For thousands of years, limestone has served as one of mankind’s primary building materials. The use of this unique, abundant sedimentary rock has left an enduring legacy in the history of man made architecture, exemplified in its use across Ancient Egyptian, Mayan, and later Western civilisations. Limestone is a porous rock created from the remains of prehistoric corals and molluscs, and it is primarily composed of various forms of calcium carbonate. These compositional characteristics make limestone easy to cut and sculpt into shapes and sizes while also being highly resilient.
In present times, limestone is used primarily as an abundant source of calcium carbonate, which is extracted for use in a wide range of applications ranging from the manufacturing of modern building materials like concrete to the enrichment of crops through fertiliser and fortifying food products such as bread.
Although limestone paving has its benefits and is still used quite often as a paving option for outdoor areas, we at Fluid Concrete believe that we could use it to its true potential with the aid of modern technology. With liquid limestone, we have done just that.
What is Liquid Limestone?
Although the name might have some implications of a ‘wonder material’, liquid limestone is actually not that much different from the concrete that you see out on the sidewalk. In fact, liquid limestone still uses the same general ingredients – cement, aggregates, and additives – albeit with a slight twist. Liquid limestone uses white cement instead of the typical grey Portland cement; limestone is used as the aggregate instead of sand or gravel, giving liquid limestone its name; and the additives used are similar to that of regular concrete, but varies depending on the desired properties of the final product.
Of these changes, the use of white cement over grey Portland cement is one of the most important, as its neutral colour allows the limestone to produce unique, vibrant shades (ranging from sandy yellow to bluish-silver) that would otherwise be masked by the strong grey colour of the Portland cement. The use of limestone as the aggregate also gives the final product a set of properties that make it a highly versatile paving material.
Why Choose Liquid Limestone?
Although it is essentially a mixture of concrete and limestone with a fancier name tacked on, the unique formulation behind liquid limestone allows it to combine the best of both worlds and create a truly amazing material for outdoor paving. Below are five of its key features:
Durable and resilient: Liquid limestone manages to inherit the well-known strength and weather resistance of concrete and the unique properties of limestone (to be covered in more detail below) without any of the drawbacks of the latter. Pure limestone is known for being easily damaged from contact with acids; the other components of liquid limestone, however, protect limestone from this form of damage, leaving a material capable of supporting the weight of a large truck with hardly any damage sustained.
Low maintenance: Limestone is a naturally porous rock, a property that has been carried over into its concrete-mixed counterpart. This means dust and debris will get caught in its tiny crevices, resulting in unsightly stains forming over time. To compensate for this, most varieties will have a sealant that is either added into the liquid mixture or applied to the liquid limestone after it has cured and set in. This allows liquid limestone paving to be quite trivial to clean.
Heat resistance: Liquid limestone has the unique property of being able to dissipate heat very quickly, thus allowing it to remain very cool to the touch even through the scorching afternoon hours of the summer. This is one of the defining features of liquid limestone that makes it highly desirable as a flooring material for patios, poolside areas, and other paved outdoor areas.
Highly versatile: Given what we’ve covered already, liquid limestone as a paving material happens to be both functionally and aesthetically versatile. The combination of the properties of concrete and limestone gives it a level of durability that has no problem keeping up with more expensive stones. The unique mixture of ingredients in liquid limestone allows the limestone aggregate to really show its true colours through the material as opposed to the dull greys of typical concrete. Although the range of colours that could be achieved by liquid limestone isn’t as wide as that of, say, dyed concrete, the resulting shades are quite sought-after for their ‘Mediterranean’ feel that helps it to stand out over other paving options. On top of that, its poured-liquid method of installation gives designers a wide variety of options as to etching and stencilling much like standard concrete.
Value for money: With a laundry list of benefits that liquid limestone brings to the table, surely there must be a monetary catch? As it turns out, the wide availability and stable supply of limestone allow liquid limestone to keep its prices much lower than that of harder to get stones such as granite and slate. And with the added versatility of liquid limestone being, well, liquid, you can achieve the ‘broken’ look through custom moulds and stencils at little to no additional cost.