Limestone fireplaces have been a constant feature of many UK homes, both grand and humble, since at least the mid-1600s. Nowadays, there are many different options for fireplace surrounds, including limestone, wood and tiles. Here, we examine the enduring popularity of natural limestone fireplaces.
Ethically sourced local stone
The good news is that some of the world’s best limestone resources are home-grown here in the UK; and English limestone from the Lincolnshire limestone belt is considered by many to be the best of the best. Choosing locally sourced stone for your limestone fireplace not only guarantees great quality, but it’s also eco-friendly, avoiding the huge environmental cost of transporting heavy stone across the world.
Unique look and feel
Every piece of natural stone is unique in look and feel, and limestone is no exception. As a sedimentary rock, limestone was formed from compacted shells, mud and other natural debris which lay for millions of years at the bottom of the sea. This gives limestone its unique natural textured look – no two limestone fireplaces are the same.
Strong, but workable
Limestone is incredibly robust, and limestone fireplaces will last at least as long as the homes they’re installed in. But, compared to other tougher stone like granite or marble, limestone is much easier to work with. This means the stonemason can cut limestone blocks much more accurately to fit the space. It also means much more flexibility when it comes to adding unique carving and design features to create a truly bespoke limestone fireplace to suit your home and your tastes.
Value for money limestone fireplaces
Compared to other stone fireplace materials like marble and granite, English limestone is amazingly affordable. This means with limestone you can have a high quality natural stone fireplace in your home for less outlay… You can also rest assured that your limestone fireplace will look great and last a lifetime too!
Different limestone colours and textures
Much of the current English limestone resources come from the vast Lincolnshire limestone belt which stretches in a south-westerly direction from North Lincolnshire across a huge swathe of the Midlands and down towards the West Country. Within this single belt of rock, there are many different colours of limestone – ranging from creams and light yellows to soft greys. Textures vary too – from smooth to grainy. Some variants still even have visible remnants of the shells and sea creatures which formed the basis of the rock millions of years ago.
Limestone fireplaces are easy to maintain
Unlike other fire surround options, like wood and metal, limestone is naturally long-lasting and easy to maintain. As it’s a porous rock, it does need to be sealed from time to time with a specialist limestone sealant to ward off stains and moisture – but this is a fairly easy DIY job. Your fireplace provider will also seal your new limestone fireplace as part of the construction/fitting process.
Styled to enhance any home
Because it is relatively easy to cut, shape and carve, the design options for your new limestone fireplace are only limited by your imagination. Your stonemason will be able to create a bespoke style to suit the look and feel of your home – whether you live in a Grade II listed cottage (or mansion!), or a self-build new home you’re designing from scratch. From ornate carvings to the most simple, minimalist clean lines, there’s a limestone fireplace to suit all tastes.
Limestone fireplaces work with all types of fire
Limestone fireplaces work perfectly with all types of fire, from open grates and wood burning stoves, to the latest modern gas and electric feature fires. Even if you don’t need a real fire at all, a limestone fireplace adds a great focal point to any room.
So, if you’re looking to add a fireplace to your home, whether a new build or as part of a renovation project, why not consider limestone? You’ll be joining generations of homeowners and housebuilders from across the centuries. There’s also one thing you can be sure of – your natural limestone fireplace will be totally unique.