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Limestone Fire Surrounds & Hairline Cracks

November 16, 2011

We often get asked if it is possible for limestone fire surrounds to develop a hairline crack against the grain, as many showrooms describe this as a natural crack. The below article will examine the key points to note:

What you should know:

1. The answer to this question is more complex than it initially appears, and can be looked at from a variety of angles. Essentially it is possible for a limestone fire surround to develop a crack against the veining.

2. The vain deposit within Limestone fire surrounds is essentially a large build up of different sediments. This layer can easily develop what is known as a “fisher” in the trade ... and is essentially a large crack which is then filled with a polymer resin whilst preparing the slabs for use in the fire surround market.

3. Essentially limestone is a porous and soft material and is not ideal for use in fire surrounds for this reason. It is however used extensively as the look and feel of matt limestone cannot be replicated in marble (which is a polished finish)

4. Part of the terms and conditions of limestone fire surround sales are the strict acceptance of “natural products that cannot be controlled and are random in nature”. Essentially this means you are signing or agreeing to accept something that will look different to what you have seen in a picture or in a showroom. Unfortunately the showroom has to protect itself against such eventualities outside its control and this is part and parcel of the limestone fire surround experience. The worst cases we have seen is when customers are forced to accept pink veining running through the material, which is described as “naturally occurring and uncontrollable”.