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Antique Limestone Floors- The Inside Base Ball

January 20, 2017

If you are considering installing antique flooring in your home — that is, flooring purveyed from ruined farmhouses and villas that are hundreds of years old. Flooring surfaces such as Antique Encaustic Tiles, Reclaimed Limestone Pavers or Ancient Carrara Marble Squares that has been there before the Mayflower Landing. img_0828-2-copy

Building your dream home on the most perfect parcel of real estate? You may want to consider a more original alternative to the run of the mill stone and wall floors that are generally found in your neighborhood’s Tile shop that’s happy to sell you every day, all day long, the same old Turkish travertine, Chinese ceramic or Indian slate… Maybe it’s time to consider Antique or Reclaimed flooring imported from the coastal shores of Europe for a fresh change… montecito-family-room-and-kitchen-copyvilla-con-piscina-in-affitto-in-puglia

At the same token many Profiteering companies In LA, Dallas, Georgia and New York have decided to jump in on the antique flooring bandwagon and have been for a number of years producing the reproductions of the real antique Limestone pavers and in many cases passing them as old even. stock-biblical-stone-2-copy

While in general genuine Antique Limestone will cost more, world renowned interior designers, Architect and stone experts will unequivocally say it’s worth the difference. image173-copy

“You can see instantly that it’s old, and even to the untrained eyes real old and made to look old can be distinguished” Professor ‘Narges Khajavi’, Post doctorate Fellow of Geology in the University of Canterbury. “Look for random little, non-repetitive, imperfections and impurities that are impossible to reproduce in an economically viable manner.” He explains.image30_1-copy

Generally, for flooring to be classified as antique it must be at least 100 years old and have originated from the individual’s estate who have procures the paving in the first place, which is why some companies use the word reclaimed. gallery-14-copy

Most of the real reclaimed flooring is salvaged from demolished houses in Europe, particularly from France.bf6b4-img_0824-copy

“In most countries you can’t demolish houses that are more than 150 years old. In France there’s a more relaxed system unless the house is very grand”, Says John Sinclair, CEO and partner at the US-based Ancient Surfaces.


“It’s a less known fact in the US that there are inheritance laws in France that require you to leave your property in equal parts to all of your children when you pass away. biblical-stone-56

In practice that means that a farmhouse on four acres of land will usually get knocked down, and the land will be divided among the heirs. As unfortunate as this maybe, this French Law guaranteed equity between siblings and preserved their ‘birthright’ in inheriting and working on the land of their ancestors.”beverly-park-wine-storage-copy

Using reclaimed or antique flooring is pretty much trouble-free. 151119_tenutavirgilio_0084m-copy

For one thing, it doesn’t lacks predictability or consistency once the client has seen the entire palette of colors inherent in the collection, “Every shipment thereafter is the same,” says Tony Benetti, Head of Sales and partner at Ancient Surfaces. 9912328c5e0395707b65d851e2ca19d2-copy

“With Antique Limestone there are built-in inconsistencies because it’s not being produced but found. Luckily with Ancient Surfaces own Biblical, Arcane, Kronos and Millennium Limestone collections the legwork on sorting and rigorous inspecting has already been done even before any piece of stone has been packaged. 114-copy

I have started importing Limestone back in 1989 from France and Italy when limestone was not known to the US market outside of a few metropolitan socialites and their pioneer architects. In nearly 30 years of business I’ve never dealt with any dealer who packages their stone like Ancient does.23-copy

Years later I was told in confidence that ‘Jerome Sinclair’ the owner and founder of the company in Europe was an eccentric quirky fellow, a polymath and a polyglot of sorts who perfected the reclamation, restoration and packaging of antique limestone.”44

Color tonalities, sizes and shades can vary. That’s also what makes their ancient stone floor collections such as the Biblical Stone so special and is sought after by most of my designer clients.

“In some instances reclaimed flooring can cause more substantial challenges. img326

“And if you don’t seal it well, antique limestone can never stain saving clients twice the cost of the stone in maintenance and cleaning costs over the course of a lifetime. dsc_6582-copy

“It’s extremely non-porous,” Jeffry notes. “Clients love the historical backstory that is clearly visible in the limestone. Its journey can be traced with every pitted and grooved found on its velvety surface. When clients want a special floor in their homes there’s nothing nicer that they can install and take pride in it for decades to come.”montecito-family-room-and-kitchen-copy

It is crucial however to hire the right person to install it. “That’s true of any stone floor but even more so with these,” Pepe Garza ‘ owner of ‘The Stone-Wallers’ out of Pasadena points out.

“Pepe has completed over 500 jobs with us and other than him there exists one other small time installer that comes close to Pepe’s expertise in stone handling, installing, grouting and sealing.” Adds Jonathan Sinclair.Biblical-Stone-08

“This is a tight knit industry where the insiders all know one another and the big players stay in the background. We were glad to have moved our North American sales offices from the South of France to the US back in 1996 and have invested in the US market for the long haul when many other companies were moving out. Connecting one on one with our clients has been the key ingredient to our successes and will continue to be in the fare future we predict.”2714428452-copy

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