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How Much Do Limestone Floors Cost?

Natural limestone is beautiful and can give any home a soft and elegant look. The muted tones of limestone add a clean, comfortable feel to any space in the home. It is a soft stone formed by settled sedimentary rocks that pressurize at the bottom of the ocean, and is a very porous material. Limestone has the added benefit of forming striations, which cause it to look similar to wood. It can be found at many home improvement stores, online and is sold by natural stone suppliers and distributors across the country. See the costs that go into limestone below.

The Costs 

  • Minimum cost of base material: $400

  • Maximum cost of base material: $1,300

Although limestone is available in a wide range of sizes, it is most commonly found in tiles sized from 12x12 inches to 18x18 inches. However large slabs and small mosaics can also be used when installing limestone flooring. The average price for limestone tiles ranges anywhere from $2-$11 per square foot. The price can vary based on the thickness, color or finish of the tiles, as well as the quality of the stone. Less expensive tiles are sanded and more porous, while the higher priced type of limestone tile will have a more textured finish.

Price for flooring also depends on whether the installation is being done professionally or in a DIY manner. Professional installation raises average costs per square foot to anywhere from $6 to $17 per square foot. If the project is a DIY installation, other costs will need to be factored in, such as grout, sealant and sawing supplies. Limestone is extremely heavy and is most usually installed professionally, because of its difficult installation. 

Prices also change according to the type of tile. For instance, accent and mosaic tiles tend to be more expensive, going up to almost $28 or more per square foot.

Limestone floors are actually less expensive than many other types of natural stone flooring. While porcelain and ceramic may be an inexpensive option when considering floors, limestone is by far the less expensive option compared to marble or granite floors.

Limestone Flooring

The majority of limestone is composed of calcium carbonate and it is primarily used for bathrooms and living spaces. The natural earth tones of limestone coordinate with almost any living area and home.

It's important to remember that limestone flooring is higher maintenance than other floors, however if the time and commitment is spent on care of the floors, they will last for many years and will maintain their beautiful appearance. If the floors are kept sealed on a fairly consistent basis, the color and polish will last for a long time.

It is recommended to use light and specially made cleaners for limestone floors to avoid any bleaching or spotting that can happen with heavy duty cleaning agents and chemicals.

Materials

Limestone flooring can be a challenge and needs to be laid out accurately on a surface that has been already prepared. It is important to carefully lay the tiles to prevent any chipping ore cracking that can happen when the tiles are not supported properly, or are laid unevenly. The sub-floor will need to be strong enough to support the stone's weight. It is not recommended to be used in high traffic areas, since the stone is of a softer substance and can chip and crack more easily.

Below are the materials needed for installation:

  • Sealant - A few coats will need to be added and will need to be repeated every few years. The sealant is a crucial factor in maintaining the limestone floor, protecting it from stains and damage from sand and grit.

  • Thinset - An adhesive mortar used

  • Grout - Used to seal the edges of the tiles

  • Wet Saw - Needed to cut the tile to shape

  • Chalk - For measuring floor area

If the limestone floor is being self-installed, the general rule of thumb is to measure and then lay the stone first on the measured area. Mix tiles together and be creative with the stone, as no piece will be exactly the same. Some tiles will have aesthetically pleasing marks or fossils within them, or colors. Base the layout on which tiles are most pleasant to look at and space those within the line of sight.

The limestone is then cut to size with a wet saw, and fit into the proper spaces, dried and then sealed before grouting.

It is suggested to use limestone in areas such as hallways, kitchens, baths and living areas.

Advantages

Limestone flooring is less expensive than other types of stone flooring and gives off a beautiful and rustic look. It is fairly durable compared to linoleum or other types of plastic flooring and great for warm climates since the stone stays cool to the touch. It also adds a beautiful an earthy setting to any home, is eco-friendly and soft and feels easier on the feet. There are many different patterns and colors, and it’s very resilient.

Disadvantages

Due to its porous nature, limestone flooring needs to be sealed periodically, and high traffic areas could stain and chip the limestone. The stone is softer compared to other stone and concrete flooring, so porcelain tiles can be made to mimic limestone's look and are more durable and stain resistant. Most stone floors, limestone included, can be slippery when wet. It absorbs water so this should be taken into consideration if being installed outdoors like with an outdoor kitchen.

Last updated on Jun 3, 2014

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