How To Use Limestone as a Building Material

Olive limestone paversDid you know that limestone is likely the first widely-used building material? In fact, some of the oldest stone buildings in the world were constructed with limestone, like the pyramids in Egypt.

As a naturally occurring sedimentary rock, limestone can be found in abundance throughout the world. In terms of construction, limestone can be used in various ways, including:

  • Limestone blocks used to construct buildings
  • Stone cladding on walls
  • Retaining walls
  • Floor paving and tiles

3 benefits of using limestone

1. It’s exceptionally durable

Many people don’t know it but limestone is actually one of the most durable of all natural building materials. Limestone is exceptionally weather-resistant and while it does naturally corrode over time, the corrosion is superficial and won’t impact the structural integrity of the structure.

2. Limestone is extremely versatile

Limestone is also extremely versatile. Most types of limestone are off-white in colour, meaning they’ll match almost anything. However, if off-white’s not your colour, there are other variations. In terms of shape, limestone can easily be shaped into blocks or bricks which makes it even more resourceful.

3. A natural way to keep your home cool

Limestone is a great conductor of heat. This means that the interior of the building will be much cooler. Not only is this better for the environment, by keeping electricity bills down, but it’s also much better for your wallet in the long term.

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9 Famous uses of limestone around the world

Limestone has been used for hundreds of thousands of years to construct buildings. From pyramids to houses, limestone has seen its fair share of construction.

1. The Great Sphinx

With the body of a lion with a head of a human, it’s the largest monolith statue in the world and was built more than four thousand years ago.

2. The Parthenon

It’s here where we see early use of limestone to create columns. People are still incorporating this design in their buildings today.

3. The Lincoln Memorial

The memorial is built in the style of the Greek Temple and is made up of many different materials, most notably limestone. The interior walls and columns of the Lincoln Memorial were constructed using Indiana limestone.

4. The Empire State Building

In addition to the art deco influences, limestone was incorporated in the building, which reaches a height of almost 444 metres.

5. The Great Pyramid

One of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Great Pyramid is made predominantly from limestone, with a hint of granite and mortar in there too. The limestone had to be carefully cut to allow for the precise slant of the pyramid.

6. Washington National Cathedral

This one took a whopping 83 years to build. The west towers were completed in 1990 and the building, one of the oldest in the US made out of Indiana limestone, is adorned with 400 angels and gargoyles.

7. United States Holocaust Memorial

Congress voted to establish the museum with an Indiana limestone exterior in 1980. It was opened in 1993 and since then has had more than 30 million visitors.

8. Kingston

The Canadian city of Kingston has so many buildings constructed using limestone that the city has been given the nickname Limestone City.

9. The Pentagon

Following the attacks on the Pentagon on 11 September 2001, the building was reconstructed using the “Nation’s Building Stone” – natural Indiana limestone.

The importance of limestone in construction

One of the oldest building materials known to man, the importance of limestone in construction cannot be ignored. The positive properties of the stone, combined with the ease of use and durability makes it the perfect material for construction. Excellent quality, the natural material stands the test of time.

Find the perfect limestone with Artisan Stone

Get in touch with the experts at Artisan Stone to find the best natural stone products, including our impeccable range of quality limestones. Our friendly team are on hand to assist you to find the perfect natural stone material that will suit your landscaping project.