Caring for Limestone Fireplaces

Hi there,

I hope the following is useful to anyone out there..

I had a lady come to see me this morning, because she had damaged the limestone fireplace I sold her 2 weeks ago, by leaving a hot coffee mug on the mantel.. duh...

Anyway, keeping it brief, I compiled a list of don't do's for her, for the future, that I thought might help others...
  • Never use wax or spray polishes on a limestone fireplace, as these products can darken the surface of the limestone and create patches.
  • Never use kitchen or bathroom cleaners, as they could react with the limestone surface.
  • Never allow cigarettes to be placed on the stone surface, the heat could cause a brown scar.
  • Never stand vases with flowers directly on the limestone surface, as this could cause a permanent ring mark!
  • Never stand red wine, tea or coffee etc, directly on your limestone fireplace -stains and ring marks could result!
  • Never stand coal or logs directly on the fireplace surface - damage and stains may result!
  • Never plaster on to or down to a limestone fireplace - the stone will take up colour from the plaster.
The best way to clean off a grubby mark from limestone fireplaces is simply to use a clean cotton cloth dampened with very dilute washing up liquid. Do not soak the stone though and try to do the cleaning as soon as you notice the accident (hopefully immediately) - if you do spill coffee or wine onto the stone surface don’t panic, just clean it off thoroughly with a dampened cloth and everything should be fine...

If you want any more advice, then chuck me over an email and I will do my best!

Buck ;)



  • silvercarsilvercar Forumite, Ambassador
    44.5K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Academoney Grad Name Dropper
    You've put me off now.

    Is marble easier to maintain?
    I'm a Forum Ambassador on The Coronavirus Boards as well as the housing, in my home and student money saving boards. I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly. Forum Ambassadors are not moderators and don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to [email protected] (it's not part of my role to deal with this). Any views are mine and not the official line of
  • Hi Silvercar, :rolleyes:

    Thanks for the reply, I am sorry to put you off Limestone as a choice for a fireplace!

    I really am, as Limestone is one of my favourites... Especially Agean Limestone.

    To answer your question... Marble is more durable than Limestone, so I suppose it probably is easier to maintain, but it really depends on what you are looking for..

    What I mean is.

    If all you are looking for is a long lasting fireplace and that's it, then you probably wouldn't be looking for the fireplace to be a center piece to your room, so therefore, why bother wasting your money on any fireplace that provides artistic or commercial value..

    It's funny, I design fireplaces, yet my home fireplace is a simple brick one... (But my center piece to my room is the Box) :cool:

    Most fireplaces carved from limestone, marble, granite or slate, are in the room as a center piece, there to give some value...

    My point was, that if you are gonna spend all the money and time putting something like that in your house, then respect it for what it is.

    My points for maintaining the stone, really in my opinion, are common sense...

    It's like anything Silvercar, if you take care of it... then it will take care of you! ;)
  • DuckDuck Forumite
    25 Posts
    Hi Buck,

    I hope you don't mind me asking you a question.

    Ireally wanted a Yorkshire stone fire surround but couldn't really afford it, so I have purchased a cast stone (the ad said cement and sand) one for a fraction of the price. It is in pieces and I just wanted to ask should I seal each section and hearth before fixing to the wall. And what is the best thing to use to fix it to the wall.

    Again, I hope you don't mind me asking you these questions.

  • Hi Duck

    Sorry it's taken a while to get back, it's been a busy easter weekend!

    To answer you:

    Cast stone fireplaces are a great alternative to the real thing, but deffinately should be sealed, as they are usually quite porus...

    You should have a local fireplace shop or tile shop, who sell sealants, suitable for sand stone - Choose a sealant that states it does not alter the colour and simply paint it on with a paint brush! (Don't go for a cheap one.. They can alter the colour)

    As far as attaching it to the wall is concerned... Did it not come with fixing brackets, as most do?

    If you don't have these, then you could bracket it using large mirror brackets or any brackets obtained from a DIY store, or alternatively you could use one of the "no nails" glues in a tube, although you must be very careful (given that I don't the exact construction of your fireplace, I wouldn't like to deffinately advise this course of action)!

    Out of interest what type of fire are you going to have in your fireplace, as this could also be important...

    Speak soon,

    Buck ;)
  • DuckDuck Forumite
    25 Posts
    Hi Buck,

    Really appreciate you taking the time to answer me. It has cleared up quite a few questions I had.

    I have purchased a fire basket to compliment the surround as I had originally saw this in the Stone fireplace / firebasket picture that I had fallen in love with. It is an exact replica.

    The fire surround didn't come with brackets, so I would have to purchase these. In your opinion which option would be better - the 'no nails glue' or the brackets.

    I'm am assuming that the'no nails glue' wouldn't penetrate the surround once it has been sealed as it would be non-porous??

    Thanks for your help so far!
  • Hi again Duck... Em ;):o

    I am glad to be of assistance - fireplaces are a passion of mine ;)

    In my opinion the brackets would probably be a better option, although this is only my opinion.. There are probably some people who would disagree with me.. ;)

    If you are concerned with the glue penetrating the stone after it has been sealed (although if it has been sealed properly, then this shouldn't happen), then I would say go for the brackets, if not for anything else, just for peace of mind ;)

    If you do need any more help, then please mail me, I would always try to help where I can...

    Good night,

    Buck ;)
  • Hi Em,

    Just a quick update for you. After my last post, I had a quick word with my colleague and he said that no nails glue could be an option, given the size of the area of stone that is against the wall.

    As a guide, if the area of stone is above 50mm along the edges that go against the wall, then you could use a no nails product, whereas if the area if stone is below 50mm, then it is our opinion that you should go for the brackets option... (in this case, I would advise L-Brackets)

    You could even go as far as using silicon to adhere it to the wall, providing that the fireplace is not too heavy... Silicon is an excellent product to use as it normally doesn't get obsorbed by the stone.

    As a word of advice, I would probably use silicon with brackets...

    I hope this is helpful, any more advice, shout me!

    Buck ;)
  • libra10libra10 Forumite
    17.5K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    Just wondered whether you could offer any advice.

    We have a York stone fireplace and the centre (over the gas fire) has become blackened with soot through the years.

    Have tried most things to clean (including a steam cleaner) but cannot get rid of the blackened area.

    Would appreciate any suggestions.
  • Hi Libra10

    Sorry it's taken a while to get back, I seem to be a busy bee at the moment ;)

    Can I ask a question... Has the soot already seeped into the stone fireplace, or is it still a surface stain?

    If it is a surface stain, then I can probably recommend some quality stain removers, that normally do a good job at removing stains, whilst not damaging the stone...

    Let me know the details, so I can give you the right advice!! :cool:

    Speak soon,

    Buck :rolleyes:
  • libra10libra10 Forumite
    17.5K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic

    I think the soot has probably seeped into the stone rather than just on the surface. Will it be impossible to clean back to the original stone if this is the case? It looks so unsightly as it is, any improvement would be great.

    I really would appreciate any help and advice you can give.

    Thank you
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