Blog: From the Bedrock

Soft on Color, Hard on Density, This Grey Limestone Acts Like a Marble

Posted by Steven Schrenk

Cut it linear or on the rift, rough it up or make it shine. No matter how you slice it, this American limestone is the versatile, durable answer to all your soothing grey dreams.

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Saint Clair Linear limestone in a kitchen design by Pam Sessions of Hedgewood Homes.

Quarried in Oklahoma, Saint Clair is a high density limestone that offers designers and architects a local source for that cravable soft grey palette in a surface suitable for countertops, vanities, flooring, cladding and even pavers. Harder than other limestones, Saint Clair has the properties of an American marble (known for their stain resistance and durability). We like to say it’s the limestone that acts like a marble.

It's the look though that designers are loving.

"I am especially attracted to the soft warm neutral color of Saint Clair. It works well with so many different color palletes," said Pam Sessions, designer and partner of the design build firm Hedgewood Homes in Georgia.

Sessions has incorporated the material into her program for the upscale neighborhoods she's building around Atlanta.

"It fills the need for a lightly colored top without going to a brighter white. I also like the fact it looks great with both light and dark cabinets."

 

 Saint-Clair-Linear-Grey-Limestone-Mood-Board

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Carved from ancient beaches

Saint Clair is a dolomitic limestone and has a higher concentration of magnesium compared to other limestones - which is why it's able to take a high polish where other limestones cannot.

These limestone carbonate rocks were originally deposited from seawater at the shores of ancient seas in arid climates, a fascinating fact considering Oklahoma’s distance from the ocean. Limestone beds are formed from the calcium and magnesium of cemented layers of seashells and marine organisms. Think of it like ancient, prehistoric beaches that cemented together over millions of years . (You can't get a kitchen counter with that kind history at Home Depot.)

 

One stone, two very different cuts

The gently figured limestone is available in linear and fleuri-cut patterns. The fleuri cut has a wavy, swirly grain pattern that evolves from one slab to another, making every countertop unique. It shows a more homogenous grain pattern in a linear cut.

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Saint Clair limestone, linear cut, polished

 

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Saint Clair limestone, fleuri cut, honed

 

 

A spectrum of textures

Dense, hard and able to take a polish, this sedimentary stone is suitable for multiple finishes including sandblasted, antiqued, honed and polished. Fabricators are able to achieve a high luster shine with Saint Clair because of its unique composition, uniformity and density, a finish that's unattainable with other limestones.

Combining different finishes in one installations offers depth and visual texture. You can see the effect here in this home where the designer used a combination of sandblasted and honed Saint Clair fleuri cut tiles for a large feature wall.

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Exterior applications

Like all natural stones, Saint Clair works in traditional and ultra modern projects, elevated minimialist and elaborate designs alike. The density of Saint Clair limestone makes it suitable for exterior applications too. This home, clad entirely in various sized panels is located in an area with extreme shifts in weather.

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 Sandblasted Saint Clair Fleuri cut exterior cladding.

 

Below, a more classically refined residence incorporates both block and carved elements for a more transitional look. The homogenous grain of the stone allows the carved window stools and moldings to hold a nice crisp edge.

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Residential project in British Columbia clad in honed Saint Clair Fleuri limestone.

 

Download the Saint Clair spec sheet

 

 

POOL coping AND PAVERS

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Pool coping and pavers in fleuri cut.

Because Polycor owns its quarries and processing plants it’s able to offer custom cut tiles and pavers for residential and commercial jobs of any scope and application (from small bathroom to large airport) - a good alternative to exotic marble which can have long lead times.

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Mixing fleuri and linear cuts in a pattern for irregular sized pavers draws attention to the dynamic surfaces.

 

This American limestone is widely available throughout the US, but as with other natural stones, you may see it under different names as distributors like to differentiate their offerings. For example, Stone Source calls Saint Clair, Statesboro Blu, while PMI calls it London Sky.

No matter what you call it, this limestone is a beauty.

Don’t yet have this grey stone in your library? Get a sample. They’re free to the trade.

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Topics: Limestone, Kitchen, Saint Clair, Exterior applications

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