Introducing… Florida Keystone

Larry’s Cap Rock & Stone is proud to introduce a new limestone to our extensive line of building limestones & shellstones. We are currently quarrying and fabricating Florida Keystone. Florida Keystone is a rare limestone found only in The Florida Keys. It can only be reclaimed off of existing development projects. Florida Keystone contains a variety of fossilized shells of different sizes and densities. The quality of this coral varies depending on the land where it is excavated.Some areas of coral have large sections of fossilized Brain Coral, and other sections are composed of smaller shells and fossilized plants. Keystone has various textures. depending on the shells it is composed of. Larry’s Cap Rock & Stone initially cuts the coral rock into blocks, and transports it to our fabrication facility, where it is cut to the customer’s specifications.
“We are excited to offer this versatile old Florida stone,” said Larry Albregts. For additional information about Florida Keystone properties, costs, and best practices regarding installation please contact Allyson Humphries, Senior Director Architectural Sales & Marketing or Henry Certain, Landscape Sales Director.

Rooftop Wonders

If you are flying into Miami as I did last night you generally see a wide swatch of orange clay barrel tile roofs. Indiana is dotted with dark slate. But the more forward thinking among us are incorporating green roofs to help cool things down.

1. Sporty- Target Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Native prairie plants with permeable pavers that mimic the veins of a leaf

2. Edible -Brooklyn Grange, Queens, New York
Six stories above ground, will double 40000 square foot growing area in Spring, currently produces peppers, tomatoes, eggplant

3. Industrial – Ford Dearborn Truck Plant, Dearborn, Michigan
10.4 acres was designated the largest industrial green roof in the world; reduces heating and cooling usage by 5 percent

4. Walkable – High Line, New York City
The 1.45 mile roof is the longest green roof in the United States. It boasts incredible views of the Manhattan skyline for the thousands of commuters that use it each day.

5.Unique- Vancouver Convention Center – Vancouver, British Colombia
Largest non-industrial roof in North America; first convention center to earn a Platinum LEED rating

The Indiana Limestone Quarry Tour

Today was marked with a tour of the Central Quarry and a tour of the slab mill. I have visited several quarries in the US and abroad.And this is by far the most impressive, because of the sheer size.

Consider these items:

24,000 cu ft are quarried per day. To give you an idea how much stone that is – take a 42 ft semi flat bed trailer- it can typically hold no more than 300 cu ft. Now picture 80 of those trailers.

40,000 blocks are on the ground at any given point

The saws that excavate the blocks move 3.5 inches per minute

A big thank you to Evergreen Slate and Indiana Limestone for co-sponsoring this incredible educational opportunity!











Indiana Limestone

So as many of you know I am in Oolitic, Indiana. I am attending an architectural class so I can further educate architects about Indiana Limestone, it’s uses and limitations. Our seminar today was classroom based and was followed by a walking tour of limestone installations at Indiana University. Here are a few highlights:

1- Sample Gates (1987)-Gothic arches and buttresses are an appropriate and beautiful entry to IU.

2-Bryan Hall (1936)- Bryan Hall was one of the first buildings constructed with Depression era Federal Works finds. It is Art Deco in style.

3-Franklin Hall (1908)- It has elements of both Gothic (window treatments) and Jacobean(chimney and gable ends). It currently houses student services.

4-Student Building (1905)- It was originally a female dorm and sports evidence of the Romanesque Revival style. A fire in the attic destroyed the building in 1990 but it was come rely rebuilt with original drawings.

5-Maxwell House (1890)-It was built with Romanesque Revival influences typical of the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.

6-Owen Hall & Wylie Hall (1885)-These two buildings were the first buildings on the present day campus. Both feature a combination of Italianate and High Victorian Gothic styles.

7-Kirkwood Hall (1895)- Kirkwood was finished five years after Maxwell and shares many of its Romanesque features.

8-Lindley Hall (1903)- Lindley resembles Kirkwood in overall plan and it’s extensive use of rock face limestone.

9-Swain Hall East (1910) and Swain Hall West (1940). Swain Hall East does not have a discernible style. Swain Hall West is the Collegiate Gothic Style. In 1957 the buildings were joined.

10-Rawls Hall (1923) sports Collegiate Gothic Style. Limestone is laid in a broken style rather than an Ashlar pattern.

11-Myers Hall (1937) is streamlined Gothic with Art Deco elements. The south entry features a hand carved limestone frieze depicting an anatomist, pharmacologist, and physiologist.

12-Simon Hall (2007) is an Art Modern version of Collegiate Gothic which allows the high tech building to blend with the historical parts of the campus.

13-Jordan Hall (1954) is an unadorned Collegiate Gothic with a pointed arch and gothic windows above main entrance.

14-Memorial Hall (1925) is Collegiate Gothic with turrets over the arched entry and an ornate IU seal.

15-Ballantine Hall (1958) is unadorned Modern style.

16-Chemistry Building (1931) is Collegiate Gothic and additions in 1964 and 1987 retain many of the design elements of the original building.

17-Beck Chapel (1957) is a modified Tudor style chapel. It has an adjoining cemetery that dates back to the early 1800’s.

18-Indiana Memorial Union (1932) is the largest student union building in the world under a single roof. Additions were made in 1939,1946, and 1960 but all additions embraced the Collegiate Gothic influences of the campus.

Stay tuned for pictures from the quarries which are state of the art. Each block when quarried is UPC coded so that if you need additional material Larry’s Cap Rock and Stone through ILCO can pull blocks matching the same color and texture exactly, Even if you purchased them several years ago. Larry’s Cap Rock and Stone is the only preferred fabricator and stocking dealer in Florida of Indiana Limestone.

Architectural Styles

Italianate: features low roofs, round headed windows, corner quoins, overhanging eaves and entrance towers

High Victorian Gothic: features include polychrome or bichrome coloration; juxtaposition of different facing materials, moldings and ornamentation are heavy rather than delicate

Jacobean: features include rectangular windows, steep sides gables, tall chimneys, round archways, and strap work ornamentation (flat scrolls resembling leather straps)

Romanesque: features rounded arches over windows and doors, overall horizontal and massive appearance, rough face or rock face textured rock, contrasting colors and textures

Second Empire: features include Mansard Roof and dormers, prominent projecting pavilions and receding structures

Collegiate Gothic: features include pointed arches, towers, steep gabled roofs and bay windows

Art Deco: features include streamlined style, use of stepped forms and rounded corners, parallel lines, stylized motifs

Modern: features include lack of ornamentation, simple shapes and plain walls; often described as Post Modern

South Florida is relatively young as places go so we see extensive use of Greek Revival, Art Deco and Modern architectural influences. Keep these terms in mind for my next blog article which will describe the IU campus and it’s extensive use of Indiana Limestone.

Quartzites… A Tutorial


Quartzite (from German Quarzit[1]) is a hard, non-foliated metamorphic rock which was originally sandstone.[2] Sandstone is converted into quartzite through heating and pressure usually related to tectonic compression within orogenic belts. Pure quartzite is usually white to gray, though quartzites often occur in various shades of pink and red due to varying amounts of iron oxide (Fe2O3). Other colors, such as yellow and orange, are due to other mineral impurities.

When sandstone is metamorphosed to quartzite, the individual quartz grains recrystallize along with the former cementing material to form an interlocking mosaic of quartz crystals. Most or all of the original texture and sedimentary structures of the sandstone are erased by the metamorphism. Minor amounts of former cementing materials, iron oxide, silica, carbonate and clay, often migrate during recrystallization and metamorphosis. This causes streaks and lenses to form within the quartzite.

Terrific Thin Veneers

Thin Veneer Installation Guidelines:

 Begin by figuring the square footage of the area you plan to cover with stone. If your project includes corner stones, deduct 1 square foot for each linear foot of corners that you will utilize. Natural stone veneer is packaged assuming a ½ mortar joint. If your joint will vary from this number you must adjust your quantities accordingly.

 Tips & Tools:

Keep you and your natural stone clean during the installation process. Be sure to keep your hands clean throughout the process. It is important to not allow mortar to dry on face of stone. Remove it prior to hardening. Wet mortar on stone will leave a filmy residue that dulls the appearance of your thin veneer. To prevent mud or other substances from blemishing the appearance of your natural stone, place straw or protective material on the ground where rain or water can cause mud to splash on your natural stone. Do not use acid to clean excess mortar from stone. Discoloration may occur if acid is used. All natural stone should be applied to local building codes. Water infiltration can result in damage caused from incorrect installation. Stone should be installed at least 3 inches above grade level to prevent water from continually saturating behind the back of the stone and causing structural damage.

 Recommended Tools:

Brick Hammer, Brick Trowel, Notched Trowel, Flat Trowel, Joint Tool, Grout Bag, Masonry Brush, Safety Glasses & Dust Mask, Masonry Sand & Cement, Thin Veneer Stone    

Surface Preparation:

Be sure to inspect new concrete to insure there are no release agents on the surface. If release agents are identified etch the surface of the concrete with muriatic acid. Rinse thoroughly and score with your wire brush. Painted surfaces must be sandblasted or stripped of paint. If it is difficult to remove paint you may securely attach metal lath on the surface with concrete nails. In accordance with local building codes install metal lath using galvanized nails or screws 6 inches on center vertically and 16 inches on center horizontally penetrating studs a minimum of 1 inch. Stop the metal lath 1 inch from finished edge. Be sure to wrap all corners overlapping metal lath at least 4 inches.

Mixing Mortar & Applying Stone

Mortar with Bonding Agent:

Option A – 3 parts Type S Masonry Cement to 7 parts Masonry Sand with Bonding Agent

Option B – 3 parts Portland cement to 2 parts Latex Thin set Mortar & 7 parts Masonry Sand & Water

Mortar without bonding Agent:

Option A – 3 parts Type S Masonry Cement with5-7 parts Masonry Sand & Water

Option B – 2 parts Portland cement with 1 part lime & 5-7 parts Masonry Sand & Water

Before applying the stone, it is a good idea to lay the stone flat to determine the sizing, and colors of each individual piece, how they will be laid out for your project and if any trimming is necessary.

If cutting the stone is necessary, a Skill saw with either a dry or wet cut diamond or masonry blade will work. You may also want to use a masonry hammer to break the stone, giving it a more natural appearance.

A nipper can be used to trim small amounts off the stone. Be certain that the surface of the stone is free of dust, dirt, and any loose particles. If necessary wash the stone completely & allow to dry. Use a masonry brush to dampen back of stone but do not saturate it. This prevents the stone from pulling moisture away from mortar allowing it to dry naturally and with a stronger bond.

To lay the stone use a masonry trowel to butter (with ½ – 1 inch layer of mortar) the back of the stone, this will create suction when putting the stone in place which will hold until the mortar hardens. Lay the stone against the wall, pressing and rotating slightly, forcing some of the mortar to squeeze out freely. 

When laying stone, attempt to keep joints a consistent height and width. Normally vertical and horizontal joints should be staggered to avoid long unbroken vertical lines. LCRS recommends installing all corner pieces first, alternating short & long lengths as they are stacked.

Stone does not need to be angled because of the way it is applied to the substrate.

Applying Grout:

Grout – 1 part Type S Masonry Cement to 2 parts sand. Use a grout bag or trowel to fill all joints. Fill joints of the stone with about a ½ layer of mortar, depending on desired effect. As grout stiffens, tool to desired depth. Brush joints with whisk broom to smooth out & clean away any loose mortar. Grout is ready for finishing when it crumbles like sand. If grout smears or falls in large chunks it is too wet for brushing or striking. Use soft cloth to brush dust off stone. 

Sealing You Stone

If using a sealer follow manufacturer’s instructions when applying the product. Please note sealing the stone will alter the appearance.

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Outside Lighting

Some of our limestones at Larry’s Cap Rock & Stone lend themselves to back lighting if used in a paving situation. Two that jump to mind are Colonial Coralina and our Hemingway Gold. Both of these stones have large fissures or crevices that can be filled with clear epoxy such as Tenax to allow LED backlighting. It is recommended that Tenax be applied in a controlled and clean setting and not out in the field.

Exterior lighting is essential to showcasing the beauty of your Hardscape whether it’s backlit or accented in a more traditional way. There are even new planters by Rotoluxe that absorb the sun’s energy and produce a moonlight glow. As with any artisan or contractor selection, get 3 quotes and check references.







The British Are Coming. The British Are Coming.

The British Are Coming. The British Are Coming. Actually they are already here. Miami, the melting pot of South America has seen a recent influx of talented and noteworthy British architects impressing their unique designs on our landscape.

The first is Zaha Hadid. Hadid a British -Iraqi was recently awarded the design contract of Miami Beach’s Collins Avenue Parking Garage. Hadid was the first woman in 2004 to receive the Pritzker award for her innovative design philosophies- the industry’s highest honor. Hadid has designed the 2012 Aquatic Center for the London Olympics and the Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center.

Hadid is a Starchitect in her own right. She is joined on Miami Beach by David Adjaye, 2011 Design Miami’s designer of the year. Tanzanian born and Ghanian bred … Mr Adjaye’s body of work includes art installations, private residences, and the Smithsonian Museum of African American History which is to be unveiled in 2015.

Adjaye joins Sir David Chipperfield, a British born architect of The Shore Club. Chipperfield’s modernist design influences are striking on this Art Deco restoration.

The Euro may be in a state of flux but the British influence of these 3 architectural superstars has many of their US counterparts envious.