To jump right off the bat, limestone has these main characteristics:
- harsh weather resistant
- crack resistant
- ultraviolet (UV) ray resistant
- minimal maintenance is required
- aesthetically pleasing
- provides noise reduction
- provides insulation
Limestone is a good cladding stone because it can protect both external and internal walls, will not give you difficulties in maintenance, and can transform the wall surface attractively.
In this article, we will explain more about why limestone is perfect for cladding based on our experience in stone manufacturing and guiding their installations throughout China and abroad.
Before we elaborate on the quality characteristics of limestone, let us first give a brief background about what and how limestone forms.
Limestone forms from marine properties such as when the shell, coral, algal, fecal, and other organic debris accumulate. In geology, it can also form when calcium carbonate precipitates from natural bodies of water.
It is a sedimentary rock with calcite (CaCO3) and calcium magnesium carbonate or dolomite [CaMg(CO3)2] as its main minerals. Calcite, in particular, is necessary for construction for stability and durability.
The primary purpose of cladding is to protect the main structure of the building, particularly by covering the walls. Meaning to say, claddings—especially exterior ones—must be durable because they affect the quality of the building’s structure.
This is precisely why we recommend limestone because it has all the traits that you need to ensure quality and effective cladding.
Claddings will face different forces of nature, such as rain, wind, and heat. It is essential that the material can withstand these things.
No doubt, limestone exterior wall claddings is the “material” that we are talking about, and more property owners are listening to us because of the following:
- Heat resistance. Limestone is a natural rock that can be subject to heat because it even uses the latter in its geological processes (i.e., when heated and altered, limestone creates marble, another durable stone).
With this, we are confident that the hot temperature on external claddings, for example, will not affect the quality.
Although we must give precautions that a temperature of 300 degrees Celcius may cause damage to limestone, it is impossible to have a natural temperature this high.
- Not affected by the cold. Limestone wall cladding is used on the exterior to predict temperature changes. We have already proven that this stone is not affected by cold weather, but the challenge lies in moisture absorption.
Limestone is porous. Therefore, it can hold water that may cause damage in the long run.
But don’t worry, this is a typical characteristic of natural stones, and we have seen them last for more than 50 years, even when put outside.
What you see on the internet about chemical weathering, such as acid rain affecting limestone, is true. However, don’t let this put you off. Just because it is porous doesn’t mean rain can deteriorate the limestone cladding.
It would take years (probably without proper maintenance) to destroy limestone. As proof, check out the pyramids in Egypt; they are made of the same material.
Claddings must protect the walls from cracks, but what if the cladding accumulates cracks?
With limestone, we wouldn’t have to worry about this problem.
A stone’s compressive strength is one of the determiners of its crack resistance. For construction and building, 100 newtons per square millimeter (N/mm2) is necessary to ensure the said trait.
Our factory’s limestone slabs have a compressive strength of at least 180 N/mm2 which is also one of the reasons why our clients trust us with cladding projects.
Harsh weather and temperature changes are also two culprits that cause cracks. But as we tackled in the previous section, the limestone wall cladding is resistant to them.
Have you ever seen walls that are peeling or look bleached? Chances are, this is the cladding damaged by the sun.
Unlike other natural stones like marble, limestone is resistant to UV rays. This means that your exterior wall cladding will not fade, nor will its details deteriorate.
Limestone wall cladding does need to be cleaned, but the good thing is we don’t have to do it often—we can opt to clean this cladding only when we see signs of dirt.
The stone is low maintenance which is beneficial for interior and exterior wall claddings.
- In tall buildings or wide ones that extend hundreds of square meters, we can follow a maintenance expert in the United States called Mid America, who recommends using a pump sprayer with a limestone cleaner.
- We can also use a cloth and a limestone cleaner with interior limestone cladding.
We must only use limestone cleaners as these are formulated with neutral pH levels that will not harm the cladding.
Limestone is the right pick if you are looking for a wall cladding material that is top-notch in durability and aesthetic appearance.
We can distinguish limestone for its subtle, soft, and earthy colors, which are in style with contemporary designs. Even if you are not going for the latter, these colors are still compatible with any environment.
And surprise: limestone wall claddings can have patterns too. Sometimes they are almost similar to marble which gets our clients confused.
This stone is versatile and customizable, which makes it a significant investment in a structure’s physical appearance.
This section will show examples of the limestone slabs we often export or put into the local market.
- Bianco Perlino Limestone
– has a beautiful creamy white color with subtle veins because of the fossils present
- Twilight Grey Limestone
– has a light grey color with smokey patterns due to the presence of fossils
- Moca Cream Limestone
– a Portuguese limestone that is beige with thin parallel veins
- Fossil Brown Nerinea Limestone
– has a brown base color with streaks of white, beige, and coral
- Ebony Black Limestone
– has a bold black base with white or pink veins
The finishing, in simple terms, is the final stage of the manufacturing process of the limestone slabs that we will use for the wall cladding.
This affects the appearance and texture of the material, and we usually have it in the following:
- Honed Limestone
– the slab will have a smooth and matte surface with sharpened edges
- Tumbled Limestone
– the slab will have an old or antique look that has round edges
Other finishes, such as polished and brushed, but the two above are what we recommend since they provide more resistance to stains.
The more solid the wall is, the more capability it has to reduce noise.
A limestone wall cladding will give this advantage which is essential for a private space, especially for homes, offices, or other commercial establishments where external noise is a hindrance.
Limestone wall cladding will serve as an insulator to help you maintain the temperature indoors.
The building will stay warm inside if you are in a cold country. If you are in a tropical place, the air conditioner will not have to work twice as much since the limestone cladding will help maintain the coolness.
Energy efficiency is present with this stone cladding which will also benefit us by lessening electricity bills.
The limestone cladding will effectively and efficiently protect the walls from unprecedented damage because limestone is durable and has characteristics that resist factors causing ruins to a structure. And it’s also a good choice for door frames and exterior walling. Please read our blog “How many different materials for door frame?“.
Aside from this, the said wall cladding can provide the building with a distinguished appearance with its variety of colors and finish we can apply, giving us the freedom to customize it.
How about you? Do you prefer creamy white or beige limestone? Let us know in the comments below.