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ADVICE WANTED!   March 31 , 2003
www.findstone.com   info@findstone.com

Q 4960: I just had my cream colour granite flooring done a few month ago. I was shocked to see many dark stain , round patches on some 25 pieces of granites. I wanted them to remove it as its very unsightly. My contractor tried to used chemical that is meant for removing water retention , as wanting to prove to me that it is only water retention. Guess what, on the next day, the dark stain did spread out to the outer but was back to its original dark stain after a few hours. Just wonder what is the problem and is there any remedy to it. Hope to get your advice real soon. Jacq, March 26, Reply
R1: Well, what can I tell you: if it was not “Michelangelo” himself, it sure was his brother! I can’t intelligently venture a diagnosis of your problem without actually seeing the situation, but my gut tells me that’s hopeless. I sure hope I am wrong! Ciao and good luck,Maurizio
Q 4959: I just got a light colored granite kitchen countertop, fried fish the first day with it, left oily towell paper overnight on the countertop, and have a huge grease stain that won't come out. Any moisture discolors the top within a minute or so but water evaporates without residue. Did I make a mistake getting granite? Do you have to wipe up anything that gets on it immediately? Could the supplier not have sealed it like they should have? Is there a way to get the big grease stain out? For the latter, the supplier is having me apply 409 cleaner to it every day saying it'll eventually go away with this treatment in 2 -3 weeks. It's not doing much yet after almost 2 weeks, Dan, March 26, Reply
R1: Now, they sold you the wrong “granite”, they did not seal it as they should have, and you’re still listening to their recommendations?! NO you did not make a mistake getting granite, you made a mistake getting a “Michelangelo” instead of a good contractor! I do believe I have the solution to your problem. Gimme a holler. Maurizio
Q 4958: About 1.5 years ago, we remodeled a bathroom with filled and honed travertine. It was sealed at the time of installation. Recently I noticed a few rings and uneven markings on the counter tops (looks like water stains). I cleaned the travertine with stone cleaner, but cannot get the stains out. Can you please tell me how to remove the stains and what to do to care for the travertine better in the future. Robyn, March 26, Reply
R1: Most of the time, a hone-finished stone is a medium hone (satin finish), which means that’s a finish in between a totally flat finish (low hone) and polished. Travertine does not to be sealed, because is very dense and does not absorb much. The “water stains” you have are not stains at all, and have nothing to do with the absorbency of the stone. They are marks of corrosion (etches) that something acidic produced by becoming in contact with the stone’s surface, and no impregnator/sealer on this planet can do anything to prevent those! You can’t clean them off. It would be like trying to repair a scratch with a cleaning product! If I were you, I would go back to the people who made money out of you for assistance. If for any chance it will turn out that they don’t know what to do, you can opt to get in touch with me directly by giving me a holler. Maurizio
Q 4956: We recently installed a light natural-colored granite (called Sunset) for a countertop in the kitchen. As recommended by the installer, we sealed the countertop ourselves with a commercially-available sealant (4 applications), but we now have a stain from strawberry juice. Lesely, March 26, Reply
R1: : In my humble opinion impregnator/sealers are not consumer products. What’s more, there’s no such an animal as a sealer for stone which is good for all stones. It takes a professional to know which one sealer is right for which particular stone, and to professionally apply it. What do you want me to tell you now? The only recommendation I can make is to keep using the same sealer until (hopefully) your “granite” is sealed properly (wait at least 24 hours in between applications and make sure to remove any residue of the product off the stone surface). By the way, let me guess, they also told you to use dish soap or glass cleaner for routine maintenance, didn’t they. Maurizio
Q 4955: I have a 40x20 foot wall of (sandstone?!) to clean, de-mineralize water stains, and (maybe?) seal. Your stone cleaners look promising, but I'm wondering if it will really work on this friable substrate? Please let me know. Or, can you recommend something else? I'm not sure what to tell her regarding removal of the water spots. Any advise you can give me would be greatly appreciated, Genny, March 26, Reply
R1: Without knowing what kind of stone you’re dealing with and the true nature of these “water stains”, there’s no way that I can honestly tell you whether or not any of my cleaners would work. “Education before any sale” is our corporate motto. It is not just a good-sounding slogan: we actually mean it! Give me better intelligence, and I may be able to help you out. Maurizio
Q 4953: I happily stumbled on to your website recently and just in the nick of time. My wife and I are quickly reaching the conclusion of our dream house being built here in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. Part of the selection process included choosing, amongst other things, countertops for the kitchen. We oftened admired the granite countertops in friends, family and show homes. Our builder directed us to his dealer and after much deliberation in the warehouse behind a very large showroom we chose a granite named "Emerald Pearl." The countertops were one of the last items installed by the builder/granite dealer this past Monday. We had our first chance to see them on Tuesday. To say we were disappointed is an understatement. The surfaces appear polished in some areas but matted, dull or even frosted in equally as many (interspersed with each other might be the best description). There is also a seam where two pieces of the granite meet whose finish might best be compare to bathroom grout. Since our closing is only a matter of days or weeks away we acted quickly. The builder's site manager, while admitting to not being an expert, said that the countertops did not appear any different from any other he had installed in his years with the builder. He did say that the seam I described still needed to be polished. Now to my questions: While I understand that this granite may have imperfections, does this appearance seem reasonable? If not, what treatment(s) to the granite should I request from the builder/installer? After the seam between pieces is polished, to what degree should it be obvious to the naked eye? My wife and I are somewhat surprised since every other step in the building process went smoothly and our builder has a very good reputation within the community (we investigated numerous builders' prior to finalizing our choice). Jim, March 26, Reply
R1: Your builders may have a good reputation within the community, but a very bad reputation in my book, for what you’re reporting here! It looks like “Michelangelo” struck again! Nobody can polish a seam. Seaming is one of the areas of the whole process where you separate the men from the boys. Emerald Pearl is one of the most consistent “granites” available, and should not have any of the finish imperfections you’re describing. What’s more, seams should be almost invisible. Going by your description, your countertop should be totally rejected and started over with someone who knows what they are doing. 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! Maurizio
Q 4952: Please advise how to remove pink nail polish on a tumbled marble bathroom floor, Andrew, March 26, Reply
R1: Acetone (available at any hardware store). No mirela solvent will ever damage marble.Ciao and good luck,Maurizio
Q 4951: In our new house we have ordered a floor to be finished in white marble, and agreed to Bianco Carrara ‘C’ flooring. The sample was white with fine grey veining, but what has arrived is grey with darker grey veins. We’ve received other professional opinions that this marble is actually Carrara ‘CD’ and not ‘C’. The marble vendor insists that this marble is Carrara ‘C’ and explained that it has been freshly cut in Italy and is still wet from the process, which makes it darker, and that when it fully dries in about a week, it will lighten. Is this true? Secondly, we’ve just discovered that the ‘white’ marble stair coverings will be even darker than the floor and will be smooth and shiny. Is there a way to change or refinish it to make it non-slippery? If so, what is the process or product called? Would this also make the marble lighter? Thanks very much, Judy, March 26, Reply
R1: Dear Judy: There is very little difference between class C and CD Carrara marble. Only a seasoned expert can tell them apart. You just got a darker batch, which has nothing to do with the grading of the stone. The idea of the drying and lightening after a week or so is farfetched, to say the least. To make your steps slip-resistant and lighter at the same time, you will have to have them professional washed with Phosphoric acid (Muriatic acid would not make it any lighter). Ciao and good luck, Maurizio
Q 4950: we are a manufacturer of Terrazzo Tiles located in Bali. We are trying to find an impregnate system to offr our tiles for use in the swimming pool, so it must become waterproof and resistent to the pool chemicals, Can you help us? Best regards Christian March 26, Reply
R1: I don’t know if I have an impregnator sealer that will do all what you’re looking for, but if you want to send me a sample of your tiles I’ll be glad to run a few free tests for you. Gimme a holler at: info@findstone.com. You will be charged a small nominal maintenance fee to get in touch with me, but I won’t charge you anything. Ciao and good luck, Maurizio
Q 4947: We recently remodeled our kitchen and installed honed granite countertops. Our fabricator used a sealer on the surface, but within two weeks, the counters looked horribly mottled. From the start, they stained quite easily. Our fabricator returned, stripped the counters with acetone, then applied polish. He said that sealer would no longer be absorbed by the stone, so that was no longer an option. The counters are still staining easily, and I'm concerned that this will be a problem forever. I've read through some of the posts on your site, and I'm game to try sealing myself, but how do I begin when the counters have already been sealed AND polished? Arieh March 26, Reply
R1: WOW!! All the world knows by now that hone-finished black granite countertop are inherently a maintenance nightmare. Applying an impregnator sealer was the first BIG mistake. Trying to remove the impregnator sealer with acetone was the second mistake. Applying a wax over all that garbage was the third mistake. They did not make a forth mistake because they did not do anything after that! All in all, for what you’re reporting, it sounds to me like you’ve been taken for a ride! I do know exactly what your situation is and how to rectify it and make your countertop enjoyable (well … almost!). I think that you should demand the parties involved in your case (and who made money out of you!) to solve the problem they created. If not, you can opt to get in touch with me. Maurizio
Q 4946: Does anyone have a suggestion on cutting accurate holes 8" to 12"in granite and 2 or 3 inches deep .Low tech is preferred Robert, March 26, Reply
R1: Hello Robert the most efficient method is by drilling the holes with a diamond bit. If you need to do it yourself you can rent a coring rig and bit at a rental yard. I suggest you call in a certified conrete cutter and driller who could probably help you much quicker and cheaper.
R2: I give you two options: NO WAY and NO HOW!! Get a pro!Ciao and good luck,Maurizio
Q 4945: I have travertine throughout my bathroom ( walls, shower, counter tops) what is the best way to clean and maintain the stone? Also I have polished cobalt blue tile counter tops in my kitchen ( I know I'm a glutton for punishment ) I have a hard time cleaning all the cooking greases and oils off the surfaces. I have found that a glass and mirror cleaner does this best, but I still have to work on cutting the grease first. Any easier solution to cleaning? Or should I resign myself to building up my muscles? Thanks -Jamie, March 26, Reply
R1: I am not an Enjo consultant, but swear by their products, I’m not sure how the travertine in the bathroom would come up, but the polished tiles in the kitchen will definitely respond to Enjo’s green kitchen glove, COLD water and a linen tea towel. In this instance I am speaking from experience after having tried everything caustic and not to remove sticky grease spots from polished tiles in our kitchen (they were there when we moved into an established house 4 years old); I figured I had nothing to lose when I borrowed an Enjo kitchen glove. With less effort and no chemicals than I have ever tried (quite a bit of water though for wall tiles), the marks came off and the tiles are kept beautifully shining with a regular wipe of the wet glove and a dry off with a linen tea towel (this avoids any residual water marks). For the bathroom, I can only suggest having an Enjo demonstration in your home to see what effect the white bathroom/glass glove has on the travertine. I have very finely textured polished tiles in the bathroom and shower and these always come up beautifully with the Enjo removing all soap build up and water/calcium residue simply wiping over and drying off with the linen tea towel. No elbow grease or muscle building required! Emma Baumann

Q 4944: I live in a home with a marble floor foyer, that was installed by the previous owner. Although it is very beautiful, I prefer a more rustic look to the formality of the polished marble tile. I was wondering if there was a way to distress the flooring and bring it back to its more natural stone look, without weakening the tiles. Is there a product (like some sort of acid) that we could apply or have professional apply? What would be the process? Great website! Thanks for your help. Patricia- VA, March 26, Reply
R1: I would not recommend acid washing any marble! Contact a reputable stone company and ask about giving the floor a honed (matt) finish.
R2: You could have it acid washed (Hydrochloric acid will not alter the current colr of the stone; Phosphoric acid will make it lighter), or – better yet (IMO) – you can have it honed with a good-quality honing powder. Either way, you will need a pro. Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4943: I found this site while searching for "how to clean black granite countertops". I looked over all the current questions but none fit my problem although some seemed close. I have new black galaxy granite countertops and have purchased all the granite cleaning products found in stores but I am a slave to this countertop. the slightest water splashed or a cup left on it leaves water spots and circles. If you just try to wipe and let it dry it smears. Forget a sponge. I have to use dish soap and a clean dishrag, wash down whole countertop then dry with another dry, clean rag. Is this typical? Am I doomed to spend the life of this counter, cleaning it? Barbara, March 26, Reply  
R1: No, it is not typical at all. I have Black Galaxy in my own kitchen for almost 7 years and I never had any problem cleaning it! Maybe it’s the cleaners you’ve been using (dish soap is not certainly the right one! It will leave a film), or maybe, the fabricator applied an impregnator/sealer onto it – which they were not supposed to – and its presence may create the type of problems you’re experiencing. Find out about that with your fabricator, and, if they did apply an impregnator, demand them to remove it, no ifs or buts! If they give you any problem, you can opt to get in touch with me. Maurizio
Q 4942: I ordered Dakota Mahogany for my kitchen in a condo currently under development. I was assured that I would have the opportunity to see the slab prior to fabrication. Yesterday, while visiting the building site I discovered that the granite had already been installed. I had no opportunity to view the slab prior to installation, even though I was assured otherwise when I was deciding on the material for the countertops. A portion of the granite has a large black beauty mark which, because of it's size is ugly and distracting from the beauty of the closely grained pattern of Dakota Mahogany. Had I seen the slab at the granite yard, I certainly wouldn't have selected it for my kitchen, or anywhere else in my home. I understand that beauty marks in granite do occur because granite is natural, not manufactured and, in many cases enhance the appearance of the slab. This mark is very unattractive and I would be very unhappy having this countertop in my home. How difficult is it to replace a granite countertop after it's been installed? I don't want any discount on my purchase, I want what I asked for--preapporval of my granite slab. Thank you in advance for your response. Best Regards, Glenda, March 26, Reply
R1: It is not very difficult. And I agree with you: stand your ground! Maurizio
Q 4940: I have enjoyed Lanhelin in my kitchen for the past 9 years on a daily basis. It looks as new as the day it was installed. It is so perfect that people don’t think that it is natural stone. Are you familiar with Lanhelin and if you are, is there a reason that it was not on your list? Is it true granite? Rose, March 26, Reply
R1: Dear Rose, thanks for your comment and info. Lanhelin is known "granite" from France, but not enough known between 150 the world most popular granites. It is granodiorite from Bretagne Daniel, Expert Panleist
Dear Dr. Daniel, Thank you for your response. You list granodiorite under the granite group in your report. So are you saying that granodiorite (or Lanhelin) is a TRUE granite? It is a very small grain. Rose
R2: Dear Rose, Lanhelin is petrographically granodiorite according some source that I have. It means not true granite, only granite group (granitoide). Daniel, Expert Panelist
Q 4938: I just found your web-site and was thrilled to see how you take the time to answer in detail each consumers questions and concerns. I have a granite countertop in my kitchen. It was installed about 3 years ago and I love it! What product would you recommend to retain the luster and shine of the granite. Can the product that you do recommend be used on a daily basis or how often should I treat the countertop? I don't remember the name of the color but it is in the earth tone family. Thank you for your attention. Sincerely, Bernice, March 26, Reply
R1: As easy as 1-2-3! You can get my maintenance guidelines for residential stone installations. In there you will find all the information you’re looking for and then some! Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4935: We have recently installed granite countertops(Giallo Veneziano). It seems that some brown (rust-like) stains are forming in the stone. The installer said that its becuase the stone is rich in iron. Can you make a suggestion, Mo, March 26, Reply
R1: And so what?! Even if it’s rich in iron (which I don’t know) it is not supposed to oxidize. Where in the countertop are those rusty stains appearing? Let me know and then we’ll take it from there. Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4934: I have a granite kitchen counter top (St. Cecelia) that has been installed for about 5 years. I just noticed that it has started to discolor in several places taking on a orange tint. What should I do?? Diane, March 26, Reply
R1: It’s impossible to draw any conclusion without actually taking a look at the stone. What you’re reporting is mighty unusual. I actually never heard of anything like that. What have you been using for routine cleaning? Maurizio
Q 4933: My granite countertops were cut too short on one side so now they used a piece from different rock. It's similar but not exactly, my installer will give my 10% off, do you think I should get more, Scott, March 26, Reply
R1: What are you, a beggar or something to be content with a 10% discount?! I think you should get your countertop replaced, period! Something like that is not acceptable at all. Ciao and good luck, Maurizio
Q 4931: I already have a granite vanity top, and I wish to add side splashes. However, due to some odd size cabinetry, the perfect layout would be if I mounted the side splashes on the sides butted up next to the vanity top (instead of the usual mounting on top). Is this a bad idea? I realize the concern that water might drip down between the side splash and the vanity top. Any suggestions? Thank You, Rich, March 26, Reply
R1: If you silicon the joint it should work.Ciao and good luck,Maurizio
Q 4929: My husband and I are in a quandary. We both enjoy our travertine but want to fill it due to the fact that it will go in our bathroom (master bath). We have heard from many people that we might consider filling it (as we did the un-honed) with something. As we do enjoy the “rough” look of the stone, we really would like to keep it that way. We do not want the “glassy” look of marble or polished/filled…etc. We want it to still look “rough”, with filled holes but without using pigmented filler. We have heard and read that you can fill it with resin but again, the glassy look is something neither one of us want as a result. Might you be able to suggest another material as filler? We are totally boggled and our bathroom is at a standstill. Our travertine will have the 1/16” grout line and they are 18”x18”. Kerby, March 26, Reply
R1: Filling the holes of travertine in indoor installation is always a good ides, and it will not affect the finish that you currently have. I suggest you to use sandless (wall-type) grout. If you want the holes filled but still detect little dimples, you will have to sponge the surface of the stone as soon as the grout is applied. If you want it to be flush with the stone surface, then you will have to wait for at least one full day to cure, then you will scraper the excess off with a professional-grade scraper. No matter, what, I strongly encourage you to get a pro. Maurizio
Q 4928: Your site is EXCELLENT!, Please advise me on the best method to clean my shower. My Floors are tumbled marble, my walls are travertine. Although we squeegee every time we shower we still get orange mildew deposits. So far only elbow grease gets it out, any additional tips you can offer? Thanks! De' March 26, Reply
R1: It is not mildew, it’s something different that’s a clear indication of a problem that you MUST solve as soon as possible! I do know exactly what your situation is and how to rectify it. I think that you should demand the parties involved in your case (and who made money out of you!) to solve the problem they created. If not, you can opt to get in touch with me. Maurizio
Q 4927: I have read everything I could on the web page and a few article seem familiar. I recently had countertops installed. I bought them under the name of granite and the color is Peacock Green. Is this a stone one that should be sealed or not? Peacock Green resembles Uba Tuba, but it is more "chunky". Soda was left on the stone for about 1 hour and left a haze. I took our original sample, probably was not sealed, and put soda on it for an hour. There was no staining. Should I start striping the countertop? March 26, Reply
R1: Yes, you hit the nail on the head! That stone does not need to be sealed. The impregnator/sealer that was applied on it is sensitive to acids, hence the “stain”. Get rid of the sealer, and concern yourself about the much more important routine maintenance of your beautiful stone. Maurizio
Q 4924: I have a marble counter top in a bathroom that has spots on it from a cleaner - I think what happened is the cleaner sprayed a cleaning product (WAl Mart Brand) on the counter top and left it to dry. When they returned they tried to wipe it but now only the spots show. is there a way to remove these spots and what will the outcome be? Thank you so much.., anne, March 26, Reply
R1: Yes and no. There are polishing powders for marble that were formulated to be user-friendly enough to be handled by the average homeowner, but are designed to do spot restoration. If your vanity top has been damage all over, you are better off calling a professional stone refinisher to hone and re-polish your marble. Maurizio
Q 4919: I am using Saint Cecilia 12X12 tiles on the floor and the walls of a small bathroom. Tiles have not been sealed or resined, any problems with water absorption in the bath? Have a new fan that is 110 CFM to remove shower steam and using tile heat in the floor..Using Golden Green for the Countertop. Thanks in advance, Dale, March 26, Reply
R1: If you by a good granites(first quality)....don´t worry about the water.
The granite is porous , but if the tiles are first quality...when they went to polish machine all of these pores are closed,because when we polish first quality tiles we do in a 19 heads polish machines...so the tiles pass for all steps to close the pores.But if you by a poor quality may be you need sealed them,because the commercial choice pass in 19 heads too , but the poor tiles maybe have some litlle chew , and you can´t see so the water pass between the chews. We sell first quality and commercial choice tiles...belive in company who can show the difference, because the price is cheaper them first quality but of course the quality is poor Regards Andrei Souza
R2: Absorption of granite or marble is quite normal and don't need to worry about too much, if the sticking material was cement, problem will get worse since it will reflect some white lye foam on granite surface, that is most concerning. Meanwhile, keeping good ventilation is also a good choice. Piness
R3: I would seal the floor and the vanity top with a good-quality stone impregnator/sealer. I wouldn’t bother with the walls (unless they are inside a shower stall). Maurizio
Q 4908: I had Desert Cream granite purchased from a store, installed three days ago. We left a bottle of Dishwashing soap on it for a couple of hours that leaked. It has made a ring stain. I had thought the the major problems were with oil, but perhaps this dishwasher soap contain oil in some form. What is the best way to remove the stain. There is nothing quite like staining a beautiful countertop the first day you use it. Thanks, Sally, March 26, Reply
R1: I do know exactly what your situation is and how to rectify it. But what happened to your fabricator / installer? I think that you should demand the parties involved in your case (and who made money out of you!) to solve the problem they created (by selling you such an absorbent “granite” to begin with, and second by not sealing it properly. If not, you can opt to get in touch with me, Maurizio
Q 4907: I am considering sending some Palimanan sandstone carvings from Indonesia to my friend in the UK for her outdoor garden. I am wondering if the Palimanan sandstone is able to withstand the temperature and humidity levels in the UK? Please advise. Thanks. Carol, March 26, Reply
R1: Palimanan Stone is strongh enough to UK wheather. But for best result, please coat the surface after installing the stone, esecially for outdoor. Thank you, Kicky
R2: Dear Carol, the the Palimanan sandstone is not able to withstand the temperature and humidity levels in the UK even you using water proofing or any sealent, better use it for indoor ornament Imam
R3: Need to get the approximate qty and cut size of the palimanan stone that you were requesting. Javastone
R4: Your concerning is quite reasonable and I had some experiences that sandstone can't be used in moist and humid atmosphere which can invade the structure inside of sandstone. For example, the longevity of sandstone will decrease dramatically after taking use in such environment,so I am back you. Piness
R5: I have a factory in Indonesia and we specialize in palimanan carvings. Palimanan will absorb water and can crack if it freezes later. You can try to seal it with a quality stone sealer to prevent the water from penetrating the stone, and that may work. We have some pieces that are in the Northeastern U.S. and they have survived a couple of winters now, but I won't guarantee them. Better if you can talk your friend into black stone statue, Mike Bell
Q 4905: We have been working on the area of producing, installation and covering the surfaces with Marble, Granite and Travertine. As it is known all mine and materials are scratched and discoloured when they are treated and become dull in appearance.
For this reason we are looking for the solutions to strip away years of wear and tear and look virtually new. We, in Turkey, use a high motion conventional machine made in Italy to cover the defect on the surface lining that would seen in time and in some areas where a dence erosion occurs. We would like to cooperate with your company about using, marketing your productions. We would be grateful if you give us detailed information about the policy of your company, Canberk, March 4, Reply
R1: Are you talking about my company? If so, contact me by sending me a e-mail at: info@findstone.com.Ciao and good luck,Maurizio
Q 4904: I'm a remodel contractor in Nth CA. Doing a bathroom with 1.25" Veniziano Giallo. My sub contractor installed the shower wall slabs first, propped above the mortar bed with some spacers, then drypacked the remaining inch high space across the bottom with mortar. Naturally (or maybe not?), the pan cracked at the wedges...and it leaks...I'm trying to get him to pull the walls and replace the pan and the liner but naturally, that's tough going. I've talked to a couple of other subs who all say the pan granite should be installed first, then the walls. Makes sense to me 'cos the water will stay above the pan granite and go down the drain instead of (possibly) going down the
vertical face and under the shower pan mortar. Would appreciate any info you can give. March 4, Reply
R1: IMO it doesn't make sense to install the floor first. The very nature of installing slabs would possibly destroy the pan. Instead it sounds like the preparation of the substrate was inadequate. I mean a 1" grout joint at the bottom??
You need to redo the shower again, the slabs should be sized before installation to accommodate the size of the shower. Grout joints should be no more than 1/16" and adequate water proofing and substrate preparation done before anything is installed.
Again, IMO it sounds like there was not enough forethought before installation which is an expensive shame.
With Giallo Veneziano as the material of choice you need to investigate impregnating sealers and care instructions as well. Good luck, Steven
R2: Dear Sir, I fully understand your intention of installation granite for bathroom performance, but whatever you got information from various sub-contractors, one crucial thing has been ignored: there should be one water-proof layer under mortar in bathroom during the performance of the building, I am not so sure that there is water proof which made of aldehyde resin or something else in your bathroom, but I insist that should exist and 1-2cm thickness' mortar covering the proof for protection purpose. After description on it, I start to go to point: whatever you take beginning at wall or pan, that is all right, because no worry to begin from wall for anti-water work has been done and even from beginning at pan, no help to drain water, all things are up to the convenience of installation, that is true.
One important thing is attached, if you detect no water proof layer within bathroom in advance, do inform your clients or do it yourself, that is very helpful to decrease troubles whatever during installation or afterward for maintenance. Piness Wang
Q 4899: I have a flat stone hearth that has no luster to it at all. The house is 60 years plus old.I have tried various marble polishes and waxes but nothing works. It always goes back to it dull look. Thanks Kim, March 4, Reply
R1: Kim, you do not mention what kind of stone your hearth is made of, but it may be a stone that will not polish: ( limestone, sandstone ???) You could try a color enhanser, or if it is soapstone, mineral oil. Good luck, JVC, Expert Panelist
Q 4898: I have recently constructed a retaining wall in southwestern pennsylvania using large (1 ton) indigenous boulders that i thought were limestone. They are tan / gray in color and react to hydrochloric acid. after only a few months they seem to be eroding. Is my wall going to crumble into dust, and is there anything i can do to stabilize or seal them before this occurs? March 4, Reply
R1: Some limestones are not suitable for construction purposes. Some are just too soft and absorbant, and wet weather freeze/thaw cycles will erode them rapidly. Also if the source for the stone was from a blast area ( highway construction??) any structural intergity it might have had is gone. JVC, Expert Panelist
Q 4896: I have a project to transform limestone blocks 4*3*3 into small blocks 2*1*1. I would like to have a machine made here (Dominican Republic) for economic reasons. The only part I cannot find here is large diamond disk or diamond wire. Can you provide any advice/consultancy service on that topic, ie how to build the machine and what solution is best? Thank you in advance, Nicolsa, March 3, Reply
R1: Maybe I can be of some help. First of all, for suitability, the client should send some samples off for testing. At least compression strength (astm-C170), and modulus of rupture (astm - C99), or, as an alternate, get some information from the quarry where the blocks were cut from. I am assuming that it is a locally produced stone. He seems to know how to go about building the saw he wants to use. The issues here concern how true and square the finished blocks need to be. Shop built saws generally do not cut with the precision of commercially manufactured equipment, but they are common, and do the job. Most use electric motors, but I am sure a car motor can be rigged to drive a saw blade without any problem. To cut through a 3 foot block will require at least an 8 foot circular blade. It is important that the plane of the blade to be as square as possible to the cart table or saw bed. For this job, the client would probably be best off if they can build a rotating turn table on the saw cart. That way they could cut the slabs in one direction, turn the table and cut the slabs at 90degrees without handling the stone but once. I think you have plenty of sources for saw blades both for circular blades (the simplest system) or wires. Some limestones can be cut dry if dust is not an issue, but wet cutting is better. Which ever, the saw blade needs to be the right one for the application, and a soft stone blade.
Q 4895:I would like to know how to get cultured rock with a flat bottom to stick to the cement scratch coat? I know I am to put mortar on the back of the stone as well as on the wall but they do not stay in place even after holding for several min. What consistency should the mortar be? My mix ratio was 1 part mortar to 3 parts sand?? Is this correct? Traecy, March 3, Reply
R1: Traecy, You need to use thinset mortar for this type of application. You can get it at any of the big boxes or a tile store. Good luck, JVC, Expert Panelist
Q 4894: I'm an account manager for a Contracting copmany in Southern California. I'm looking for a possible answer, someone with a similar situation, or some insite to the damage which appeared on our marble piece. On one of our projects we recently had a rather costly piece of Bianco Venatino marble ($110 a "s.f.") installed over a double vanity. Upon installation, the piece appeared fine. But within the first couple of days, two areas at approximate 4 feet apart started showing a strange triad shaped pattern. This grew very dominate in appearance within about a week or so and then stopped. The unique thing about these areas is that the three marks, which look like a shatter under the surface, each about 3/8" to 1/2" in diameter, are exactly 2-3/8" (within a 1/16") from each other within thier traid. AND this is the case in both triads (see attachments). Two of the six marks have now broken away at the surface.The property owner saw a piece at a showroom shortly after and asked the salesperson what the mark under the surface was, and he replied to her "impact from improper handling. That put me to think of another possibility.
When we do concrete structures and have supports bolted to, or when we install railings, the mount is almost always round with a triad shaped bolt pattern. On researching marble, I went back to the source, the quarry, and how marble is removed from the quarries. What I found was ALL this equipment , saws, drills, splitters, when being used, is anchored to the stone around the equipment. The stone around being eventially another block to be extracted from the quarry! So....my point being, is it possible that the piece we received might be one which was very close to the outside of the block, and the bolts, or whatever is used to anchor the mount to the stone, caused fractures just below the tips when driven into the stone (which would be the back side of our piece). Then, the stress from (if you would) "flexing" under its own weight in the handling and fabrication of this piece, as well as once installed, the stress put on it from the surface its mounted to not be a perfect mirror image of the marbles reveal, could cause these points to continue to shatter until releaved? Is this a possibility? have you or anyone who is reading this seen or experience this? Any advice or insite to this matter would be very much appreciated, Ray green, March 3, Reply

R1: Dear Sir: I go to try to explain more physically: ALL The materials have a index of dilatation And this index is unic, each one has a paricular index. So, what it´s happened is that, the marble is formed basicaly of limy rocks with layers of sedimentary rocks, so with the increase and reduction of the temperature and the cleanness becoming the marble wet , some of these particles in the low marble are broke and same particles of the above marble are remove thenselves because the marble of low move differently of the above marble. Some granites of low quality also occur this, but in the case of
granites it is because of the quartz. I hope that I have clear. Best Regards. Andrei
R2: Dear Ray: I’ve seen the pics. They are stunned crystals all right. What could have cause them I can’t tell. Your theory is kinda … fantastic, but you know what? I wouldn’t discard it. Sure enough I don’t think it could be proved, if finding the responsible party is what you’re after. By the way, there’s a remedy that, though not totally 100% could be acceptable. Gimme a holler at: info@findstone.com and get in touch with me. There’s a little fee involved (as you will be told), but I’ll be glad to help. What’s more I will even tell you how to get all of your money back! What more do you want from me? :-) Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
R3: 1) Processing blocks is done by decent, hardworking people who would not jeopardize their or the company's reputation for selecting defective slabs as 1st quality. Ofcourse there is always a possibility that your supplier was knowingly buying secondary quality products that could be reselected and used in commercial projects where the cost factor holds the main role.

2) Check with your installer. From your description, the top looked fine when installed and 2 days later it started to transform or shatter.

Was the top installed properly and comfortably upon the vanity?

Is there anything underneath the top that is really causing the damage? Evan D.

R4: I am a stone and construction professor and willing to answer your question. I draw some conclusion after reading and watching your pictures attached: the one you got is not a real marble, instead of a travertine or limestone with plaster stone mixing structure. As you know, the marks shown in the pictures are believed into dots of plaster stone which hasn't reacted with water within air before installation, and I think it will take a long time to complete the reaction and make people fussy. And you may take some sections around the mark and send them to lab concerned to test it. I encountered something similar before and it was just caused by plaster stone contained in limestone. Piness
R5: Most of the Carrara marbles, whites and greys, will show bruise marks from impact from an external force. This would be more evident on a floor surface subject to commercial pedestrian traffic. Womens high heels can exert a large force that would in some cases show these marks. I have been in this business for the last 43 years and have never heard of the problems that you are describing. Your suggested reason for the failure is very difficult to agree with because the blocks are trimmed and shaped for transportation from the quarry to the fabrication plant which usually trims the outer edges where the bolt holes are found. However anything is possible as your condition proves. Gordon
R5: Seen the attachments.I feel its due to the porous nature of Marble,unlike granite.Because of this,the rate of weathering(needn't be due to oxidisation)/tearing away of small chip will be more prabable. J.Sudhakar,M.Sc., Geologist
R6: The "white point " you see in the surface is the mark of meccanical tools used for move the block. Is not natural. We hade a experience with white marble from Carrarra and this is the unic reasons that you can receive this defects. Maybe is not the first axterior slab of the blocks but I'm shure that is the second or third. I'm sure that this defects not expand in the future. If the "white point" is inside the small hole is natural only. Best Regards. Giovanni
R7: Well i received ur message , i got ur point well this damage not seems to be because of drills or splitters used in quarrying but its a natural defect which according to me is called PITTING well this because of loose bounded grains of the material , which is its natural formation & it can be easily covered without spoiling its ORIGINAL TEXTURE YUSUF 
R8: Stone is a natural product, and expands and contracts very much like wood products. Marble is a soft product, with veining that has been heated and cooled to make its veins so to speak. A change in environment, temperature and humidity, can cause a stone to expand and contract extremely, and some marbles such as the venato have lots of small veins, that when they expand and contract cause fissures and fractures to open up and they become more apparent, which sounds like you described. Also, being the stone is on a bathroom vanity, if this is a "wet" bathroom (tub, shower, etc) only adds to the damage the expansion and contraction does, It sounds like a naturally occurring process of aclimating of your stone. Has your stone been sealed with a moisture sealer? This will help eliminate any additional problems. A good choice of sealers is Miracle 511 Impregnator for moisture and stain. You should seal every year.
R9: My experience (30 years) in quarring and working marble, helps me thinking to have understood what happened. The marks, shown in enclosed pics, are called, in Carrara quarrymen slang, "taroli".
They are natural little holes inside some types of Carrara White marble, and, of course, can be on the surface of rough slabs. They already existed before and during the installation, but invisible because filled by a special type of epoxy that reflects the stone colour and covers and hides the holes.
This epoxy is a chemical product and in particular circumstances can have a chemical reaction.
In my opinion the epoxy, before is become transparent (the marks under the surface), and after went away (the marks that appear broken trought to the surface).
I think that the triad shape and the same distance from each other is a fortuitous event. I hope my explanation has been clear. Dr. Maurizio Breschi
R10: Our company is in Turkey. Probably we could help you. But the sample of a stone-Biango Venatino marble first of all is necessary for us. And how many square meters are laid out by a stone in a show room? If do you want advice- send us sample with the damaged(injured) stone - 30¬ã¬Þ ¬·30 sm
Q 4892: I have a few questions about installing 81 x81 Crema Marfil tiles, 5/8 inch thick. Most of the tiles I received have the mesh glued to the back, but a few do not. Should I not use these un-meshed ones, or not worry about it. On a couple of these, I can feel the veining on the back with my finger, will these break later, as opposed to the ones with no cracks? I don't want them to break while I cut them either. Also, the backs of some of these tiles were marked at the quarry with painted on numbers, like stock numbers. While washing the backs of them to remove dust, I could not remove the paint. Big deal or no? Thanks in advance for your help... Dominic, March 3, Reply
R1: Dear Dominic: Here are my answers to your questions: No (don’t worry). No, they should not if well installed and well handled. No, no big deal. Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
R2: The mesh is reinforcing, commonly used for al lveiny types like Crema Marfil, Emperador Dark, Rojo Alicante someimes Botticino. If you are hoping to cut these tiles and not experience any wastage you are mistaken all of the above require more stone than actually will be laid becuase they do tend to fall apart much easier than let's say a carrara type stone. EM
Q 4891: I have 16 year old marble in my entry, and both bathrooms. It has never been polished and looks terrible. I paint, do landscaping, plumbing and just about everything but electrical..can I polish this marble myselft? If so, how? Do I need a sealer? Help : ) Also, there are some chips, corners that have been broken and fell out. Is there some sort of filler that I can use that would match the color marble I have? Thanks for your advice! Kristine, March 3, Reply
R1: Dear Kristine: A certain saying goes: “It often happens that people who say that it can’t be done are shut up by somebody who just did it!” It is not going to happen this time, and you can take that to the bank!It won’t be easy to find a good stone restoration professional, either: you’d better watch out! Maurizio, Expert Panelist, Expert Panelist
Q 4890: I'm a student at Grand Valley State University studying Geology. In one of my classes I'm required to analyze a sample of granite to determine its chemical makeup, mineral composition, and textural features. I have been told that the common name for the sample is Coffee Brown or possibly Imperial Brown. I believe it most resembles Coffee Brown. Could you please tell me as much information as you can about this granite? I would specifically like to know where it was quarried, and its age, so that I can determine the details of its crystallization. If you know of anyone else who could give me more specific answers, could you please recommend them to me. Thank so much for your time! Jeremy, March 3, Reply
R1: Dear Jeremy: Have you consulted the table of the 150 most popular granites by Dr. Daniel? You can also ask findstone.com management to put you in touch directly with him. He’s a very nice guy, whom I’m proud to consider my friend. Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4889: I have marble flooring in my entry way. There is a 3 inch border of dark green marble. I have noticed that the marble is starting to chip in some places and has some white residue. Is this due to moisture? Is the dark green more porrus? The green buts up to a wall and the other side of the wall is a planter. Is this only going to get worse what is your suggestion. Should I put a sealer on it to prevent more chipping? Help... March 3, Reply
R1: What’s a planter? You have moisture migrating through the core of the stone tiles, which produces the efflorescence that bleed onto the surface in the form of a whitish powder. It digs hole in the stone, too. It’s not going to get better, and no sealer will do anything to help. Since I don’t know what a planter is, I can’t help you finding out the reason of the presence of the moisture. Maurizio
R2: I read your question and maurizio's response. I specialize in water and fire damage restoration. I don't know alot about natural stones but deal with your kind of problem daily. Your assumption to moisture is correct, but the solution is not so easy. The moisture is most likely from the planter. The white residue is as Maurizio stated, efflourescence, from high moisture emissions. Planter's have become real problems due improper installations. If your wall construction is all block, you can have the soils dug out below (at least 8" to 12" below your interior floor elevation. Allow this wall area at least two to four weeks to dry out. Then have the exterior wall area sealed with multiple coats of a water proofing sealant, say an elastomeric membrane paint, or some sort of non-hardening, pliable, thick, water resistant coating. Clean the exposed wall area thouroughly with a wire brush (no water). Coat this wall area from lowest point up to desired ground elevation of planter. When you fill the planter back in, be sure to compact the soil up to the exterior ground elevation or 6" below interior slab elevation (WHICH EVER IS LOWEST). Before going any further, be sure you have drainage through the planter walls, allowing trapped water in the planter to migrate out and away from your house. Fill the next 4 to 6 inches of your planter with gravel, this assures drainage and helps prevents drain openings in planter walls from clogging. Continue filling the planter with soils up to about an inch or two from desired level (1 to 2 inches below water proof coating). After placing plants back in planter, use bark, or other loose, light weight ground cover to fill in around plants and bring planter level up to top level of water proof coating. If your wall between the marble entry and exterior planter is a wood frame with drywall or plaster interior, and a stucco, wood, or brick veneer exterior. Consult a Restoration Specialist, a general contractor specializing in water damage restoration (certified restorer). Depending on how long this has been seeping through the wall, you may have structural damage (wet rot and deterioration to wall frame) and mold growth on wall cavity interior (requiring a mold remediation contractor and an environmental report for proper protocol if interior is exposed, and interior clearance for health issues). In this case, after repairs, do not reinstall planter unless it is stepped out from the house, enclosed in it's own four wall, not three and the forth being the house. keep it at least 6" or more away from the house. On a last note...on the subject of moisture and stone. If your area (neighborhood), has a high water table, or the area you live in has high percepitation, our your property is built on hillside neighborhoods with properties above you with possible ground water runoffs, etc. Your should request a calcium chloride test (60 to 72 hour controlled moisture test) to determine moisture emission from your concrete slab. Moisture emissions should not exceed 5 lbs. moisture emissions per 1000 s.f. At 8 lbs moisture emission, efflourescence starts, and on sealed surface materials, clouding and "picture framing" will occur under the surfaces. Bonding of stone, tiles, etc. is a problem being the surface is already, more or less, saturated and bonding material cant draw down into the porousness of the slab. These surfaces must be sealed with resins that, after drying, do not allow emissions through. There are not many products on the market that are applicable, and the companies seal slabs are extremely expensive. P.s. Don't contact your isurance company on this one. Seepage from your planter is considered ground water. An exclusion on your homeowners policy, Unless you have a "flood policy" attached to your homeowners policy (if your not sure, you most likely don't as you would have had to requested it). Reporting a claim like this can cause your rates to go up, or worse, get your policy cancelled due to "lack of maintenance". Good luck. Ray
Q 4888: I think I have damaged my customers Black Marble bathroom floor. Fortunately & un-fortunately the customer is my Mother-In-Law. It started with a trip to Home Depot, picked up that Miracle product to remove the so often talked about water stains. Well I put all 245 lbs of my effort in to rubbing the marble with a nylon scrubbing pad and two level polishing cream. Now that I cannot get a shine back and the marble looks like crap (very dull & patchy), what stage do you think that I would best start for grit? I could not have done too much damage, could I? I have to do this myself and learn from my errors, I never give up. I have a 4 inch angle grinder but would really apreciate some additional details from what I have read in the postings. I think that the biggest problem is to find a location to get the materials reguired. I will experiment with a stone bwhind the door as not to make it worse, Ron, March 3, Reply
R1: Dear Ron: Are you sure that you want to get into this? It’s over the head of any DIYer, I can promise you that, especially with black marble!If you really insist, I do believe I have the solution to your problem, but, believe you me, is going to be tough and I can’t promise you any good result. Gimme a holler. Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4887: I recently had my kitchen renovated using GT Blue Pearl granite for the benchtops. It was not supported well and some cracking occurred around the sink cutout. The supplier has been ask to replace this. My issue is will the granite he uses to replace the damaged peice with be a colour match of the original granite that he used. The granite he intends to use came from another shipment. The original benchtops, one an island benchtop all came from the one slab of granite so that it was all matching. Was are his chances of a good colour match? Rgds Ian, March 3, Reply
R1: Dear Ian: You’re a Brit chap, ain’t ya! Do you really believe that anybody can actually answer your question?! :-) Anyway, given the particular type of stone, there are good chances!, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4886: I have read carefully all the questions and responses on this site pertaining to limestone, and I am confused. (I have just purchased 1700 sq. ft. of what I find to be the most beautiful stone I've come upon in my search for flooring for a house remodel -- it's purported to be European moleanos blue-beige limestone, 81" x 81" x5/8", lightly polished (honed?) but not shiny like marble. A couple of the experts, in response to questions by others, said absolutely, positively, under no circumstances would they have limestone in their homes -- but they didn't explain why? Yet, other experts and other websites that I've turned up in my search say that limestone has been used successfully for centuries, both as external cladding, internal cladding and flooring. Given that I have already purchased these tiles, could anyone out there please tell me more about what I have bought, what problems I might expect (and what the benefits, if any, might be of this stone), and of what precautions you would advise I take to ward off the potential problems I might encounter. By way of clarification, in case the name of the stone is not easily recognizable, the stone appears to me to be very heavy, very fine grained, densely packed (no holes to be filled like travertine), a fleshy beige color with wide (8") veins of a very light bluish/ash graye running through it, with evidence of very tiny shells and other fossils. As a lover of both antiques and fossils, I just love the look of this stone -- I'm just praying I won't live to regret having it in my home! Any info/advice you can offer will be much appreciated, March 3, Reply
R1: Most limestone installations are successful. But I am a stone maintenance guy and success stories don’t interest me. The failure stories do! And I’ve seen enough of them in my professional life (and heard of, too!) to make me conclude that I wouldn’t want limestone in my own house. What can cause the problems that I witnessed (all of which with no solution)? I don’t know, is the honest answer. Fact is that nobody knows! Only wild guesses. So, the way I see it, whoever buys limestone – though the odds are largely in his or her favor – does that at his or her own peril! Maurizio, Expert panelist
R1: You are absolutely right limestone has been used for centuries. The White House is built from a limestone from Croatia that has also built many of the local Croatian cities and an abundance of grand building throughout Europe. Limestone like any other stone various - the key is which one to use. Preferably dense limesotne is better than the very porous type. Your choice is good. Crema Marfil Botticino etc are in fact limestones as well but people are not afraid of using them. These are used widely for commercial projects, hotel lobbies etc. The stone you have chosen is from Portugal and is very popular. Seal your stone well and you shouold have many years of happy living. Your floor will outlive you and the next few generations. EM
Q 4885: I would like to purchase information on installing 12" Black Galaxy granite tiles on kitchen countertops. We would also like to purchase information on sealing, maintenance and care of the granite tiles. Could you send us a list of your information that you have for sell? We are planning to use unsanded grout with 1/16" joints. Your web site has been very informative but we need more in depth information, Cindi, March 3, Reply
R1: Dear Cindi: I do believe I can help you out. Gimme a holler at: info@findstone.com and get in touch with me. There’s a little fee involved (as you will be told), but I’ll be glad to help. What’s more I will even tell you how to get all of your money back! What more do you want from me? :-) Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4884: I had Kashmir Gold installed in the kitchen last week, and my faucets hooked up a few days later. Now there are rings around each of the faucets and the sprayer. My granite co. tells me its because my plumber used Plumber's Putty when putting in the faucets. How can I remove this stain? I tried using a poultice with baking soda with no luck- looks even worse. We are taking the faucets out and were told to use silicone on them instead of plumbers putty. Any suggestions would be very helpful! Judy, March 3, Reply
R1: Dear Judy: Plumber’s Putty’s a killer all right! That stain will be extremely difficult to remove, especially considering the degree of absorbency of your stone. Try to poultice it with Methylene Chloride. If you’re lucky, after a half a dozen attempts, you just might be able to minimize the appearance of the stain. After that, yes, 100% silicone is the way to go. Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4883: I recently installed a granite counter top in my kitchen (Atlantic Green - dark) and need to remove a stain, the surface was never sealed. I expect the stain was the result of a pot lid that was placed on the counter, it was used to cook chili so I’m assuming the moisture that left the stain had some acid in it. The stain is light in color compared to the rest of the top. How do you suggest I clean this and what type of sealer do you recommend after the stain is removed. Thank You Jim , March 3, Reply
R1: Dear Jim: I’m afraid you’ve got a problem. A stain is always darker than the color of the stone. If it’s a lighter color is a “stain”: an acid etch, that is, that no impregnator/sealer for stone (that I believe your granite doesn’t need, anyway) could have prevented. What you’re reporting is quite unusual, but, since it happened, your only option is to get hold of a bona fide stone restoration professional who can deal with “granite”. Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4882: Does Granite and marble coexist in the earth as a result of pressure or composition? Afriend told me a marble dealer explained that marble becomes granite or visa versa because of time and pressure. My father in law(passed on about 7 years ago) established the World Stone Heritage Foundation and I remembered him telling me many stories about marble but not any thing about granite being in some sort of chain to it. I thought I was told it was different basic ingredients. What do you say. Ruth, March 3, Reply
R1: Dear Ruth: At the end of a long day, I always hope in some posting like yours to get amused. It’s not you, mind you: it’s what they told you! It sounds like alchemy to me: some magic formula to make lead turn into gold!! So, now marble – a calcite, metamorphic stone – can become granite, which is a silicate igneous rock!! Tell your informers to keep their mouth shut if they don’t want to make a mockery out of themselves!! :-) Maurizio, Expert Panelist
R2: Dear Ruth, As I recall Marble is limestone that has gone through a metamorphic change, this could be pressure or possibly heat or both. Granite is I believe an igneous rock limestone is I believe sedemintary so I would not think one could become the other. Regards Richard
Q 4880: My kitchen countertop was installed over a year ago. I don''t know the name but it has mainly browns, tans and some light pinks. It is a natural pattern not the very tight ones you commonly see. It makes it look more natural. Lately it seems to look a little filmy. I clean the heck out of it with soapy water. I've used a razor to scrape film. There seems to be some clear (could it be quartz mixed in) that makes it look a little cloudy. What can I use to cut the filmy appearance. Will resealing help? Can it be repolished? 2. Had a top installed in the bathroom that has a small hole in it. Can it be filled with something? b. Downstairs had marble top installed on small vanity. I can see some scratches in it. Should I complain? Some are circular and others look like lines. I only see it when the light hits it right. Is it normal. Paul, March 3, Reply
R1: Dear Paul: 1. Soapy water, huh … No wonder it’s filmy!! Resealing wouldn’t to a darn thing, since sealers for stone are meant to go IN the stone, not ON it.2. If the hole is small, to be filled it has to be made bigger (with a drill bit or something.3. It is not normal, but you can live with it. Maurizio, Expert panelist
Q 4879: I have a piece of marble that is a thin layer over wood. I took it to be fixed (scratches) and they said that they are unable to fix it unless I want indents on the surface. Since it is on\ver wood, it cannot withstand the marble machine. Is there a filler product that can cover the scratches? Pam, March 3, Reply
R1: Dear Pam: How thin can it be?! … Anyway, no, there’s nothing available to fill the scratches. Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist 
Q 4878: What are good products (DIY or storebought) for cleaning and maintaining (1) marble bathroom countertop (2) marble bathrooom floor? Jill, March 3, Reply
R1: Dear Jill: 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 4877: I have an old clock that appears to be made from black onyx. It has some sort of stain across it - something that looks like a water mark or perhaps from some other liquid. What would you recommend to clean this w/o damaging the stone? Kavoshi, March 2, Reply
R1: I do believe I have the solution to your problem. Gimme a holler at: info@findstone.com and get in touch with me. There’s a little fee involved (as you will be told), but I’ll be glad to help. What’s more I will even tell you how to get all of your money back! What more do you want from me? :-) Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4876: I just had travertine installed in a bathroom on the floor and it looks great. Trouble is the company that refinished the tub spilled acid on it and now it has dull water like spots all over it. It had been sealed prior to this. Is there a product out there that will fix this problem? Parker, Thanks. March 2, Reply
R1:Dear Parker: Which goes to prove once more – like if there were any need for it – that sealing travertine (or any polished marble, for that matter) is a totally useless exercise!!If the “water spots” are dull but still with a tiny bit reflection and smooth, then I could help you. If instead are VERY dull and a little rough, then you need the services of a professional stone refinisher. Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4875: We are trying to decide what material to use for countertops in a small kitchen. We were leaning toward granite, but I was concerned about the care required to prevent staining. After reading several discussion on Findstone and other sites, I conclude that prevention of staining requires a lot more effort for granite than for laminates. (We have had Formica countertops for 35 years, and they are showing their age, but stains were never a problem.) If you believe we have come to an erroneous conclusion, perhaps you can provide some facts that will change our minds. lee, March 2, Reply
R1: Dear Lee: Most mercantile granite are very enjoyable and just as worry-free as laminated countertops. It’s all in the know-how to choose the right stone! 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 interesting article on “How to Shop for a Granite Kitchen Countertop” .Maurizio, Expert Panelist
R2: Nothing beats the look of stone - Granite etc. All stones at some point will stain as they are porous. A good sealer will prevent any major disasters. I have had my granite top in for many years - not sealed and looks fantastic - oh yes, I look mainly Italian with lots of sauces and tomato - never a problem. Stay away from black - choose a stone that has body in there or cystals. EM
Q 4874: After installing and enjoying Absolute Black countertops in my previous house, I just had them installed in my new house. The other night, I set down a wet bottle of Palmolive dish detergent, and when I picked it up about an hour later, there was a white-ish stain the shape of the bottle's bottom. I am hoping you can provide a remedy to remove the stain. I do not know whether the stone was sealed and I have not called the well-known company that did the installation, as they did a terrible job of cutting the stone accurately and also damaged my walls, backsplash, and cabinets. Donna, March 2, Reply
R1: Dear Donna: Since you can’t (or don’t want – same difference!) call back your fabricator, I do believe I have the solution to your problem. Gimme a holler. Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4873: I have limestone on my floor in the bathroom. I went to clean my grout line with ZAP (have you heard of the product) it left a residue line along the grout line. How do I get it off? Help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Grej, March 2, Reply
R1: Dear Grej: ZAP, an strong acidic product, corroded the limestone where you hit it. You need the services of s bona fide stone restoration professional. Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
R2: Once you hae managed to clean it off seal your floor - the selaer will then also protect the grout. EM
Q 4870: We have a huge, old house with a sandstone foundation. (It's probably at least 100 years old. I have no idea what kind of sandstone it is... It's probably local to the PA USA area. Efflorescence is really bad! I'm trying to find a way to seal the sandstone once it is scraped/brushed clean. I found a product tonight on the internet manufactured by The Glason Group in Australia. It is called A.F. Seal. Do you know anything about it? The info says it will penetrate up to 25mm in sandstone. Do you have any suggestions? Thank you. Sincerely, Charlene, March 2, Reply
R1: Charlene, I am a stone mason from Pennsylvania. If the effloresscene you are describing is in way of a stain it is probally a reaction of the mortar and the stone caused by the moisture in the earth. Has this house been repointed or does it have the originall sand and lime mortar. Lime in old mortar will tend to leach out of mortar dissolve into water then precipitate onto the stone. This process also weaken the mortar. However it is not good to repoint with too much cement in the mortar as the sssandstone tends to absorb water and expand faster then high cement mortars which causes pressure on the face the stone and sometimes causes it to flake of. Sealing the stone is a good idea especially below ground. I am not familiar with the product you mentioned but a good Thompsons water seal product will do make sure it is clear try a small patch to make sure it is clear, the stone should be dry when it is applied and it will probally soak up multiple coats. Below grade plastering on a parge coat might be a better alternative. Good Luck Richard
Q 4869: I installed black honed granite in my kitchen countertop and am not happy with the way it had been honed. I can see the swirling marks and it seemed it was honed in an inconsistent manner, meaning the swirls go every which way. It looks like someone with greasy fingerprints ran their fingers in all different directions and left the marks on it. The fabricators did a good job in installation, and he said if I was not happy with the granite, he will replace it with another slab. First of all, I do not want it ripped out as much as possible, just thinking of the damage it may do to my new kitchen cabinets. I will pay for anykind of literature you have that will help me. Do you recommend I have the
fabricators do diamond grinding and honing and decide whether it looks any better and if not, let them rip them out. And if I do have them rip the granite out, should I not have them seal it? I did buy your color enhancer but found out I cannot apply this on my granite since they had already sealed it. Please let me know as soon as possible in obtaining any kind of literature, that willl help me make a decision. Carolyn, March 2, Reply
R1: Dear Carolyn: You don’t need to buy any kind of literature. You don’t need to have your countertop ripped out, either. You fabricator needs to buy a good-quality honing powder. With they right tool they will remove all the swirl marks in not time and give you a finish as uniform as they come! There’s an extra bonus tio that: the honing powder will take care to remove the stupid sealer, too! Have you fabricator get in touch with me And I’ll be glad to help them. Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4868: My kitchen counter tops are Bianco Roma and were supposedly sealed before installation 2 years ago. My coffee maker left a rust stain that I didn't see until recently when I replaced the coffee maker. I've tried poultices of strong Hydrogen Peroxide to no effect, and a special rust remover product from Stonecare International that slightly dimmed the stain but also left a small pit in the counter. Is there anything I can do? Should I just clean everything and apply more sealer to help prevent future stains, or will this surely set the stain forever? Sandra, March 2, Reply
R1: Dear Sandra: 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 (and that can pierce holes in your granite! By the way, why don’t you call them up and ask them what you can do with your hole?! I’m sure they will try to sell you something to fill it!!), 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 4867: I want to tile my shower with travertine tiles just like the bathroom floor 81" X 81" tiles. How do I cut the tiles and drill holes for the shower head and handle? The tiles look to have a few pits in them do they need filled? Tim, March 2, Reply
R1: Dear tim: To cut them you need a marble tile cutter. To drill the holes you need diamond coated cup bits of the appropriate diameter. I would fill the holes. Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4866: I Have a flagstone patio that was installed last Fall on a gravel and sand base with dry mortared joints. This winter the top of the motared joints have begun to "shale" off in small flat pieces. What can be done to fix this ? Jlu, March 2, Reply
R1: Bricks laid on a sand base should have brushed sand grout, onl bricks cemented down should have mortar joints. Your best bet in a bad situation like this is to make sure the undrelying sand has a form around it so that it can not esape. The mortar joints will only last as long as the underlying layer of sand and gravel remains stable.Regards Richard
Q 4865: Can someone give me some direction for installing Thassos marble tile around a soaking tub ? Then place where I purchased the tile told me to seal the tile prior to installation while others have said it is okay to seal the tile afterwards. Help is appreciated. Thank you ! Jewel, March 2, Reply
R1: Dear Jewel: Some jewel of an information, you’ve got! It is not OK to seal the tiles afterwards: it’s MANDATORY!! First, I wouldn’t bother to seal White Thassos (or any other polished marble, for that matter!) if it were my own bathroom, but if, for some mysterious reason that evade my comprehension you insist on the sealing thing, you should not seal any earlier than a couple of weeks AFTER installation and grouting, in order not to trap the moisture of the setting material in. I feel very strongly that you need some solid maintenance information, rather than this sealing cacamania! You can get my maintenance guidelines for residential stone installations. Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4863: We had the granite santa cecila, I believe was the name installed in the kitchen.. It has gold tones in it. We had two stains within the first month of purchase.Oil and a iced tea stain. They removed the stains with a poultice and resealed the countertops. The stain did come out. Should I put another coat of sealer on top of that. If not how often should I reseal it. It looks like it might never have been sealed properly to begin with. Before water rings would stay soon after leaving a wet dish on it(which would dry soon fter). Now you put water on it and the water moves around and doesn't immediately absorb. I would like to maintain the stone but don't want to overseal. How many coats are normally put on this color of granite. SCVOL, March 2, Reply
R1: Dear SCVOL: How many applications of the sealer? It all depends on the stone AND the type of sealer. The stone I know, the sealer I don’t. Typically, if the impregnator/sealer used by your fabricator is one formulated for very porous stones, then two coats should do with your “granite”. If it’s thinner, you may need more than that. I mean, why doesn’t your fabricator know that?! I’m vondering what they told you about routine maintenance … water and soap dish, or glass cleaner perhaps? … I wouldn’t be surprised! 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 4861: We have been alerted to some problems associate with black Veined marble from chine and possibly throughout world. we have found that their is a certain decomposition when polishing. Can this be corrected by coating marble for floor tiles on a regular basis or is it prudent to stay away from black marble for floor tiles? Best Regards, M. Fay, March 2, Reply
R1: Dear Fay: Yes, you’ve heard it right: black marble tiles are no good for floors. The Chinese one in particular. It is an excellent stone, but almost impossible to service. Stay away from it. Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4860: I stupidly did some repair work on an old candlestick on a granite countertop, getting a few spots of superglue on the granite. What is the best way of removing it without damage to the granite, which of course, I will polish after the superglue is removed? Jack, March 2, Reply
R1: Dear Jack: Use a brand new razor blade. Follow with a piece of cotton ball and some acetone. Do NOT try to polish your stone. You wouldn’t know where to begin! :-) Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4859: I am interested in obtaining knowledge and equipment to engrave (i.e. sandblasting) words and messages on rocks. Can you give some direction? Welker, March 2, Reply
R1: Welker, This is usually done with the aid of a heavy rubber coated tape the areas one does not want abraided are covered with the tape letters or dates can be cut out the tape is then taped onto the rock. The sandblasting medium removes everything else. You must protect yourself and others.from breathing or other exsposure to the dust and the blasting medium. Regards Richard
Q 4857: We purchased a new home with uba tuba kitchen counters. love them.. What can I use as a daily maintenance care routine. I am afraid i will wreck them. the builder said to not use anything acidic....so what can I use. thanks, March 2, Reply
R1: 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 4856: What type of sealer do you recommend for granite? And how often should it be applied? We have granite in the bathroom (shower and counter) and in the kitchen (counter) Also, what do you recommend for cleaning granite? What do you recommend for cleaning grout lines in the shower? Will certain products hurt the granite? Tom, March 2, Reply
R1: Dear Tom: 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 4855: Would you reccommend good reliable companies that refurbish marble in the west palm each, florida area. thanks, Joe, March 2, Reply
R1: Dear Joe: No, I don’t know anybody in your neck of the woods. And … 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 Panleist
Q 4850: Just purchased 1600 sf honed and filled travertine for condo we own. The purchase was for the top of the line premium travertine. It arrived with green and brown mildew stains over approximately half the stone. I wanted to return it but the vendor and installer assured me that all the mildew would come out after installation with an application of a chlorine solution. It was of course, easier to proceed with the installation than return the stone and I trusted their experienced opinions and have installed the stone with a mud installation and 1/2 " cork for sound insulation. Now I am quite concerned that I made a mistake and that even if the discoloration is removed from the surface with the chlorine, the mildew will remain on the under side of the stone which was not cleaned. Please advise. Thank you. Gary, March 2, Reply
R1: R1: Dear Gary: So what? Even if some of the mildew will remain on the underside of the tiles, what seems to be the problem? You won’t be seeing it, and it will die out by starvation anyway. The fact is: I’m not so optimistic about the removal of it with bleach. I would really appreciate it if you’d keep me posted on this one. Honest. Maurizio, Export Panelist
R2: The mildew will soon die off and can't be seen. The cholorine will remove it - test the solution that you wil lbe using on peices that you have not used. It may take a few applications but this method is used widely. The mildew sometimes occures from humid containers, pest controll spraying. It rally is no big deal. italy ws built on this type of stone and is still standing. Good Luck. Em
Q 4849: I have purchased Imperial White granite tiles. The intended use is in a bathroom that would be used daily. I have already tiled the floor with the stone and intend on using it as a backsplash for a neo angle shower. Also I would do the vanity in a slab of the same stone. When water gets on the unsealed tile it darkens and then returns to its normal colour when it dries. After reading some of the questions, I am now nervous as the stone is very porous. I was told that it could be sealed and there should be no problem. Is ths like Kashmir White and not really a granite but really a sandstone?
Now that the floor is tiled, what are my options? The counter fabricator gave me some of his sealer that he uses for all of his counters. Is this a good choice? I was planning on sealing it twice. Thanks for your help. David, March 2, Reply
R1: Dear David: Yes, Imperial White is some sort of metamorphic sandstone. It became hard enough and crystallized enough to take a polish, but it preserved its original absorbency rate. It can be sealed, but it takes particular sealers for very porous stones. I really don’t know what your fabricator has. Where are you from, Canada, UK? … I’m guessing since you spelled “colour” that way. If you need additional assistance gimme a holler at: info@findstone.com and get in touch with me. There’s a little fee involved (as you will be told), but I’ll be glad to help. What’s more I will even tell you how to get all of your money back! What more do you want from me? :-) Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
R2: So what if it goes dark when wet - as long as it dries up. But if you feel you can't live with this apply a good sealer. EM
Q 4848: I like the look of soapstone very much and would like to use it as kitchen countertop, island (with a cooktop) and in the shower. What are the pros and cons of using soapstone? I’ve heard that it stains easily; is that true? I’ve also been told that it is very slippery when wet, however, it is advertised as being ideal for showers because it is not slippery when wet. Thanks very much Patti, March 2, Reply
R1: I do believe I can answer your questions. Gimme a holler at: info@findstone.com and get in touch with me. Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4846: I am a furniture designer based in jaipur , India, and wanted to develop some sandstone tables and tabletops. The problem that I have is that this sandstone on its own is a porous material and stains very easily. I am looking for some sort of impregnation/ coating that will prevent it from coffee, red wine, vinegar, oil , hotwax and hot metal pan ( stains arising from placing a hot metal pan on the surface stains. The stone in question is the red sandstone which has been used extensively , traditionally as well as in contemporary architectural applications. Ayush, March 2, Reply
R1: Try a clear water proofer like Thompsons. Regards Richard
Q 4845: I have just cleaned an unpolished white marble statue using a Prosoco product (liquid marble cleaner). The statue is in the foyer of a church, and many, many cute little ladies in babushkas touch or kiss the statue's feet, leaving lipstick, dirt and oils from their hands. I want to put some sort of protectant on the surface that will allow for easier maitenance, but the ones I've seen are either acrylic (which seems like it would prevent the stone from breathing) or petroleum-based (which seems like it might stain the stone, no?). What would you recommend? Or could you refer me to where you've answered this question before? Thank you so much for your help. - Georgina, March 2, Reply
R1: Dear Georgina: Go to your local Pep Boys and get the first car wax you can put your hands on. Carnauba wax is quite good. Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4844: I recently had Uba Tuba installed in my home also. First, I would like to purchase your maintenance guidelines. Also around my bathroom sink I have 2cm thick Uba Tuba. There is what looks like to me two cracks. The Marble Company said they were fissures. They do not look like the other veins and you can feel them with your finger. How can I tell if they are fissure veins or cracks? Thank you for your help, Sharon, March 2, Reply
R1: Dear Sharon: Yeah … they’re fissures all right! That’s what “Michelangelos” try to tell people all the time when one of their “masterpieces” cracks! What the heck consumers know about fissures and cracks?!` Well, one thing is for sure, if you can feel them with your fingertips, they ain’t fissures!! Ubatuba has very little fissures anyway. Maurizio, Expert Panelist
R2: Dear Sharon, fissures you can't feel but can see - Ubatuba very rare that it has them in any case. Get your tradespeople to replace them. They have stuffed up and cracked your tiles. EM
Q 4843: We have just installed light honed cross-cut travertine tile in our living room floor. We have sealed it with TileLab SurfaceGard Penetrating Sealer. Although the tile seems to be sealed after two coats, it is not that much more shiny or water-resistant than before we sealed it. Any recommendation for anything we can use now to make the floor more stain resistant and more shiny? We purchased AquaMix Floor Shine & Hardener but we have not used it yet since we found a website that said it was not appropriate for honed floors. Bill, March 2, Reply
R1: Dear Bill: Just out of curiosity, have you read the label of that product? It’s an impregnator, penetrating, below surface sealer, right? And any residue of the product must be thoroughly removed off the surface of the stone, right? So, what on earth that product’s got to do with the finish of your travertine??!! If you wanted it shiny, why did you get it honed?? Besides, whether or not you had impregnated it with that product, travertine is not porous and won’t absorb much water. You may have “water marks”, which are not stains, but acid etchings, but a penetrating sealer like the one you bought (or any other one on the market, for that matter) can’t do anything to prevent those. I would urge you to get hold of the merchants who sold the stone to you and the contractor who installed it in your home and ask them your questions. They made good money out of you, didn’t they?! If not, gimme a holler. Maurizio, Expert Panelsit
R2: Dear Bill, A penetrating sealer will not make you travertine more shiny. What ever you do, do not put Stone Shine and Hardner on your floors. It is a big mistake to try to change the surface of the travertin. Travertine has areas that are more porus than others, which causes the final finish when honed to look varied in it's shine when under the right light. It likewise will receive any surface
sealer or polish in a varigated manner only complicating your problem even more. If you are just after a good seal and not trying to make it shiny, I recommend Aqua Mix Sealer's Choice 15, but you would have to follow the stripping instructions from the manufacturer of the sealer you have already used. It might be easier to simply apply another coat or two (some sealers will require up to 4 coats on a travertine) and then when it is time to reseal use the Aqua Mix Sealer's Choice 15. It is a 15 year sealer and will not require as many coats, Heiner
Q 4841: I am looking for information on how to polish out a couple of gouges in a piece of granite I am using for a tabletop. Can you give me some directions? Please advise. Thanks. Helen Wood, March 2, Reply
R1: Dear Helen: Yes, I can! The general direction is the cabinet or drawer where you keep your telephone book. Go the Yellow Pages and get hold of a bona fide stone restoration contractor, assuming that you can find one who can handle such type of work. Maurizio, Expert Panelist 
Q 4839: Hello, Can you please give me care instructions/maintaining instructions for sandstone floor around my house. PLEASE Erik, March 2, Reply
R1: Dear Erik: Why don’t you ask the same question to the merchant who sold the stuff to you and the contractor who installed in your home? They made good money out of you, didn’t they? If they don’t have an answer for you, then gimme a holler at: info@findstone.com and get in touch with me. There’s a little fee involved (as you will be told), but I’ll be glad to help. What’s more I will even tell you how to get all of your money back! What more do you want from me? :-) Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4836: I had a Kashmir White granite countertop installed and have noticed a dark shadow around the sink perimeter. Is this because there may have been some oil in the caulk used to set the sink? Also every drop of water or wet substance shows up instantly as a dark spot. Is this because it was not sealed properly or is this characteristic of granite. Next, the contractor did not have the dishwasher in place when the countertop was installed and my dishwasher was not attached to the underside of the granite. I need to have this done and am worried that they will use the right drill bit to do the installation. What do you recommend for this. Thanks, Eleanor, March 2, Reply
R1: Dear Eleanor: First issue: If they used plumber putty or a caulk which was not 100% silicone, there is your problem. What’s more, your stone was not sealed properly at all. See my answer to the posting 4834 below. Second issue: I would recommend that you hire someone who knows what is doing for a refreshing change! Maurizio, Expert Panelist

Q 4835: I have a older 100plus year old section of limestone basement - it was finished on the inside walls with some type of white stucco plaster and it keeps chipping/ falling off and small amounts of the sand and or backfill will drain out...the limestone itself is very crumbly if I try to get too be too aggressive. We live in a sandy area and the wall doesn't appear to have water leaking in or other problems. It is just that I want to finish off the walls so they stop needing repair. I have tried to repair with a plaster stucco but it doesn't have anything good to stick to and when I do get a section patched it doesn't seem to last long. How would you handle this inside wall finish/ repair Thanks Nathin Davisson, March 2, Reply
R1: Nathan you need to remove questionable material until you have something solid to start on. If there is nothing solid you will need to fasten wire lathe to the stone with tapcon screws. Thouroseal makes a bonding compound you can apply to the wall once it is clean this will increase the bond between the plaster and the wall. You problaly want to use a fifty percent lime brick type mortar for your first coat. Regards Richard
Q 4834: I recently put in granite counter tops and am having trouble with stains and spotting. The salesman called the stone - Ivory Brown. When I purchased this from him, I was never told about any potential staining problems. I have two small kids, and things are constantly getting on the counter tops. The first time I noticed a problem was from Peanut Butter that was spilled. The oil from the Peanut Butter left a stain. In addition, water spatters from the sink left spots. The company has been out twice to reseal the counter tops, but the problem persists. They are refusing to do anything else for me. What do you suggest I do at this point? Any help would be appreciated - I spent a lot of money on these counter tops and I certainly would like to have them look good for a long time to come. Thanks, Bohn, March 2, Reply
R1: Dear Bohn: And “Michelangelo” strikes again! I hate to ask you this, but did you get the lowest bidder?…Anyway, Ivory Brown is an extremely absorbent stone (as you already found out) and needs to be sealed professionally (the clowns who fabricated it for you do not qualify as professionals in my book for what you’re reporting to us) with the right sealer and in the right way. Get hold of a bona fide stone restoration contractor. They will have to strip the impregnator that has been applied so far and start anew with a better product for the stone at hand. Maurizio, Expert Panelist
R1: It sounds like you idn't get the right infor. Did you ask the right questions??? Yes your stone should have been sealed but did you really expect to purchase product and not get any information on it prior to doing so. Use good stonemasons and pay the extra money - it usually for their knowledge. Best of luck EM
Q 4833: We just had a marble floor installed in the kitchen and my husband thought the floor should shine like a mirror. Well he tried to strip the floor and then he put a marble enhancer on the floor. This left the floor with a dull gray film over it. The floor was black now it looks gray. What can we do now to get back the black original color? Linda, March 1, Reply
R1: Dear Linda: Wow, wow, WOW!!! Oh my! … Black marble floor in a kitchen!! And than this stripping and color enhancing thing?? … Stripping it from what? Did those tiles came with wax on them?? Now you listen to me: you would need a bona fide stone restoration contractor (you won’t find many available to do black marble!) to restore your marble (figure anywhere between $4 and $6 per square foot, unless you get a quack), but the best piece of advice I can give to you is this: GET RID OF THAT FLOOR AS QUICK AS YOU CAN!! Remember, it’s only money, and your mental health is priceless. By the way, don’t forget to send a heart-felt thank you note to the merchant who sold the marble to you and the contractor who installed on your floor without warning you about the problems (nightmares better defines it) that you WILL have with it! Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4832: Could you tell me how to best clean my granite kitchen counters. They are slabs of Venitian Green Granite? I use soap and water but there seems to be a film build-up. Thank You, Cammie, March 1, Reply
R1: Dear Cammie: You’d better believe that you have a soap film build-up! Proper maintenance of stone kitchen 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, 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 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 4829: We have recently had a beautiful granite counter installed in our new custom kitchen. After looking at many stones we chose ghibli. We knew nothing about granite and bought only with aesthetics in mind. After only a few months we noticed what appeared to be an oil stain. Being a complete novice I took bad advice and tried to "burn" out the stain with a blow torch ( well you are probably wincing by now) and it cracked. It is a hairline crack about two inches long from the front edge back. Also the stain seems to have darkened. The crack is barely visible, but my concern is that it will grow. Is there any way to apply a glue or bonding agent to prevent this? Also can anything be done about the stain? Ron, March 1, Reply
R1: Dear Ron: What a mess, huh!! :-) Well, now that you’ve “cooked” your oil real good I don’t know if the stain can be removed. Considering that you have a crackline issue to solve (certainly NOT a DIY project!), I’d encourage you to hire a stone restoration contractor to try tackling both problems. You can get my maintenance guidelines for residential stone installations (it looks like you need them real bad!!) Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4828: I had Uba Tuba Granite installed in my kitchen three years ago during a renovation. I have my oven in a cabinet base in the island. The problem is that every time I clean the oven I have noticed two crack lines equidistant from the edges of the oven going up the granite. They started out very small and it wasn't until the last time that I cleaned the oven that I noticed the cracks becoming more prominent and larger. I just realized the connection. I have contacted the stone retailler and the oven manufacturer, Both have never heard of such a thing happening! HELP!! I spent $2000.00 on an oven so I wouldn't have to clean it and now I have to use spray oven cleaner because I'm afraid the cracks will get larger and the granite will eventually be in three pieces. Have you ever come across this problem? Anne, March 1, Reply
R1: Dear Anne: Nope, never came across anything like that. I have no answer for you. Sorry. You should try to call a professional stone restoration contractor and see if they can come up with a solution to your problem once they can actually see it. Maurizio, Expert Panelist
R2: It sounds more like these cracks are stress cracks from lack of good support on a narrow strip of the stone where it is the weakest. You should have a professional stone installation company take a look at it. Heiner
Q 4826: I have three baths that have 25 year old cultured marble tops. Some have scratches from getting glue off them. The molded sinks that are attached have lost their luster and 2 have water stains in them that will not come out. We are selling the house this year and wonder about having these cultured marble vanities resurfaced. We saw this at the Home Show and did like the gloss matte finish but need to hear from those who have had this done. Will this last? Advantages? Disadvantages. Thanks, macy, March 1, Reply
R1: Dear Macy: I don’t know if there’s a site like this one on the net that gives advice about plastic, but there is where you should be posting your questions. Maurizio, Expert Panelist
R2: I am suprised that hot water would have caused this problem, it may actually be calcium or lime deposit from the water itself. Try a small amount of CLR (Calcium Lime and Rust remover) on a rag (follow all safety instructions on lable) and try to wipe off the greying area. Rinse off right away as the acids in the CLR can etch the gelcoat if left on for very long. Try wipe and rinse wipe and rinse a few times, if there is no improvement after 3 or 4 trys stop. If you have access to a rotary buffer (like a car wax buffer) try some automotive car polish and buff the area. This removes small surface scratchs and may remove the very top layer of the gelcoat that is "fogged". I hope this helps you. Good Luck, Bill Findstone "Expert" Advisor
Q 4824: I have a chip on the edge of the sink on my granite counter. How can I fix it? March 1, Reply
R1: If you still have the chip, glue it on with regular household cement or “Crazy Glue”. If not, either you hire a stone restoration contractor, or you learn how to live with it! :-) Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4823: How should I clean grease stains from granite slab counter in a kitchen, Larry, March 1, Reply
R1: Dear Larry: 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 4822: We have just surfaced our kitchen countertop with 12X12 granite tiles. The name of this tile is Bianco Catalina and the box indicates it is a product of China. I have used a sealer/inpregnator with Teflon by the instructions on the bottle. I have gone through this process now four times, allow to absorb, wiping off excess, and allowing to dry for a day or so before coating again. I am still getting dark water spots and am wondering if I would have been better to have used some sort of oil rubbed into the granite (as is done with soapstone). Do you know anything about this particular granite and it's characteristics. I am sadly learning too late that all granite is not equal. Kathi from Lithia Springs, GA March 1, Reply
R1: Dear Kathi: No, I don’t know anything about that particular granite. I don’t even know what it is. Did you take a look at Dr. Daniels table of the 150 most popular granites? Anyway, forget about the oil thing. Keep on sealing using the technique you mentioned until it won’t absorb anymore. If you won’t reach that point, then Teflon-based impregnator is not “your man” for that particular stone. Maurizio
R2: Dear Kathi: I think the proper cliche would be "not all sealers are created equally." Don't fret though, you should rest at ease knowing that it's not the expensive part-the stone. If you are not getting a good seal after 4 coats it might not be the right sealer for this application. I have found that for polished granites, the SCI sealer works great, and for more porous stones like travertine, the Aqua Mix Sealer's Choice 15 is the best. It pays to buy the more expensive sealers. You would need to strip the previous sealer before attempting to apply a different sealer. heiner
Q 4821: I have a double soapstone set-tub which has developed some cracks and is leaking. The cracks are not along a seam. What would be the best method of repairing? I would need to do this without removing the sink. Thank you very much. Peter. March 1, Reply
R1: Dear Peter: Two-parts epoxy glue is “your man”. I’d call a pro though! Ciao and good luck, Maurizio
Q 4820: Gentlemen; I had a white ceramic vase of flowers on my green marble counter and the water seeped through the bottom on the vase and left a white oval ring on the marble. Please advise as to what to do to get rid of the ring. Helpe! Thank you for your time and attention. Sincerely, Sue J. Norton, March 1, Reply
R1: Dear Norton: If it were regular marble I’d say that I have the solution to your problem, but being green marble (I must assume an ophicalcite, due to the type of damage you got), your only option is to hire a professional stone refinisher to hone and polish your table top. Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4819: When you first down marble floors, must you polish them before wetting them or do you wipe them with ammonia. Please help? March 1, Reply
R1: What on earth are you talking about??!! Be more specific and I’ll see what I can do to help. Ciao and good luck, Maurizio
R2: What, start again what do you really want to know - what stone did you use etc. EM
Q 4816: I am tiling a backsplash in marble. I am using 12x12 pieces on the diagonal. I need to know what to use a thin-set or a mastic. I am also wondering to have a "seamless" look, should I use a caulk instead of a grout. I need to know exactly which products to use because I am getting conflicting reports. Thanks. Jacqueline, March 1, Reply
R1: Dear Jacqueline: Use a rapid setting stone adhesive (available at the Home Depot). Yes, caulk is definitely a better choice over grout. Use the latex-based one: much easier to apply and clean off. Maurizio, Expert panelist
Q 4815: Help! I have water spots on my travertine dining table (glass rings,etc.) Any suggestions on how to remove these spots? I have tried everything. Thank you, Rose, March 1, Reply
R1: Dear Rose: You didn’t try everything! You still have to try the right thing!! :-) I do believe I have the solution to your problem. Gimme a holler. Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4814: We bought our home 4 years ago and was told that the fireplace stone was granite. We also have a wall in the kitchen that is "granite" with an oven installed. What can I use to clean this stone? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Sincerely, Patricia, March 1, Reply
R1: Dear Patricia: 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 4813: How do you define "saturnia"? how does it differ from other travertines? Should filied holes be limited in size? Arthur, March 1, Reply
R1: Dear Arthur: Saturnia IS travertine. It differs from the regular version of travertine because is cross-cut, instead of being cut along the natural grain of the stone. The consequence of that is that the holes are less numerous but usually larger in size. Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4812: I am planning on installing 12x12 tiles of verde ubatuba on my kitchen countertop. We are laying it on 3/4 plywood covered with hardybacker. What kind of adhesive and grout should be used? Do I need any additional waterproofing? What about a sealer. Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you, Eric, March 1, Reply
R1: Dear Eric: I would use rapid setting stone adhesive (available at the Home Depot), and colored caulk to match as grouting material. Don’t leave a grout gap any wider than 1/16”, or any narrower than 1/32”. Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4811: Please let me know what compound I should use to stick Marble on a Iron Frame. This is to be used as a dining table. Thomas, March 1, Reply
R1: Dear Thomas: Either silicone or two-part epoxy. Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4810: I have been told by every Granite dealer in this town that it is almost impossible to ruin granite and yet, that's exactly what I've done. I have Saffire Brown in the kitchen (slab) and all of a sudden one day there appeared a splotch about the size of the bottom of an iron (considering nobody in my family has every TOUCHED an iron-I doubt that could be it) I have no idea what it is. It is rough to touch making me feel it is on top of the stone, and yet you can not razor blade it off. I've tried a poltice I purchased at a granite store..did not work. the area is a bit lighter that the rest of the stone and when the light shines across it it looks totally etched. Also, I had left over granite from the job and have tested every household cleaner I have to see what could have done it? I am clueless at what it is and more so at how to get it fixed. I called the installer who came out and said he may be able to polish it out but that was over a year ago...hard to get those guys back out! Another fabricator said to use "white gas" you buy for lamps and let it soak..but this all scares me cause I don't want to make it worse..yet, my stomach churns everytime I think of how much that countertop cost me and it's now ruined. Any advise? Sansom, March 1, Reply
R1: Dear Sansom: I really don’t know about the “white gas” thing. I never heard of it and don’t even know what it is exactly. But if it is a highly flammable solvent, it could just work while doing no harm to the stone. This just IF it is what I ventured. If it’s something else … Regardless, you have me at a loss here. If it were just slightly etched, I would say that, maybe, they had applied an impregnator/sealer at the time of the installation (which they shouldn’t have, with your particular stone), and now the impregnator has gotten, somehow damaged (etched), but you’re reporting that’s rough at the touch … Wow, only Hydrofluoric acid could damage so badly a stone like that! You need to get hold of a bona fide stone restoration contractor to re-hone and re-polish that particular area. Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
R2: Try rubbing with acetone on a cloth (assuming that it is not near any flames)! This will not hurt your stone in any way, but will break down any resins that may have been applied and when heated, warped or bubbled. ?? Process of elimination. Heiner
Q 4809: Can you suggest a product to remove a olive oil stain from my counter top... . Joe, March 1, Reply
R1: 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! Such impressive piece of literature will also tell you how to tell stains apart from “stains”, and what to do about the latter! Gimme a holler at: info@findstone.com. You’ll be glad you did! 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! What’s more, I can even show you a way to get all of your money back! What more can you ask?! Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4807: I have recently had installed a natural stonefloor (rough limestone, random cut, 1 1/2 in thick) installed over radiant electric pads. It has been down about a month. Yesterday, I noticed several hairline cracks in the grout. The grout is quite wide and of course is quite thick. What do I do now? Melanie, Ontario, March 1, Reply
R1: You might have had too much heat during the cure of the grout. With cement products a slow moist cure is the strongest. Try looking up the grout manufacture web site for more answers.
Q 4805: Its Turkish Travertine filled. I took an extra tile and used it to experiment. I put the tile on a pee spot (before I cleaned it up) got some pee on it and let it sit for 12 hours to see if it would etch. It did. Then I cleaned the tile. I was then starting to use Miracle 511 Porous Plus on my test piece. But I did the smell test and could still smell pee. I cleaned the sample a bunch more, and still the pee smell. Leading me to believe I need to clean with product like Nature's Miracle made especially for pet urine. (a neutralizer with enzyme action, says the bottle). Then once the smell is gone to polish out the etch with some kind of light hone action stuff? Such as??? Then apply the 511. Please help with your learned advise.Thanks so Much. Patty, March 1, Reply
R1: Dear Patty: You’re not serious, are you!! Come on, what kind of a disgusting test is that?! Sorry, I’m not gonna answer this one. You’re either trying to pull my chains, or a plain nut case! I’m not in the mood for this kind of garbage today. Maurizio, Expert panelist
R2: To hone your travertine you will need an oscillating sander and a variety of grits of sand paper starting with 80 grit and going up to 220. You will have to start with the coarser grit and work your way up to the 220. How coarse you start with will depend on how bad or how deep your problem is. Always test with a sample piece.
Q 4803: I've had Giallo Veneziano for my kitchen countertops for 5 years and absolutely love them. No staining, no problems with wine, lemons, water, etc. I am in the process of purchasing a new home and would like a stone similar in look and hardness, porosity, inability to stain but with a bit more of a golden color. I went to the same granite/marble importer and he suggested Madura Gold. It looks very very similar to Giallo and it is in fact more golden. He said they are very similar in the way that they will hold up. He gave me a piece to take home. On different areas of the slab, I applied lemon juice, oil, red wine & red wine vinegar. Kept it there for a couple of hours and had no problems with staining. Only thing is when I cleaned the stone off with water, it did darken a bit, but lightened back up within 5 minutes. My Giallo does not change color when I wipe it down with water. Will the Madura Gold be a good choice for my kitchen in light of this? thank you. DCVK, March 1, Reply
R1: Dear DCVK: Let’s just say that your Giallo Veneziano behaves quite unusually! Typically it is an absorbent stone. Therefore I have to conclude that either your slab had been “resined” by the factory, or that it had been sealed quite properly by your fabricator after installation. About the Madura Gold is less porous, but usually it does require the application of an impregnator sealer. The report of your testing is contradictory: how could water be absorbed while just wiping it with a damp cloth and not get stained by lemon juice, oil and red wine let sit on it for a couple of hours? It makes no sense to me. Test it again! Maurizio, Expert Panelist
R2: I have Giallo Venisiano in my house and prior to sealing it noticed that it did not change or darken when I cleaned it. I think it is just because of the variation in color and is less conspicuous. The darkening is only because it has not been sealed yet and it is allowing moisture to get into it. It's very much like your hair in this manner, it darkens when it's wet but dries back out normally and has no bearing on it's other properties. Simply make sure you keep up the sealer to prevent staining. Heiner