality of one’s abode, while enhancing the comforting ambiance that makes the place we live, a home. Limestone offers that aesthetic to the kitchen, family room, wine room, patio, etc., and is also exceedingly durable and easily maintained.