Installing and decorating a new patio can be incredibly exciting. From its shape and size to the outdoor furniture it holds, every element of a new patio can be customized to suit your unique preferences and display your distinct aesthetic. However, conceptualizing a patio from scratch can also be incredibly daunting with so many materials at your disposal. You may receive advice from friends, family, and your landscape designer urging you to opt for concrete pavers or a particular type of stone, like limestone. Before you invest in any one material based on good word-of-mouth, ensure that you understand its composition, advantages, and drawbacks. Consider the following before having a limestone patio installed in your Westchester County, NY, landscape:
What Is Limestone?
Limestone is a type of sedimentary rock composed predominantly of calcium carbonate and varying amounts of clay, silt, and sand. The varying amounts of these other minerals determine the color of the stone, which can range from blue to red and green. Limestone is significantly dense and renowned for being a heavy, hard-wearing material. There are many types of limestone that may have been subjected to different surface treatments, display different textures, contain different amounts of fossils, and bear different degrees of permeability. Therefore, certain types of limestone will be better suited to your patio floor than others.
What Are Limestone’s Advantages?
Limestone is a hard material that fairs well under exposure to the elements, making it an excellent candidate for patio floors. It is easy to cut and convenient to work with, minimizing costly complications during installation and contributing toward a flawless finished product.
Limestone can be obtained in unique and striking colors that can make a patio much more memorable. However, it can also be sourced in even colors for the creation of a uniform surface against which other features stand out. In addition to this aesthetic versatility, limestone bears a very fine texture that appears soft and smooth to the eye.
What Are Limestone’s Disadvantages?
Take note that limestone may not be a good candidate for your poolside, as it can be damaged by acid. While many homeowners find limestone desirable because of its beauty and longevity, it is important to seal any limestone that may come into contact with acid and to be cautious handling chemicals near unsealed limestone.
Limestone is more susceptible to fading than many other natural stone variants, like sandstone. This can be combated through treatments and sealing. However, if you opt for a dark limestone variant, you may find that gradual fading gives it a time-worn look that is packed with timeless character.
Despite the wide range of colors in which limestone can be obtained, this palette is limited compared with that of some other natural stone variants, like sandstone. Should you desire a very specific shade for your patio floor and cannot find limestone in that color, don’t settle for another shade before you have perused other types of natural stone.
How Should Limestone Be Cleaned and Maintained?
Efflorescence is a powdery, white mineral deposit that tends to accumulate on many types of stone and afflicts limestone as well. Fortunately, it can be cleared easily using a scrub brush. Water and an alkaline cleaner, such as bleach, can be used to clean the stone more thoroughly, and acidic cleaners should be avoided at all costs.
The title image features a Limestone patio.