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ADVICE WANTED!   June 30, 2003
www.findstone.com   info@findstone.com

Maurizio's Announcement: I will continue to reply to questions posted here but none of my literature / articles / guidelines are available for free anymore. Everybody has been making money out of me (and FindStone?): the distributors, the fabricators, the contractors, the consumers, and the competition! Should you feel that my expertise is worth something to you, all general information, as well as one-on-one specific consultation, will be available on line. Click to see list of literature available. For direct consultation, contact me at info@findstone.com Ciao and Good Luck, Oct 25. Maurizio, Expert Panelist. Click Here to read detailed annoucement
Q 5283: I have yellow marble countertops in my kiichen (installed by the original owners). When I moved in, I noticed deep visiable fissures in the entire counter top and they are very rough. I also noticed previous areas where the marble as been glued back together. The countertop has a 11" overhang from the end cabinetry which is used as a bar area. The counter is made of two pieces of marble 35" x 46" and 35" x 60". My problem is that the entire counter has cracked lengthwise along visiable fissures and veins just before the cabinetry ends. How could this happen? Was marble the right choice for a counter with an overhang for sit at bar? Could it be from normal wear and tear on bad marble? My apartment does not have central heat or A/C and I do live on the harbour of Sydney. Could the weather have played a role as well? Now what are my options? Thanks. Spencer, June 23, Reply
R1: Dear Spencer: The weather has nothing to do with it, but the latest political unrest in the Philippines … it just might! :-) In a nutshell: poor choice of the stone and – very definitely – poor installation.About your options: GET RID OF IT!Ciao and good luck,Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 5282: I have brand new granite work tops in my kitchen at a cost of £3,500. Unfortunately a hot pan was placed on it and it has left a scorch mark. Is there any way i can remove it? Samantha, June 23, Reply
R1: Dear Samantha: One of the many good qualities of the vast majority of mercantile granites is the fact that you can put a hot pot onto them without any problem! So, now the question is: "What the heck of a 'granite' did they sell to you that gets scorched by a hot pot?" I don't have the answer to that question, alas; and even if I did it wouldn't do you any good! You may want to try consulting with a bona fide stone restoration contractor, but your best course of action is to have your fabricator solve the problem; after all they made good money out of the deal and they should have known that the particular stone they sold to you - whatever that is - doesn't take the heat! The way I see it, the situation that you have is NOT acceptable by any standard. Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panleist
R2: rub it with kerosine and dry
Q 5280: I'm renovating my master bathroom. I'm planning to use blue pearl granite for the countertop...Having a difficult time finding the right material and colors to use for the floor tile, wall tile, backsplash and shower tile, and cabinetry. The bathroom will include a clawfoot tub which is white with a charcoal finish on the outside. I want to stay in the gray family of colors, but don't want the bathroom to be too dark. Also I want the tile to have that natural stone look, without the maintenance, and I don't want to use white tile. Does anyone have any ideas, June 23, Reply
R1: If you don't want to consider using blue pearl all over the place, there are porcelain tiles that look very much like polished marble. Go check them out! Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panleist
Q 5277: We just put granite countertop, (I don't know the name, we were told it's a new kind), it is light brown. We have some problems. First of all, when plumber installed the faucet, he used plumber's patty, and it stained the granite. We called him, he removed the patty, reinstalled the faucet, but the oily stain is still there. Granite has not been sealed yet. Is there any way to remove the oily stain? We were advised to use alcohol, but we are not sure. Second, what is the best sealer? Third, how should we take care of the granite, after it will be sealed? Your help will be highly appreciated. thanks, Ella, June 23, Reply
R1: Dear Ella: You could try to poultice the plumber's putty (again?!) with Methylene Chloride, but chances are that it will not come out. After that, answering to your question about the "bestest" sealer, there's no such animal! Some are better for certain stones, some are better for some others. For a better understanding of what I mean, you can get my maintenance guidelines for residential stone installations. Maurizio, Expert Panleist
Q 5276: I am looking for a step by step book or website ect, on how to cut and install granite. I have 4 9 by 6 foot slabs of granite that I would like to try to install as countertops in my kitchen. We are big do it yourself people and know we could call a pro in but the price on the granite was so good if we mess up a slab it’s O.K. I need to know everything from the first cut to the polish. Can you help? Thank You Chris, June 23, Reply
R1: Dear Chris: Oh, yeah, I can help you all right! For starters you will need to buy AT THE VERY LEAST $10,000 worth of equipment and material. Once you've got that, gimme a holler and I'll tell you - step by step - what to do with it. As a first step, however - before you go out and buy all that stuff - I'd like to encourage you to get real! :-)Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelis
Q 5275: I used a thinset specifically for granite tile. and it seems the thinset has changed the color of the granite and the color is blotchy after 30 hours of setting. Should I wait another 24 hours or is the discoloration not normal and should get the countertop replaced. June 23, Reply
R1: If you’re lucky the discoloration will go away. Give it another week or so. About the thinset being classified specifically for granite makes me laugh my brains out! I mean, which one “granite” are the manufacturers of the thinset talking about?! :-)Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 5274: We just had Paradiso Classico installed for our kitchen countertops. Immediately after the installation, there were large darkened spots, above the locations where the adhesive was applied. We were told this would dry out in a few days. It did, but only slightly. Finally, after about three weeks, they are gone from most of the surfaces. We were told not to seal the granite until the marks were gone. However, we were only told not to use the counters for 72 hours. So we've been using them unsealed. As a consequence (I now realize from all the info here!) there are new spots from oil, tomato sauce etc, that will not come out. These are mostly fairly small, but a couple are unpleasantly large. We don't know specifically which spots are from what things. Which poultice of the different ones referenced here would be the best one to try on unknown stains? As a follow on, when we do get it cleaned up and ready to be sealed, it sounds as if it should have 4 or 5 coats of sealer, as it seems quite porous. Even water doesn't bead up, but stains until it dries. We had Misty Mauve installed in our bathrooms and it is much more satisfactory. Even before sealing, liquids beaded up and didn't spot. Comparatively, the Paradiso which was much more expensive, has been a real disappointment. Very much appreciate any advice you can give. Thanks, Mary, June 23, Reply
R1: Dear Mary: Well, for starters, the fact that your Paradiso was more expensive then your Misty Mauve has nothing to see with the mechanical quality of the stone: it's strictly demand and supply at work! Now, let's talk about your stains. When it comes to stain removal, either you buy one of those expensive "Professional kits" (that no true professional ever uses!) at a stone retailer near you, or you can spend less money and get my comprehensive guidelines on how to remove stains by using inexpensive and far more effective means that you may already have in your household! Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 5273: We just purchased a house which has travertine tiles in the front and back entryway. I didn't know much about the material and the builder told me it was a type of "unpolished marble" (the house was build on spec and is not yet completed, allowing us to make some choices about finish and materials). Anyway I gather from reading thru your website that it is normal for travertine to have holes and for them to be filled with grout, but I'm wondering how big the holes normally are? The holes in these tiles appear to be up to an inch in diameter and the grout in them is not flush with the stone surface, so that some of the holes have quite sharp edges. Also, the same tiles were used around a gas fireplace and in some places the edges of the tiles are visible, and the holes are so numerous that I wonder if these tiles will crack easily. Anyway, we have already decided the holey tile edges around the fireplace look terrible and will have the fireplace redone with a different material, but we are trying to decide what to do about the travertine entryways. In addition to the size and number of the holes, the fact that the grout filling is not flush with the surface makes my husband think that the grout will discolor and be very difficult to clean. Thanks, Angela, June 23, Reply
R1: ear Angela: Wow, some holes! Without seeing it I can say anything specific, of course, but if I have to venture a guess I'd say that you're dealing with a low-grade Durango Travertine from Mexico. Anyway, I personally would not accept that floors the way you describe them. Ciao and good luck,Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 5271: I have had a very large floor installed and the name of it is Verde Esmeralda. After reading you website, I am now a much more informed buyer (too late). I can not find this "granite" listed on your site. Is this a true granite. I am trying to find if it needs to be sealed (I was told not by my installer) and what I could use to maintain the high shine. Thanks for your help. Carmen, June 23, Reply
R1: Dear Carmen: Verde Esmeralda is not a true geological granite, but it's quite a good stone nonetheless. Whether or not it needs to be sealed with a good-quality stone impregnator/sealer is something that you will have to find out yourself by running my little lemon juice test (see sidebar menu). For the rest, I already answered your other posting. Ciao and good luck,Maurizio, Expert Panleist
Q 5270: I have a customer that we have done about $15,000 in custom work to their kitchen. installed a marble floor in that kitchen. About 6 months later were back to remodel their bathroom and i noticed in the kitchen near the up and down stairs that the marble has a inward dimple in the marble.So i looked closer and its everywhere.The kitchens the length of the house and about 14 ft. wide,these dimples appear to be running with the seems of the underlayment and horizontally as well.Also they only used 1/4 inch durock on top of the 3/4 inch subfloor,total 1 inch.I've done plenty of ceramic tile in my life and i know 11/4 is bare minimum 11/2 is suggested.It appears the marble is cracking from bottom up.What is your thinking to this problem, trying to avoid liability to this.They spent $5,000.00 on this floor and seems to be a garbage install.I confronted the installer "did you reinforce the seems with mesh tape", i got no response. Also "why did you only use 1/4" insted of 1/2" underlayment"again,no response Thanks Scott, June 23, Reply
R1: Dear Scott: And what is it exactly that you'd expect me to say? It's clearly an installation failure, and, clearly again, something was not done right. Of course, the only remedy is to rip out the whole floor and start anew (and right, this time!), and that is something you will have to deal with. The tile setter didn't answer your questions … How could I possibly answer them for you? Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 5268: I have just had a very large dining room (14 x 24) and hall (over 40 feet long) done in Esmeralda Verdi granite. It looks beautiful except for one thing. I see a haze on the tile when I look at it. My installer says that it is the stone that I am seeing. When the floor is wet it is beautiful. Once it dries, it gets that haze or cloudy look to it. Does it need to be buffed or does it need a special cleaner. I bought a cleaner for granite countertops and used it on a small corner but it did not change the haze. Is this a normal feature of this floor? Is it because it is a very dark floor that I am seeing this? I would appreciate any help or opinions Thank you Carmen, June 23, Reply

R1: Carmen, can you get a virgin tile. A leftover that was not manipulated. If there is no haze get back to me and I will tell you what to do. If they are the same you possibly need a polishing. Ciao "Stone

R2: Dear Carmen: No mysterious haze or anything. It's the nature of that particular "beast". Some spot of the stone do not take a polish as high as others. However, there are some easy to apply and to maintain topical coatings that would produce a visual improvement for you. Gimme a holler. Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 5264: I have a sandstone fireplace that has smoke buildup on it. I would like to clean it but don't know what to use to clean it. Pls advise your comments, Thanks. June 23, Reply
R1: You need four ingredients: Household bleach (diluted 1:1 with warm water); Rubber gloves; a laundry-type brush; elbow grease!Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 5263: Do I have to seal a Jupprano Columbo granite floor tile. We installed it but I don't have any idea if I have to buy a sealer for this type of granite or not. Please advise and recommend a sealer product. Thanks. June 23, Reply
R1: Yes, typically Juparanas stones need to be sealed pretty bad! About the "best sealer" to buy, you can get my maintenance guidelines for residential stone installations. Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 5259: Can you tell me if it is possible to remove wax marking off of unfinished flagstone? It looks like a oil stain. HELP, Mark, June 23, Reply
R1: There is a possible recipe, but I need the exact details of what is on the stone. Ciao Stone
R2: Dear Mark: Try to poultice it with a chemical that removes oily stains. When it comes to stain removal, either you buy one of those expensive "Professional kits" (that no true professional ever uses!) at a stone retailer near you, or you can spend less money and get my comprehensive guidelines on how to remove stains by using inexpensive and far more effective means that you may already have in your household! Maurizio, Expert PAnelist
Q 5258: I just moved into a home with marble surrounding the fireplace (the mantle is wood). Unfortunately, the color does not mix well with my belongings. I would like to cover up the marble but don't know how to start. Some people said I should paint it (but I need to be sure it doesn't get hot). Others suggested tiling over it (I like this idea because I want to cover it with small tiles). Is one of these methods a good idea or is there another method would be better? What should I consider by following your recommendation (i.e., if I tile it, what kind of tile or grout, etc. should I choose)?
thanks! Cheryl
, June 20, Reply
R1: Hi Cheryl, don't paint it. It won't last. Tiling over it is good. Make sure you scratch up your marble first, and then you will be able to glue directly over the marble. Stone
Q 5257:   I had a kitchen counter installed that the dealer called Juperano El Dorado. Might this be the same as Juperano Gold? Do you know about Juperano El Dorado, if it is different? Thanks for your help. Claudia, June 20, Reply
R1: Hi Claudia. It sounds the same to me. But it's not fair to say. it is known that the industry changes the actual name to mix up the competition. If you can forward a picture of your stone I will tell you which it is. The name is the same though, Dorado does mean gold. Stone Hi Claudia. It sounds the same to me. But it's not fair to say. it is known that the industry changes the actual name to mix up the competition. If you can forward a picture of your stone I will tell you which it is. The name is the same though, Dorado does mean gold. Stone
R2: Dear Claudia: Not a clue! There are so many "Juaparanas" (whatever that means) on the market (and counting!) that I totally lost track of them! I'm not losing any sleep over it, though! :-) Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 5255: We have a new house with many of the walls built out of Bluestone, and we seem to get water seaping through it in a variety of places. Is there any type of sealant product you can apply (I would guess to the outside) to stop this from happening? Is it something that goes away? Or is there some other problem besides the stone and we are not seeing the correct issue. Thanks for any help you can give, Dougin, June 20, Reply
R1: One, check the joints and makesure there are no voids. You can seal the stone with a water repellent, but the water could come from another area and trail to the are getting wet making it seem like its coming from the stone. Thats a hard problem to solve and you will have to seal and check joints and silicone some areas until you find the spot. Stone
Q 5253: We just moved into a house that has a granite floor in the bathroom and granite countertop in the kitchen. Around the base of the toilet bowl, there is a rust colored stain on the granite. What can be used to clean and remove the stain? In the kitchen, there is a section of granite that has lost its shine. Can the shine be restored? thanks Chris, June 20, Reply
R1: Hi Chris, try Iron Out on the rust stain but as afar as the shine, you will need a professional. Stone
R2: Dear June: About the rust stain around the toilet, you must remove the toilet, replace the stained tiles (if you can get some replacement) and have a better sealer applied (where the toilet bowl connects with the pipe to the sewer). About the countertop, you're going to have to hire a bona fide stone refinisher. Maurizio,
Q 5252: I have a marble tile vanity in my bathroom. Without reading the label closely, I sprayed it with a tile cleaner which has removed the shine off of the marble and made it a lot less smooth. Is there anything I can do to get the sheen back.- Carolyn, June 20, Reply
R1: Yes, call a stone restorer pay the 250 dollars or so and never use a product without reading the label. Bad Bad girl. Not to have read the label you must be Italian like me. Remember this, any marble any any polished marble, to maintain it, think of it as baby skin. Ivory, dove , etc., is all you can use, or of course specific stone cleaners. Ciao Stone
R2: Dear Carolyn: Yes, you have to hire the services of a qualified stone restoration contractor. Now, you'd better watch out! Stone refinishing is the very pinnacle of all the activities related to stone, from a professional point of view. Unfortunately, there are a lot of quacks on the loose out there! How could you tell a champ from a chomp? Could you trust the recommendation of your local stone distributor, or contractor, or your interior decorator? Hardly! I did write a very comprehensive article on how to select a bona fide stone restoration contractor, which will give you all the intelligence you need to make a competent choice. It does carry a small price tag, but for the sake of your stone, you don't want to take chances without it! Gimme a holler at: info@findstone.com. You'll be glad you did! What's more, I will even show you a way to get all of your money back! You can also ask me how to get my comprehensive maintenance guidelines for residential stone installations. Remember, when it comes to natural stone, maintenance is an all too important yet neglected subject that should begin before you even select it, as you can tell from several of this very site postings! Don't become another statistic! Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 5250: I am renovating our home and would like to cover the entire ground floor with saturnia light premium limestone. Do you have any reservations about this choice? I have two children - 9 and 12. I would love to hear what you recommend with respect to sealing it and washing it. What is a reasonable price and are there vastly different qualities out there? Thank you so much, Anne. June 20, Reply
R1: Dear Ann: I will not comment about the price. Saturnia stone )a fancy name to say cross-cut travertine) is quite dense and I would recommend sealing the kitchen and dinette area only with a good-quality stone impregnator (make sure that every residue is removed off the stone surface!). After that, with proper care, Sa turnia is quite an enjoyable stone. Go for it! Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 5249: We just had a 3,000 pound granite boulder delivered to our home that was placed in our yard as part of our landscape design .... When we spray water on the boulder, it turns dark black in color. When the boulder is dry, it is lighter in color.
We are wondering if we can apply the "color enhancer" product that is sold on your website to this boulder to bring out the dark, wet look (that is apparent when the granite boulder is sprayed with water). We live in the state of Minnesota where the winters get quite cold - can the "color enhancer" product be used in an outdoor application? If so, does rain quickly wash away the solution or does the application of the enhancer remain on the stone for quite some time? If you think that this enhancer can be used for an outdoor application, how often must the "color enhancer" be reapplied?
If you know of a different product that would help us achieve this darker color on the granite boulder (living in a cold climate) we would appreciate your feedback ....Thanks for your assistance, Jim, June 20, Reply
R1: Dear Jim: Yes, it should work. The rain will eventually wash it away, somehow, but it should last a few months (depending on how much rain you’re gonna have!). You will know when it’s time to apply some more. Usually the following applications will last longer. Ciao and good luck,Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 5248: We recently had granite countertops installed (7 days ago) and now I noticed we have an 8"x3" dark stain on top near our sink. We have Giallo Veneziano and it is beautiful. Our kitchen is not completed, so we aren't using it, but what could have caused that stain? They said they sealed it. The workers bring sodas and their lunches daily. Could food or perhaps a chemical they were using caused that? Thanks for your help. Sincerely, Jenny, June 20, Reply
R1: Dear Jenny: Your guess is just as good as mine! If the stain is darker it is definitely a true stain. If they sealed your stone, either they didn't seal it enough, or they didn't use the right sealer. Call them back and demand them to solve the problem. They made good money out of you, didn't they? Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 5247: I have a lot of agglomerate marble floor that got damaged. From light scratches to deep gouges. Is it possible to repair? Thanks John, June 20, Reply
R1: Dear John: It probably will. Get hold of a bona fide stone restoration contractor who will assess your situation. Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 5246: I'm getting ready to build a house and was really interested in the Uba Tuba granite for kitchen countertops. I am looking for fairly low maintenance. Where is is so dark, is it really hard to keep clean on a daily basis (re: fingerprints, dust, etc....). Any suggestions? Linda, June 20, Reply
R1: Dear Linda: What is this thing with dark stone showing fingermarks and stuff? Of course they do! But so what? I mean, do you want your countertop clean, or make-believe, just because you don't see soil so much? :-) As far as the choice of Ubatuba is concerned, it's quite good, but I seldom comment about any one particular stone. There may be differences within the same stone (and I'm not talking about looks, here!) from one bundle of slabs and the next. The slabs may have also been either "doctored" (which is bad), or "resined" (which is good) by the factory, which would make a big difference. Even more important, what's a good stone in the hands of some "Michelangelo"?!I did write a very comprehensive article on "How to Shop for a Granite Kitchen Countertop" that will give you all the intelligence you need to venture yourself with confidence in the stone industry jungle! It does carry a small price tag, but wouldn't you rather have me beside you while you're out there?! Gimme a holler at: info@findstone.com. There's a little fee involved (as you will be told), but you'll be glad you did. What's more, I will show you a way to get all of your money back! Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 5244: I bought unfilled 10 cm x 10 cm travertine tiles for our little kitchen. What kind of "coctail" filler would you recommend for filling them, and how sould it be done? I have a bag of travertine dust that I collected after cutting border pieces, can I use this? June 20, Reply
R1: No, you can't use the travertine dust to fill the holes (unless you mix it with epoxy glue, which is a procedure I do NOT recommend for DIYers). Just use unsanded grout mixed with latex additive. Fill the holes leaving the filler in excess, and then, the following day, you "shave" the whole thing using a professional-grade razor blade scraper. Finish to clean any film residue with "0" steel wool. Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 5243: We want to install Travertine in all areas except bedrooms. Our installer said that Travertine is not used much up here because it is too porous and cannot take the amount of dust walked into it. He said it would require a lot of work and sealing it about every 2 years. Our children are gone but we have 3 medium dogs that live with us and a lot of dirt does get in at times. Is Travertine high-maintenance..? Is what he is saying true. Mimi, June 20, Reply
R1: Dear Mimi: Where exactly is "up here"? Travertine is not very porous. In fact, is among the densest tones available and does not need to be sealed. Not now, not ever. Considering your situation (3 dogs and lots of dirt), I would encourage you to consider hone-finished travertine. That would be, with the proper and easy maintenance - a quite enjoyable stone. You can get my maintenance guidelines for residential stone installations by giving me a holler at: info@findstone.com. They do carry a small price tag, but are worth every single penny and then some! It's a one-of-a-kind document that you won't find anywhere else, I promise! What's more, I will also tell you a way to get your money back!Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 5242: I have travertine floors that are sealed. I have light scratches from the dogs. I am not sure if it is the stone or the sealer that is scratched. What can I do to remove the scratches? Thank you, June 20, Reply
R1: If you have a wax or top coating, you may be able to simply reseal it. If its the actual stone, you will need a professional to recut and polish. And yes doggy nails will scratch the actual stones surface. Stone
R2: Travertine doesn't need to be sealed. If it was sealed anyway, no sealer should have been left on top of the stone and, consequently, the scratches should be in the stone. Maurizio, Expert Panelist
R2: Dear Pat: Another complaint about slate? It’s impossible … it must be a mirage or somethin’! … Don’t give up your hopes, though: I’m sure that some slate person will be able to take a few minutes break off their frantic selling-it activity and help you out. It never happened before, but, hey, you never know … there’s always a first time for everything!Ciao and good luck,Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 5240:   I have a specific question which I hope you could answer, as I am having trouble getting a reliable contractor to do this work (the granite installation contractor wont even return my calls!) I recently moved into a house which had new granite countertops. When we moved in, we installed a new dishwasher, but the dishwasher is supposed to be attached to the countertop bottom with two screws. The dishwasher installer could not penetrate the granite with Tapcon fastners, and was not equipped to drill into the granite to fix the unit to the bottom of the counter.
1. How do I drill the screw holes into the bottom of the granite? Do I use an impact driver? A diamond bit?
2. Do I need some type of insert to sink into the granite to apply the screws to?
3. I am afraid of using an impact driver as I thought I might crack the granite countertops. The counters are about 1-1/8" thick and the screws would be driven in about 3/4" in from the bottom edge. Thanks for your advice! Pete D, June 20, Reply
R1: Why must you drill it in? But anyway without the proper tools forget it. I suggest you glue a piece of wood to the underside and screw in the wood, Forget drilling the granite, too hard to do without fracturing. Ciao Stone
Q 5239: I am in a situation I have a home that is 3 weeks old and last week I found a crack in my granite. The crack is in the front of my cooktop and it is all the way through the stone. I have a feeling that it may have cracked when they cut the hole but I don't know, the installer believes it is not his fault and that he will patch it. I am afraid that down the road this repair will not hold up because of where it is and the severity of the crack. what do you think should I let them patch it or should I push for full replacement of the piece (it is between two other pieces)? RDS, June 20, Reply
R1: You have to decide, that crack happens often and it's normal that is is weaker, where the hole has been cut. Personally I wouldn't accept the counter, but I charge a fortune to install and would replace it without fail. Another note, if he can patch it up without it showing, and the installation is solid, no it won't get worst. So again you must decide depending on situation. Stone
R2: Dear RDS: If that weak spot was "rodded", then chances are that if the repair is done properly it will hold. If they didn't "rod" the granite at the shop before executing the cut-out, then it will not hold. And just out of curiosity, if it's not their fault, whose fault is it? Ciao and good luck, Maurizio
Q 5238: The marble in my leaving room which was installed a year ago, has started to cheap away where the vain runs, do have any idea what could cause this? Thanks, Sammy, June 20, Reply
R1: Hi Sammy. Some veins are composed of very weak minerals. Not much you can except for filling with epoxy once and while. Stone
Q 5237: I didn't like the look of granite so the "experts" at the stone store convinced me that Halila, (which they called a Jerusalem stone) would be beautiful and durable in my kitchen. I worried about it w/small children. They assured me it would not be an issue. We just finished building a new house, and have lived here one month. After reading your articles I see that my problem of the "water marks" is from acid stains. I have been diligent in my care for the stone, and still have marks everywhere already. We spent a fortune on this stone and had special edges fabricated. I don't have the financial option to tear out my kitchen and start over. Please give any options. If I use the muratic acid (as suggested in one of your answers) to dull the finish, will the counter become more porous and stain? Should I then seal after using the acid? Could I just rub lemon juice over the counter to get the same affect? HELP! Thanks in advance., Sandra, June 20, Reply
R1: Hi Sandra, that is so unfair. Yes, it is a problematic stone. You can either take a course on how to maintain it yourself or have an expert come in yearly to bring it back. Refer to my answer to Q 5169 Stone
R2: Dear Sandra: I feel truly sorry for you. Try to wash it several times with a product called "Lyme-away" (spelling?), available at any supermarket. Its acidity is not as strong as Muriatic acid and it's easier to handle. That should do it. About the sealing, yes, I guess you will have to re-apply a good-quality stone impregnator/ sealer, since the acid will damage the current sealer. After that you can get my maintenance guidelines for residential stone installations. Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 5236: We just had 500 sq feet of travertine Turkish limestone laid over a plywood subfloor- we have a crawl space- so therefore no cement slab- Only the kitchen, front entrance, laundry room and breakfast room areas- all connected -- have OSB over the plywood- the floor installer FORGOT to put the "rock board, or cement board" over all including the 2 bathroom floors. It was sealed before and after grout, but we were told today the floor will have problems- we want a professional opinion- He used Versaset to cement 16" sq honed tiles down. When he sealed it he SPRAYED The impregnator on, never wiping residue off even 2-4 hours later when it still had wet appearance.
The work was completed 4 weeks ago- today is 5/30/03 and he gave us a year warranty.
Do we need to expect and rotting (due to moisture) , also tiles are not level- grout is already hipping out- HELP! Nora, June 20, Reply
R1: Hard to tell Nora without being there. The tiles not being leveled, a dime of difference is usually the norm. The sealer, well the result should be, very little absorption if you drop water and there should be no visible film on the surface. If you have something else, it' s a problem. As for the problems, well I have a tenant that when he showers, he never pulls the shower curtain, cement slab or not, what ever I put down is a problem. The problem can be very specific to your usage. I have seen many jobs installed improperly and last for years. I think you will have to judge more upon how you had agreed to have it done. Stone
R2: Dear Nora: I hope you have a good lawyer. He's the only one who can help you out, if your "Michelangelo" does not amicably agree to: 1) Rip out the whole floor. 2) Sublet the new installation work to someone else who - unlike him - knows what is doing. And, BTW, do NOT allow anybody to apply an impregnator on your Turkish travertine. Neither before the installation, nor after, nor ever. You can get my maintenance guidelines for residential stone installations. Maurizio, Expert Advice
Q 5235: I recently put in granite counter tops- silver galaxy. Ihad to use my old faucet until my new ine came in. The plumber used the metal plate under the facet and when he removed it, the plumbers putty he out in the bottom of the plate left a stain. what can i do to get this stain off. I would greatly appreciate your help. I am so disappointed when i look at the area now. Thanks Risa, June 20, Reply
R1: Remove all the putty and follow the poultice directives. Stone
R2: Dear Risa: When it comes to stain removal, either you buy one of those expensive "Professional kits" (that no true professional ever uses!) at a stone retailer near you, or you can spend less money and get my comprehensive guidelines on how to remove stains by using inexpensive and far more effective means that you may already have in your household! Maurizio, Expert panelist
Q 5234: We recently moved in a new home in September 2003 and the Master Bathroom floor and shower are travertine. I love the look but am very unhappy with whatever they use to "seal" it. I know they put 3 applications of sealer on before we moved in and it didn't look even. And, it didn't last, it came off. All I used to clean the floor was either plain water mopping or sometimes a little dishsoap in the water. So, they applied another sealer while we were out of town this month and I'm still not happy with it's appearance. Can you recommend a proper product? I'm not sure what they are using but I don't think it's the best choice. Tracy, June 20, Reply
R1: I would need specific product names to help you. Stone
R2: Dear Tracy: OK, let's start from the beginning. Travertine is a quite dense stone and doesn't need any sealer. Only if it has a hone-finish, and, even then, just maybe. Second, a sealer for stone is not supposed to be onto the stone, but inside it. In fact, a very important phase of the application procedure of a stone sealer (a.k.a. impregnator) is to make sure that every last residue of it is removed from the stone surface. Now, in your case, the applied three coats of sealer (not one single iota of which had any chance to go inside the stone), apparently they never removed the excess, consequently your travertine looks like … you know what, and, to top it all, now they applied another sealer! WOW!… I'm amazed and speechless at the same time!! So much so that I really don't know what to tell you other than having those "geniuses" come back and rectify your situation, not before they've learned at least the basics about stone maintenance and preservation. You can get my maintenance guidelines for residential stone installations. Maurizio, Expert Panelistt
Q 5233: I work in a home that has a shower stall completely made of Texas Limestone (ceiling included). It was built 6 years ago, but the stone was never sealed. We have noticed that the bottom half of the shower is now a much darker color than the top half, prob. due to water absorption. We are considering sealing the stone and I am wondering how long the area should be left to dry out & what type of sealer would be the best to use for this project? Also, what is the best thing to use to clean Texas Limesone in a shower?? Thanks for your help. Sincerely, Zoe, June 20, Reply
R1: Hi Zoe, You must first make sure that the stone has not discolored rather than wet from moisture. I will deal this problem as if it was wet as you claimed. Place a fan in the shower and allowe the stone to dry, this could take quite some time. Clean with a good non acidic stone cleaner, and seal with a pourous stone sealer. Look for them at your local stone supplier or I can provide you with exact products needed. Stone
R2: Dear Zoe: The darkness of the lower part of your limestone shower stall walls it is certainly due to water absorption, but the big $64 question is: where is the water being absorbed from? From the top of the stone? Maybe. From behind it? More likely. Check thoroughly all your grout and caulk lines to see if any of the stuff is missing (hopefully those tiles were not set butt-joint!...) If you reach the determination that water is, in fact, being absorbed from behind the tiles, then you have a problem that's larger than what meets the eye. Hoping that you're still in time, stop using that shower right away and let it be, with the door open, for as long as it will take to dry completely (it may take up to a few months!). After that, you will proceed to have the grout and/or caulk properly applied, so that you can start using your shower again. About sealing it and properly maintaining it, you can get my maintenance guidelines for residential stone installations. Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 5232: I am having my bathroom done in honed and filled marble - color is called Durango. The floor, and walls tub surround and counter top will be done. I would presume that I have to seal this. Is that correct?
I purchased a product for a penetrating sealer. I applied the product to a small sample of the marble I will be using and I see streaking. Maybe I am applying it incorrectly. Now I am afraid to use the product. does not have a customer support dept which I did not realize, or else I would have not ordered from them. Now I seem to have a problem and do not know what to do. Can you recommend another product that will be effective and not give me streak marks? Since the
bathroom is a place I will be using makeup and hairspray, I do not want the marble to stain if possible. Any help would be appreciated. Looking forward to hearing from you. Thanks, Barbara, June 17, Reply
R1: Dear Barabara: Your Durango stone is a travertine, and, as such, quite dense. I wouldn't bother sealing it with any impregnator. All you have to do is implement a good maintenance routine. Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 5231: I am carving sandstone blocks 16" x 16" x 6" on a CNC router. Roughing with a blade and finishing with a carbide conical ball mill works great, however I have not been able to locate an intermediate tool that doesn't wear out quickly. Because of the contours of the carving there are a lot of plunge cuts which wear out the end of the tool. I have tried diamond finger bits, electroplated marble tools, and diamond bowl tools. Allen, June 17, Reply
R1: I deal directly with a manufacture who is excellent at this sort of problem. Forward me all the details of the diamonds you have tried, the stone you have been working on with the name of the tool and speed with the amount you have been paying, I can then see if he can or has something to fit your need. If he does I can perhaps get him to contact you. Stone
Q 5230: I have an Alabaster Eagle statue and one of the feet has broken off during my recent move. How would you suggest I repair this? Thank you so much for your time and attention to this, April, June 17, Reply
R1: Its not hard but you need a little skill. The best and most solid way is to drill a hole at both ends of the broken piece. The holes must match perfectly when you put the piece back. Slip in a non oxidizing type metal rod with matching colored epoxy. Allowing the excess to seep out of the crack. Sand down the excess and polish and voila, done right it will not show or look like another vein. Sounds hard? Its not but you need a little experience. You can ultimately simply glue the piece with epoxy only, it will be easier but not as sturdy. Stone
R2: Dear April: If you don’t want to go through a stone restoration contractor, you could try with some “Crazy glue”. Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 5228: A few months ago I redid my whole kitchen. I have alarge amount of counterspace and rather than purchase granite countertops I resorted to putting plywood across the countertops, then placing Durock on top of that and on the wall behind them and covering everything in granite tiles. It works beautifully and it saved me about $15K. The vertical edges had tile sections glued in place with Liquid Nails and I used a medium belt on a beltsander to bullnose all the corners. The whole ensemble looks suberb.
I had a nasty surprise though when I dropped in the sink. I sealed the edges of the sink with plumbers putty (it is a top mount sink) and I noticed that for about an inch all the way around the sink the granite become much darker than the rest of the counter top. It is not an enormous disaster but I thought that as time passed the discoloration would go away. It is not! That one inch ring around the sink is still darker than the rest of the countertops.
I have already applied sealer to all the countertops (I did this about three days after I sealed the sink with plumbers putty). That was 5 months ago. Is there anything I can do to get rid of this dark ring around the sink? Would a poultice help? (remember, the granite has already been sealed). Dan, June 17, Reply
R1: Hey Dan, sounds like you did a great job. Yes, plumbers putty does affect and discolor the stone. You have to remove all the of Plumber's Putty to begin with and then poultice the spot. I am supposing that where the plumbers putty was applied (edges of sink) it has not been sealed, sink the sink is sitting there. The poultice will go in the same way the putty did. It can also go in through the sealer possibly! Try a test. I also was quite successful using a torch, the discoloration is an oil and the oil can be heated and evaporated. Just be careful to crack the granite or burn the house down. You have to heat it with a large flame not an intensive one. Stone
R2: The only way I know of is to take the tile out. You should never use plumbers putty. use a silicone to set the sink. Take out the tile and replace it. Mark
R3: Dear Dan: Nope, that plumber’s putty stain is there for the duration.Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 5227: What are the best products to use on stone countertops in the kitchen for purpose of disinfecting? Can bleach be used? Thank you. Eric, June 17, Reply
R1: Dear Eric: You can get my maintenance guidelines for residential stone installations by giving me a holler at: info@findstone.com. They do carry a small price tag, but are worth every single penny and then some! It’s a one-of-a-kind document that you won’t find anywhere else, I promise! What’s more, I will also tell you a way to get your money back!Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 5226: Hi, I just this granita that my wife liked because of the colors. It is called Giallo Valenciano, and I have two questions: 1- Is it a good choice for a kitchen couter top? 2- I have heard alot about not real granite, is this one of them, and what exactly means not real granite? Thanks for the good job in keeping everyone informed. Hector, June 17, Reply
R1: Dear Hector: If you take a look at Dr. Daniel's table of granites you will find out what stone your Giallo Veneziano is. It is, however, a pretty decent choice for a kitchen countertop. "Not real granite" means that it's a stone that is illegally (at least here in the US) traded as granite but it belongs to a different geological classification. Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 5224: I am considering putting honed absolute black counters with a color enhancer in my kitchen. I see numerous postings discussing the issues with honed absolute black and in many the proposed solution is to color enhance them. If I plan to color enhance them anyway, are they then a practical choice or is staining still a big problem? Do you have any other stone recommendations if I want a matte black countertop? Thank you for any advice you have. Jennifer, June 17, Reply
R1: Dear Jennifer: Not really; but you're on the right track. A good quality stone color enhancer will help you a lot by minimizing the visual effects of surface soiling, which is the big minus with hone-finished black granite countertop. Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 5223: We just put in countertops of Dakota Mahogany also granite floors a lighter Mahogany ( I'm not sure of the name ) with borders of Dakota and Black. It looks fabulous. We have light maple cabinets and all stainless steel appliances and we are wondering what to do for a backsplash, any suggestions? Judieg, June 17, Reply
R1: Dear Judieg: I assume that you already discarded the idea of having the same granite as a backsplash. There are quite a few options, including tumbled marble. Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 5222: At our home in Massachusetts, a mason installed a granite top to a brick wall that contains an outside grill, the granite top serving as a counter. The granite is the ordinary New England type -- what is used for highway curbing or cobblestones.
Rain darkens the granite considerably to a color much more compatible with the brick. I am wondering if I should use a color enhancer to get this color regardless of the weather. However, I would not want to end up with a shiny, polished look to the granite as that would be too formal for the outdoors. Would a color enhancer give me the look I am seeking -- a darker color but without a glossy surface look? Thank you in advance for any advice/suggestions you can provide. Judy
, June 17, Reply
R1: Dear Judy: A stone color enhacer is a penetrating-type product. What this means is that it will go inside the stone without effecting in any way it's surface finish. Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 5217: We just had porcelain floor tile installed. Our dog wet on it, and after it was cleaned up the tile is dull where the urine contacted it. What can we do to fix it? Vern, June 17, Reply
R1: Dear Vern: I have no idea. I deal with stone, not porcelain; though I must admit that your report is mighty unusual. I’d suggest you to go back to the people who sold the stuff to you. Maurizio, Expert Panleist
Q 5215: I am installing toffee (mid-range color) colored maple cabinets from Kraftmaid. My floors are saltillo tile. What granite slab choices would complement the cabinets and floor? June 17, Reply
R1: Sorry, but I make a lousy interior decorator! (I'm even 25% colorblind!) I consider myself a mechanic and I stick to that. I seldom comment about any one particular stone. Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 5214: Hello, I am looking for some advice on some glue. I have read the comments in the forum but have not noticed this particular application. The question I have is twofold. First, I am trying to find out what is the best "glue" to use on a Marble Mantel (fireplace surround) There are several pieces that need to be glued together to make it one piece. The glue needs to be able to withstand the heat, most importantly. I have been referred to Gesso Mix before (not acrylic) and am not sure if this is the best way. There is also a need to glue the mantel to the wall, can I use the same glue?.
Additionally, if I am installing the Mantel in someones home and the glue I use is "toxic" and the smell permeates everything within a 100' radius, this may be a problem. Also, some glues like to "breath" for a long time, that is, give off vapors and so after the mantel has been installed, the homeowner smells it for weeks afterward. But at the same time, if the best glue is like this, at one time or a nother, I will be able to use such a glue. At any rate, that was the first situation. The second is this: I am also looking for a glue that can be used outdoors for such things as a Rotunda or Statue. Would this be a different glue or would I be able to use a different one? (of course, if its outdoors, the "breathing glue" is not such an issue. These may be Marble or Granite or other stones. What do you think? Any advice, or experience is welcome.
Thanks Lance, June 17, Reply
R1: I can suggest you to use 2 different kind of glue for your different applications: around a fireplace you want to use a glue that can sustain high temperature. Polyester glue are tested and guaranteed for a temperature range of 0°C to 100° C (32F-212F). as far as smell after they cure , it is relatevily inexistent. they dry up quickly and are relatively strong. as far as outside job, polyester is not a choice (remember the 32°F limit?). so you are stuck in using an epoxy glue. the range goes from -32°C to +60°C. those are strong and depending on the kind chosen can be applied also on moist material. i'll be happy to send you some more info. filippo
Q 5213: Hi, I am considering putting a limestone floor in my kitchen. We have dogs and lots of traffic. Is it true that it stains and scratches/breaks? Can I seal it to prevent staining? Are there different thicknesses or grades that my uphold to a high traffic kitchen area? Thanks, DM, June 17, Reply
R1: Your concerning is quite reasonable since the facts you will encounter is coincided with your prediction. For seal isn't a good way to prevent scratch and polishing, I would not suggest that you adopt limestone: it is too soft and vulnerable to sustain as flooring. ( Wall decoration is proper) I introduce epoxy glue which is used greatly in marble and granite installation process. Under normal circumstance, the glue composed with two part: part A and part B, which are mixing together while being operated. It is not toxic and very stable. Piness
R2: A Honed (not polished) limestone is ideal for kitchen floors. Protect with a good quality Silicone Impregnator. Let it stand for 30 minutes and wipe off the excess material. Do not allow to dry on the surface. You can mop or wash after 3-4 days with a neutral cleaning agent, HMK
R3: Dear DM: Change your mind! If you like the look of limestone, get a hone-finished marble instead.Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 5212: I had a flagstone patio and walkway installed last summer. It looked fantastic - the flagstone was in shades of blush, grey, and sand. Now much of the patio stone is covered with a green film. The film seems to be below the surface of the stone. I have tried to remove it by spraying water. Of course this did nothing. It doesn't seem that it can be scaped or scratched off either. What is this and how can I regain the look of the original stone? I don't like this green stuff. Thank you so much for responding to this questions. Barbara, June 16, Reply
R1: Dear Barbara: Try to power-wash it with a solution of water an regular household bleach. Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 5211: We are replacing our existing tile surround on our fireplace with granite tiles. The sheetrock around the fireplace was damaged when the old tiles came off and had to be removed. How can we install the new heaver granite tiles to the wall without them shifting before the mortar sets?. We tried to mortar the tiles directly onto a precut piece of sheetrock but they fell right off when the piece was uprighted. Jim, June 16, Reply
R1: Hi .Your Mortar mix is either to wet or your using the wrong mix. Glues are now available from various companies which allow for easy installation to walls. Stone
Q 5210: I work as a countertops sales person at a store and often I get a call from customers asking me what is the grade of granite that we carry. I've called our fabricators and they don't seem to know what the customers are reffering to. I've searched the net for an answer and can't find anything other than the fact that the darker granites are less porous, and lighter colors are more scratch resistant due to their higher concentration of quartz. Can anyone help me solve this mistery?! Is there a grading for granite, or a quality standard for it? Thanks Daniela, June 16, Reply
R1: Hi Daniela. Yes there is a grade. Through my limited experience in this, I know that here, the purchasers of the material are the ones who will know what grade it is. Unfortunately some pass it off as top quality so finding out if its the top grade may be difficult. It's not like beef, where they advertise A grade, but the difference between the two can usually be told by the imperfections. Hair line cracks, flaws, little holes and tinting are usually the obvious flaws. Stone
R2: Dear Daniela: Yes, of course; like in any other natural product, the quality is not consistent. In fact, in the lumber industry, the grading is mandated by law. The stone industry - lucky us! - is totally unregulated, therefore grading is not required and, therefore again, you'll never find anybody that will disclose it to you, mainly because - like you found out already - they don't even know what you're talking about! Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 5209: We recently had Dakota Mohagany granite countertops installed in my kitchen. At first glance they look great but tilt your head and look at the countertops and I see what looks like many small water spots, "like if you take glasses out of a dishwasher that have spots". I run my finger nail across these spots and they are ruff or not finished. I am not sure if the stone is poor quality. I read a previous questions about "pitting" this may be what I am seeing but just not sure. Can you provide some input on what I should ask my granite dealer? Thanks, Brian, June 16, Reply
R1: Hi Brian, those mat spots on Dakota Mahogany could very well be part of the stone. Different consistency, or minerals within the stone will take a shine differently when polishing giving it a less than glass appearance. But it is a trait of granite. The only thing I could suggest is going back to the shop look at the sample they expose and then decide if they show a different grade than what you purchased. This is a common claim, most customers don't notice that speckled shine at the time of purchase and only notice it one day when at home, under a particular light, under a particular angle. Ciao Stone
Q 5208: I have an old home with the sub flooring as my basic floor. I'm looking for an inexpensive clear resin or polymer that can be applied to my kitchen floor to fill in the cracks and give it a fairly thick coat overall. Do you recommend anything, and if so can you give me the pricing. It's a small kitchen about 60 sq. ft. Bruce June 16, Reply
R1: You can purchase many epoxy roll or squeegee application type of product that normally goes for about $100 a gallon. Covers great and gives that thick look you want-you can contact me for the product or reference to it in your area, BUT i did find a great replacement. First of all you have to sand of the surface to make sure the finish sticks properly. You should fill the voids before you put on that thick coat, or else you will always get a dipping effect. And try using Base epoxy paint. That epoxy paint you use for your garage floors, comes in Neutral or clear color, then they color to your needs. Simply take it without the color! Its cheap, and looks good. But you will have to take the time to roll on many coats. PS. Always do a test before starting, please. Stone
Q 5207: I have a contemporary fireplace with a white-ish marble surround and hearth. I hate it, but can't afford to replace it. Is there a product or methodology whereby the marble can be "painted" or re-surfaced in some way to make it look like something other than marble? However, I don't want it to look like a cheezy paint job... Cindy, June 16,Reply
R1: Dear Cindy: You know what? You almost got me, you little rascal you! Well, it's good to hear a good joke every now and then! Thank you. Yes, of course, you can paint over your marble. About the possibility of a "cheesy look", choose a paint that doesn't look like cheese! Ciao and good luck, Maurizio
Q 5206: We recently had a new home built. I wanted a natural stone floor in the kitchen, dining and foyer. Going on the advice of a family member who owns a marble and granite company, he told us he could take polished marble tiles, which he had at his shop and hone them with a muractic acid wash. We took him up on his offer. Now after them having been installed (over 700 sq. ft.), the finish on each tile is very inconsistent and looks terrible. Some tiles have what looks like water spots, other have areas that are still polished. Because this is a family member, this is a very touchy situation. He recommended washing it with a vinegar and water solution. Our installer tried this and it did nothing. He now tells us that the tile needs another washing with a muratic acid. Now my husband has to do this and has little experience with this. Our installer said that after we do this he would come back to reseal and buff the tiles. We are sick about this and are supposed to move in to our home within two weeks. What do you recommend? Appreciate any help or advice. Sincerely, Debbie June 16, Reply  
R1: Hi Debbie. Wow with family members like that, HIDE. I'll be honest you have a very touchy floor and may need a restorer to bring the floor back not only for the look but later for the functionality. If you know anyone who can operate a floor machine I can walk you through it, step by step. You will need someone with experience to walk you through it because every step will have to be tested and the results will show what to do next. Contact us here if you need me to walk you through. What I can say is whatever suggestion you get, make sure they show you on one tile before. Stone
R2: Dear Debbie: Wow, what a mess! And with a family member involved! … I wouldn't want to be in your shoes, I can tell you that. Go with Stone's suggestion. I could do what he indicates, too, but not for free. Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 5205: How would you remove oil from unsealed limestone floor? Kelly, June 16, Reply
R1: Hi Kelly. A poultice for oil removal. I do have a great product if the home remedies don't work. Stone
R2: Dear Kelly: When it comes to stain removal, either you buy one of those expensive "Professional kits" (that no true professional ever uses!) at a stone retailer near you, or you can spend less money and get my comprehensive guidelines on how to remove stains by using inexpensive and far more effective means that you may already have in your household! Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 5204: We just had cashmere white installed as countertops in our kitchen. Some dishes were left on the counter and there is a round stain from a glass that I can't rub out. Is there a product I can use to extract it? Gayle, June 16, Reply
R1: Hi Gayle, sounds like you need a poultice. For the home remedy treatments, you need to know what kind of stain it is, if not you will need a generic product good for most stains like the one I use for my company. Stone
R2: Dear Gayle: When it comes to stain removal, either you buy one of those expensive "Professional kits" (that no true professional ever uses!) at a stone retailer near you, or you can spend less money and get my comprehensive guidelines on how to remove stains by using inexpensive and far more effective means that you may already have in your household! Maurizio, Expert PAnelist
Q 5203: I purchased a lovely fossilstone (white) table at a garage sale. It is dirty and I found that with the light side of a fingernail emory board (very fine sandpaper), it cleans up with little pressure. May I do this to the whole table to clean it? Will I have to put some coating on it afterwards? Thank you. Jackie, June 16, Reply
R1: Hi , yes you will need to apply a paste wax afterwards. You can get them here or probably trough your local stone supplier. Stone
Q 5202: I have some old school black boards. Do you know what I could use them for? June 16, Reply
R1: Yes: hang them on the wall and write on them using some chalk. They come in colors, too! :-) Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 5199: I am planning on installing marble on the walls and ceiling over my whirlpool tub/shower,the question is i do not want any grout lines and i can't seem to find any info on this procedure. i was thinking about warming up some silicone sealant (so it would flow easier) on the exposed edges and work it like that. i was planning on putting "mr" board up, screwing and liquid nailing backer board then thin set mortar for the marble adhesive. am i on the right track with all of this? thanks dan, June 16, Reply
R1: Dear Dan: The technique you suggested is unknown and, therefore, the results are unknown as well. If I were you I'd set the tiles using flat toothpicks as spacer, and then grout. Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 5198: I have a mall in New Orleans where we used flamed Chinese granite. The mall is having problems keeping the stone clean. Any suggestions for maintaining the stone, Krik, June 16, Reply
R1: Hi Krik, yes but I would need more specific information, like how it was cleaned , what has been used, how has it been treated, what color and name and what dont you like about your cleaning results. From there I can draw you a maitance sheet. Stone
R2: Dear Krik: Sure! Call back the stone dealer and installation contractor and have them solve your problem. After all, they made good money out of that deal! In the … remote chance that it won't work, I do believe I have the solution to your problem. Gimme a holler. Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 5197: Caledonia Granite was installed in our house under construction yesterday. When I had a chance to view it that evening I noticed a 2 x 3 " dark black spot on it. It really stands out like a sore thumb even though this granite if full of black spots. It also has alot of irridecence in it. It looks to me like someone to some black material with fine glitter in it and patched the granite though I don't feel any difference with my hands. Could you possibly tell me if this is a natural occurance in this granite or a flaw. I have one other question about installation. I assumed that he granite would be installed on a plywood base but it is laid directly over the cabinets. Is this normal? I was told that the granite had been sealed at the factory should this be sufficient? Glad to be getting rid of my 30 year old formica! Kayleigh, June 16, Reply
R1: Dear Kayleigh: I can't comment on your dark spot without actually seeing it, but that particular type of "granite" does have many natural flaws throughout its texture. About the plywood backing, it's not really necessary if the installation was done properly. Finally, about the sealing, I strongly suggest you to run my little lemon juice test to find out if your stone needs to be sealed or not. Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 5196: I am remodeling my kitchen and have chosen to put in granite countertops. I have gotten three different quotations for 1/2" thckness, 3/4" thick, and 1-1/4" thick. Does the thickness matter that much? All have said they would install standard bullnose edges. Of course the 1/2" is the less expensive, but would the 1/2" crack or break more readily? Thanks. Mary, June 16, Reply
R1: Hi Mary, well if its installed securely I don't see why it would but ... make sure you get some type guarantee for installation. My preference is 1 1/4 if it matters. Stone
R2: Dear Mary: ½"?... Never heard of it. 2 cm. (3/4") or 3 cm. (1 ¼") are both suitable. Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 5195: What can be done to restore the original shine of a granite counter that has dulled because of normal use, i.e. water spills, wiping clean, regular use. Thanks, Neil, June 16, Reply
R1: A stone restorer will have to be called in to repolish the stone. Stone
Q 5194: We just installed a granite counter top with a drop in sink. We now want an undermount sink. Is this possible?? Thank you for response, O Gill, June 16, Reply
R1: A drop in has the edges finished very rough, on an undermount the hole edge is high polished. Polishing the drop in hole on site is messy and hard to do as a lot of water is used. Find a restorer like myself and nothing is impossible, they will do it on site but the cost will be expensive. Stone
R2: Dear Kim: I'd be tempted to tell you to rip out the whole thing, install something more suitable and live happily ever after, but I won't do that, because I don't want to upset the slate people. Hopefully, if any of them can manage to find a couple of minutes out of their busy selling schedules, I'm sure that they will able to tell you what to do, because I sure can't! I wouldn't hold your breath if I were you, though! Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 5192: Hello Just recently a cleaning company cleaned our home. In our master bathroom, we have a stone tiled stand up shower. The company used Clorox bleach to clean the grout (which wasn't that dirty - a little elbow grease could have taken care of it) and unfortunately they did not rinse the tiles well at all. The result is a white dull haze all over the tiles. We have tried cleaning it, but I feel that its been etched by the bleach. Can we recover our original smooth tile finish? If so, could you point me in the right direction to do so? June 16, Reply
R1: You'll need a restorer to buff the shine back in if its too deep. "Stone"
R2: There are two chances to that: NO WAY and NO HOW! Your diagnosis is right: the surface of your stone has been etched. There's no "miracle-in-a-bottle" that will restore the original finish of your marble tiles. You will need the services of a bona fide stone refinishing contractor who will have to hone and re-polish your marble. Expert Panelist
Q 5190: I have a uba tuba granite counter top that has a hair line crack about 12 inches long, how do I repair it? the installer tried a deep penetrating epoxy but it not help the appearance (but he assured me that the crack would not spread). I would like a repair that hid the crack. Rosselli, June 16, Reply
R1: Dear Rosselli: Penetrating epoxy is indeed the stuff to use to repair AND hide airline cracks. But it’s just one part of the equation; the other one being an operator who knows how to use it and what to do.Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 5189: I own a 1790 farm house with 3 priceless mantle's made by Adams. One of them is black marble. The previous owner painted over the front and top of the mantle in white paint. I have yet to find the courage or way to strip the paint without damaging the stone itself. I was told of NITROMORS or OXALIC acid to strip, beeswax to polish? I don't know what is right, I know the marble is porous and scratchable. Are there any safe steps? Any safe chemicals to do the job right? Appreciate your time.Dan in NY, June 16, Reply
R1: Dear Dan: Marble is not porous, but it does scratch easily. Oxalic acid will NOT strip your paint: it will only damage your marble. Be wax will NOT polish your marble: marble is polished by abrasion and friction, like gemstone, not by putting some sort of wax onto its surface and then buffing it up. To strip the paint you will need a paint stripper based on Methylene Chloride (available at any hardware store). After that, to re-polish your marble you will need the services of a bona-fine stone restoration contractor. Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 5188: We recently purchased a previously owned dining set made of fossil stone. The surface has many water stains, spots, and needs to be replaced to bring up its shine. I would appreciate any advise you can give. We live in the Philadelphia, Pa. area, so we do have access to home improvement stores. Thank you. Seanut, June 16, Reply
R1: Dear Seanut: I'm glad to hear that you have access to home improvement stores. They can always come in handy! But not in this case they don't! All the "water stains" you have on your table top are marks of corrosions (etchings) made by various acidic substances that became in contact with the surface of the stone, i.e.: drinks, salad dressing and so on through a long list. You will need the services of a bona fide stone restoration contractor, who will have to hone and re-finish your table top. Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 5187: I have gotten a steal of a deal on some marble and am thinking about putting it on my countertops, but want to know about its durability, heat resistance and general usability in the kitchen. We are a very small family of three with our daughter off to college within a short while. Do you have any information regarding the pros and cons of marble countertops for my kitchen. I am so excited about this possibility Stephaine, June 16, Reply
R1: Dear Stefany: I'm sorry to be the one to pour water on the fire, but you do NOT want any polished marble anywhere in your kitchen! Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 5184: I am considering having honed granite for my counter top in my kitchen. I would buy the slab and the fabricator will hone it. What are the pro's and con's for a honed counter top in the kitchen. Is it harder to maintain than shiny granite. Does it have the same resistance as shiny granite. Do I have to have it sealed more often? Any other advise? How expensive is it to have my fabricator hone it? Susie, June 16, Reply
R1: Dear Susie: It all depends on the color of the "granite". Dark-colored granites (black, for instance) turn out to be maintenance nightmare due to surface staining (no sealer will do anything to prevent that. Only a stone color enhancer could minimize the problem). Light-colored "granites" would be much better. Resistance is the same, and frequency of sealing (if and when necessary) will depend on the make of the impregnator sealer. Some impregnators need to be applied once a year, some other can go as long as 10 years or better! Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 5183: I am renovating a 1900 Philadelphia rowhouse. I was sold on Corian (I work for DuPont), but found Durango stone today at a granite/marble retailer. The shop told me that Durango CAN be used on countertops, but did caution it is more porous than granite (which I have had in the past with ABSOLUTELY NO PROBLEM). Is Durango suitable for a kitchen - we have no children and are neat! June 16, Reply
R1: No, not really. Durango travertine (from Mexico) is less porous than true geological granite, and up to par (porosity-wise) with many dense mercantile granites. Porosity is not the problem: the chemical makeup of the stone is: Calcium Carbonate. It will etch like crazy, and no miracle-in-a-bottle on the market can do anything to prevent that! Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 5182: I have a 3-year-old limestone shower (sealed) that has darkened in areas probably due to soap scum & grease. How do I clean it out and reseal it? Please recommend products. Thanks. Wesley

, June 16, Reply
R1: Dear Wesley: I doubt very highly that the darkening of some of the tiles is due to soap scum and grease (grease?? What do you do, you cook in your shower stall?! :-)). It is most likely that you have water behind those darker tiles. Big problem, sorry. Get the contractor who did installation to come back and solve the problem. Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelistt
Q 5181: I accidently spilled some vinegar on my marble floor. To buff out the haze, I bought some tin oxide as some posts have suggested. I really rubbed hard, but the shine is not coming back. The area is probably one square foot. What should I do now? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Kelvin, June 16, Reply
R1: Dear Kelvin:Yes, of course, tin oxide alone will not work. I do believe I have the solution to your problem. Gimme a holler. Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 5180: We just had granite countertops installed in our kitchen. We have an island as well. A lot of our neighbors have granite throughout their house and have told me that vinegar is great to use to help clean the granite. What is your opinion of using vinegar to clean the granite? Thanks, Deb, June 16, Reply
R1: Dear Deb: Please, you do NOT want me to answer your question. I promised to myself not to use any foul language on this forum! :-)The proper maintenance of granite countertops is a subject that's all too often neglected and, as you can tell by reading many of this site postings, you're not likely to get good information about it from your dealer or installer (when end-users tell me that they were advised to use water and dish soap, or regular glass-cleaner - let alone vinegar! - my Italian blood reaches the boiling point at the speed of light!). Don't become another statistic! You can get my maintenance guidelines for residential stone installations. Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 5179: Your write up on the porosity of granite and variants is very helpful. I could not figure out why the beautiful granite tiles I bought absorb water and darken quite rapidly from the water. I figured they need to be sealed but wondered why my kitchen redo books refer to granite as "water resistant" and "stain resistant" and "highly impervious". So it appears that I indeed need to apply a stone sealer to what I bought. I will also do the acid test you mention and can only hope for good results. A question, if you don't mind- do I seal the granite tiles before or after cutting and installing for my kitchen counters? Many thanks, Lisa, June 16, Reply
R1: Dear Lisa: The term: granite covers a huge array of different stones that are miles apart from true geological granite. IN the USA it is illegal to label as granite stones that granite are not, but nobody seems interested at seeing the law enforced. Anyway, answering to your question, do NOT seal your "granite" tiles before installation. Only a week or so after installation. Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 5178: For most sealants that I am aware of, the total depth of the sealant cannot be more the 1/2 its width. Without maintaining this critical ratio, one almost ensures a loss of bond. Therefore, applying the sealant to the surface and carefully tooling it seems a good solution. However, I am not aware of any documentation recommending this practice. On a different note, be cautious with your type of sealant. The oils in silicones are proven to stain granite over prolonged periods of time. Regards Ron, June 16, Reply
R1: Dear Ron: I don’t want to sound un-polite, but … what on earth are you talking about?! :)Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 5177: I have specified granite slab installations for many countertops, and I have now encountered my first horror story. We requested a 3cm Tropic Brown kitchen counter, backsplash and bar installation for a job in another state from a fabricator who appeared to be credible. I had made several calls to check on their reputation for performing good work. Was I sorry. The templated slabs did not fit. They had to go back to their shop to be recut. After two days, they were installed. However, the seams are not smooth, the colored epoxy ? seems to be chipping out of the seams. I have even cut my arm sliding it across one of the seams. There are water-like marks all over the slabs. I've never had this happen. Does this mean it was not sealed? How does this get fixed? Also, I can see very small pits all over the granite. And, several of the radius cut edges are hazy-like - almost grayish. I would interpret this to mean that it was not polished correctly and uniformly. The installers also did not clean the surfaces well, and I had to get a razor and scrape off much of the hardened adhesive. I have never encountered an install like this. I have not paid the balance due on this project, and I would like some advise on what to do. Your response will be greatly appreciated, Sandra, June 16, Reply
R1: Dear Sandra: What do you expect me to tell you? Fro what you're reporting you've got a raw deal, which is not acceptable by any existent and inexistent standard, and you're gonna have to deal with it. About the "stains" I believe that it could be the sealer (impregnator) that the fabricator may have applied on your stone. Tropic Brown typically does not need to be sealed. I'm truly sorry to hear your story. Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 5176: I read your reply regarding whether unpolished granite is a good choice for a shower. I am considering using Giallo Veneziano granite for my shower stall? I am concerned that it may too porous for a shower and hoping to get more information about this particular granite. If you think it would work in a shower stall, how often would I need to seal the granite? Or should I replace my damaged cultured marble with cultured marble? Amy, June 11, Reply
R1: Ciao Amy No the granite is a better choice, since the acidity of the products will not affect the stones finish. Properly sealed it will last for a long time. I would seal it regularly every 1 to 3 years. Stone
R2: Dear Amy, As with most applications there are always a number of issues. Apart from the Juperanas and Paradisos, Giallo Veneziano is one of the more porous granitic stones around. Being siliceous and porous means that it is amenable to sealing using a number of different sealers available that are appropriate for this application. Because you are going to use it in a shower stall and have it sealed there is an obvious slip issue. You will find that a honed finish (even at 80 grade) will be slippery in the presence of soap. Therefore you should think of a bright-etched, bush-hammered, sand-blasted or even exfoliated finish. It is not a particularly strong granite so you might want to be looking at 20mm thick stone. Once the floor has been sealed with at least two coats (might even need 4 depending on the surface finish) it shouldn't need sealing again for a long time (at least 10 years). Don't be duped by the thousands of salesmen out there who know nothing about the science of sealing and everything about taking your money. The other issue of putting any stone into a shower stall is the construction of the base. If you are intending to put stone into a shower stall thinking that sealing is going to prevent the escape of water, think again. Buildings move, grouts crack and sealants eventually become permeable. Even waterproof membranes are not infallible. I presume that you already have a stainless steel tray in your shower stall. If not, invest in one. With that security, it doesn't matter if you have a porous granite. (Dr. Hans) Expert Panelist
R3: Dear Amy: Giallo Veneziano, when properly sealed with a suitable, good-quality impregnator/sealer, will do just fine in a shower stall! Some good impregnators will last several years (5, 10 or better!), before you will ever need to re-apply them! Maintenance, if implemented with the proper know-how and products, will be a breeze! Giallo Veneziano is certainly not going to give you the problems you've been having with your plastic (cultured marble). You can get my maintenance guidelines for residential stone installations. Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 5175: I have installed Natural Granite Bianco Catalina 12 x 12 tiles as my kitchen countertop. I have rounded the front edge with an angle grinder and masonry grinding stone and then gone through 500, 800, 1000, 3000, and 10000 grit diamond sanding pads. The edges turned out very good but are still just a little dull. Also where I rolled up with the sanding pad onto the countertop, it has dulled slightly when compared to the glassy finish from the factory. How do they polish the granite to the glass finish at the factory. I have tried a diamond "edge bar" with a buffing wheel and gotten it a little better but still not perfect. I also have a quart of a product called Super Diamond
from Italy that is like a black grease that I do not want to try because it darkened the test piece I tried. Any advice would be appreciated. Please also forward more information on your maintenance guide. Thanks Casey, June 11, Reply

R1: Sounds like you did the proper procedure. The only thing I can think of is that one of the grits was not passed properly, which caused a dullness in the finish. And lastly the wax you used at the end comes in clear, which should be applied lightly one night and removed using fine steel wool the next day. Work on 12 inches until you get right, in the same fashion as you described. Stone
R2: Dear Casey: You can't really expect that my Maintenance Guidelines are going to teach you how to polish granite edges, can you?! :-)For that, alas, I don't have an answer. Usually, diamond polishing - in the hands of a professional (sorry, no offense intended) - is plenty enough. Try to apply some paraffin wax and buff it up using "00" steel-wool pads. It's not actual polishing, but it may do the trick for you! Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 5174: We have travertine in our entry and absolutely love it. The installers did a wonderful job and mixed a few "dots" of our granite in to spice it up. We like the travertine so much that we want to put it on the raised side of our pool. This would not sit in the water but about six inches above the water line. It would definitely get chlorinated water on it, a lot. We were told by one local shop that they could seal it but the chlorine would eat away the sealant and eventually damage the travertine. We like an old world look and don't mind aging or scratches on the surface. We have seen a number of travertine pool decks and hoped that the application to the side of the pool would work. We are not opposed to going with marble if that will resolve the sealing\chlorine issue. What are your thoughts? Happy, June 11, Reply  
R1: Hi Happy, many of my clients have travertine pools as you described. It is a beautiful look and has resisted over the years. Where I see a problem is if you install it polished. Forget it! Make sure you ask for a mat or honed finish. Also having it tumbled is a must for this application. The granite can go in polished and it adds a nice touch. Where you want to be careful is with the setting materials. Be sure to get it in writing for the manufacturing company and follow their directives. This is needed for the guarantee. What I have too often seen, is the setting materials bleed through the stone because of the large amounts of humidity and the use of improper adhesives and grouts. Stone
R2: There is no issue. Travertine is one of the densest varieties of limestone available. Just because of the presence of gas holes many dealers think that the basic stone is porous. Being dense you don't seal it. Where the hell is the sealer going to go. It's like sealing black granite and Blue Pearl - they absorb very little sealer and therefore don't serve any useful purpose. And don't fall for that impregnating rubbish. Because of its composition it is highly unlikely that chlorinated water is going to be detrimental to the travertine. (Dr. Hans), Expert Panelist
R3: Dear Happy: Go with hone-finished and unfilled travertine, forget the stupid sealer, and be …well … Happy! Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 5173: I'm moving to a new house with Granite kitchen countertop. I don't know what type of granite it is, all I know is that it's color is Luna Pearl. I was told by the installer that I need to seal this prior to using it because the installer does not seal it.The other product is called Impregnator (I didn't get the manufacturer) and is about $80.00 a gallon. Are these good products and worth using? Do you have any product that you can recommend and easy to find in stores here in San Jose, California? Thanks in advance. Gil, June 11, Reply  
R1: Hi Gil, I can reccomend you the product if you get the names, I have used most of them. It is a must to do so. Stone
R2: Dear Gil: Luna Pearl is not a color, is a granite. As a matter of fact it's THE granite! It is somehow porous and it will need to have an impregnator-sealer applied in it, and it is customary that a reputable fabricator/installer does the sealing. I do not consider an impregnator/sealer as a consumer product. About the specific product your installer suggested you to buy, I have no comment. I need to know the name of the product to tell you whether or not is suitable for Luna Pearl. Maurizio
Q 5171: My husband and I are contractors, we've installed ceramic tile a million times over. We recently did our first (polished) marble job. Uncertain as to what was all involved, we sealed the tile on both the walls and floors after simply first just wiping them down. Not realizing there were some smudges, the tile is now sealed and these "spots" are there and visible. What do we do? I have the customer on hold right now, hoping I could find out a solution. Do you have one? Thanks for your help. Jennifer, June 11, Reply
R1: Dear Jennifer: Why did you seal those marble tiles? What do you expect the sealer to do for your customer? Since when polished marble needs to be sealed? Since when do you want to seal tiles (assuming that they need to be sealed, which is not the case here) BEFORE installation? What kind of smudges are you talking about? Couldn't they be smudges that you made by not removing completely every residue of the stupid sealer (that had no business being there to begin with) off the surface of the tiles? Why don't you treat the tiles by removing every residue of the sealer? I'm POSITIVE that the person who told you seal and sold you the sealer will know what to do!! There's not much else that I can tell you, sorry. Maurizio, Expert Panelist
R2: I tried to understand your letter, anticipating every possible circumstance , but what your stating is very unclear. From what I understood, try to reapply some sealer to one smudged tile and wipe it off completlely and see if the spots dissappear. The sealer should disolve what was left on which is what I suspect happenned. If not contact me again but I will need more imformation and possibly some shots. Don't panic, I really don't think it's very bad. "Stone"
Q 5170:   I am wondering if anyone knows how to clean an Alabaster statue I have received from my grandparents, she is quite dirty and discoloured and I don't want to experiment with any commercial products on her and risk damage. Many thanks, H Pomery, June 11, Reply
R1: Dear H Pomery: Get hold of a proven stone restoration professional, if you care about your statue. Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
R2: Try only a mild soap, Ivory or Dove and water with a small soft brush. If that doesn't work you should ask a local expert. Such old lamps can fall apart if cleaned improperly. Stone
Q 5169: I have limestone countertops that look a mess. How can I get them resurfaced? What are the dos and don'ts with limestone in a kitchen? I also have a few small spots where lemon juice splashed on marble counters when I suddenly cut myself? How can I repair this? Help asap, please! Thank you, Denise, June 11, Reply  
R1: Dear Denise:Here's the classical example of a stone that could be more than enjoyable if installed, say, in Turkey, Italy, Spain, or India, but that becomes a nightmare when placed within the Northern America culture. You have two options: 1. A silly one: get hold of a reputable stone restoration contractor and be ready to budget some big bucks to have them come back every year or so to re-hone your countertop. 2. A smart one: get rid of it and have installed a different material that suits your desire to have a countertop which will look brand-new all the time. Hey, it's only money! About the lemon juice etching on your marble countertop, you will probably need the services of a bona fide stone restoration contractor. You could try to do it yourself, though. If you consider yourself - or someone in your family - a handy person, gimme a holler. Maurizio, Expert Panelist
R2: Wow, what a headache. After a restorer brings it back, I would defiantly seal it with an enhancer. This makes the stone as dark as possible which would make it difficult for it to stain again. As far as your lemon "stains," they are in reality etchings. Etchings can only be removed trough polishing. What I do with a customer that is a little handy. after restoration I teach them how to do it themselves with the use of a prestablished recipe. Its much like compound and polishing of a car, you can get it done or do it yourself. But I try as best I can to leave an impossible stone to a manageable counter. Ciao Stone
Q 5167: I have installed travertine in my kithcen and vestabule. I noticed that the edges of the stone are chipped and rough. When I slide my foot across the tile, I actually can cut my foot. I think that the builder did not grout it properly. Any advice, Lori, June 11, Reply
R1: Dear Lori: Yes, of course, and an easy one, too! Get your builder's butt back into the picture and have them solve the problem. They made good money out of that floor, didn't they?! Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
R2: Lori, if the stone installed was polished, it sounds like a poor installation job. If that's the case, the only remedy is a complete restoration. You need an expert and your installer to take care of this. Pricing for this can be around $10 per foot with a minimum of $1000. This opinion of course is based on what I understood and read, for more precise info contact me here with more detailed info. Ciao Stone
Q 5166: We are in the process of selecting granit or marble for our kitchen countertop. Our research thus far indicates go with granite because of its hardness and greater resistance to staining or cracking. However, we love the soft look of marble. Would you be so kind to give your expert opinion on choosing between these two stones? Also, please give me the information on stone maintenance you mention often since I do not want to become another statistic. Thanks, Lou, June 11, Reply
R1: Dear Lou:Marble - like any other calcite-based stone - is a "soft stone" (therefore it scratches easily) and very sensitive to pH active liquids (therefore it "stains" - etch-marks, that is - quite readily). A hone-finished marble surface would be more "forgiving" in the sense that - by not being highly polished - it will show less the very same damages that will occur on it anyway. With time it will change its original looks. Such feature, which is very sought after by the Mediterranean and South Asia communities (it's like when people like the looks of an old pair of blue-jeans, if you know what I mean), is not accepted by the Northern European and Northern American culture. They like their stones to look brand-new all the time.Granite has none of that. Choose the right one and maintain it right and it WILL like new all the time! But, please, don't ask me which ones are the right "granites". I seldom comment about any one particular stone. Maurizio Expert Panelist
Q 5165: We recently moved into a home with a bathroom that has a limestone countertop around the sink. We don’t know what kind it is other than to say it is dark green/gray in color. We were cleaning the sink bowl with tilex ( I think), and some dripped onto the limestone and has stained it. I know you’re not a fan of limestone, but we’re stuck with it and would like to know how to attempt to get rid of the stain. Thanks, Kathleen, June 11, Reply
R1: Dear Kathleen: If it were a stain, I'd be glad to point you in the right direction on how to do it yourself; but since it's a "stain" instead, There's only one thing I can tell you: get hold of a reputable stone restoration contractor. The pH activity of the product you mentioned is the culprit that did the deed! Your "stain" is actually a mark of corrosions. The surface of your stone must be re-ground a little bit (honed), and then re-finished. Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panleist
Q 5164: I have a uba tuba granite counter top that has a hair line crack about 12 inches long, how do I repair it? the installer tried a deep penetrating epoxy but it not help the appearance (but he assured me that the crack would not spread). I would like a repair that hid the crack. Roselli, June 11, Reply
R1: Dear Roselli: The idea of using penetrating epoxy to fix a hairline crack is good. There's a little tiny problem, though: one has to know how to do it right! It doesn't seem to be case here, does it?! Unfortunately, I don't think that I can help you from here. Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 5163: In the redesign process for a powder room with very little use, I am looking for a mostly solid (very few color variations) cream colored material. I have found granite to be too "busy" for the small space, and am unsure about choosing a material. I have considered everything from limestone, marble and travertine to concrete. I love the look of stone (honed) and want the front edge to have (if possible) a ragged, rough cut look. Help! Stephaine. June 11, Reply
R1: Dear Stephanie:Hone-finished Crema Marfil or Botticino marbles are "your man"! About the chiseled edge finish, you're gonna have to work it out with you fabricator. Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 5161: I have a prune juice ring from a glass that was sitting on my black marble night stand. How can I remove the ring? Susan, June 11, Reply
R1: Dear Susan: Only one thing: get hold of a reputable stone restoration contractor. The acidity of the prune juice is the culprit that did the deed! Your "stain" is actually a mark of corrosions. The surface of your stone must be re-ground a little bit (honed), and then re-polished. Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 5160: I have a hunter green marble top on our bar in our kitchen. It sets on my wooden kitchen cupboard bases. Quite awhile ago I noticed that there are several round (from the glass) water spots on it. The whole top used to be very smooth and shiny, now that spot is dull. What can I do? Thanks! Terri, June 11, Reply
R1: Dear Terry: Only one thing: get hold of a reputable stone restoration contractor. Those "Water stains" you have were not generated by water and are not stains to begin with. They're rather marks of corrosions that various drinks contained in the glasses sitting on your top have made. The surface of your stone must be re-ground a little bit (honed), and then re-polished. Be ready for a "shocking" number! And BTW, don't forget to send a heartfelt thank-you note to the people who sold and installed that material for you for the intelligence they gave to you about the possible problems and proper maintenance procedures. Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 5159: Hi - I happened upon your website while researching granite. We have picked (but not purchased yet) a stone called "Kinawa Bianco". The slab dealer that has it says its granite, and an excellent stone. I found kinawa, but not "bianco" on your site. Another slab dealer told us they didn't carry Kinawa Bianco, as it is near the "end of its run" at the quarry, and not good quality. He said we should ask a dealer to take the slab outside, pour water on the front side, and see if water soaks thru to the back, revealing fissures and weak points, which shouldn't be there. Have you heard of this? How long must the lemon sit on the stone to see if it etches or not? Most importantly, have you heard of Kinawa Bianco, and is it really granite, and what quality? Thank you so much, this is a HUGE decision for us, a very very costly, we want to go in armed with knowledge! Thanks, Accons, June 11, Reply
R1: Dear Accons: A little confusing, ain't it?!I don't know much a bout Kinawa Bianco, besides the fact that it's a granite just as much as I am the President of Ruanda Urundi! Check the table of 150 granites by Dr, Daniel, and find out what Kinawa "granite" (Bianco or what-have-you) is. I have no idea if such material is at the end of its run, but if it is, I promise you that it won't be missed! About water soaking through, it has nothing to see with fissures and weak points, but with the very nature (high absorbency rate) of the beast. My little lemon juice test is not meant to find out after how long a certain "granite" will etch, but whether or not a certain "granite" will etch. All that said, I seldom comment about any one particular stone. Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 5158: We've decided to install Crema Marfil marble in our newly renovated kitchen and foyer. We're empty nesters and do not expect alot of traffic so we're not concerned with the amount of maintenance and care that we'll have to deal with. My question pertains to the grading of this product. I found a Q&A on your web site that described that the quarry grades it as Residential and Commercial with Residential being the better grade. Okay fine. But several installers have recommended using Crema Marfil Select (at twice the cost) for greater consistency in color, cutting, etc. However, my inquiry to the "stone stores" indicates that there may not really be a difference between the Select and regular stone for Crema Marfil. What's the real answer? Thanks for your help. Sandler Perry, June 10, Reply
R1: The real answer seems evident enough. If the constancy and color of the higher grade is more pleasing to your eye, than purchase it. If it makes no difference, than get the lesser of the two. Especially since you say traffic is not an issue. However, the traffic statement, I would be skeptical about. I have customers here who after a week of installation, were very surprised to find out how porous it really was. One spill, one accident is all you need. "Stone"
R2: My experience is the material labeld as select is what is used for slabs and consistent tiles. Good luck, Steven, Expert Panelsit
R3: Dear Sir, I suggest that you choose regular stocking in store due to no big difference between Select and regular. Because there is not much space for decoration in your kitchen and foyer, it is not necessary to describe color consistency strictly. Piness
R4: Basically, there are three types of crema marfil produced from the quarry. First choice being the best ones. The second one is standard grade, and the third is commercial grade. Normally, first choice and standard grade can be mix together since there are not much difference b/w them. Just do not mix it with commercial grade because there will be difference in the colour and veins. Therefore, I recommend using first choice and standard. Price difference b/w first choice and standard is around USD. 8.00 - 10.00. Milan
R5: The crema marfil marble have in origen diferent clasification: A) Special o first class B) Second class C) Comercial class. When you are talking about Select Class and regular stone is very dificult to assimilar with the original classification.
The original classification are refered with the color and texture properties and not with the phisico mechanics properties this are similar in all classes.
The Special or first class is more light, less stylolites marks, less fractures and less microfossiles. Is the most homogeneus in color and texture.
In the second class you can observe more stylolites with yellow paddind in it. The color is more brown. And the C Class is more unhomogeneus, more brown and with a lot of fractures (stylolites) and microfossiles.
The first class is the better refering color and texture but all classes have the same mechanical properties. Best regards Miguel
R6: Dear Sandler Perry: Yes, I've heard of a Crema Marfil quarry using the word Select in its grading of the stone, and I agree that's top-notch. I don't think there's much difference between that and a good grade "residential", however, but even you should be able to tell. About the store comment about a "regular" Crema Marfil, I'd like them to give me their own definition of "regular" :-) Maurizio, Expert Panelist
R7: The only differences between Select or Residential or Commercial material is in the uniform colour , no cracks , no spots , absence of holes , crystals and mastic. The maintenance for any quality is the same , as the technical characteristics. If you look for technical test , the data are the same for any different choice. can be a very light difference of strong ness from two materials excavated in the same quarry , in two different location , but not can have influences in the maintenance of material Alfredo
Q 5157: We have been without a kitchen for over 4 months now and were finally ready to install the granite in hopes of having a sink this week. We have run into a dilemma. We just paid for a slab of Red Maranace at Brazil/CA. When my Fabricator / Installer showed up to pick up the slab he was concerned about thin raised lines stemming through out the slab. The owner of the Granite facility told me the lines are called "fishers?" and are common with Red Maranace Granite and are visable on all the Red Maranace slabs at his yards.The Green and Brown Maranace didn't seem to have these fishers. I questioned the owner about these line possibly being fratures. The owner mentioned my installer may not have the proper experience or tools to cut this granite and he has the same granite in his home. My installer doesn't want to be responsible if the granite should fall apart. I need to decide today on the Red Maranace (Which over much deliberation- my wife and I agreed upon), or a last minute switch to Emerald pearl. What do you recommend? Frustrated, fractured and fishered Craig, June 3, Reply
R1: Hello to Frustrated. Fissured to me, means a poor quality stone. There are, things you can do from backing the stone with fiberglass, to filling the surface with flowing epoxy...but...why would anyone want to pay for a fractured stone which can present problems. And if you trust you're fabricator, and he does not want to work with a certain stone, I would listen. Emerald Pearl is a very very hard stone, perfect for kitchen counters. "Stone"
R2: Dear Graig: Natural fissures are never raised. I can't figure out exactly what you problem is, but I don't like the sound of it. I would have encouraged you to switch to Emerald Pearl. Mauizio, Expert Panleist
Q 5156: email me relevant information on chinese white granite and any possible problems and remedies sealing consistency staining thanking you in advance john, June 3, Reply
R1: Dear John:I seldom comment about any one particular stone. There may be differences within the same stone (and I'm not talking about looks, here!) from one bundle of slabs and the next. The slabs may have also been either "doctored" (which is bad), or "resined" (which is good) by the factory, which would make a big difference. Even more important, what's a good stone in the hands of some "Michelangelo"?!I did write a very comprehensive article on "How to Shop for a Granite Kitchen Countertop" that will give you all the intelligence you need to venture yourself with confidence in the stone industry jungle! It does carry a small price tag, but wouldn't you rather have me beside you while you're out there?! Gimme a holler at: info@findstone.com. There's a little fee involved (as you will be told), but you'll be glad you did. What's more, I will show you a way to get all of your money back! You can also ask me how to get my comprehensive maintenance guidelines for residential stone installations. Remember, when it comes to natural stone, maintenance is an all too important yet neglected subject that should begin before you even select it, as you can tell from several of this very site postings! Don't become another statistic!Ciao and good luck,Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 5155: I have giallo veneziano granite countertops ( 3 months old). Got olive oil on it and forgot to clean it up. Used the acetone method (suggested by maurizo, usa. I used afta). I left on overnight and got concerned because it appeared to be discoloring the stone. Took it off - looks awful. The il stain is still there and a square discoloration now exists. I tried heating the stone with a blower dryer and wiping with towel. No change. Called the place where I purchased the stone (shoud have done that first). They said they will give me some wax to put on it. Any suggestions from you. thank you, June 3, Reply
R1: I am gonna pull my hair out! I dont get why you're stone discolored. Has it been treated with a product to enhance its color? Normally oil is very easily removed with a poultice treatment- I have one which has worked on oil with very little failure results. I would not cover it with wax since you will also be covering the oil, then how will you get it out? Form the sound of it, removing the oil would be step one and then, applying this wax to bring back the faded color. "Stone"
R2: I'm sorry to hear that. No mineral solvent could ever damage natural stone. What probably happened is that the impregnator/sealer applied by the fabricator got damaged by the acetone. A few low-quality sealers do that. I suggest to have all the impregnator removed, followed by the application of a better one, so you won't have any more oil stains to begin with. Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 5153: We are building a new home and I have read your comments regarding Santa Cecilia. First of all, is there a difference in Santa Cecilia Light, Dark or Classic? Also, if you do not recommend this pseudo granite, do you have a recommendation for one that is similar in color. Marie, June 3, Reply
R1: Dear Marie:There no substantial differences between the three stones you mentioned, besides the way they look, of course. A couple of years ago I was considering them "borderline" (MY borderline!), but the introduction on the marketplace of new high-tech and quite effective impregnator/sealers made me upgrade the rating of the Giallos among the "good guys". However, I seldom comment about any one particular stone. Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 5152: I'm looking at purchasing some Verde Fuoco granite for kitchen counter tops. Could you please tell me what the difference/pros/cons is in the thickness between 3cm and 2cm?...Besides the obvious 1cm??? Thanks, Mary, June 3, Reply
R1: The thicker, does not mean its stronger. Thicker could be nicer when it comes to finishing the edges. Make sure your installation is really secure and solid. Make sure the counters are really sturdy before the granite is laid..thats the secret. I can walk on top of my wood preparation, I then secure the counter on top making certain there are no voids underneath. "Stone"
R2: Dear Mary: There are two schools of thought about the 3 cm. vs. the 2 cm. laminated. They are both technically sound. I like the 2 cm. laminated better. Besides aesthetic considerations, my main motivation is the undebatable fact that a 3 cm. countertop is 50% heavier than its 2 cm. counterpart. It may not seem like a real issue, but if you consider that houses in this country are build on wood frames, with wood joists holding the floor, and that Lady Gravity is a bitch that never takes a vacation, or a sick day, or even a coffee break … you fill the blanks! One of the drawback with a 2 cm. laminated is the fact that it does require a better fabricator. Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 5151: I am considering using Bateig Fantasia, a limestone (also called Bateig Beige) in my bathroom. I would use 1 1/4" slab on the vanity, tub and shower seat tops. In addition, I would use tiles on my bathroom floor. Someone advised me that Bateig stones are extremely porous and not appropriate for bathrooms. Someone else said they are fine, as long as you seal them periodically. What do you think? How often would I need to seal it? Thanks. Jill, June 3, Reply
R1: Hi Jill, they should be sealed when they show signs of absorption. Normally I would do it about once a year, making sure the first time is done right of course. Stone
R2: Dear Jill:I honestly don't know much about that particular stone. Only heard of it in a couple of occasions. Generally speaking, however, I am not fond of limestone. The majority of installations are successful, mind you, but I've seen enough failures - all of which without a solution - to make me consider limestone kind of risky. I don't want to scare you, but I felt it my professional duty to make you aware of my previous experiences. That said, the frequency by which a stone needs to be sealed is strictly related to the type (make and brand) of impregnator/sealer used. Some are rated for one years (but usually they last at least a couple of years), others are rated for 10 years or better (and it's true). You pick! Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 5150: What are the chemical and mechanical characteristics of Carrara Marble? I am particuarly interested in the tensile, flexual, compression and MOR properties. Thanks, Ron, June 3, Reply
R1: Bianco Carrara, originating in Italy. Actually the whole city is built on Carrara, very cool. The tensile strength is 202kg/cm2, the Compressive strength is 1334 kg/cm2, fictional wear test 0.58mm, coeff. thermal expansion 0.0063 mm/m Celsius. Ciao Stone
Q 5148: What are the pros and cons of using glazed lava stone for kitchen counters? I know it's expensive (definitely a con!) but the kitchen is small-to-medium sized and most of the countertop surface will be on a 3'x 6' penninsula. How does it compare to granite in terms of absorption, ease of upkeep, and durability? Is it hard to obtain and fabricate? I saw a picture of a glazed lava stone countertop in a magazine and loved the look. Thank you so much for any information or experience you can share! Andrea, June 3, Reply
R1: I would consider it a feature of natural stone...enjoy what occured millions of years ago! Marni
Q 5147: I just had new granite (ubatuba) kitchen countertops installed. In one of the slabs there is a very prominent imperfection -- it is a long black intrusion through the stone, approximately 6-inches by 2-inches. It does not look like there is a crack or any structural defect, it is purely a color imperfection. I know that a certain amount of natural variations will occur, but this is so large it looks as if someone spilled black wine on the counter. Are these color streaks common and considered an attractive sign of the natural stone, or are they considered an undesirable flaw? I did not choose the slab and am considering having it replaced. June 3, Reply
R1: Hmmm … I have no comment about that. I guess you're gonna have to work this out with your fabricator. Maurizio
Q 5146: #1 Impala Black kitchen countertops - so far have just been using water - afraid to use anything else, only problem is that the manufacturers/installers marks can be seen when water is applied appearing as 3 concenctric darker circles. I have no idea what sealers, etc. were used - does it need to be sealed and if so can we do it ourselves?

#2 Sapphire Brown bathroom vanity - same as above - just want to know if we should seal and how to keep up safely.

#3 Dark Noce natural stone tile purchased at Lowe's, on the bathroom shower floor only. Need to know how to care for and how to seal if necessary.

I have looked throughout your website for the past 2 hours and have yet to figure this out for myself. Please help. Edmond, June 3, Reply

R1: I can supply you with a detailed maintenance sheet if you need. Stone I will need an address to mail you the personalized chart. I will also inform you where you can purchase the products locally or we can ship them from here if they are available in your area. Ciao Stone
R2: Dear Edmond: You could find all the answers to your questions in my maintenance guidelie for residential stone installations. Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 5145: Your sight is so filled with information, I am a bit overwhelmed. As I complete granite novice, I recently ordered green butterfly for countertops in my kitchen after seeing it is excellent on your website. But I can't seem to find whether I need to seal the counters and with what sealant-if necessary and /or how to prevent staining on the new counters. Thanks for any words to the ignorant. Gail June 3, Reply
R1: On granite counters ask for an oil repellent impregnator and maintaining product for every day cleaning. A proper cleaner will not break down the impregnator or sealer you put on. Ciao Stone
R2: Dear Gail:Typically VB does not need to be sealed. Just make sure to maintain it right. Maurizio, Expert Panleist
Q 5144: My parents are building a new kitchen. They have not yet chosen the granite they will be using, but they know they want it to be a dark green. If money were no object and somebody said to you, I want dark green, what is the best kind, brand, finish, etc. etc. What would you say? Please tell me for use in a kitchen, what we be the absolute best dark green granite, and please tell me specifics so that they can tell their contractor what to order. It should be the most durable. Stain resistant, oisture resistant available. Thanks! Josie

June 3, Reply
R1: Hi Josie-Nice question, my fav is Emerald Green or Emerald Pearl, I have never in my 16 years of playing with stone found a problem with it, but....there are so many nice stones offered by dealers today its worth the look. Get a sample, bring it home, and drop things like you would on the counter, oil, water, meat, keys. See for yourself, if you take an extra week to do this, who cares! The granite you are going to choose is supposed to stand the test of time, take your time to choose properly. Ciao "Stone"
R2: Dear Josie: I've got good news for you! All dark green "granites" are quite good. I don't think there's a "very best", and price is certainly not an indication of quality. It's only demand and supply. Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 5143: First, we are considering Blue Pearl (granite) or White Statuary (marble) for kitchen countertop. Which would be better and less troublesome, and why?
Second, we are considering Black marble (Grico Carinco) or Almond Mauve granite for bathroom countertops. Which would be better and less troublesome, and why? I would appreciate having your reply. Nemi June 3, Reply
R1: Blue pearl or any granite counters can handle wear and tear better as well as not being affected by acid, like vinegar, coca cola tooth paste, etc. Marble is softer, more scratch prone and if shiny will lose its luster quickly. But Marble is found in a white or light colors and granite is usually only dark in color. IF you do choose Carrera or any other marble on the counter, choose a Honed finish (mat) or make sure you find a stone restorer because you will need him yearly to maintain the stone. Ciao Stone
R2: Dear Nemi: Marbles are "soft" stones and scratch easily; "granites" are much tougher and scratch-resistant. Marble is sensitive to acidic spills; all granite and most mercantile granites are not. If you're looking for easy maintenance, "granite" (with a few exceptions and limitations) is "your man". Blue Pearl is among the material that money can buy for the intents and purposes of a kitchen countertop. Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 5141: I am considering putting either marble or travertine tiles in my kitchen as flooring. After reading the site I have come to the understanding that a polished finish in neither would be suitable for that particular enviroment, although I do like the idea of polished tiles. Could you enlighten me as to whether this would indeed be unwise, and if so why this is, as having read the site I am still unsure. Furthermore what type of protection for the stones should I be considering when having them installed. I am also considering putting polished marble in the bathroom,on the floor and walls, would this be wise and am I right in beliveing that a sealer is not necessary. Thank You, Shazad, June 3, Reply
R1: Hi Shazad there is a way to get what you want. But the first thing to consider is to spend double the money initially and then probably about 500 to 1000 yearly to maintain it. If you can say yes then go for it. If not then pay for Granite or tile where the initial cost is all you will ever have to pay. Having marble is beautiful and lighter in color, having it shiny is very rich looking, but there is a cost and a way of life to hold it together. If you can agree to the economical side, then write back to me and I will give you detailed steps on how to live with marble. Ciao Stone
R2: Dear Shazad: This issue has been discussed countless times already. In a nutshell, calcite-based stones are sensitive to acids and will get damaged by just about any kind of spill that typically occur in a kitchen. The damages will appear in the form of "water stains", or "rings" or whatever shape the spill was. No sealer under the sun can even begin to offer a protection from that. A bathroom is a much more forgiving environment; therefore, with proper easy care, polished marble or travertine can be quite enjoyable. Yes, you're right, they don't need to be sealed with an impregnator/sealer. Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 5140: We just had a "granite" installed for kitchen counter tops. It has been sealed at least twice, possibly 4 times (although incorrectly almost assuredly). The last time they came they sealed it twice within a hour. Anyway, we're still getting oil stains. Your site www.findstone.com indicates that the right sealer has to be used and that it must be done 4-5 times with a day in between each application. Unfortunately, it also apparently needs to be done by a "professional". Well, my pro apparently is barely clueless about what they are doing. Do/can you sell me anything I might be able to use to accomplish more than I'm getting out of these folks? ("A Different Perspective" out of Orlando if that means anything to you). We are being told that the sealer will repell water, but not grease. Will an impregnator work? It is called "New Venetian Gold". Is this even technically granite? Orlando, June 3, Reply
R1: If the sealer you have is water repellent, it will not repel oil. You need to change to an oil impregnator. Let me know what you're using and I will tell you what you can top coat it with and within 1/2 hour of application and the job will be done. Stone
R2: Dear Orlando:I make a darn good impregnator/sealer. My directions used to say to make the necessary number of applications with a day interval in between applications. I was losing sales. Why? Because the competition's directions were talking about one or two hours, instead of a day, and the contractors liked that idea much better. Were those products "better" impregnator/sealers? No: their manufacturers were simply "better" salesmen! So, now, even my product's directions are indicating 2 hours instead of a day. A change in formulation? No: I woke up and changed the printing! This is one issue. The second issue is the water and oil repellency. Certain impegnator/sealer - due to poor formulation - are only water-repellent (hydrophobic), while the better products are oil repellent (oleophobic), as well. (I still have to understand, for the life of me, why would anyone need an impregnator that's water-repellent only!) I let you guess to which one category the impregnator used by your fabricator belongs! In order to do a good sealing job, now, the impregnator/sealer applied by your fabricator must me thoroughly removed, before applying a better product. I think that you should demand your fabricator (who made money out of you!) to solve the problem they created. If not, you can opt to get in touch with me. Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 5139: Hi, I'm a ceramic tiler by trade(18 yrs experience)and over the last 4-5 years I am being asked to use Limestone and other natural stones more and more for kitchens ,bathrooms etc.I have fitted many contracts with natural stone tiles and have never had any problems until now.I have tiled a bathroom using Kirkstone Lunar beige honed Limestone and it appears that the grout has penetrated the edges of the limestone and left a ''residue'' after drying.This though is not my main problem.This effect has only shown up after sealing as the sealer recommended by Kirkstone has darkened the tiles considerably and left the edges lighter.It was also specified that I seal after grouting .My normal method of sealing would have been once before grouting and again after with Lithofin stainstop.I have never had any problems with Lithofin as it doesn't change the colour of the stone.My main concern now is how to get this sealer out of the stone .The only detail I have on the sealer at present is that it contains Urethane Prepolymers.I would be eternally grateful for a solution other than re-tiling my clients bathroom. Ade Bennett . Bristol June 3, Reply
R1: Dear Ade:Kirkstone made money by selling the tiles. According to your report, They recommend a certain sealer (which is the one you used), and specific directions on its application (that you have followed step by step). All things considered, I believe it's high-time that Kirkstone comes out and solves ITS OWN problems. Why do you want to make it yours?! Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 5137: I am going to buy granite for my kitchen, does silicon impregnators when used in the fabrication process not work? My granite person is trying to sell me on the fact that these impregnators will last a life time with no more sealing. Could you be nice enough to give me your opinion. Scott, June 3, Reply
R1: Hey Scott- Some impregnators do say it lasts forever, I have had some clients where the stone sealer lasted for years, others not. Take the not, for a real life situation and consider having to reseal the stone with the same impregnator every year, to be safe. would definitely seal it often. Ciao "Stone"
R2: Dear Scott: It is my understanding that your fabricator makes reference to a process called "resining", which consist in the permanent application from the factory of an ester epoxy resin (not a silicon sealer by a long shot!) in the slab. If that's the case, than your fabricator is right: for all intents and purposes it will last forever. Whether or not the slab still needs to be sealed with a good-quality impregnator sealer is still to be seen, though. Most of the times "resined" slabs do NOT need any further sealing, but "most of the times" doesn't mean ALL the time, does it? That's why I seldom comment about any one particular stone. Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 5134: I had granite counters installed with an undermount stainless kitchen sink. I am experiencing water leakage coming from the undermount perimeter. As a result, I razored out the old sealant and replaced the sealant with a high quality clear silicone sink caulking weeks ago. Another leaky area has now presented itself around the perimeter. Is there a good product to use or preferred method to perform this repair so that I do not have water seeping through the caulked area? Thank you for any help you can provide.-Evan, June 3, Reply
R1: Dear Evan: In situations like that there's only one SURE solution: take the sink completely out, clean thoroughly both the sink rim and the granite off the old silicone and start all over. Is there any reason why you would want to do that yourself? I mean, that's the responsibility of the fabricator, if you ask me. Maurizo, Expert Panelist
Q 5133: I am seeking advice about whether there is a big difference in the machinery used in a tile line for granite, and one for limestone. I was told that limestone requires similar equipment to slate. My gut tells me the real difference is "tooling", but I don't know for sure. Do you? Keith, President of a tooling company. June 3, Reply

R2: Granite tile line vs. Limestone or marble tile line There deffinitely is a difference in equipment needed for a granite tile line as well as tooling. Granite needs a hevier machinery as well as different tooling, UNIMARIMP
R3: Sure, there is a big difference between processing of slate and limestone or granite. For granite processing the machine must be equipped with pendulum heads. For slate or limestone processing the machines are equipped with fixed plates only. From technical side there are more relevant different things as connected power, type of abrasive tools quantity of grinding sections, Werner
R4: mr.dhupar is correct. you can use the same machine for granite and lime stone but the grinding and cutting tools must be different. Pagaria
Q 5132: What an amazing resource! Your website has convinced me that I'm not making ANY final kitchen countertop granite selections without checking with you first! Thank you for this helpful forum. I WAS going to use a combination of Golden Sun granite and honed Zimbabwe black granite on my kitchen countertops, but after reading your site, OUT with that honed black granite. Thanks for saving me from that nightmare! I'd like to know about Golden Sun granite from Brazil. The granite yard tells me that the slabs have been resined, do not need to be sealed, and should be effectively stain-free under normal living conditions in my kitchen ("assuming [I] don't let grease sit for days on end around [my] cooktop" direct quote from the granite yard guy). I haven't performed the lemon juice test, but plan to this afternoon. Assuming it passes that test, please tell me generally anything you know about this material. First, is it truly granite? Assuming it's resined, will it need to be sealed? What other maintenance/durability concerns should I have? Is there a way I can test to confirm it has been "resined" (as opposed to "doctored")? Thanks so much in advance for your time, wonderful insight and expertise! Kristen, June Kristen , June 3, Reply
R1: You can look at the slab (before it is cut for your job) and tell if the piece has been "resined." This is simply some type of urethane sealer that penetrates the stone. This is a relatively new process and we still do not know how it will stand up under the test of time. Most of the granite slabs we use are not sealed; we give the homeowner a sample sealer kit. I personally have a light colored granite (Dunas classic) in my kitchen that is over 10 years old, has never been sealed, has had all types of abuse (e.,g., wine spills, juices, margarine, cooking oil, all left overnight at one time or another) and has never stained. Other light granites (e.g., Juperanas) may absorb oils and darken, if not sealed beforehand. One of the best sealers on the market is plain old Vaseline Petroleum Jelly - just rub in and buff with a clean white cloth (much like polishing a car). This is all I have ever used on my granite. Connie
R2: Dear Kristen: I've heard some whoppers in my day, but the vaseline thing beats them all! (Sorry Connie, I don't buy that for a split second. Never heard of it, either thank goodness!) Anyway, the "resining" process is relatively new, indeed, but the material used - an ester epoxy, not a urethane - has been used in the stone industry for a couple of generations already and proved itself to be just about forever. Most of the times a resined slab does not need to be sealed, but most of the time does not mean all the time, does it?! My little lemon juice test will tell you the final tale. Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 5131: We are doing 2cm granite on an office concrete floor, how large should the slab be cut? Do we need to grout the joints? Do we need to use any kind of adhesive to bond them with the floor or will its own weight be sufficient? Is Giallo Antico a good choice? Are there any other questions that might be important to ask? Thank you for your help Thanks, Nicholas, June 3, Reply
R1: When we have installed slab flooring, we try to limit the sizes to 24"x24" - anything larger is unwieldy for the installers to handle. You will also need to grout between the pieces; granite can have a very small grout line compared to other materials, but it is a mistake to "butt" the pieces together - always leave a grout line. Connie
R2: what is the size of the room you intend to pave with granite. the size of the room decides the size of the granite pieces. if you have a big room then fo for bigger pieces. or if the size is small then go for smaller pieces. for type of granite you have chosen (Giallo Antico ) any size of of the panels is ok. 2 cm thickness is ok for the flooring. no grouting is needed. and no adheseive needed for bonding to the floor since the flooring will be from wall to wall there will be no chance for the pieces to move around, Arnik
Q 5130: My granite is called Verde Ubatuba and was installed new 2 years ago. The factory sealed it before installation. I decided to reseal the granite since I was told by the installer to do it about every six months. I used 511 impregnator and applied it probably a little to generously. I waited 5 minutes before I wiped it off (as per the directions) and by then it had dried pretty good. I used a terrycloth to wipe off the excess and my result was a thick filmy coat. My counters looked terrible. I tried to buff it with a fine grit steel wool and got nowhere. I then used acetone and got most of it off, however my counters still look like there is a white cloudy film on it. I use my stone polish but it still doesn't look like it did before. How can I get the natural shine back? And do I reseal this particular granite because your website said something about not sealing verde ubatuba since it's not a real granite. I am a little confused about where to go from here. Please help me, Maureen, June 2, Reply
R1: Wow Maureen, what a tale! IM not sure which sealer you applied so I have to be careful about what I say but normally simply reapplying the same sealer, almost using it as a cleaner it will soften the excess sealer and you will be able to remove it again simply by wiping it down with a paper towel. You're stone will remain sealed and your clarity will return. Don't feel awkward, 80% of the customers that by off the shelf Impregnators, got surprised by how difficult it really was in comparison to what it says on the bottle. But hey, I need to work too, so I don't mind! " Stone"
R2: Verde Ubatuba is originated from Brazil. It is one kind of granite actually which belongs to blackish green rock. Under normal circumstance, no necessary to seal the surface due to it has certain hardness for anti-friction and dash after polishing. However, I guess your trouble may rouse from seal materials. 511 impregnator is a kind of glue with tiny acid ingredient, which is capable of reacting with something inside of varied stone. That will bring sticking layer between stone surface and glue and hard to get rid of it.You know, the ingredients of stone are quite complicated, even sometimes same stone from same quarry is with different factors, some stone are containing acid or alkali element, it is quite normal. Therefore, maybe this one you got is unlucky and got wrong sealer , either. The way to tackle this trouble is to choose neutral sealer after re-polishing the surface of granite. Regards Piness
R3: HI Maureen, I had granite countertops for years and never cleaned them with anything but Dove liquid dish detergent and water (cuts the grease just fine), after which they were rinsed down. Then I used a steam machine to clean them and they were then dried by hand with old undershirts. They were never resealed and looked like the day I got them, 15 years later. I am now doing another kitchen at a new house and have found a guy in my area who is extremely knowledgeable and writes and speaks on granite and stone in general. I am sure that he will have some advice for you. He is a lovely person. I would be absolutely sick over it if that happened to me, but I am sure there is a solution to make them lustrous once again. Good luck., Joan
R4: We never leave Impregnators to dry especialy on a polished surface. Apply White Spirit or Thinner and wipe off twice with Kitchen paper. Never mind if surface looks a little bit wet. It will dry out in a couple of Hours. Andreas

R5: Same time people put resina on the granite slabs and polish the resina,in this way is easer, probably the acetone eat the resina and leaveing the granite's surface that was not polished. there is nothing to do becouse to re-polish granite surface you need our polishing macine. Tibur

R6: Dear Maureen: As you can tell by looking the table of granites by Dr. Daniel, Ubatuba is a charnockite from the village of Ubatuba (hence the name) in Brazil. It seldom needs any impregnating sealer, since it's a naturally very dense stone. To solve your problem once and for all, I would suggest you to use "Its Majesty" Methylene Chloride (found in many paint strippers. Follow all directions and precautionary warnings printed on the can), to remove all the stupid sealer that had no business being there in the first place, other than making money to its manufacturer and distributor! Ciao and good luck,Maurizio, Expert Panelist
R7: We never leave Impregnators to dry especialy on a polished surface. Apply White Spirit or Thinner and wipe off twice with Kitchen paper. Never mind if surface looks a little bit wet. It will dry out in a couple of Hours. Andreas - Cyprus
Q 5129: We had a Vyara Light countertop installed about a month ago. The fabricator applied a sealer after installation, allowed it to sit for 10-15 minutes and then applied acetone. Everything looked fine. Several days later, we noticed an irregular moss green area about 3" in diameter that definitely wasn't previously there. We have photos of the original slabs and the finished countertops during install. No green spot. We didn't spill anything on it. The granite supplier thinks there may have been some reaction to the specific sealer used and suggests we try a poultice made by the sealer mfg. Any suggestions or similar experience would be appreciated JOHN June 2, Reply
R1: Ciao John, Personally I need to see the photos, it could be anything, if the spot is darker, it could be a stain, if its lighter, that could be a few things else. Is there a reaction to something which is touching the stone from underneath? Don't poultice anything until you're sure. Send me a photo and I'll tell you how to go about it. Ciao "Stone"
R2: I don't understand the need for the acetone after the sealer; do the directions for applying the sealer say to apply acetone afterwards? The spot on the granite may be sealer that was not completely dry, then had a reaction with the acetone - we do use a commercial sealer but do NOT use acetone afterwards. Connie
R3: Dear John: Acetone after applying an impregnator and letting it sit 10 minutes or so?? What kind of ridiculous practice is that?! They could as well not bother applying the sealer, because the acetone most likely removed it all! After your report, I have no idea about the nature of your stain, but if its darker than the rest of the slab it is indeed a stain. How to remove it? The last thing that you want to do is to buy a "professional" poulticing kit (that no real professional ever uses!). Get your fabricator back and demand that they explain to you in a convincing way the acetone procedure thing, and let them deal with the stain. If you don't know the real nature of the stain, it's hard to determine what to do to remove it. Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 5128: We are installing 12" x !2" Baltic brown granite tiles in a very large bathroom. For contrast and slip resistance the architect advised to hone some of the Baltic brown for use on the shower floor. Whave the honed tiles and while they feel like they will be more slip resistant, my wife hates the very washed out color, almost milky filmy appearance of the honed surface. Would a color enhancer/sealer bring some of the color back, we don't want it to look like the polished stone. Should we seal the honed granite first with a silicone based penetrating sealer and then apply an enhancer or are the enhancers also sealers? Please give me your recommendation and if possible which products I should purchase. Alvin, June 1, Reply
R1: Yes, you should seal the floor with an enhancer and there is one that is better for this than all others. I dislike suggesting any products openly, I find that every situation varies with different stones and its applications. So write to me and I'll give you my recommendation and help you locate it. Ciao "Stone"
R1: Dear Alvin: You do NOT want to apply an impregnator sealer before applying a color enhancer! Besides, a good-quality color enhancer is an impregnator, too. Just make sure that your BB tiles are not installed butt-joint in the shower stall (walls and floors). Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Hi, Thanks for the answer, I really need to know the best product to enhance and seal the honed Baltic brown. It is used primarily on the shower floor and as highlights in some other dry area's. I contacted r sealer/enhancer in refrence satin finish and was told that it is not recommended for wet area's. Your recommendation as to the best product would be gratefully appreciated. Alvin
Q 5127: What is terrazzo and what is its applications, Sam, June 1, Reply
R1: Simply said, it is installed and has the functionality of a concrete floor. It is then grinding on site resulting in a "one piece floor" which can be molded to whatever your needs are, in every color having the same attributes as a marble floor. It is maintained like a stone floor. It was widely used in schools, hospitals, etc., but also in apartments and homes. Today this type of craftsman is really difficult to find and the cost usually runs about 100$/sqft. Ciao "Stone"
R2: Dear Sam: A terrazzo floor is a floor that's made by mixing marble chips and cement (with optionally some dyes to color the cement), or marble chips and an epoxy matrix. The mix is poured on the sub-floor inside "boxes" of metal strips (brass or aluminum) to a thickness of ¾" for the cement based terrazzo, and ¼" for the epoxy-based one. After a couple of days of curing, the floor is then ground and finished (it could be polished - like marble - but it's usually delivered with a low hone-finished, as all marble floors used to be delivered years ago) on the premises. It used to be defined the "poor man's marble floor", but nowadays is coming back big time and it can be anywhere between twice and three times more expensive than a "ground-in-place" solid marble floor. Ah, the magic of demand and supply! While epoxy-based terrazzo is not suitable for high-traffic situations, cement-based terrazzo is a tough cookie indeed! In all to many cases, the maintenance implemented on terrazzo floors is despicable, to say the least. But that's another story! Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist