French limestone’s wide range of colors, variety of finishes and durability!

In our 40 years in the stone industry, we’ve found the most popular stone for flooring is French limestone, due to the great range of colors, wide variety of finishes offered and the high density/hardness/durability that is available.

Limestone is a sedimentary rock composed of calcium carbonate, plus calcium and/or magnesium. It is formed when layers of minerals (particularly calcite), fine sediment, and the skeletons and shells of marine organisms undergo lithification. Properties such as high resistance in freezing and thawing conditions make natural limestone ideal for practically all architectural purposes.

1.) Color varieties are tremendous!  Click here for an example of just some of the French limestone colors available including variations of white, tan, cream, yellow, gray and black. These beautiful colors (and density) are determined by the location of the quarry and the type of stone extracted from it. Its critically important to clearly identify a stone/color – sometimes the name may vary depending on where it is being purchased from vs. if named after the quarry’s nearby town or other location. Limeyrat, Dalle de France, Lanvignes, Giverny, Dalle de Bourgogne, Balzac, Beaumanière are just a few of the interesting names that you’ll hear. In every situation, it’s important that custom orders are clearly identified and then managed with the quarry to control the selection process and variations that will affect color range.

2.) Density: French limestone is known as having some of the hardest varieties available making it very suitable in freeze/thaw conditions. In general, the density of rock is measured by a scale which factors the packing structure, molecular arrangements and composition then assigns a number. Limestone ranges from 2.3 to 2.7 on the ‘density scale’. This is range found in most building stones and is comparable to marble and granite – in fact only basalt is harder. French limestone’s hardness is classified generally as semi-hard, medium-hard and some of the hardest; Villebois, Combanchien and St. Martin.

3.) Finishes: A wide variety of floor finishes are available! The quarried blocks of stone go through a process of machine calibration and then cut to sizes such as: 12” x 12”, 16” x 16”, 18” x 18”, or to your custom specifications. (The photo above is a residential project that selected ‘Limeyrat’ also known as ‘Dalle de France’ in a custom blend of sizes.) At this point each tile is sent through for its final finish, with options such as: polished, honed, acid washed, brushed or flamed. The edges of the tiles can be treated as well; straight edge, chiseled, chipped, brushed or shot blasted and more.

Natural French limestone flooring is a great choice and an investment that can last a lifetime. Allow Monarch Stone International to assist you in the process of selecting natural stone for your project.

Visit our French Limestone Flooring gallery for photos of the beautiful French Limestone flooring we can provide.