A Building Contractor's Guide to Using Marble and Limestone

A Building Contractor's Guide to Using Marble and Limestone

It’s two of the most versatile natural stone products the modern building contractor should consider:

  • Marble
  • Limestone

To prevent you from missing out on what these can mean for your next construction project—and the people who will be occupying that space—let’s fill you in on all the details. Knowing what’s possible may inspire you to start using these natural stone products more. Whether it’s a marble slab or a limestone tile, you’ll love the outcome.

We’ll share some inside information too; the more facts you have the more effective you can use these.

Construction: Is Marble & Limestone what Your Project Needs?

You’re lucky enough to live in the 21st century where we’re all spoiled for choice when it comes to products and services. As a building contractor, you can pick and choose who you want to buy from. Along with architects, developers and project managers you also have a wide selection of materials to pick from.

A handy tip: despite the many modern products on the market, there are certain classic options that still trump the rest in terms of:

  • Durability
  • Beauty
  • Functionality
  • Easy of working with the product

And let’s not forget the importance of creating safe working environments. With marble, limestone and most other natural stone products, you don’t have any toxic substances on the building site that could cause health problems.

There you have only a few of the reasons why marble and limestone should be on your shopping list. Now let’s get into the details.

Marble in 21st Century Construction

What is Marble?

How does marble form? It’s the product when carbonate minerals recrystallize. This attractive natural stone is known as a metamorphic rock, often coming from limestone or dolomite rock that has changed.

The name has a Greek origin as it refers to ‘shining stone’ or ‘to flash’. This makes sense as it’s often the small sparkly flecks in the marble grain that attract people to it.

Marble in Modern Construction

Marble may be what you think of when you imagine grand old buildings and monuments, but take your thoughts a bit closer to home:

  • That kitchen surface at your friend’s stunning new home
  • Marble tiles at the office that always seem perfectly clean
  • Bookends someone got for Christmas last year

Marble is a popular product in the 21st century and should be mentioned when discussing new projects with clients. It could be just what they were looking for. They may not know it’s widely available or they dismiss it since it’s assumed it’s an extremely expensive product.

Obtaining marble tiles from the right marble and granite supplier can save a building owner a lot of money while getting them the end product they’ve been dreaming of.

The Benefits of Marble

Marble’s attraction as a building material stems from a range of characteristics:

  • It’s aesthetically pleasing without much treatment.
  • It requires very little maintenance as the smooth surface wipes clean easily. You don’t even need detergents to keep it clean and hygienic.
  • No two pieces of marble are the same so you always get a unique result when marble tiles or objects form part of the construction plan.
  • There are so many different types and colors of marble that you’ll find an ideal match for almost any project.
  • Marble is heat resistant. This is why a home that contains marble panels or walls will be much cooler than a traditional brick structure.
  • The stone won’t catch fire which means you can minimize safety risks simply by using the correct construction materials.

Along with many other stone types marble also carries the benefit of being an environmentally friendly option. It’s not a synthetic product that results in waste during the production phase.

Because it’s durable there is very little chance that you’ll have to replace or repair a marble component in the near future. That means fewer natural resources are used when you incorporate natural stone products such as marble in your construction.

Marble Types

When you contact your local marble floor tile or slab supplier, it will be a much more beneficial discussion if you know exactly what to ask for. The range of marble types are vast—why use what you’re used to if there’s a better product out there?

A few interesting marbles include:

  • Negro Marquina from China
  • Carrara Venatino from Italy
  • Rojo Alicante from Spain

As you can see each of these types of marble usually comes from a specific geographical location. The names given to the different stones often refer to these regions.

Applications for Marble in Building and Decor

Marble is a stone that can be used for many applications, not only as statues that many may be used to.

Thanks to its durability and aesthetics you can utilize it almost anywhere:

  • It’s strong enough to act as support and carry weight. Use it as part of walls or even areas where you expect a lot of foot traffic. There’s virtually no risk in using marble slabs as part of a staircase. It won’t easily wear down or crumble under a lot of weight.
  • Because it can be cut to size and made perfectly smooth it’s a hygienic option that can be used in food preparation.
  • The stone is durable enough to use outdoors as well compared to substances such as wood or plastic that may deteriorate over time.
  • Marble can be fashioned in a range of objects that can be used in the construction industry. This ranges from stylish fireplaces to ornate pillars.

What is Limestone?

So we’ve seen that limestone can actually be the first step in forming marble. But where does limestone come from? This sedimentary rock actually includes small pieces and remains of marine organisms:

  • Mollusks
  • Coral
  • Shells
  • Fossils

It’s formed over millions of years, usually in water masses such as the oceans but also rivers and lakes. This is why you’ll find the outlines of these in the limestone kitchen floor tiles or other limestone products you purchase. Some may think these are imperfections, but this is what makes limestone so unique. Those details can add character to a room and since no two limestone tiles will be the same you can create a truly unique space.

Along with this limestone mostly contains calcite and aragonite.

Fun fact: Did you know that the pyramids in Egypt are made of limestone?

The Benefits of Limestone

Even though these two substances—marble and limestone—are closely related, they differ drastically. Is there any worthwhile application for limestone in construction then? Absolutely.

We already mentioned the remarkable aesthetic value that a limestone backsplash or limestone tiles can add to a room. This is thanks to the intricate designs that no synthetic material can really mimic. But there’s more to this rock’s value than its looks:

  • It’s extremely durable and will withstand the onslaught of wind and rain. This is clear when you realize in what an exceptional condition ancient limestone structures such as the pyramids still are after thousands of years.
  • It’s one of the natural stone options known for its non-slip characteristics, making it a safe option for natural stone bathroom tiles.
  • It’s a heat resistant substance so it can keep interior spaces cool during summer.
  • Benefits also extend to the production process. Limestone is relatively easy to extract from the ground. This makes for lower production costs and budget-friendly options for construction projects.
  • As with many other natural stone products, limestone doesn’t require a lot of maintenance. You don’t have to use detergents. This carries many benefits:
    • Households use fewer toxic substances
    • Less time is used for maintenance
    • Utility costs are kept low since no specialized equipment is necessary to maintain these surfaces
  • Although not as hard as marble mentioned in our first section, limestone is still extremely durable. It won’t easily break or need repairs.
  • Limestone is available in different colors and shades, making it easy to match it to other elements in a room.

Limestone in Modern Construction

Because of its unique makeup and benefits, limestone is a practical solution for many construction scenarios:

  • It’s a popular option for cladding
  • Limestone tiles can be used indoors and outdoors because they’re so durable
  • Thanks to its durability and the fact that it’s heat resistant it’s a reliable substance to use in fireplaces
  • This rock can affect the nutrients in the water when you use it to construct fish ponds. This can benefit certain water plants

Apart from using it for practical reasons as part of an upcoming construction project, it can also be considered for decorative purposes.

Interesting Limestones

As mentioned, limestone comes in various colors and similar to marble you’ll find different types in different parts of the world, such as:

  • Mocha Crème found in Portugal
  • Jerusalem Gold from Israel
  • India’s Kota Blue

These are but a few.

Applications for Limestone

Using natural limestone for construction projects has many benefits, but it’s worth noting that limestone is also used in many other applications:

  • You’ll find it in concrete
  • It’s the white pigment in many everyday products ranging from paints to toothpaste
  • It can help condition soil
  • Limestone is used in lime production
  • It can be a source of calcium and is therefore even used in some food products

[Conclusion]

Mother Nature provided a few astounding building materials. They’ve been used by societies for centuries and it’s because of natural stone products’ versatility, durability, and beauty that this trend will probably never disappear.

And now you know how to be the trendsetter and show others how stone can be the X-factor a project needs. Marble and limestone: the classic features your modern structures need. 

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