Question about limestone tile?

seasidemermaidMarch 11, 2013

We just received our limestone tile order. I know that it's a natural stone so there's going to be imperfections. But, am curious if the following is considered normal?

I pulled one piece out and one side looks beveled. Other pieces have tiny nicks along the top surface of the edges. I assume that's from the cutting blade. Most have natural cracks and pits, which I'm guessing is normal up to a point? All this from just about the first 10 pieces I looked at. Just glancing at the rest of this box, a few had chips from at the back corners which probably doesn't matter once installed.

So, someone tell me. Is this to be expected with limestone tile?

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Depends on the limestone. I've seen (and used) some stuff that I wouldn't put in my doghouse, but the homeowner was tickled pink with it. On the other hand, I've done some work with something like Jerusalem Stone and Travertine, where each tile was nice, and flat and square with nice sharp edges. Did you buy your stone honed?

    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 10:04PM
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The tile is honed or as they claim "hand rubbed" and it wasn't cheap. I've attached a picture of one tile. You can see the crack and the chipped edges. Not even sure about what to do with the tiles that have the slightly beveled edge on one side.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 10:33PM
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Sophie Wheeler

It is VERY soft, and more breakage/damage in shipping and cutting is to be expected. I really would suggest that you rethink it's use in the bath. It's extremely porous and etches as well. Not what you want around a toilet at all.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 7:36AM
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Some of the worst "garbage" carries the highest prices. Believe it or not, there are those who LOOK for that tile for the rustic look it creates. If this isn't what you're looking for, cancel your order, because it's not going to get any better. I once saw a customer of the person I was working for down in the Keys throw 16 THOUSAND square feet of Saltillo terra cotta tile into a dumpster (at 2.00 a foot) because she didn't want to see anyone else get "stuck" with that trash. Every person has their different tastes, and I have the feeling this one isn't for you.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 8:00AM
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Unfortunately it's too late. This is the order we received. No cancellation and no returns being that it was a custom order. Of course the samples didn't reflect this at all. I can live with it being that it's just going on the walls. But you are right, the more you pay isn't reflective of the quality you receive.

Thanks for the warning Hollysprings. We knew going in about the etching and porousness and went with a complementary limestone looking porcelain tile for the shower and floors.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 10:10AM
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Hope the tile works out for you. I love the look of limestone, and have had a handmade wrought iron shelving unit with limestone shelves in my Master bath for the last 15 years. Thought I wanted Limestone again as I reno this bath, but just moving the unit to gut the bathroom, made me realize that the real stone would not be a good choice. Variance in each tile size made putting the shelves back (each shelf has 3 12X12 tiles) a giant frustrating jig-saw puzzle...I also never realized how 'chalky', porous, and basically structurally unstable each tile was. They work fine for shelves, and once I put my baskets, towels, etc. on there, I hadn't given it another thought other than seeing the bottom of the limestone tiles all these years. With your tiles, will they 'fill' them like they do with travertine? I guess sealer is going to be your friend...? Will you get credit/or will you have to pay for the cracked tiles?

We are going with a limestone lookalike porcelain tile. I'm just second-guessing whether or not to stick with the 12 X 24 size. What size are your tiles?

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 12:43PM
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raehelen - We're not planning on filling and yes, sealer is going to be my BEST friend.

We are going for the tile wainscoting look. The tiles are 3x12 and it will also have a pencil liner, decorative scroll liner and chair rail. I fell in love with my friend's limestone bathroom. Of course she used Walker Zanger tile and that was way out of our budget. We found a pretty good alternative in the same color tones and similar pattern for a lot less. Still expensive, but not as expensive as what she paid. The floor and shower (which in inset) will be 12x24 porcelain. Still trying to figure out if we want to incorporate some of the limestone as a decorative element in the shower, but we couldn't justify purchasing liners and rails for the shower at a cost of almost $100/ft. Being that it's inset, I'm hoping that it really won't be that noticeable.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 3:56PM
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Wow, can hardly wait to see pictures! I am relieved to hear you're using it for walls, but not in the shower. $100/ft, and Walker Zanger was "way out of your budget"? Guess I don't wanna know how much that was? LOL

Those extra liner pieces really add up don't they? I had ordered some marble pencil liners for our kitchen BS, and then decided against using them. Just the restocking fee was a kicker!

I definitely wouldn't use the real limestone pieces in your shower, not only for the cost, but perhaps it may draw attention to the difference between the real stone and the porcelain. Wonder if the porcelain comes in liners or rails? Could you incorporate some of what you're using on your countertops as an accent in the shower? And, what does 'inset shower' mean?

Do you know how you are laying your porcelain tile? From the research I have done, I guess it needs to be laid in a 33 1/3% offset to reduce lippage. I have a small bath, so now need to decide which direction to run tiles on floor and in shower.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 4:34PM
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Sent you an email raehelen with all the details. :)

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 4:51PM
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Ohhh! Love that scroll accent piece! Now that I know more details, I think you should be able to find some accent details that incorporate your counter colour/material. maybe even with something in that azul colour on both sides of the accent? Just saw in a tile place the accent running lengthwise, ie up and down with the 12 X 24 tiles running vertically, but that may be too modern for the look you seem to be going for. Or even just the porcelain tiles... cuz your real limestone should be the star anyways!

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 5:13PM
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Thanks raehelen.

This post was edited by la_cocina on Fri, Mar 15, 13 at 19:12

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 8:56PM
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Hi La cocina,

Yes, we have finally purchased our limestone lookalike porcelain. Actually went with a different (and of course more expensive...sigh) one that I had originally intended. Thankfully, due to a suggestion on this forum I asked for several sample 12 X 24 tiles of my first choice. When I got them home, they were all exactly the same! Not what you want for a stone look! In the long run, I am glad, as this tile is a much better choice, and I think really does look like limestone. Still sitting in boxes, as we're not quite ready to lay the floor or put up the wall...but getting closer...

Is yours all done? Do you have pics?

    Bookmark   May 18, 2013 at 7:03AM
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Gorgeous tile! Unfortunately, we're not even close. We have 95% of all the materials and our replacement air tub is due to arrive next Saturday. (We discovered cracks in the first tub and thankfully, they agreed to replace it.) I think we are going to forgo any decorative elements in the shower. It's just too small and after reading a blog that commented as to how sometimes it can look like you cut your bathroom in half by using decorative tile, I think we'll just play it safe.

How far along are you? I'm so ready to have my bathroom back. This is taking longer than our kitchen remodel!

    Bookmark   May 18, 2013 at 6:56PM
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How far along? Well, I actually think I have purchased everything I need to (well, except the waterproofing material, and the cement board, and the drywall...LOL)

Ceiling is up, we have the shower light installed, which is great, so that means we have light in the room! All my fixtures are here, carpenter is making vanity and cupboard for over the toilet (toilet is set back in an 8" deep alcove where shower used to be), I think DH will be making the medicine cabinet, so I forsee hanging a mirror there in the meanwhile for who knows how long! LOL

We are having a custom cultured marble pan made for the shower (second most expensive item after the vanity), fellow who makes them was here on Monday to template and pick up my colour chip- he can make it any colour I want). Once that is delivered and in place (weighs approx one ton...JK...but VERY heavy), then we can put up cement board, drywall, waterproof, paint, and then lay tile. Then vanity, and fixtures can go in...still haven't decided 100% on toilet, think I am getting the Toto Vespin 11, I know I am getting a washlet, OK, maybe I haven't even 95% of the tub in this bathroom, but we are doing the next one as soon as this one is finished, so guess I should start on that one of these days... only thing I'm pretty sure I'm getting is a Bain Ultra tub...going downstairs to shower in the guest bath is getting old, can hardly wait to #1 have a shower in my own room, and #2 have a luxurious soak in my new air tub!

    Bookmark   May 18, 2013 at 7:18PM
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