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Does Limestone Crack Easily?

Does Limestone Crack Easily?

Limestone is one of the materials we always use in building projects, and we can incorporate this stone indoors and outdoors.

But of course, many of you will want to determine the durability of a material we will use for your structures. Hence, we’re here to answer your question, “Does limestone crack easily?”

Don’t worry; limestone does not develop cracks easily even when exposed to external elements. It’s a durable stone that we apply to different projects, although we should be cautious with weathering as it can reduce the limestone’s details (if any).

The Durability of Limestone

In this section, we listed traits contributing to the durability of limestone and how they can benefit a structure.

Limestone belongs to the sedimentary rock family, and there are two ways how this material forms:

  1. (biological) limestone formation because of shell, algal, coral, fecal, and other organic debris accumulating together in marine waters that are shallow, warm, clean, and calm
  • (Chemical) the limestone forms from carbon carbonate precipitation from the waters of the lake or ocean

Like marble, limestone’s main mineral is calcite, a common type of calcium carbonate (CaCO3). It likewise contains dolomite in the form of calcium-magnesium carbonate CaMg(CO3).


Limestone falls at 3.5 on the Mohs Hardness Scale. While it’s relatively “softer” than the other popular building stones—such as marble which has 4, and granite which measures 6.5—this doesn’t affect the structure’s integrity.

Limestone can transform a structure into something intricate because of its malleability. It is easy to carve and thus, allowing us to customize details such as the volutes from the Greek ornamental designs.

Malleability doesn’t mean that limestone will crack easily; it only signifies that we can design it without much challenge.


Limestone’s strength is one of the reasons why it doesn’t crack easily. The first one that we’re going to discuss is compressive strength. Next is tensile strength, then impact toughness.

Compressive strength is the capability of the stone to carry and resist loads without cracking. Limestone has a compressive strength of 2,000 – 37,000 psi, depending on the quality of the slab.

The American Concrete Institute (ACI) 318 has specified that the minimum compressive strength required for structural concrete is 2,500 psi. Limestone can surpass this criterion, giving us strong walls.

On the other hand, tensile strength is the capability of the stone to resist a pulling force before stretching and, later on, breaking. Limestone has an ultimate tensile strength of 725 – 3,630 psi.

While there is no specific measurement for this since it depends on the compressive strength, a standard concrete will have 700 psi and above.  

Lastly, the impact toughness. In its own words, this will be limestone’s capability to absorb energy from a sudden impact without manifesting signs of damage.

While there is no specific standard for this and it depends on where we will use the limestone, the latter has an impact toughness of 5.00 – 8.60 in/in².

Resistance to Heat

Limestone can handle up to 400 °C and anything above this temperature will decrease its compressive strength.

With this, we can be confident that it won’t crack when we use it as wall cladding in places with a hot climate. If we use limestone as kitchen furniture, such as a dining table and a countertop, we also don’t have to worry about placing pans and pots on top.

However, we don’t recommend placing anything fresh from the fire or heat on any limestone furniture. While the material can withstand 400 °C, it’s best if we don’t push it to the limit so it won’t crack.

Resistance to Water and Weathering

Limestone is porous so that it can absorb water. Although, this doesn’t lower its quality as kitchen furniture, architraves (door molding), or walls. We can seal it to lessen the porosity, especially for a table.

One of the things we should watch out for if we use limestone outdoors is chemical weathering, particularly solution weathering.

This happens when acid rain—rainwater with atmospheric gases—touches limestone. This will cause discolorations on the stone and the deterioration of details, if present. That’s why outdoor limestone walls undergo proper maintenance.

Needless to say, this doesn’t affect limestone’s integrity and remains one of the most durable building materials. Its porosity and risks of weathering won’t damage it overnight—these occurrences for the stone happen slowly and will take years.

Other Benefits Offered by Limestone

Now that we have discussed why limestone will not crack and break easily, we have listed more notable traits of the stone besides durability.

Thermal Insulation

One of the benefits of using limestone for walls and floors is its thermal insulation capabilities.

Thermal insulation is when a material lessens or restricts heat transfer from one source to another material or space. This means that the surface won’t get hot when you have limestone floors, even if you live in tropical climates.

The same goes for walls and even limestone door moldings; they will prevent the room from getting hot.

Sound Damping

The sounds of nature are pleasant to listen to. The wind’s breeze, the rain’s noise, the rustling leaves, and the singing birds. But sometimes, they can hinder your concentration, especially when discussing business establishments like an office.

But what more if the noise comes from the city?

This is where limestone walls come in, as these are dense materials that can dampen the sound outdoors. We recommend considering this stone in your project planning, as it may be difficult to retrofit them in case you didn’t use limestone initially for the walls.


We have a material that doesn’t crack easily, provides thermal insulation, and dampens unwanted sound outdoors. What else could there be with limestone?

Limestone is a very versatile material. We have already mentioned cladding, walls, floors, and architraves. We even stated that limestone, such as a table, could be manufactured as furniture.

There are many possibilities with this natural stone, and in every product where we use it as the main material, that product turns out to be long-lasting.


Of course, while we are looking for physical strength, such as limestone’s crack resistance, we also need to fulfill the space’s aesthetic value and interior design.

We can carve intricate details into our ceilings, door moldings, and arches with limestone. A fireplace backsplash can turn into art if we use the material with carvings.

Limestone also has a variety of colors that are known for their softness. The shades are also more on the earthy side of the palette, such as white, beige, grey, and black. The patterns can also be streaks or dots with different colors depending on the type.


To assure and give confidence to those wondering if limestone cracks easily, the answer is a big no. It’s one of the most durable materials for our building projects.

Limestone has a compressive strength of 2,000 – 37,000 psi, exceeding the American Concrete Institute (ACI) 318 requirement for structural concrete of 2,500 psi. It can also withstand 400 °C heat before breaking, but we encourage precautions.

This stone also offers other benefits, such as thermal insulation, sound damping, and aesthetics, making it an excellent material for indoor and outdoor constructions.

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