Limestone Resources Australia Pty Ltd

Frequently Asked Questions

If the question you would like answered is not on this page, please go to the Contacts page to submit your question. You will receive a reply in the near future and your question may then be added to the frequently asked questions on this page.

  • What is the difference between natural and reconstituted limestone?
    • Natural limestone is cut directly from the floor of the quarry and supplied as dimensional cut blocks, whereas reconstituted limestone is a manufactured product made by using crushed waste stone from the quarries.
  • What is the difference between Carabooda and Moore River Limestone?
    • Carabooda limestone is a typical ‘Tamala’ limestone quarried from the Wanneroo/Yanchep region close to Perth. It is cream in colour and slightly denser than Moore River limestone which is more textured and darker in colour.

      Moore River Limestone is unique to Limestone Resources Australia Pty Ltd and is cut from their quarries situated at Guilderton, near the mouth of the Moore River approximately 90 kilometres North of Perth.
  • What is the difference between Quarry cut (tungsten cut) and Diamond cut limestone blocks?
    • When used for housing, the general trend is to use diamond cut Carabooda limestone blocks for a more formal finish, or the more textured biscuit coloured Moore River Limestone blocks to create a character natural stone feel – it is simply a matter of personal preference.

      Quarry cut limestone blocks are cut directly from the quarry floor using electric saws with tungsten tipped blades. Diamond cut blocks are produced by reprocessing quarry cut blocks through multi-bladed saws to produce an accurately cut product such as housing blocks, cladding, paving etc. The saw blades used in this process are diamond tipped to give a smoother finish.
  • How long can we expect limestone to last once it is laid?
    • Good quality limestone has been thousands of years in the making and will last in a building situation for several lifetimes. Much of the Port City of Fremantle was constructed from local limestone when first settled, today many of these old stone buildings sell for a very high price by comparison to many modern houses. The pyramids in Egypt were built out of limestone thousands of years ago and still stand as recognition of past civilisations.
  • Why does some limestone discolour or grow moss etc?
    • Limestone is a porous stone that if kept moist can create a suitable environment for lichen, moss etc to grow. If the growth is not removed in its early stages it may darken the stone. Dark soils, peat etc can also discolour the stone over time if it is not sealed. Sealing the stone with a good sealer such as ‘Waterepel’ will prevent discolouration.
  • How can I prevent limestone from discolouring?
    • Discolouration can be prevented simply by sealing the stone with a suitable sealant such as ‘Waterepel’.
  • How can I give new limestone an old appearance?
    • Moore River Limestone is the better stone to use if an aged look is required as it is darker in colour. Do not seal the stone but mix peat with water and let this mix soak into the stone. To encourage growth on the stone, use yogurt on the stone to assist growth and keep the stone moist.
  • Why should I seal limestone?
    • Limestone is sealed to prevent discolouration.
  • When should I seal limestone?
    • The correct time to seal limestone is after it has been laid and is dry.
  • How often do I need to seal limestone?
    • If limestone is sealed correctly the first time, it should not require further sealing for many years.
  • How do I seal limestone?
    • Limestone should be free of dust and dry prior to sealing. A low-pressure garden spray or similar device is ideal. Apply from the top of the stone and work down the wall. For areas close to windows and doors the sealant can be applied using a paint brush.
  • Does reconstituted limestone need to be sealed?
    • Whilst reconstituted limestone, being a manufactured product, is denser it can still discolour and therefore it is advisable to seal the stone if the original colour is to be retained.
  • What is reconstituted limestone?
    • Reconstituted limestone is a manufactured product made from natural limestone that is not suitable for use as dimensional cut blocks. It is crushed then mixed with cement to make blocks of various sizes.
  • Is natural limestone suitable for paving?
    • Natural limestone is suitable for domestic, low traffic paving, however we do not recommend it for vehicle driveways or commercial paving.
  • Can natural limestone be used for bench tops and floor tiling?
    • No, Australian limestone is too soft for use as bench tops and similar applications. Imported material is normally harder and more suitable for applications such as this.
  • How can I use limestone to renovate my existing house?
    • There are several ways to use limestone to renovate a house, however the most common method is with the use of limestone cladding which can be fixed to an existing wall. This method can change the appearance of an older house into that of a new limestone house. Cladding can also be used internally to create a feature wall, fireplace or similar effects.
  • What is limestone cladding?
    • Limestone cladding is cut into 35mm thick tiles from natural limestone, using diamond tipped saw blades. It is available as an all round diamond cut tile for butt jointing or diamond cut face with quarry cut edges for use when mortar joints are to be used.
  • What is limestone cladding used for?
    • The most common use for cladding is for internal applications such as fireplaces, feature walls and similar applications, however it is also often used for cladding the external walls of an existing house.
  • Why is limestone cladding more expensive than thicker blocks?
    • Cladding is comparatively more expensive that thicker blocks because natural limestone is a softer stone, unlike granite or marble it is more difficult to achieve the quality required. This in turn results in a higher wastage rate when cutting the 35mm cladding tiles and also longer production times.
  • How is limestone cladding fixed to existing walls?
    • The most common way to fix cladding to a surface is with readily available tile adhesives. Instructions on the tile adhesive should be examined to ensure that it is suitable for the job being undertaken.
  • What is the most economical way to use limestone for housing construction?
    • Carabooda diamond cut blocks 100mm wide offer the most cost effective use of limestone for house construction.
  • What are the main options for the use of limestone in housing construction?
    • There are many variations of limestone that can be used in house construction, however there are basically two types of stone which give different textures and colours and two different finishes, quarry cut and diamond cut. From this point there are several options in the way these blocks are laid (stretcher bond, random bond etc.) and varying mortar joints can be used.
  • How do I locate an architect, designer builder or stone mason to quote on my building needs?
    • Where permitted, the architect and builders details have been provided in the completed projects section of this website and links to their website (or e-mail address where provided beside the completed projects displayed). In addition to this, as the major supplier of limestone in the Australian market, Limestone Resources Australia Pty Ltd is able to assist by providing advice in this area. Details of how to contact Limestone Resources Australia Pty Ltd are found in this website Contacts Page.
  • Is limestone very expensive for use in housing construction?
    • It is extremely difficult to make a comparison between building construction costs due to the wide range of products available. As a rule of thumb in the Western Australian market, limestone begins at around the top of the range bricks based on the finished ‘in the wall’ price of a double brick construction.
  • I am told that natural limestone has very good thermal and acoustic insulation values, is this so?
    • Yes, limestone has very good thermal and acoustic insulation values, it is an excellent material for use in internal situations where clarity of sound is important.
  • How is limestone delivered to site?
    • Limestone is always delivered on pallets, housing blocks to be transported long distances are shrink wrapped and travel well.
  • What is meant when referring to the height of housing blocks in brick courses?
    • In Western Australia the majority of houses are built using internal brick walls, therefore it is necessary to cut limestone blocks to match brick courses. This provides for the installation of wall ties to tie the inner and outer walls together.
  • What size joints are used when laying: a) House blocks? B) Landscaping blocks?
    • a) For house construction the mortar joints should be 10mm to 12mm.

      b) Landscaping blocks are generally laid with 20mm to 25mm mortar joints.
  • Which is the best way to finish the joints when laying limestone?
    • Like the choice of stone, the choice of mortar joints finishes is simply a matter of personal preference. To view some of the most commonly used mortar joint finishes, click here and you will be taken to the website images of these mortar joints.
  • Can the average handyman lay limestone blocks and achieve a reasonable standard of finish?
    • The average handyman can lay limestone landscaping blocks as they are more forgiving than housing blocks. It is recommended that an experienced stonemason be used in building constructions. For more information on laying limestone blocks, go to the Tips & Tricks Page of this website.
  • What is the mortar mix used when laying limestone blocks?
    • The mortar mix can vary, depending upon the sand used and other factors, however a typical mortar mix in the Perth region is 6 parts good sharp yellow brickies sand, 1 part lime and 1 part of cream (off-white) cement.
  • Will the supply of limestone ever run out?
    • The supply of good quality quarrying limestone will certainly not run out over the next few decades. Long term supply of quality material combined with responsible conservation of our environment is of paramount importance to Limestone Resources Australia Pty Ltd.
  • What is ‘Tamala’ limestone?
    • Tamala limestone is the geological name given to the limestone found in the areas around Perth and outlying coastal districts. "Tamala limestone is of early to late Pleistocene age and consists of both windblown and marine sediments."
  • What should I look for when choosing limestone for any purpose?
    • When choosing limestone for any purpose, in addition to the service and credibility of the supplier, the things to look for in the product are the dimensional accuracy of the cut and the quality of the stone.
  • Does Limestone Resources Australia Pty Ltd supply limestone for road base?
    • Although this question is often asked, Limestone Resources Australia Pty Ltd does not supply limestone as road base material. The company specialises in dimensional cut limestone which is a different quarrying process.
  • What is a ‘second grade’ limestone block?
    • A ‘second grade’ limestone block available from Limestone Resources Australia Pty Ltd may have only one good face, making it suitable for retaining walls and landscaping projects, but less suitable for construction projects that require accurate finishes.

      It should be noted that the definition of 'second grade' can vary between suppliers. If in doubt, ask to see a sample.
  • Will I get variation in the sizes of my limestone blocks?
    • Yes, the sizes that we list on all of our limestone products are nominal and as such there is a possibility that you will get some variation in finished sizes from one block to the next. Possible variation in Quarry cut blocks may be plus or minus 15-20mm. Diamond cut blocks and accessories such as bullnosing and pier caps, which are secondary processed in our factory, may have variations of plus or minus 10mm. It is our recommendation that you ensure that your Stonemason ‘gauges’ or sorts the blocks according to coursing heights and lengths prior to the commencement of any construction. This will ensure that you will receive the best possible outcome from your limestone in the finished wall.