When considering options for your new fireplace, there are a lot of things to consider that will determine if you choose a marble fireplace surround or a limestone fire surround. From price and design to colors and the overall ambiance you’re going for, the simple task of putting together various features to create your ideal fireplace isn’t always so simple. It isn’t always easy to determine the best fireplace fronts of stone for your space, especially when you can’t “try before you buy” a stone fire surround.

One of the first and biggest decisions to make is what type of stone to use for your fireplace surround. You never want to settle for cheap marble fireplaces! The grace, elegance, and beauty that high-quality appointments command require an elegant frame that suits not only your tastes and preferences, but also the ambiance of your entire home.

As possibly the most dramatic piece in any space, the fireplace has the unique ability to draw people in and bring people together – and it’s up to you to choose between the various types of stone available to create an unforgettable space for everyone to enjoy for many years to come.

Limestone vs Marble Fireplaces

We can help you sort out the important aspects of choosing limestone around a fireplace vs opting for fireplace surrounds of marble stone. Each natural stone has its unique features and perks, and each has qualities that some may consider less desirable.

It is for this reason that we’re going to compare two of the most popular options, limestone and marble fireplaces, and point out a few pros and cons of each.



Overall – Limestone is a sedimentary rock. This is a highly versatile stone that can work well with a lot of different designs, themes, influences, and styles. Most often, it’s also typically reserved for those who desire a more subtle flair in their living room, bedroom, or family room. Limestone has a warm, soft and natural look, which makes it great for elegantly understated rooms. Limestone fireplaces often pair very well with wood furniture. You can keep the design of yours clean and simple for a nice smooth modern feel, or you can make it a bit more ornamental with intricate carving details.

However, limestone also is a good choice if you’re going for a more rustic look as well. If this is something that suits your personal style, in this case, you would probably want to look into using stacked limestone for a 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. In other words, it’s a stone that is more porous than marble. Limestone mantel surrounds are also easy to clean with a little warm water and a neutral cleaner product.


  • Limestone fireplaces are versatile
  • Limestone is durable
  • It’s relatively inexpensive


  • It does have a fairly 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 Mantels and Surrounds

Overall – Marble is sleek, elegant, and sophisticated. With its high-contrast striations and large variety of colors, marble is considered a bolder choice than limestone. It definitely makes a statement. As such, because of its history as the go-to stone for palaces, temples, and sculptures throughout time, marble evokes wealth and extravagance, making a marble surround slightly less versatile for a simple design-home than a limestone fireplace surround. However, marble can be polished or honed to change the look of the stone for a more or less formal feel, helping its versatility a bit.

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


  • Marble is durable
  • It’s very eye-catching
  • There is a larger color selection available than with limestone


  • A marble fireplace surround will be more expensive than a limestone one
  • Marble also requires sealing


The Bottom Line: Limestone vs Marble

The main thing to keep in mind when you are looking into custom stone fireplace surrounds is the ambiance you want to create within a room – you need 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? 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 – and we can help.

BT Architectural Stone is an award-winning cultivator of natural stone appointments and unique crafts that include fireplaces, fountains, columns and pillars, kitchen hoods, landscaping features, and more. We blend old-world techniques with the latest state-of-the-art technology to create custom pieces sourced from the finest stone all over the world.

Contact us today and let us know how we can help you bring a new tier of class and passion to your home with a custom handcrafted marble or limestone fireplace.