Introducing Egyptian Limestone to
Ireland’s Homes and Gardens.
History, Benefits, and Installation Guide
Limestone is arguably one of the world’s most popular and dependable building materials, with a history stretching back over 9,000 years. Tile Merchant is proud to introduce to its expansive range of home and garden renovation products authentic Egyptian limestone paving slabs, sourced specifically for the Irish market.
Ireland’s unpredictable and often harsh weather puts a premium on outdoor paving options which can withstand the elements; here at Tile Merchant we believe this durability should be available to all at an affordable price. Whether you’re interested in installing Egyptian limestone slabs inside or out, or you’re here to learn a little about the material first, this guide is for you.
Table of Contents
What is limestone and where does it come from?
Limestone is a sedimentary rock, meaning that it’s made of sediment (in the case of limestone, ancient marine fossils high in calcium carbonate) which is compressed under extreme pressures over millions of years, and found on riverbeds and the sea floor.
Limestone can be found all over the world, but is most famously associated with Egypt, which is why we decided to source all of our limestone from the historic Sinai Peninsula, just north of the Red Sea. Of all the ancient civilizations to have stuck in the collective memory, there’s a reason Ancient Egypt is perhaps the most famous – namely, their immense architecture has stood the test of time thanks to the durability of this most amazing natural rock.
In fact, a great many long lasting civilizations have preferred limestone over a choice of other building materials. In the long history of limestone use – going as far back as a flooring mortar in Yiftah El, Israel, in 7,000BCE – it has been used in the construction of the Pyramid of Giza, Cleopatra’s Needle, and the Parthenon in Athens; as cement for Roman roads, in the renovation of the Tower of London and the Great Wall of China, and even in the construction of the Empire State Building in New York.
Egyptian limestone paving: key features, pros and cons
1. Durability and density of Egyptian limestone paving slabs
Due to the nature of its formation, under immense pressure, limestone is intrinsically durable – just look at those pyramids! Whilst it weathers over time, it does so only superficially, leaving an aesthetically-pleasing outer appearance. The structural integrity of limestone, and particularly Egyptian limestone, can remain sound for centuries, if not millennia.
The natural density of our Egyptian limestone paving slabs, combined with the relatively few pores present in the material, ensure that it can withstand a good deal of punishment. We find it particularly effective as paving and tiling in gardens, kitchens and bathrooms, for this reason.
2. Cost and installation of Egyptian limestone paving slabs
Thanks to its natural abundance, limestone is also typically one of the cheaper building materials available. When it comes to Egyptian limestone paving costs, prices are a little higher than those of limestone sourced elsewhere, reflecting both its exceptional quality and the renown this magnificent substance has rightfully earned.
Nevertheless, Egyptian limestone paving prices are soon recouped during installation. Because limestone is easier to work with (being a fairly pliable and malleable material, in spite of its immense strength), and because it’s lighter than other paving slabs, installation costs tend to be much lower. Fewer people are required to install limestone, and it’s easier to work with, dropping costs across the board.
3. Colour and versatility of Egyptian limestone paving slabs
Egyptian limestone has a traditional beige-pearl hue to it, reminiscent of the sandy, warm and iconic landscapes of North Africa. We may be biassed, but we think our Egyptian limestone paving slabs are particularly well-suited to the Irish climate and the emerging trends in Ireland’s home renovation scene.
The natural warmth of Egyptian limestone paving in Ireland helps to stave off the winter blues (or the blues of any cold and rainy day, for that matter!) whilst being subtle enough to merge seamlessly with almost any style or taste.
4. Weather resistance
Limestone is a porous rock, but has fewer pores than most natural materials, meaning that Egyptian limestone paving slabs are slip-resistant, as well as waterproof and resistant to frost! With a little aftercare and annual maintenance, our Egyptian limestone paving slabs can withstand Ireland’s rain, whilst remaining safe for you and your family to walk, skip and run on, all year round.
Moreover, the natural density of limestone – which we touched on earlier – makes it a great conductor of heat, keeping homes and flooring cool in the summer and warmer in the winter.
5. Cleaning and maintenance of Egyptian limestone paving slabs
We recommend sealing any natural rock when installing it, so as to protect it overtime against discolouration from any mortars used. Natural stone, including our Egyptian limestone paving for Ireland’s market, should then be resealed with specialist products on an annual basis.
A simple brush, once in a while, will go a long way to keeping your Egyptian limestone paving free of debris, whilst a powerwash with a hose (minding not to hit the grouting material directly) and/or some pH-neutral soapy water will keep the limestone clean and sparkling for generations to come.
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Tile Merchant Egyptian limestone paving: original Egyptian stock
The newly-stocked Egyptian limestone paving slabs in Ireland’s one-stop-shop for home and garden paving and tiling renovations, Tile Merchant, is all ethically-sourced from the famous limestone mines of Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, east of the River Nile.
Egyptian limestone is a warm, neutral beige-pearl colour, with a tumbled finish to give it an extra eye-catching texture reminiscent of French country houses.
We stock Egyptian limestone paving in two formats:
● 90x60cm limestone paving slabs to be purchased individually, or by the square metre
● A 1 m2 patio pack (one metre square patio pack of Egyptian limestone paving slabs), containing two 60x40cm slabs, two 40x40cm slabs, one 40x20cm slabs, and three 20x20cm slabs.
If you’re interested in how Egyptian limestone paving might refresh your Irish home or garden, why not order a free sample today, or pop into one of our showrooms, two of which are located in Dublin, and one in Ashbourne, Co. Meath.
How to install Egyptian limestone paving slabs in Ireland
Once you’re ready to start your Irish DIY installation of our fabulous Egyptian limestone paving slabs, use the following steps as a guide to aid you:
1. Mark out the boundaries of your new paving area, and sketch a clear idea of the way you wish to lay your Egyptian limestone slabs to create the desired pattern.
2. Next, lay a full-wet mortar bed over MOT Type 1 hardcore.
3. Apply a latex-based primer, such as SBR, to the back of each slab with a sponge before you lay it, to ensure that the mortar does not seep through the limestone’s pores over time. Leave the primer to fully dry. This should take around 10 minutes.
4. Lay your Tile Merchant Egyptian limestone paving slabs one at a time, ensuring the mortar bed is nice and flat, first. Leave a 5mm joint between slabs.
5. Use a rubber mallet and spirit level to ensure the limestone slabs are perfectly straight and level.
6. Once all of the paving slabs have been laid, allow it to dry completely for at least 24 hours.
7. Give the new paving area a gentle clean with warm water and a pH-neutral soap, or a very light powerwash.
8. Seal the natural Egyptian limestone using a sealant designed for natural stone and allow it to dry completely.
9. Next, grout the paving with an outdoor tile or paving slab grout which complements the colour of our Tile Merchant Egyptian limestone slabs.
10. Finally, allow the whole setup to dry, seal once more, and dry again.
Unlike natural wood, wood plastic composite can be made to meet a much more diverse range of styles and colours. Though our WPC wall panelling is available in a variety of traditional wood finishes – including walnut, light and dark oak – it is also available in anthracite, for those with inclinations toward darker palettes, and for use in modern, minimalist Irish homes.
At Tile Merchant, we’re proud to offer our customers across Ireland – from Dublin to Donegal, Killarney to Kilkenny and Cork – only the highest quality, most dependable and homeowner-approved products.
If you’re interested in redecorating your outdoor space, patio, or back garden with our Egyptian limestone natural paving slabs, why not pop into one of our showrooms first, to see it for yourself. We currently have three showrooms, two in Dublin (Ballymount and Coolock), as well as one in County Meath (Ashbourne).
Alternatively, if you’re unable to visit us in person, don’t forget that you can order a free sample of almost all of our products (including Egyptian limestone natural paving slabs) and have it shipped to you for free, too. That way, you can test out the Egyptian paving slabs before you buy.
Why Tile Merchant?
We offer extremely competitive pricing on our entire range of tiles and likewise. We stock a huge range of wall and floor tiles and our prices are competitive for retail and trade. Our stock is widely available in our tile store in Dublin and Ashbourne (Co. Meath) which are open 7 days a week.
Alternatively, if you’d prefer to shop our tiles online, we can supply you with samples delivered for free.
Blog by Calum