Blog

Decorative stone

Limestone vs. Sandstone

Limestone vs. Sandstone

You may be wondering — what exactly is the difference between limestone and sandstone? In this blog, we’ll compare these two materials and help you decide which is right for your home. We’ll look at four factors to determine some similarities and differences:

  • Composition
  • Appearance
  • Durability
  • Cost

Limestone

 

Composition

Because limestone is commonly found in marine environments, it’s primarily composed of plant and animal materials, also known as calcium carbonate. This substance is what gives limestone its signature chalky texture and non-layered look.

Appearance

Limestone is usually gray, but can also come in white, yellow, or brown varieties. This type of stone has a very sleek, elegant appearance, making it great for decorative aspects of architecture. Some common places limestone is used to showcase its beauty include:

  • Walls
  • Home exteriors
  • Decorative trim
  • Permanent seating
  • Fireplaces

Durability

Limestone projects will last you years, but it’s important to consider your climate if you live in an area with harsher and wetter conditions. Calcium carbonate is a softer rock material, making limestone more susceptible to weathering. Some common weathering factors include:

  • Rain
  • Snow
  • Atmospheric Pollutants 
  • Acid rain

Although limestone is more susceptible to weathering, it’s still a very durable construction material and a valid option for your next construction project. In fact, limestone is incredibly dense, making it a great option for structures that will be under a lot of pressure.

Cost

Limestone is more expensive than sandstone, however, it’s the best bang for your buck compared to other fine natural stones, like marble or granite. This stone is a great way to get an elegant look and feel similar to more expensive options, while being almost half the price.

Sandstone

 

Composition

Since sandstone is found mainly in areas where sand is present, like deserts, oceans, and lakes, it makes sense that it is primarily composed of sand grains and quartz. This stone can also contain particles of other materials, such as:

  • Feldspar
  • Mica
  • Lithic fragments
  • Biogenic particles

Appearance

Sandstone is typically a tan or dark yellow color, due to the mixture of quartz and feldspar. Sometimes, if the stone contains iron oxide, it can even be a pinkish-red color. The most iconic characteristic of this type of stone is its layering — fluid, irregularly-shaped patterns create unique, wavy layers. Because this stone resembles sand in color and texture, it’s commonly used in architecture for:

  • Home exteriors
  • Pool areas
  • Driveways
  • Patios

Durability

While sandstone is not as dense as limestone, it’s harder and provides better resistance against the elements, especially water. Because it soaks in more water than limestone, it creates a non-slip surface, making it especially great for pool areas. It’s also more durable against impact, which is ideal for highly-trafficked areas like driveways.

Cost

Sandstone is less expensive than limestone, but more expensive than other materials like flagstone or concrete. This stone is a great option for those looking for a beautiful natural stone look with a smaller budget. 

Let Us Handle Your Natural Stone Needs

Looking to add some stone to your space? At Christie Cut Stone, we have a wide selection of natural stone to choose from, so you’ll always end up with the perfect look. Contact our team today and we’ll help you upgrade your indoor or outdoor space!

Contact Us Today

Posted by Michael Christie at 11:12 AM