Natural stones have been a popular choice of stonemasons, builders, and engineers for generations. Their abundance, durability, and beauty cannot be matched. In construction, they are the most widely used materials, for flooring, making tiles, paving patios, driveways, etc., even today. However, its variety often causes confusion. One may have a hard time choosing the natural stone for the respective construction. The most debated choice is limestone and sandstone. So here is a quick look at the qualities of limestone and sandstone, that might help you in comparing both and choosing one.
Limestone: Limestone is a fine-grained stone that has a variety of colors, mostly earthly tones, and browns. It is also available in white. The size of its grains differs due to the difference in its formation. Depending on its formation, limestone can be dense, crystalline, and granular.
Limestone is readily available in large parts of the world. Its availability is a big reason for its worldwide popularity as landscaping and building materials. The other factor that supports its use in such large quantity is that it can be easily cut into sheets or pieces and even into elaborate structures. Limestone also has good longevity. It is not prone to damages or breakages.
However, there are a few aspects of it that make it lesser than the perfect building material. It is extremely heavy and therefore cannot be used for high-rises. Engineers often use thin sheets of limestone to cover its construction but never use blocks of the stone. Limestone is also very expensive and is likely to get stained as they are vulnerable to acid.
Sandstone: sandstone is a sedimentary rock. The name sandstone its self suggests it’s forming particles. As it is formed by sand-sized particles, it is named so. It is available in a wide range of colors that include shades of pink, gold, earthy browns and grey. Its variety is greater than limestone.
Sandstone is also widely available and makes a good material for construction. It is mostly formed by quartz and feldspar and is extremely resilient to breakage, damages, and erosion. It has been in use as building materials since prehistoric times and its usage are still in continuation. Its constant popularity is largely based on two of its quality: one is its resilient durability and the other is its soft texture which makes it easy to cut and carve.
Sandstone is porous in nature and can, therefore, hold a large quantity of water or other liquid. This makes sandstone great aquifers and petroleum reservoirs. Compared to limestone or other rocks, they are better at filtering out impurities.
However, if the strength of both is compared, limestone is at an advantage.
There is no particular winner in this debate. Both the stones have their own advantages and drawbacks. It depends on the type of construction and the surrounding, as to which one will be suitable.
This article talks about the various characteristics of sandstone and limestone and how they are different from each other.