The many finishes of Kilkenny Limestone
Various shade and finish combinations tease the stone into its many expressions of colour and texture. By offering 16 finishes, we always find the finish that best suits the material, your tastes, and the style of your home.
This finish highlights the natural unrefined appearance that results from diamond frame-sawing. Light-grey in colour, the saw-marks remain clearly visible on the face. Often well-utilized on limestone for cladding and kerbing, this ready-rough finish is suitable for a multitude of uses.
The Polished finish has a dark, blue-grey to black colour depending on the bed being processed. Fossil traces, white spots, calcite veining will all show up early on the surface. Polished finishes are applied to large slabs using a rotating head equipped with soft slightly abrasive pads. A continuous supply of water washing across the surface and random oscillation of the head gives the deep lustrous finish. The polished finish is most often used for internal cladding, steps, sills, skirtings and floor tiles. It is also used in furniture, pedestals, tops for vanity units and counters.
The smooth and even appearance rendered by the blue honed finish is achieved through the use of a range of grits. When a honed finish is applied to Irish blue limestone, the coarseness of the grit used will directly impact the colour of the final finish. The coarsest grit (100) achieves a pale blue-grey colour and produces a smooth and matt texture with a faint pattern of circular scores. Honed finishes are suitable for interiors such as worktops, flooring and cladding but are also used externally for furniture, window sills and plinths.
The smooth and even appearance rendered by the dark honed finish is achieved through the use of a range of grits. When a honed finish is applied to Irish blue limestone, the coarseness of the grit used will directly impact the colour of the final finish. The finest grit (500) will achieve a dark blue-grey to black appearance. Crinoids are revealed as well-defined surface mottling, with finely honed shell beds often appearing black with a spectacular white contrast provided by the brachiopods and other sea life. The level of grit used will also affect the texture of the finish. Finer grits (300 and 500) produce a smooth matt texture. Honed finishes are suitable for interiors such as worktops, flooring and cladding.
This is a smooth, pale blue-grey finish that results from a dry sanding process. The natural features of crinoids and the calcite grain structure are visible, showing off minor tonal variations. The ground faces are flat with a faint, fine pattern of scores. It is a specific finish to Irish blue limestone, and is ideal for a variety of uses, both internal and external. The sanded dressing has been used to great effect on the external cladding of a number of influential building projects and is considered to be one of the most characteristic and appealing finishes applied to Irish blue limestone.
This classic masonry technique involves incising the limestone surface with a series of parallel thin lines. These rows of incisions in the limestone appear dark grey or black set against the smooth curved surfaces of the stone. The chiselled finish achieves a paler blue-grey colour with the ancient crinoids revealing themselves as a randomly distributed pattern of paler grey flecks. Chiselled blue limestone is an excellent finish for both internal and external applications such as cladding, ashlar, lintels, mouldings, pavilions, setts, kerbs and steps.
Old Mechanical Chiselled
The Old Mechanical Chiselled finish typically gives the Irish limestone an overall light-grey appearance with the light-grey markings directly contrasting with the darker limestone background. This finish has its origins in the type of manual cuts once administered by stonemasons to the rough surface of limestone using a flat chisel with 20 to 30 strokes per 100mm. The grooves are intermittent and mostly run either parallel to the edges or at a 45° angle. This artisan finish is extremely popular as a feature on paving and cladding.
This finish features a linear surface marked by parallel grooves or ribs in a U-shape, with alternating light gray stripes and the darker rough surface of the stone. Rough lined is a finish that falls between chiselled and sclype.
The Sbattu finish consists of light-grey markings applied against a darker limestone background. Similar to the Old Mechanical finish, the chisel grooves are intermittent, yet somewhat deeper and are mostly applied at an angle of 90°. The finish is used mainly applied on external stonework surfaces, such as cladding and paving.
"Sclype" is a finish consisting of parallel grooves or ribs in a V-shape, with alternating light gray stripes and the darker rough surface of the stone.
Flamed faces have a slightly translucent speckled grey colour, varied by slightly and randomly developed lighter areas. The surface is smooth but with an irregular texture of minor creases. This finish is the result of the torching of the stone surface with a white hot open flame, lending a modern finish with a truly original texture. With excellent slip-resistant properties, flamed Irish limestone is perfect for outdoor uses, including paving and landscaping works, paths and terraces. The distinctive aesthetic of this finish has also made it popular for cladding and indoor use.
Also known as peon hammered finish, the Bush-hammered finish delivers a dark blue-grey background with randomly distributed, closely spaced and contrasting paler blue-grey indentations. The surface has a smooth background which is in contrast to a pattern of fine dimpling. Due to its superior slip-resistant qualities, Irish blue limestone with a Bush-hammered finish is an ideal choice for outdoor use on paving, kerbs and steps. This finish is also applied for decorative purposes and to showcase the various characteristics in a large piece of Irish blue limestone.
Also known as the ‘Frosted’ finish, this dressing involves the application of a pattern of white etching onto the surface of Irish blue limestone. Light in colour, it resembles the pretty pattern of ice crystals which form on the surface of a freezing window. This frosted finish is a recent innovation in stonemasonry and, since its introduction, has been developed to great effect on cladding, paving and building work.
This surface process gives the natural stone an uneven, coarse and grainy structure. This gives some natural stones an exceptional 3D effect in the veins. Particularly suited for countless interior finishing applications.
A specific finish resulting from abrasive action of ceramic chips on the stone surface. The technology is widely used for marbles and limestone and renders a surface with a typical micro pattern that has an increased resilience to scratching. Stonewashed light tiles are most applicable in interior flooring but it also suitable for outdoor surfaces where an aged appearance is desired.
A similar finish as Stonewashed Light tiles, this time starting from a honed surface results in dark variation with the same typical micro pattern and increased resilience to scratching.
Smoother than the Stonewashed Light tile, this finish is less suitable for usage in external environments.
This finish is the result of intensive grinding of the surface with special brush-type tools.
The brushes consist of fine diamond particles trapped in a plastic matrix. The specific surface density of the particles determines the final blue-grey colour of the stone surface. Blue Brushed is a highly durable finish, perfectly suitable for indoor and outdoor applications.
Letano Finish, also known as ‘leathered’ finish, refering to the slightly uneven, leathery touch of the stone surface.
It gives a textured matt appearance suited to both modern and contemporary surfaces. It is popular for use on worksurfaces such as kitchen worktops, vanity sett tops and reception desks due to the cool matt appearance, the distinct tactility of the surface texture and the ease with which it can be maintained.
A somewhat rougher finish, compared to matt or polished finishes, that nonetheless has an especially pleasant feel.
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