Marble vs. Limestone Fireplaces: Choosing the Right Stone for Your Home

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When choosing the materials for your new fireplace, there are a lot of things to consider. From price, to design, to the overall feel you’re going for, the simple task of creating your ideal fireplace isn’t always so simple. The biggest decision to make is what type of stone to use. So here we’re going to compare two of the most popular options, marble and limestone, and point out a few pros and cons for each:

Limestone

Overall – This is a highly versatile stone and can work with a lot of different designs, themes and styles. But, it’s typically reserved for more subtle tastes. It has a warm, soft and natural look, which makes it great for elegant understated rooms. It also pairs very well with wood furniture. You can keep it clean and simple for a nice smooth modern feel, or you can make it a bit more ornamental with intricate carving details. But limestone also works if you’re going for a more rustic look as well. In this case, you would probably want to look into using stacked limestone for that natural hand-crafted feel.

Maintenance – This is a soft and naturally absorbent stone, so limestone fireplaces require a sealant to keep them protected and looking fresh. They are also easy to clean with a little warm water and a neutral cleaner product.

Pros:

  • Versatile
  • Durable
  • Relatively inexpensive

Cons:

  • Limited color variety (mostly neutrals)
  • The main drawback is that it has to be sealed. If not properly sealed, or if the seal is not maintained, your limestone fireplace can become susceptible to staining and scratches.

 

Marble

Overall – Marble is sleek, elegant and sophisticated. With it’s high-contrast striations and larger variety of colors, marble is a bolder choice than limestone. It definitely makes a statement. But, because of its history as the go-to stone for palaces, temples, and sculptures, marble evokes wealth and extravagance, making it slightly less versatile than limestone. Marble can be polished or honed to change the look of the stone for a more or less formal feel.

Maintenance – Marble is extremely durable and easy to maintain, but it also has to be sealed to protect against moisture and acidic products.

Pros:

  • Durable
  • Eye-catching
  • Larger color selection 

Cons:

  • More expensive than limestone
  • Also requires sealing

The main to do when looking into custom stone fireplaces is to really think about what you want the whole room to look like. What is the feeling and overall theme you are trying to create in this room? What kind of furniture will you have? Are you looking for upscale elegance? Old-world sophistication? Modern minimalism? Once you have a detailed vision in mind for the space, it should be fairly easy to choose the stone that fits right in with your personal style.