Limestone: Natural vs Reconstituted

Limestone: Natural vs Reconstituted

Limestone blocks and slabs are a popular form of natural stone for use in both internal and external construction. Whether it’s limestone capping or retaining walls, limestone offers many benefits both aesthetically and functionally.

But did you know that there are actually two different types of limestone blocks for sale in Perth and beyond?

Natural and reconstituted limestone share many similarities but are also different in some unique but consequential ways. In this article, we’ll introduce you to both forms of this precious stone and help you understand exactly what those differences are.

An Introduction to Limestone

Limestone itself is a type of rock called sedimentary stone. It is primarily composed of calcium carbonate and a variety of other organic matter such as fossils.

Formed over millions of years, and most often in shallow watery environments like reefs and seas, limestone emerged when depositions of sediment rich in calcium carbonate start to accumulate and harden along with the remains of marine organisms. These organisms can include fossilised shells, coral and even algae.

During this process, the emerging stone continues to accumulate, compacts and cements together with the weight of the sediment continuously pressing down on the layers below and causing the components to stick together. Both pressure and heat crystalise this sediment into the solid form that we now call limestone. Depending on the depository in question, this process can continue and produce even denser stone.

Thanks to the manner in which it forms, limestone is known for its complexity and depth of texture. Found with both fine-grained and smooth surfaces and even rough, larger-grained textures, there is a ton of variety in aesthetic, feel, design and colour of limestone.

What is Natural and Reconstituted Limestone?

Natural limestone blocks are the easiest to explain. They are quarried (i.e., cut) directly from a quarry in the ground. These large slabs are then cut down, shaped, shaved and slimmed to form whichever structure or sized paver or block is needed.

As its name suggests, natural limestone does not undergo a process of manufacturing and it is the same stone that was once part of the Earth’s crust.

Reconstituted limestone, on the other hand, is a manufactured product. It is made from using high-quality crushed limestone combined with cream cement to form a new substance. This type of stone is designed to look and feel just like natural limestone, only with the added benefit of superior strength and durability born from the combination with the cement.

Natural vs Reconstituted Limestone: Which is better?

It doesn’t matter whether you’re considering using natural limestone retaining wall blocks or considering reconstituted limestone capping, it’s important to understand the advantages and disadvantages of both of these types of stone.

1. Quality

Reconstituted limestone, as explained above, is a manufactured product. This means that it is created in a far more controlled environment than natural stone. As one would expect, this allows more consistency in the quality of the product and more uniformity in colour, texture, and hardiness.

Natural limestone on the other hand is not tampered with or changed and so the quality of the stone itself is dependent 100% on the quality of the stone extracted from the ground and can vary accordingly.

2. Durability

Natural stone in all its forms is quite hardy and durable. However, during the process of reconstituting limestone manufacturers use intentionally engineered binding agents to add extra strength and durability to the end result.

What does this mean? If you’re on the hunt for as hard-wearing and long-lasting a limestone product as possible, reconstituted limestone is your best bet as it does not crumble or discolour over time.

3. Cost

Price is often a factor in determining which construction material is best for a particular application. While the cost-effectiveness of stone can vary, in general ,reconstituted limestone is more affordable than the completely natural alternative.

This is simply because the cost of the raw materials used during the manufacturing process is less than the cost of quarrying large pieces of limestone out of the ground and transporting them wherever they need to go.

4. Environmental Impact

At Remastone, our reconstituted limestone is produced in as eco-friendly a way as possible, ensuring minimal waste and environmental impact.

The quarrying of natural limestone, generally, has a greater impact on the environment and leaves a larger footprint (in the form of a slab-shaped hole) on the Earth.

5. Customisation

As you are probably aware by now, with natural limestone blocks you get what you get. However, as part of the manufacturing process of limestone that is reconstituted, we–and by extension, you–have more control over the final product.

From the colour of the stone to its texture and even its aesthetic finish, there are more versatile customisation opportunities with reconstituted limestone compared to natural stone.

For all things limestone, turn to Remastone!

Remastone are the leading providers of limestone blocks in Perth and surrounds. Our reconstituted limestone is manufactured to the highest of qualities and standards so you can rest assured you’re getting your money’s worth in durability, longevity, and beauty.

Want to find out more about limestone? Check out our range today or get in touch for more information!