making history: grand place limestone tile from clé

by clé tile | published: Apr 20, 2022

grand place limestone in loupe.

grand place limestone from clé is a refined, elegant, and elevated collection of european heritage stone tile of impeccable quality. a versatile tile, it’s equally at home in spaces from ultra-modern to ultra-classic and everywhere in between.

available in a range of shapes and sizes, including large-format squares (12”x 12” and 18” x 18”), rectangles, and planks, limestone fits a wide range of styles and uses, from kitchen backsplashes to spa-like bathrooms. see how to choose among our limestones. while limestone often comes in slabs, our elegant tile formats make them easier to work with (and more affordable, too.)

clé grand place limestone in hermitage.

part of clé’s heritage curation, the collection ranges from slightly creamy tabor to the deep dark grey (almost black) of cartwright—with 12 tones in between. it can be used on floors, walls, and counters in kitchens, bathrooms, and fireplaces. certain types of limestone can even be used outdoors. a timeless classic, clé limestone tile elevates every space whether it’s traditional or paired down ultra-modern.

with all these options, you may want some help on choosing the right limestone tile for you. if so, explore how to choose among our limestones.

while we’re known for our zellige, our terracotta, and our cement, we also believe that—as clé founder deborah osburn often says—“every design needs some stone in it”. that’s why we’ve been expanding our collection of stone and marble, and most recently, adding grand place limestone to slate, carrarathassos, and dolomite.

osburn—a self-confessed stone obsessive—reveres not just its aesthetic possibilities, but its connection to earth, nature, and history. afterall, stone is—literally—timeless, each piece millions of years in the making. it’s intimately connected to natural history: pick up a piece of stone and you’ll see small fossils, colors, and patterns created from the minerals that make up our planet, brought together by the tectonic forces that shape our world.

limestone clad counters at aesop.

then there’s stone’s cultural lineage. some of the first limestone quarries were built in egypt, giving rise (literally) to great wonders of the world such as the pyramids of giza and the great sphinx in egypt. (learn more about the origins, history, and characteristics of this storied stone here.) these days, it’s used extensively in modern architecture and design for precisely the same reasons our ancestors did: its serene and refined presence, its durability, and its versatility.

clé’s grand place limestone collection is inspired by brussels’ central square, formed by exquisitely-wrought 16th-century guild houses—many of which feature limestone. we thought it only fitting that we pay homage not just to stone—the noblest of materials—but to the guilds themselves, which celebrated and elevated artisan skills through the ages (it’s a mission we share.)

la grand-place, brussels.

limestone from clé’s grand place collection brings the elegance of stone a little tonal moodiness, a bit of shadow and light to any design. the stone—honed for a more modern look and greater slip resistance, ranges from lightly-grained to more significantly grained, where you’ll see the tiny skeletal fragments of fossilized algae, corals, and primitive shellfish such as clams.

our first limestone curation focuses on versatile neutrals in lighter tones, mid-tones, and moodier tones in various levels of porosity, veining/fossilization, and variation.

grand place limestone in renard.

grand place limestone in arbor.

grand place limestone in cartwright.

lighter shades include tabor, ceruse, marfil, and loupe.

mid-tone shades include tanner, hermitagerenard, moulin, ange, arbor, and brae.

moodier shades include cornet, barrow, and cartwright.

while limestone is known for its hardiness and durability, it is a softer, porous stone. sealing is essential to keep it functioning well. sealants maintain the natural quality of the stone, and protect it from stains and scrapes. cleaning your limestone, especially when it’s been sealed, is simple and doesn’t have to be done that frequently. cleaning can be done with soap and water and avoid using harsh brushes or chemical cleaners.

grand place limestone in moulin.

limestone, like many natural stones, is naturally resistant to bacteria and mold, especially when sealed. this means a deep clean with water and soap is only necessary every once in a while.

keep in mind, though, that so-called “imperfections” are part of the charm of natural stone: we advise embracing limestone’s natural imperfections as well as those that may accumulate over many years of use.

as we like to say, make it your own piece of history.