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ADVICE WANTED!   Nov 25, 2002
www.findstone.com   info@findstone.com
Q 4242: We are used to apply plastic paste (we call here "massa plástica"). There are many producers in Brazil and the price is very competitive. You can still use grout for this kind of problem.. Att, Nov21. Reply
Q 4241: We have just had kitchen countertops made from Tropical Amazon granite installed. The installer sealed the granite. What are the characteristics of Tropical Amazon (is it really from the Amazon?) and what is the best way to maintain it? Susan, Nov21. Reply
Q 4240: I am searching for hand tools to build dry rock walls. It is an art mastered by Irish masons who have also worked and taught how to lay dry, limestone, rock walls in Central Kentucky. Some of the tools include a hand held hammer used to chip the rock at the exact correct place in order to secure a tight fit. There are probably other tools used in this craft of which I am unaware. Can you help me locate a supplier for such simple tools. They were used in the 19th and early 20th Century. Nov21. Reply
R1: Any masonry supply company, or good hardware store should be able to help you out. Or get in touch with an outfit, JVC, Expert Panelist
Q 4239: We are doing a fundraiser at our elementary school in Southport, CT to raise money for a garden for our science curriculum. We are looking for bricks for a walkway. Can you give me prices? Do you do engraviing as well. John, Nov21. Reply
Q 4238: I want to install a trowelled cement veneer counter in my kitchen and I am having a problem finding a sealer ( that seals and penetrates and therefore binds with the cement composition) that I can use after I have used powder pigments to color the cement that is a flat sheen level. It appears that this is not your area but considering your background could you possible send me in the correct direction? Thank you very much.Judy, Nov21. Reply
Q 4237: Hello, What will happen to travertine if it is washed with full strength muriatic acid? Jim, Nov21. Reply
R1: Jim, Travertine is a calcitic based stone similar to limestone and marble. Muriatic acid (hydrocloric acid) will react with the calcium carbonate, eating away the stone. Why would you want to do this? Just curious, JVC, Expert Panelist
Q 4236: I am would like to know how companies decide how much they will charge for services such as restoration, polishing and sealing. The reason that I am asking this questions is, I recently had my downstairs area done, which is all marble. They restored, polished and sealed. The area was measured, the measurement was 40x49 in one area, 15X24 in one area, 11x5 in one area and 4x3 in one area. They told me that they charged $1.84 per square foot. I was charged $2,450.00. I think this was too much, even though, they did a very good job, because my marble was really dull. What I would like to know if possible, is how they calculated the measure plus the square foot to get the amount they will charge you. I am not complaining, because as I stated, I was glad to get my marble looking nice and shinny again, but as I stated, I believe that I was over charged. I would like to know for further services. Lee, Nov21. Reply
R1: Well Lee, It appears to me that you actually got a bargin. The measured areas you listed total up to nearly 2400 sq ft., and at $1.84 / sq ft. you should have paid around $4400.00. If the footage is accurrate, you were charged only a little over a dollar a foot. JVC, Expert Panelist
Dear Lee: Two junky illiterates can make passionate love and "make" a new human body. It takes a doctor to take care of that new human body. Doctors, if you think for a munute, are in the maintenance business, though, generally, the word
maintenance brings to must people's minds the image of a minial activity that belongs to the very bottom of the social ladder. Stone refinishing is the very pinnacle of any activity related to stone. It does require much more stone professionalism than selling and setting stone tiles or fabricating a kitchen countertop. Unfortunately, since such
professionalism is not eaisly achievable and, therefore, found. there's a lot of quacks out there, and, I am afraid, you've got one of them! Let me explain myself better: If I had to do your job, restoring and repolishing a very dull 2,387 square feet (that's your information) I would have charged you $3.50 per square foot, for a total of $8,350. I admit it
that I am more expensive than most (I'm making it my business to be!), but the average rate for a legitimate restoration job of that size is anywhere between $2 and $3 per square foot nation-wide. It'd take at least 7 working days for a crew of two people. And that does not include any sealing, which, by the way, is totally useless in the case of polished marble. You've been charged something like a tiny over $1.00 per square foot for the whole thing (I charge $1,25 for sealing alone!!). Now either the contractor who performed the job in your house was wearing a red suite, riding a reen-deer drawn sled, and going OH-OH-OH, therefore gave away his or her skills by working at a huge loos, or you've got a quack. You may like the way your floor looks now, but, no matter how shiny it looks, polished it was certainly not! If you've got Santa, you've got the deal of your life. If you got a quack, you've got what you paid for. Either way, you'd better stay quite, because you're just making a mockery out of yourself. Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert panelist
 
 
Q 4233: I have a table top travetine(45x45). It's broken in half. I would like to know if there is some kind of material I can use to glue it back together . Thank you. Marie, Nov21. Reply
Q 4232: My inlaws want to install marble tile on the floor of their outdoor patio. We'd like to know any pros or cons on using marble. Thank you. Stacey, Nov21. Reply
R1: Dear Stacey: Believe you me, your in-laws do NOT want to do that! As for the why, take a look at the way you can get in touch with me at the top of this page, and see if it suits you. Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4231: We just installed beauiful new Bianco Romano granite counters in our remodeled (new) kitchen. Please advise as to the best maintenance techniques, as I would like to keep them as beautiful as they are the day they are installed. I read the horror stories and don't want to be a statistic! Thank you. Michelle, Nov21. Reply
Q 4230:   We are building a home in indiana..we want natural stones floors on the ground and first floor foyer..on both it will extend to the outside as well.. will travertine work ?or should we be looking at quartzite or slate? Nenat, Nov21. Reply
R1: Dear Nenat: Take a look at the way you can contact me at the top of this very page. I that suits you I'll be glad to assist you for a small consultation fee. If you're interested at knowing why I gave away advice for free for a year and half and now I charge, you're welcome to read my announcement above. Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
 
Q 4228: Please email me your thorough and in-depth maintenance guidelines for residential stone installations. We have 4X4 tumbled marble that we want to install as the counter in our guest bathroom. I am researching how and when to seal and grout. I think I want the holes filled with grout and then seal but I am not sure. Thanks, Kay, Nov21. Reply
Q 4227: I would appreciate your advise on maintenance of granite countertops. Cleaning, sealing, and how often should they be resealed, Holmes, Nov21. Reply
Q 4226:   After considering all types of counter tops, I have decided to go with Sapphire Blue granite. Is this a good choice for a kitchen? I was also told that the more steps used in polishing the granite, the less often it needs to be sealed. A fabricator said he uses a seven step process in polishing the granite while others in the area only use a three step process. Does this make any difference? Thanks for any help you can give me. Ron, Nov21. Reply
R1: Dear Ron: Your fabricator is a blatant liar. First off, they do NOT polish the granite slabs, they buy them already polished in one side. Not only they wouldn't know how, nor do they own the right equipment (approximately $750,000.00 worth!!), but they don't know what they're talking about, either. Nobody can polish "granite" -- not matter which one -- in three steps. The porosity of the "granite" is strictly related to its mineralogy, that is, what type of stone it actually is, regardless of what the distributor invoice says. So much for the "professional knowledge" of your fabricator. Go somewhere else! I did write a very comprehensive articlea bout shopping for a granite lkitchen countertop. It does carry a small price, but it's worth every single penny! To get it, you have to follow the procedure indicated at the top of this very page. Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4225: We are having imperial red granite installed in our kitchen as countertops. Is this a good choice and how do we care for this granite? Thanks. Vicki, Nov21. Reply
Q 4223: We have mistakenly left some super glue smear on top of a culture marble countertop. Please advice ways in removing the smear without damaging the surface. Nov20. Reply
Q 4222: I am trying to repair a concrete floor. I applied a thin layer of concrete (approx. 1/4") onto a very old concrete floor that was covered with asphalt tile. The old tile was removed and my contractor scarified the old floor to prepare the floor to accept the new layer of concrete. however, some tile adhesive still remained and after about 6 months a large area of my new floor came loose and I'm now trying to repair an area of approx. 4'x6' to match the level of the surrounding floor. It would be extremely difficult, if not impossible, for me to remove the remaining tile adhesive residue and I'm hoping that there may be a sealer or concrete additive that would allow me to patch this floor with good adhesion. I would be most appreciative for any help you can offer. Richard, Nov19. Reply
Q 4221: Four years ago we converted a 100year old farm steading into houses in the N.E. Scotland. Every year since the occupants have complained about water leaking in through the stone wall. After numerous visits from Roofers, externally sealing with an oil based sealant, then with a silicone sealant the leaks still persist. The wall has been constructed with a mix of granite, sandstone, and other locally available stone. We have now run out of ideas of how to resolve this problem. Kirstie, Please help, Nov19. Reply
R1: As odd as it may seem, the source of your leak could be from water backing up directly underneath the stone wall. The path of least resistance can be very long. Good luck , Spa
R2: I would consider removing and cleaning all prior sealants off the wall, (not knowing exactly what you used this would require an expert), and then applying a bentonite type cementious coating, usually 2 to 3 coats required. I would follow this by installing a bentonite "blanket" against the wall before backfilling. Additionally, before backfilling I would make sure that I have consulted a civil engineer for specifications on a excellent sub surface drain and porous backfill material. Finally I would make sure that all finish grades slope away from my structure at a minimum of 1/4" per foot and that all roof downspouts are channeled away from my foundation. Warm Regards, Edward
R3: Ask the party to use epoxy mix and apply so it will not leak any more, Juleomartia
R4: Hi Kirstie, you did not mention whether this is above Ground or a Basement wall. If it is Basement than you may have to dig and install a 4” Drain with 1’ Crushed rock 6” below and 6” above and keep all that below the Foundation parch the Foundation and use Rubber Mats and seal the Joints. Remember the Drain Pipe has to empty into a Ditch or dry Well If it is Above Ground and the Roof does not shield it from the Weather, extending it into a covered Porch, you have to consider that the water could seep in some distance from where it comes out. In a Cement Block foundation you could use Food Coloring to find the entrance. But in stone you may stain irreparably. If you seal an exterior wall and it is subject to any movement (frost) the sealing is pointless. Check where your Plumbing is located, it maybe the problems. Curd
R5: I think I know what your problem is.If the walls are between 500mm-1000mm thick,I figure the problem is inadequate ventilation,causing the dampness to linger in the house and thus turning into droplets of water when they condense on the wall.installing an exhaust fan in the house will help to regulate the trapped air and painting the house with a rubber based solution should help. Preeti
R6: I would consider removing and cleaning all prior sealants off the wall, (not knowing exactly what you used this would require an expert), and then applying a bentonite type cementious coating, usually 2 to 3 coats required. I would follow this by installing a bentonite "blanket" against the wall before backfilling. Additionally, before backfilling I would make sure that I have consulted a civil engineer for specifications on a excellent sub surface drain and porous backfill material. Finally I would make sure that all finish grades slope away from my structure at a minimum of 1/4" per foot and that all roof downspouts are channeled away from my foundation, edward
R7: Hi Kirstie, Your problem is a common one (unfortunately). Those buildings were probably built with lime mortar and were repaired with just about every modern chemical and sealant in the book. Lime-built buildings need to be repaired with lime, which will control moisture by letting the walls "breathe" as they must. When sealants are applied, along with cements, the walls trap moisture and can no longer evaporate it away.
I teach a short 2-day school in Ireland for this problem which is attended be many cottage owners such as yourself. Don't hesitate to contact me for help. Mail me if you are interested Regards, John
R8: Hi Kirsty, Water is obviously getting in somewhere and in my experience waterproofers and surface sealants are much better at keeping the water in after it's got there than keeping it out in the first place.Self evident in your case. Only 100% effectiveness in sealing the entire wall surface would be effective. Start at the beginning, the stone does not allow the ingress of water, if the jointing is in good order then you can rule out water coming through the walls.If the water is at low level check to see if the ground outside is higher than the floor. If it is you will always have a water problem, the only proper solution here is to lower the ground next to the walls or raise the floor.If it is at high level then I would suspect your roof or possibly a gutter, soffit problem. Try following the water to it's scorch it is amazing how a small leak in one area can travel a great distance within the fabric of the building and appear somewhere else. I would put the smart money on there being an definite leak and a keen eye and a bit of detective work is sure to expose it. Bryan UK
R9: Try digging down to the base of wall,then clean all the old mortar out of the joints or what ever was used then. Then repoint the the joints with mortar[preferrably a water repellant added to the masonry].Then parge the wall up to ground level with same mix as used for pointing the joints.Then coat 1,2 times with foundation coating.This should be done all around the foundation. Once finished rpound of drainage tile or pipe should be installed so the water can be drained away from foundation. Please inform me if this solves the problem or not, Bill
R10: You might try Water Glass. If you apply it and it has enough time to dry it will not resolublize, thus sealing your stone. The other name for it is Sodium Silicate 42 degree Baume. Gordon Post
R11: Perhaps a sheet membrane [like our Chloraloy] could help solve the moisture problem. No doubt other things will be needed, but a sheet membrane is stronger and generally provides better waterproofing than liquid products. Richard
Q 4220: I need to replace the ceramic tile (12 "tiles) in our kitchen and dining area. (about 400 sq. ft). It is laid on concrete - in thinset. I want to replace the current tile with a more durable type. The present tile is not the same color all the way through and has several annoying discolored chips as well as several cracked tiles. The house is about 5 years old. Concrete slab foundation. (as are most in the Florida panhandle) How do I remove the current tiles and prepare the concrete floor to accept a better quality tile? Probably an 18" porcelain tile. I can find a lot of information on laying tile, but there seems to be very little info on removal. Knitsler, Nov19. Reply
Q 4219: I have spent the last couple of months creating a water feature (waterfall and koi pond) in my garden. I used weathered dolomite, which has a very interesting etched surface texture. In "fitting" the stones, a fair amount of cement came in contact with the stone surface, and I used a weak solution of HCl (20:1 with water) to remove the cement. Unfortunately, the acid solution also "cleaned" the outer, brown surface of the dolomite, revealing the clean grey stone below. Is there any way to restore the brown, natural weathered color? Is this color the result of oxidation? Can the stone be stained? Greg, Nov19. Reply
R1: You could likely stain it with a soluble iron compound that will convert to the oxide when put on the stone. Gordon
R2: Using an acid on stone is similar to having it on your hands. You have to restore the PH Balance. You can use any alkali or PH restorer, the natural color should come back. Best of luck!
R3: Regarding restoring to brown color of dolomite as it contanis iron in water the color has changed. only to repolish or cut and remove the area of the decolored areae size if original color to come ok, but if more porosity is there only new stone replacements as oxidiation has effected the surface. For all other things you can deal and spend time. Thanking you, Juleomartia
R4: Do not try to stain the stone. You 'll never be able to get the same color as the original. Allow a fair amount of time and the stone will weather evenly. Evan
R5: Paint the stone with natural yoghurt, David
R6: Dear Greg: No. Only time will do it again. Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4218: I have a large crack and a 2 inch chip on an exterior granite wall. I was wondering if you had any ideas how I can repair, Marina, Nov19. Reply
R1: Dear Marina: Yes I do: hire a professional stone refinisher! Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4217:  I would like to set up a fabrication shop in approx. 3000 to 5000 square feet of enclosed area. I would like to have a minimum amount of machinery. I will have an overhead crane system to handle moving the materials from the truck to the saw and in the shop. Most of the fabrication will be completed by hand in the shop. I would like to complete 2 to 3 kitchens per week. I would like to know how to "set up" the shop for the most productive processing of materials. I would like to spend as little as possible to get started with future machinery purchases as soon as necessary. Please provide any help in this matter. Gary, Nov19. Reply
R1: Before to quote the machine that you need i have to know wich production you want to do: top for Kitchens; table, sculpure,vaeses or workshop of tiles and slabs of stone?
wich kind of materials you want cut and work: marble or granite? Best regards, Maurizio Giuntoni
R2: Smoke and mirrors by granite wannabes. Manufactured is better. Selling by the Square Foot with everything while every required element is extra. Selling less than the standard (in our area) is 3cm. I could go on and on, Linda
R3: Please send a general email to findstone for this type of consultation. We can provide you with information however it is a fee based request. Regards, Steven
R4: Dear sir, please look at our opportunity before you decide anything, I can even send you a business plan. We are a manufacturer in Italy and Brazil with back up slabs here in the USA. we supply the equipment, and the know how. Its a business opportunity that's rare, with a support program with online shipping and ready made accounts. Lowes and Depot and so on please contact me. Robbie
R5: I would meet with every cabinet maker and interior designer in your area and get on their rolodex. I would also join the local builder's exchange to see what commercial countertops might be needed. I would also befriend an ace machinist- give him stone stuff and keep him around to help with machinery maintenance. You also want to check out the local zoning ordinances- you might have to have certain drainage strategies in place. Rotsa
R6: I have enough experience in layout of factories. Wher are you located? I believe that in order to give a good suggestion we have to see the place. Please write back.Marco
R7: We are a supplier of marble, granite, travertine slabs, and also the bridge saw machine. We will be happy to help you start your shop. Gonca
Q 4216: I am having my kitchen remodeled and today my decorator suggested that I might want to have granite kitchen counter tops instead of corian (or something similar). Can you advise on the pros and cons and what type of upkeep is required for granite? Thanks for your help. Debbie, Nov19. Reply
R1: Dear Debbie, If you choose wisely and get a quality granite the natural product is clearly superior to Corian and with zero maintenance (Dr. Hans)
R2: Dear Debby: It all depends from the "granite". Most "granites" are very enjoyable and indeed a much better choice over plastic (Corian and such), but certein other "granites" can turn out to be a maintenance nightmare, as you can gather by reading some of this site's previous posts. I can promise you that your interior decorator is not qualified to tell you whihc one "granite" is good an which one is not. And, most ot the times, alas, neither are the fabricators. I wrote a very interesting article on "How to Shop for a Kitchen Countertop" that will give you all the intelligence you need to venture yourself with confidence in the stone industry jungle! It does carry a small price tag, but is worth every penny of it and then some! 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 on 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's postings! Don't become another statistic! Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4215: I have a 1960's era home in Houston, Texas with terrazzo tile in the bathrooms (on the walls of the shower and the floors). My question is "How do you clean and restore this type of tile? The surfaces of the shower, in particular, appear dull and do not have any sheen. I have cleaned the showers with a tile cleaner and have repaired the grout. I am looking for an appropriate sealer to use on the terrazzo that will bring back a shine to the surface on the stone. Would appreciate any information you could provide. Thanks. Chester, Nov19. Reply

R1: Dear Chester: Your only option is to hire the services of a reputable stone restorarion contractor. No product in a bottle couldo solve your problem! Your terrazzo will need to be re-ground and refinished. Now, be very, VERY cautious and do NOT take chances. Unfortunately there are lots of quacks out there! I did write a very comprehensive article title “How to Shop for a bona fide stone restoration contractor”. It does carry a small price tag, but is worth every penny of it and then some! 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 on 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’s postings! Don’t become another statistic! Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist

Q 4214: Thank you for a GREAT site. We are considering placing Imperial Brown 12x12 "granite" tiles on our countertops and island in our new home. It will be sealed by the installer. It appears to have a low absorbtion rate. I have 4 young children who, despite being good kids, still spill their food and drinks. Also, my wife spends a moderate amount of time cooking in the kitchen (rolling dough, as well as griddle grease spatters, etc.). We are committed to regular maintinance of the stone, however I fear whether or not "granite" is a wise choice for a family kitchen. My sale's associate assures me this will work, but I don't know if she is completly unbiased because #1 "granite" will be more profitable for her than other choices and #2 she has no children and doesn't realize that part of my stone maintinance program will include the labor intensive "maintinance" of my children's kitchen habits. Will this "granite" choice be forgiving for a young family or will it quickly stain and become an esthetic nightmare? Nathan, Nov19. Reply
R1: There is an old expression that goes "You can't get blood from a stone". Many don't realize that this is a literal expression. If you cut your finger and bleed on a natural stone surface, you will be a long time getting the stain out. Stone is porous and will absorb liquids. In my opinion, next to blood, oil and grease are the next worse stains to get out.
A "sealer" is needed to protect the stone from stains. However, the protection lasts only as long as the sealer lasts. It is a just matter of time and the sealer, if not renewed when needed will wear off and the stone will be subject to staining. I would consider a man made substitute for your needs. Jim
R2: I have installed dark grantite in my kitchen and for the last 2 years I have no complaints. My household consists of more than 5 people and the persons working in the kitchen are my servants who have no idea of "careful" handling of the countertop. At any cost you should try to keep the shade of the granite (if you want to go for it) dark because oil does leave stains which will not come off. Otherwise you could even make a bondfire on the coutertop without much damage to the stone. Consider the oil issue otherwise I can only tell you that the money is wisely invested. Nothing better than granite. Regards, Hedi
R3: Nathan, You really should not worry about the staining of your stone tops. On a hardness scale of 1 to 10 (10 being a diamond), granite usually has a hardness of 7 and an extremely low absorption rate. With that in mind, that does not necessarily mean that it cannot be stained. Oils and some acidic elements could stain the granite if it is allowed to sit on it for extended periods of time. Therein, it should be worth mentioning that sealing the granite at lest once every two to three years with an impregnating sealer would be worthwhile. Plus, just being conscious of spills and cleaning regularly will ensure that your material retains its original appearance for many years to come. Rowan
R4: Granite is an excellent choice for countertops. In fact - even hot pots can be placed directly on to the granite surface.I would recommend the use of an epoxy grout though rather than going with cementitious. The granite must be sealed though - this is important!! I would recommend a premium sealer for food preparation areas. Pamas
R5: Have you considered a slate counter top? I have one in my kitchen for one year now. I do average amount of cooking and my live-in is not careful with use on the counter. I have grandchildren too. I have not "pampered the surface" and it looks great. Heat and acids do not affect this stone. I oil it with mineral oil about once a month "just cause I love it" and use a cutting board when preparing food that need chopping. I use the surface for rolling dough (pies or bread) and it doesn't stick.
I have scratched it once and all I did to "fix" it was oil it and the scratch disappeared. coffee or tea or wine or grease spatters do not stain this surface. DEBRA
R6: You may want to consider a one-piece Counter Top instead of Tile, Granite I pretty much Maintenance free and last forever with eternal sex appeal, there are some exceptions but porosity is not a problem in most Granite, you should be able to find this on ASTM Chart. (Ask your Supplier) Oils will get absorbed, but there are products to remove them. Rolling dough involves Lard and it probably will stain. Oil and Grease Stain will appear darker the original Color. See if you can get a scrap piece and test. Curd
R6: The particular stone itself may not need to be sealed at all. Test the polished surface with oil and lemon juice to see if they are absorbed within a 30 minute time period. I think, based upon your description granite tiles may not be the best solution for you. The 12x12 piecesare fine but the grout lines are another story. The dough and other spills would adhere and absorb into the grout. You are better off with a solid surface counter like granite slabs and a marble area for dough. Regards, Steven
R7: Granite is your best choice for Kitchen tops! It is an investment fo a lifetime. If you dont use it now.. you will use it later .. might as well start right!
R8: It'll NEVER be a nightmare. Once granite, always granite. Just make sure you get the correct one as even granite is porous to a certain extend, but can be sealed,- get advice as to how and what to seal with. Never install marble. Thomas
R1: Dear Nathan: "Granite" (the right one that is) is indeed the best choice that money can buy. However, I try to avoid commenting about any one particular stone. There may be differences within the same stone (and I'm not talking about looks only) from one buldle of slabs and the next. Further, if the slabs have been resined by the factory, it makes a whole world of difference! (The same principlesw apply to tiles.) I wrote a very interesting article on "How to Shop for a Kitchen Countertop" that will give you all the intelligence you need to venture yourself with confidence in the stone industry jungle! It does carry a small price tag, but is worth every penny of it and then some! 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 on 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's postings! Don't become another statistic! Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4213: We are interested to know if we can find a site where physical and chemical properties of sand stone ,slate and quartzites are available. Virendra, Nov19. Reply  
R1:   Dear Virendra, It is not difficult to get this information from a number of places but for what reason do you want these physical and chemical properties. In order to make use of them you need to understand the different types of stone and then their individual characteristics. There is no point in getting this information if you don't know what to do with it. Broad comparisons have little validity. (Dr. Hans)
Q 4212: HAVE OLD SLATE ENTRANCE FOYER WITH CHIPS, UNLEVEL PIECES (SOME PIECES A LITTLE HIGHER THAN PIECE IT BUTTS UP TO, ONE PIECE HAS BUBBLES. THOUGHT ABOUT A GRINDER SOLVING A LOT OF MY PROBLEMS, AND FOUND YOUR ADVICE COLUMN ON I-NET. YOU MENTIONED USING A GRiNDER TO REHONE. BEFORE I ATTEMPT TO RESURRECT THIS FLOORING, TELL ME A LITTLE OF WHAT I CAN & CANNOT DO, AND HOW TO BEGIN. BASICALLY IN GOOD SHAPE, BUT NEEDS SOME "TIDYING UP". I THINK I CAN DO IT. THE PIECE WITH BUBBLES IN IT (WHY THEY PUT IT DOWN, I DON'T KNOW). CAN I USE THE GRINDER TO MAKE THE PIECE FLUSH (I REALIZE I WILL HAVE RINGS, BUT LIKE THE RUSTIC LOOK). SOME FLAKING, BUT IT LETS ME SEE THAT LOT OF E DISCOLORATION IS SURFACE ONLY, CAN I SAND DOWN TO THE "GOOD STUFF? CAN'T WAIT TO HEAR BACK. THANKS, Sylvia, Nov19. Reply
R1: Dear Sylsvia: What on earth are you talking about? First off, if it's natural cleft slate you just can't grind it. Second, assuming that's not cleft, how do you plan to go about it? Doing it yourself? With what? Besides the extremely high skill level nevessary, they don't even rent equipment like that! Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4211: We have been getting quotes for laying 12 x 12 marble tiles in our house (new construction). The subfloor is 2" lightweight concrete with radiant heating; the house is woodframe. One of the tilesetters is strongly advising using antifracture membrane, while the others say it is an option but not required. How important is this to prevent tile cracks? San, Nov19. Reply
R1: Dear San: Go with the contractor who advise to use the membrane. Now, remember, it's never too early to think about the proper maintenance of your stone. It's a subject that's all too often neglected, and, as you can tell by reading many of this sites posting, you're not likely to get good information about it from your dealer or installer. Don't become another statistic! You can get my maintenance guidelines for residential stone installations by giving me a holler at: info@findstone.com.com. They do carry a small price tag, but are worth every single penny and then some! They represent one-of-a-kind document that you won't find anywhere else, I promise! Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4210: We are debating if we should have a newly installed slate floor sealed or not. Our builder says it is not necessary but he will seal it if we want him to. The slate is gauged and we are happy with the color and grout. The company that sold the slate recommends sealing it. We do not have children and this would not be a high traffic area. Also is there a recommended curing period after installation/grouting before you should seal? Please advise. Curtin , Nov19. Reply
R1: Dear sirs, Please refer your effort to seek advice on a flooring and polishing matter.If you do not want spend the money your floor will still give a decent look.you just have to keep cleening it at regular intervals. Regards, Pradeep
R2: Sealer is a MUST! Use a Silicone Impregnator... it is th ebest and will not show .. or change the color and look. Follow instructions on the packing, Ravi
R3: First question is where did the slate come from. geology is different in different parts of the world and each slate has different properties. Is the slate in a high traffic area, i.e. entryway, or shower stall? Is there a lot of moisture that could affect the stone's performance? We usually recommend for interior applications that the slate be sealed once with a water based sealer at time of installation prior to grouting just to protect the stone from the grout clinging to the surface. After that, nothing more needs to be done. Our slate is a very dense high quality slate. The same statement cannot be made from all slates. You need to check the origin of the product to make sure or ask the quarrier for technical test results i.e. water absorption rates. etc. Hope this helps. DEBRA
R4: All slate should be sealed whether indoors or outdoors. There are lots of choices of sealers - ensure that you pick a reputable company. Remember that you can achieve different looks with the sealers - everything from natural thru low sheen to high sheen and darkening. Pick the sealer that will give you the look you are after. With a breathable sealer you can seal 48 hours after installation is complete. Pamas
R5: Dear Curtin: First off what kind of sealer are we talking about? An impregnator/sealer for stone, or a topical hard-shell sealer? If it's an impregnator/sealer (below surface, that is; which is applied to prevent staining), then it all depends from the slates. Some slates don't require it, some others do and very much so. If it's a hard-shell topical sealer, then it's only a quastion of looks. It will protect the stone from surface scratching, bit the maintenance of the sealer itself will turn out to be a problem. Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4209: How do I remove the oil stains on my granit cook top station? Yes I called the instaler last year when the area was small. I'm still holding my breath. Nov19. Reply
Q 4208: We are in the process of re-doing our kitchen. We chose Shivakashi granite for our counter top. We have already put a deposit on the granite, and are waiting for the cabinets to be installed so that the granite company can come an measure and make a templet. This is the first time I have seen your web site, and I find it wonderful. I read a comment someone made regarding their Shivakashi, and that they were having a hard time sealing it, and had thought of changing to another counter top. If I understood correctly you thought that was wise. Can you please give me some information, and comments regarding my choice of Shivakashi before I have it installed. If that is not the correct choice for a kitchen, I would like to know now. Thanks Nora, Nov19. Reply
R1: Dear Nora: Make sure that the slabs of Shivakashi your fabricator carries have been "resined" by the factory. If they're not, get out of your contract fast enough to leave skid marks on the ground!! You do NOT want that stuff in your kitchen. I'm not kidding, I do mean it. I wrote a very interesting article on "How to Shop for a Kitchen Countertop" that will give you all the intelligence you need to venture yourself with confidence in the stone industry jungle! It does carry a small price tag, but is worth every penny of it and then some! 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 on 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's postings! Don't become another statistic! Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4205: Thanks for your site. I just wish I had found it prior to installing my granite. I just had "Blue Eyes" granite countertops installed yesterday. By the evening large grapefruit sized dark spots began to show up which I believe is the glue coming through the granite. The installer says this is normal and will dissipate within a week. The same installer put the same granite on our island a month ago, but it did not have this problem at all. Is "Blue Eyes" an actual granite or some other type of stone and is it very porous and easily stained? It is a gray with some taupe and some blue specks that shine in the light. Also, is it normal to have spotting after installation? I haven't heard or read anything indicating such. Thanks, Debbie, Nov15. Reply
R1: Kitchen tops:- granite
Bathrooms: marble + granite
Floors: entrance halls - marble;- throughout the house, depends on your colorscheme.
Outside: granite Wall cladding: granite and certain other natural stones depending on climatic region. Thomas
R2: Dear Debbie: I hope I'm wrong, but I'm afraid that you contractor is a bit too optimist about the disappearance of those stains. Anyway, wait and see. Should you be interested, you can get my maintenance guidelines for residential stone installations by giving me a holler at: info@findstone.com.com. They do carry a small price tag, but are worth every single penny and then some! They represent one-of-a-kind document that you won't find anywhere else, I promise! Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4204: I plan on installing Mexican Honed Filled Travertine through most of my house including the high traffic areas, kitchen and bathrooms. I have a swimming pool and 2 labrador retreivers and was advised to NOT seal the floors. Based on everything I have read on this site, I understand there will be some wear and tear because it is a natural stone. I'm fine with that. However, if my dogs come in the house wet and lay on the stone will it damage it? Can their nails on their paws easily scratch the stone? Any help you can offer would be greatly appreciated. Thank you. Jared, Nov15. Reply
R1: Dear Jared: I can see that you're in the right state of mind for natural stone! I would seal it in the kitchen and where the dogs usually lay when wet. Other than that, I wouldn't bother. I'm just wondering who's the person who told you not to seal your travertine. He or she is a stand out, all right and I love him or her already!! Yes you big dogs' nails will scratch the stone surface, but they won't be deep scratches and will be barely noticeable. Don't be concerned about it (it's part of the normal "change" due to wear and tear), and don't even think for a minute to get rid of your dogs!!
Should you be interested, you can get my maintenance guidelines for residential stone installations by giving me a holler at: info@findstone.com.com. They do carry a small price tag, but are worth every single penny and then some! They represent one-of-a-kind document that you won't find anywhere else, I promise! Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4203: I visited your site and would like to ask your advice in choosing a type of granite for my kitchen counters. I need something durable(my husband is not the neatest person, but I love him) and something that is not terribly high maint. We were at a granite store today in seattle and liked the looks of two types. What are the differences if any between agate and santa cecilia ark...besides the obvious color difference. Thanks for your help jennifer, Nov15. Reply
R1: Dear Jennifer: So, your husband's a slob, huh! So am I (if you don't believe me, ask my wife!) :-) I always avoid commenting about any one particular stone. There may be differences within the same stone (and I'm not talking about looks only) from one buldle of slabs and the next. Further, if the slabs have been resined by the factory, it makes a whole world of difference! I wrote a very interesting article on "How to Shop for a Kitchen Countertop" that will give you all the intelligence you need to venture yourself with confidence in the stone industry jungle! It does carry a small price tag, but is worth every penny of it and then some! 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 on 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's postings! Don't become another statistic! Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4202: I am trying to find a marble called 'Venetian Green' what country does this come from (Middle East I believe) and what is the generic name? Jim, Nov15. Reply
Q 4201:   We are building a new home, and two weeks ago The Stone Source installed the granite countertops in our kitchen, a pattern called Golden Leaf. I am heartsick to see it is covered with randomly spaced chocolate colored splotches, solid in color, no flecks at all, which they said are "birthing marks," and if we wanted a more perfect granite we would have to "talk to God." There are about 30 on just the island alone. Very noticeable. I have toured show houses in four states over the past ten years, and have never seen splotches on the granite. Also, the longest piece - about 15 feet - is seamed in the middle with the granite on the left appearing at least two shades darker - although the owner of the business swears all the granite came from the same slab. Is this possible?
Your web site makes for very interesting reading, and I trust you will respond to my inquiry. Thank you. Mary, Nov15. Reply
R1:   Dear Mary: Your're right, there are seldom sploches in granite. But then again, you're talking about "Golden Leaf". What has that stone got to see with granite, besides being called so on the invoices of the distributors? If you don't like the sploches you shouldn't have to talk to God. More down-to-earthly, you should have simply chosen a stone without them. Of course, I can't comment about the difference in color between the two slabs used to make your island. Besides, what would you expect me to say about it? If it's possible? Yes, it is. It's up to the fabricator to try finding slabs that match as much as possible. Sorry to see that we have an unhappy camper, here, but without knowing all
the extent and particulars of the conversations between the parties, I don't feel like just blaming the fabricator. Should you be interested, you can get my maintenance guidelines for residential stone installations by giving me a holler at: info@findstone.com.com. They do carry a small price tag, but are worth every single penny and then some! They represent one-of-a-kind document that you won't find anywhere else, I promise! Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
 
Q 4199: I was at a clients house, called in to try to match the piece the painter broke off the corner, and in the samples I brought there was a Galaxy Glitter that was the exact coloring, but I need LOTS of veins no patches. Can you find this material or just the name for me? Candy, Nov14. Reply
Q 4198:   I OWN AND OPERATE A SMALL RETAILCEMETERY MARKER BUSINESS AND WOULD LIKE TO EXPAND INTO DOING MY OWN CEMETERY DATING AND SIMPLE LETTERING. I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW IF THERE IS ANY MANUELS OR VIDEOS AVAILABLE TO HELP ME LEARN THAT PORTION OF THE GRANITE TRADE, Tim, Nov14. Reply
Q 4197: Please provide me with the physical and chemical properties for the egyptian stone, Ihab, Nov14. Reply
R1: Dear Ihab, "Egyptian stone" is very common term. It can be alabaster, granite, limestone, basalt and others. Each of them has different characteristics. Daniel, Slovakia, Expert Panelist., Expert Panelist
Q 4196: Thanks for all the great information on your website. I would like to put granite countertops in my kitchen. My question is, is one solid piece of granite better, or are 12" x 12" granite tiles a better way to go? I was thinking if I ever got a bad stain, chip, or something happened, then it would be better to have the tile because I could remove one tile if I had to. With a solid piece of countertop, I would be stuck if I couldn't get the stain out. What are your thoughts on this? Would it be easy to remove one bad granite tile? How would I finish the edges on granite tile? Would grout be a problem? Sealing? Also, any tips or things to look out for with 12" x 12 " tiles? I really know nothing about installation. (also, if you know a great place in Massachusetts to buy materials, let me know) Thank You for any information. Nov14. Reply
Q 4195: I am considering black galaxy granite for my kitchen counter tops, is this good or not so good? Thanks, Sandra, Nov14. Reply
R1: Dear Sandra: It's good enough for my own busy Italian kitchen (!), but I always avoid commenting about any one particular stone. There may be differences within the same stone (and I'm not talking about looks only) from one buldle of slabs and the next. Further, if the slabs have been resined by the factory, it makes a whole world of difference! I wrote a very interesting article on "How to Shop for a Kitchen Countertop" that will give you all the intelligence you need to venture yourself with
confidence in the stone industry jungle! It does carry a small price tag, but is worth every penny of it and then some! 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 on 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's postings! Don't become another statistic! Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4194: Italian Madura Gold granite. Is this suitable for a kitchen counter? Thanks. Sally, Nov14. Reply
R1: Dear Sally: I always avoid commenting about any one particular stone. There may be differences within the same stone (and I'm not talking about looks only) from one buldle of slabs and the next. Further, if the slabs have been resined by the factory, it makes a whole world of difference! I wrote a very interesting article on "How to Shop for a Kitchen Countertop" that will give you all the intelligence you need to venture yourself with confidence in the stone industry jungle! It does carry a small price tag, but is worth every penny of it and then some! 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 on 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's postings! Don't become another statistic! Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
My husband and I walked through the Marble Center in Salem twice. The first time we chose a verde from Australia which it turned out, they didn't have enough of and the price was skyrocketing. The second time we went back we walked around and saw the Madura Gold that had just come in, still on the forklift. We liked it and bought it. No research. We thought all granite was great. Then I was worried about matching paint to it, got on the internet to print off the color, saw your site, started reading about granite and reallized for the first time, we could potentially have a problem, because all granite is not suitable for kitchens. I did some reading on Madura Gold and learned that there is some from India, Brazil, but I didn't see anything about Italian. So my inquiry to you. Your site is the most interesting and most informative of all I looked at - but like I say, I was just looking to print out a color sample, so my search was not so intensive as it turns out I might have done earlier with a little bit of awareness. So thanks for your help. What do you think about Italian Madura Gold for a kitchen counter?

Q 4193: I'm just writing to request your maintenance guidelines for residential stone installations. I'm thinking about a kitchen counter using some kind of granite tile. So far, it looks like the blue pearl might be my best choice with respect to maintenance and durability. Are there any stones which are intrinsically comparable to blue pearl but a little lighter in color? Robert, Nov14. Reply
Q 4192: I have found some travertine noce tiles in a 2x2 inch size. We would like these installed on an island backsplash (about 20 feet in length and 8 1/2 inch in height). We are also going to place them on the counter backs of other areas in the kitchen, such as behind the cooktop. What kind of adhesive should be used (ceramic mastic or marble mastic) I might install these myself. Should the grout be installed using a grout bag to prevent filling of the open pores. Is there any thing that should be done after all is installed, such as stone enhancers ect. As usual the salespeople don't seem to really know much about the stone tiles they sell, they seem to lump them in the same catagory as ceramic tile. We would like them to look as natural as possible. Thanks, Don, Nov14. Reply
R1: Dear Don: A backsplash on an island?? That's a first, all right! I just can't figure out where you're going to hang it!! From the ceiling, maybe ... :-) Amazing, ain't it, that the salespeople don't seem to know much about the stone they sell. Well, I've got news for you: strike the world "seem" and you'll have a more accurate picture!
1. Use a product called "Stone Setting Adhesive" by the Custom Builders company, available at the HD. I love that stuff!
2. You do want to grout after installation, because you DO want those holes filled!
3. A color enhancer should produce some result with noce travertine (other lighter colors won't be effected). Should you be interested, you can get my maintenance guidelines for residential stone installations by giving me a holler at: info@findstone.com.com. They do carry a small price tag, but are worth every single penny and then some! They represent one-of-a-kind document that you won't find anywhere else, I promise! Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4191: I have black granite countertops in my kitchen. This is a new construction home and I have no idea what type of granite it is (we are not on good terms with the developer due to other problems). We just noticed 2 rings left presumably by bowls that may have been wet (we are the offenders as this just happened within this past week). Is there an easy fix to this? I don't know anything about sealing or anything else. Is there something I can do to remove these stains as a layperson not knowing anything?? Also, we have marble floors and countertops in the bathroom. A wet paper cup was left on the marble top overnight (by my mom who was visiting) and there is a dull circle left there now. Is there a way to shine it so that it looks like the rest? Thanks for your help!! Patti, Nov14. Reply
R1: Dear Patty: I know exactly what happened to your black granite countertop and to your marble vanity top, and what you can do to rectify the problems without hiring a pro. You can find such solutions in many of my past answers, but if you don't want to spend much time seeking them, you're welcome to gimme a holler at: info@findstone.com.com. Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4190: We have cultured marble sinks, tubs, shower stalls and many are now very scratchy and worn. Is there a way to restore these? Austin, Nov14. Reply
R1: Dear Austin: In this site we only deal with natural stone. Just because they used the world "marble" when they christned that man-made plastic, it didn't turn it into the real thing! Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4189: Can you please advise me on how to get rid of a stain, most likely a greasy one, tha I generated by putting a dirty pot on topa of a granite countertop. The granite is called "Jupparana something", is realy light in color and was sealed about 6 months ago by a sealer recommended by the installer. I think it was some kind of silicone in paint thinner like solvent. Thanks., Pavell, Nov14. Reply
R1: Dear Pavell: Typically "Juparana" "granites" need to be sealed real bad, with the right sealer and several times over, before it gets ... well, almost sealed! One apllication is most likely like nothing at all! To remove the stain try to poultice it out with Hydrogen Peroxide 30/40 volume, if it's only a plain food stain. If it's grease instead, poultice it out with acetone. I did write a comprehensive papaer about stain removal. It does carry a small price tag, but it's worth every penny of it and then some! It's certainly cheaper than any "professional poulticing kit" you can buy at a stone and tile retail outlet, and that no real professional worth their salt will ever use! If your fabricator -- like they seem -- can't help you with that, you may want to coinsider my information. Gimme a holler at:
info@findstone.com. Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelis
t
Q 4188: What type of surface prep would have to be done to install marble over a cement slab where fairly new linoleum has been installed? I am afraid removing the linoleum may create more problems than just leaving it. Thanks for the great site. So many of my questions have been answered in the many hours I have spent reading the posts. Thanks again, Michael, Nov14. Reply
R1: Dear Michael: Hmmm ... I don't know, man. I don't think that thinset will bond to linoleum. If it were a regular floor I would suggest to nail down either wire-lathe or 3/8" cement board over the linoleum. But you have cement slab underneath, so the nailing thing ... I'd remove them linoleum tiles, if I were you. Now, 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's postings! Don't become another statistic! To get my thorough and in-depth maintenance guidelines for residential stone installations gimme a holler at: info@findstone.com. They do carry a small price tag, but are worth every single penny of it and then some! You won't find anything like that anywhere else, I promise! Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4187: I bought some marble tile to do my entryway from home depot. The floor has existing tile on it (yuk), so once I remove it the floor should be good to go for the marble. My question is concerning the marble. All research I have done says green and black marble has a tendency to curl. This tile is dark grey with white and pink quartz veins. It is ST SYGUS BROWN, made in China. Is this considered black? What class of tile is this? Do I seal the bottoms of the tile before I set it in modified white thinset? Matt, Nov14. Reply
R1: Dear Matt: Green marble does have the tendency to curl. Black? Never heard that one! Never saw any curled black tile on floors, either! Use white thin set and you should be all right. If oit's a small entry way, I would consider using the "Stone Setting Adhesive" by the Custom Builders company, available at the HD. I love that stuff!! Keep 1/16" gap fro proper grouting, and use black sandless grout. Should you be interested, you can get my maintenance guidelines for residential stone installations by giving me a holler at: info@findstone.com.com. They do carry a small price tag, but are worth every single penny and then some! They represent one-of-a-kind document that you won't find anywhere else, I promise! Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4186: My husband put our bathroom sink in with caulk last night and it is on a marble top, Please tell us what to get to remove the caulk without damaging the top. It is all around the base of the sink. Thank You, Mary, Nov14. Reply
R1: Dear Mary: Nothing's easier than that! Use a brand-new razor blade. I kept flat on the surface of the stone it will NOT scratch it. Should you be interested, you can get my maintenance guidelines for residential stone installations by giving me a holler at: info@findstone.com.com. They do carry a small price tag, but are worth every single penny and then some! They represent one-of-a-kind document that you won't find anywhere else, I promise! Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert panelist
Q 4185: Hi: We recently bought Baltic Brown granite kitchen countertops. Compared with other "slabs" we've seen, the one we had installed has a fairly dull/hazy surface. We'd prefer a highly polished surface. Our fabricator/installer said they can't do that...of course they already have our money. Question: Is there a way someone can come into our home and polish these countertops to a high gloss without removing them? IF so, could you recommend someone in the Philadelphia area? Thanks, Mark, Nov14. Reply
R1: Dear Mark: If the factory couldn't polish it to the degree that you'd like to see, then I'm afraid it can't be improved. Not all stone polishes the same way. Or it could just be that your particular slab was not a stellar grading. Either way, I doubt that anybody could do anything about it. I do know a good stone refinisher in the Philadelphia area who could come out and take a look. Gimme a holler at: info@findstone.com. Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert panelist
Q 4184: I am putting Giblee Granite Countertops in my kitchen and I am wondering if this is a proper choice for a kitchen countertop. Please advise. Scott, Nov14. Reply
R1: Dear Scott: No, it's not, in my opinion. But then again, if it was treated by the factory (not your fabricator) in a certain way, it could be. Still confused? If you -- like it appears -- don't trust too much your fabricator, you should get your own intelligence on the subject. I wrote a very interesting article on "How to Shop for a Kitchen Countertop" that will give you all the intelligence you need to venture yourself with confidence in the stone industry jungle! It does carry a small price tag, but is worth every penny of it and then some! 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 on 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's postings! Don't become another statistic! Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4183: I work for California and are expanding our Countertop department as we manurfacture Corian, Formica, and Granite countertops and may be expanding into Marble. We have a hard time locating experienced installers and fabricators? We pay very well, do you have any suggestions? Lupi, Nov14. Reply
R1: Dear Lupi: Maybe "very well" is not good enough. You should try "better than anybody
else"! That should work, all right! :-) Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4181: What is the best non-toxic, obviously, way to clean my marble pestle and mortar of the stains acquired by crushing fresh herbs etc, Lisa, Nov14. Reply
R1: Dear Lisa: You can soak it in a solution (3:1) of water and household bleach for a day or so. That'll work all right, and with no damage to the stone. The question is: Why do you want to get rid of those stains? They are not unsanitary and give so much "character" to your pestel and mortar!! But, hey, it's just me! Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4180: We just bought a home with cheap imitation marble counter tops in the bathroom They are in poor shape and we will replace some day. They are off white in color and the finish or polishing is also poor. But in the meanwhile I would like to fix a few chips around the lip of the sink. They are very noticeable and anything would look better. Is there anything that we can fill in these chips with and then sand or polish? It wouldn’t have to be perfect since the rest of the counter is old, Lisa, Nov14. Reply
R1: Dear Lisa: If it's a cheap imitation of marble, why do you came to this site? Unfortunately, we don't know anything about imitations of stone! :-) Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4179: As you say, maintenance begins before purchase and selection. If you have some guidelines I'd appreciate hearing. Would like to put brownish red marble by the range and travertine on the island.I'd be careful about wiping up but as I read on the forum, sometimes even the fastest wiper is no match for and intrusive liquid.steven, Nov14. Reply

R1: Dear Steven: Should you be interested, you can get my maintenance guidelines for residential stone installations by giving me a holler at: info@findstone.com.com. They do carry a small price tag, but are worth every single penny and then some! They represent one-of-a-kind document that you won't find anywhere else, I promise! However, if you're thinking polished marble and travertine, save your money. No guideline or "miracle-in-a-bottle" will do you any good! That's exactly why -- like you pointed out -- maintenance begins at the time of the selection of the stone!! If it's polished marble and travertine, that IS the wrong selection! Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist

Q 4178: Could you get me more information on lava stone pavers, Karen, Nov14. Reply
Q 4177: We are having flagstone installed on our patio. The area will be used for entertaining and there will be a free standing fire place and barbecue located in the flagstone area. Our builder has recommended against sealing but our understanding is that it should be sealed. Can you advise on this, and if sealing should be done, what sealer is best. Thanks. John , Nov13. Reply
R1: Dear Jhon: Well, what kind of stone are you talking about? I understand you wrote flagstone, but which one stone is it made of? Let me know, then I'll let you know! Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4176: We live in a 98 year old house. Our basement walls our limestone. We would like to repair a few spots that are flaking..and then paint. What should we use to clean the walls..and then repair them? Thanks for any advise. John, Nov13. Reply
Q 4175: I totally love your site but am now nervous about my decision. I selected GOLDEN BEACH NEW (I believe also known as Juparana Persa) for my kitchen counter tops. I purchased my hand-selected slab direct from IGM and was advised this was an excellent choice. Do you agree? This stone is not referenced in many places. Do you know the history? vIs this cross reference to Juparana Persa correct? Thank you. Joanne, Nov13. Reply
R1: Dear Jaonne: Ever since they closed down the original quarry of Juparana Colombo in Shri Lanka, a whole army (and counting!) of "Juparanas" has springed up from all over the world! I personally never considered Juparana as a good choice for a kitchen countertop (too darn porous), but then, I never heard of that particular brand-new Juparana Persa, either! Besides, I learnt to steer away from commenting on any particular stone. There can be differences (and not only in looks) within the same stone, from one bundle of slabs to the next! I wrote a very interesting article on "How to Shop for a Kitchen Countertop" that will give you all the intelligence you need to venture yourself with
confidence in the stone industry jungle! It does carry a small price tag, but is worth every penny of it and then some! 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 on 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's postings! Don't become another statistic! Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4174: Hello, I have new granite kitchen countertops made from Bronzino (Black Galaxy) granite. I noticed that there are a couple of scratches and I would like to know if the scratches could be polished away, or what else I could do to remove them. I have been extremely careful with the counter and cannot imagine how the scratches got there in the first place. I thought you could even cut on granite (I have NOT done this, however) without scratching it. My countertop is only two months old -- please help. Thank you, Joan, Nov13. Reply
R1: Dear Joan: I have bad news and good news! The bad news is that nobody can't get a scratch out. A scratch is something missing already! How could you possible get a hole out of a doughnut?! The answer is: You eat the doughnut and the hole is gone! :-) The good news is that your damage can be repaired. In other words, you need a professional stone refinisher to come out and slightly grind your granite surface off down to the depth of the scratches, then honing and re-polishing the area to match the rest of the surface. It's going to cost you, but it's only money! Should you be interested, you can get my maintenance guidelines for residential stone installations by giving me a holler at: info@findstone.com.com. They do carry a small price tag, but are worth every single penny and then some! They represent one-of-a-kind document that you won't find anywhere else, I promise! Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4172: Considering buying granite, but concerned about possible staining. Would appreciate your input/instructions/precautions. Thanks, Jim, Nov13. Reply
R1: Dear Jim: There are plenty possible choices among the mercantile granites available that will make you a happy camper. On the other side of the coin, there are other "granites" that won't! This very site is soaked with the tears of inquirers who didn't do some basic homework before making a decision and trusted the stone"expertise" of dealers and contractors! I wrote a very interesting article on "How to Shop for a Kitchen Countertop" that will give you all the intelligence you need to venture yourself with confidence in the stone industry jungle! It does carry a small price tag, but is worth every penny of it and then some! 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 on 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's postings! Don't become another statistic! Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4171: The interior of our church has Crab Orchard Sandstone. Over the past few years we have noticed a water leak from the roof structure. The water has run down the plaster walls, then hits the Crab Orchard Sandstone which now we see rust colored stains. Can any thing be done to remove these stains, Tom, Nov13. Reply
R1: Dear Tom: You can try poulticing those stains out using a product called "Iron out" (available at many hardware store). Personally I have little hope, however ... but it's worth trying nonetheless! Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4170: Hello! We own a house built in 1907 complete with original sandstone sidewalks from quarries nearby in Amherst, Ohio. Some sandstone was crushed during remodeling and the contractor replaced it with new, machine-cut sandstone (also locally quarried). The new stone on our public walkway is very smooth. It appears to hold moisture constantly since installation in June (it is now November). Because it is in a shaded area, it receives little sunlight. Now it has become extraordinarily slick. It appears that moss or algae or mold is growing on it. We have poured a 10 percent bleach solution on it, let it set and then scraped and scrubbed some growth off. But it appears to return. And the walk is so slick we have had calls from walkers concerned about falling. The old walk -- in the same location -- did not have the slickness problem. After a century of weathering, the surface had become etched and slightly rough. We wonder if we could accelerate the weathering by putting some kind of acid on the walk? If we could roughen it, it would reduce the slickness, we think. The drainage has not changed, and the lack of sunlight is the same, so the change causing the slickness seems to be the fresh-cut surface and lack of weathering. Do you have any advice on how to cure this problem that is a lawsuit waiting to happen? Thank you. Hope in Oberlin, Ohio, Nov13. Reply
R1: Dear Hope in Oberlin. This is one of those situations where I can only guess about the cause of your problem without actually looking at it. My biggest concern would be why the newly installed stone is staying wet while the old stone does not. Some how moisture is wicking up from below in the new area. Was the stone set in the same way as the older stone? Was there some sort of moisture barrier between the bottom of the stone and the substrate in the original installation that was neglected in the new installation? You are correct in that it is alga, moss, and molds that are growing on the stone, and they will do so as long as the stone is staying wet. Try a stronger bleaching agent or get some fungicide from the garden store. You can also rough up the machine cut surface by bush hammering it. This will at least texture the surface so it won't be so slick. But above all, figure out where the water is coming from and fix that. Wet sandstone is notorious for spalling during freeze- cycles, and in your location, you are about to see some of these. Good luck, JVC, Expert Panelist
Q 4169: We recently installed new venetian gold on our kitchen counter, our installer put on one coat of sealer and told me to do another in 6 mo. I actually plan on using the kitchen to cook in. Have gotten a butter stain on granite. The appearance of the stain does not bother me however one of my friends is telling me that it is a potential health hazard, that the grease absorbed in the stone can become rancid and contaminate whatever is put on that area. My question is is stain removal is purely cosmetic or is it also a matter of hygeine? If hygienic how do I attempt to remove? If only cosmetic do I need to seal the stone more or can I just live with how it ages (stains) with cooking? (yes I did get a sample ahead of time and do lemon juice test, it passed, used sample as coaster for red wine bottle-had to search for stain it left, even tried out some butter and it didn't stain, unfortunately the stain I have now is from a stick of butter I left on counter just before a heat wave, forgot it was there, it partially melted and was on counter for at least 24 hours, I usually keep kitchen cleaner but am still doing wallpaper, etc) Betty, Nov13. Reply
R1: Dear Betty: It the saining agent had been, sya, coffee, then it would be only cosmetic. In the case of butter I tend to side with your friend's comment. You should try to remove it by poulticing it out with acetone. If you're not familiar with the procedure, I did write a comprehensive document on stain removal. If you're interested, gimme a holler at: info@findstone.com. It does carry a little price tag, but it's worth every single penny and them some! Should you be also interested, you can get my maintenance guidelines for residential stone installations by giving me a holler at: info@findstone.com. They, too carry a small price tag, but they represent one-of-a-kind document that you won't find anywhere else, I promise! Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4168: I am trying to decide between honed granite and soapstone for kitchen countertops in a renovation of a 1920's house. I am interested in any comparisons of maintenance,care, appearance,etc. Thank you, Gaither, Nov13. Reply

R1: Dear Gaither: I personally like neither. It's a mechanic talking, not an interior decorator. Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert panelist

Q 4167: I really enjoy reading responses. I have three questions
1) How do I clean my polished uba tuba kitchen countertops?
2) What is your feeling on stone-look porcelain floor tiles
3) What type of natural stone would you recommend for bathroom floor and vanities?Thanks and best regards, Deidre ,
Nov13. Reply
R1: Dear Deidre: I'll answer your questions backward:
3) No slate and no limestone. Marble, granite and travertine are all right.
2) I love them!
1) Should you be interested, 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! They represent one-of-a-kind document that you won't find anywhere else, I promise! Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4166: Could someone please give us some advise on how to get rid of magic marker on marble we have tried everything, Debbie, Nov13. Reply
Q 4165: I have Blue Pearl on my kitchen countertops and simply want to know how to clean and disinfect it. Will Windex hurt the surface? Coc, Nov13. Reply
R1: Dear Coc: Every maintenance chemical that was not specifically formulated in a way NOT to interact with natural stone while cleaning soil off it, may damage it; either in the short or the long run. Why do you think there are companies out there that invested considerable amount of money to develop cleaning product specifically formulated to clean natural stone without damaging it? And, please, don't ask why your fabricator (or whoever else) told you to use a glass cleaner to clean your Blue Pearl"!! Should you be interested, 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! They represent one-of-a-kind document that you won't find anywhere else, I promise! Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4164: We are in the early phases of kitchen design and countertop selection, and would like to know more about Canada green (maybe also known as prairie green?) granite slabs for a countertop. I have found very little information on the internet about this type of granite, and would appreciate any comments in regards to its general suitability as a kitchen countertop. We were told by the retailer that this stone has superior resistance to both staining and etching. Charollete, Nov13. Reply
R1: Dear Charollete: I steer away from comments on specific "granites". Nothing is "written in stone" in the stone world! Even the same stone can present differences (and not just in looks!) from one bundle of slabs and the next. I only believe in facts, and the fats can only be obtained by testing (very easy, home conducted testing, relax!) I wrote a very interesting article on "How to Shop for a Kitchen Countertop" that will give you all the intelligence you need to venture yourself with confidence in the stone industry jungle! It does carry a small price tag, but is worth every penny of it and then some! 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 on 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's postings! Don't become another statistic! Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4163: I would like to know if there are any type of strips sold that are made of silica sand mixed with akemi already fabricated for marble steps (the part that prevents the steps from being slippery). I know I can mix silica sand and akemi together and pour this mixture into the groove cut in the marble step, but I want to know if I can buy the strip already fabricated and glue it somehow to the marble step, Cello, Nov13. Reply
Q 4162: I've been reading your answers on findstone.com and don't want to become another statistic...pls send me your maintenance notes. I'm installing stone in multiple places in my renovated home. Regards, Bruce, Nov13. Reply
R1: Dear Bruce: Yes, of course. Gimme a holler at: info@findstone.com. Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4161: I am in the process of restoring a church. This church has an area that has a marble wall (Aprox dimensions are 7 ft wide 7 ft high and 3 inches thick) This wall appears to have been glued to the wall in pieces and then some form of grout was applied to the seams. My Question is does any one have any recommendations on how to remove this from the wall where the seams are. I am trying to preserve it to move to another location. Aubin, Nov13. Reply
Q 4160: Could I please get a copy of your maintenance guidelines for residential stone installations, Hank, Nov7. Reply
R1: Dear Hank: Yes, of course. Gimme a holler at: info@findstone.com. Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4159: Do you have any experience with "brushed absolute black" granite? it is a textured black granite with a matte finish--looks loike slate. thanks, Lshzar, Nov7. Reply
R1: Dear Lshzar: Yes I do, and big time, too!
STAY AWAY FROM IT!! It's a total maintenance nightmare! Thank goodness it looks like the word's spread around, because the sales of such an item are in decline. Should you be interested, 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! They represent one-of-a-kind document that you won't find anywhere else, I promise! Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4158: If marbel is a porous material can it me used for bathroom floors since it might absorb water. Also will it not be to slippery, Mamta, Nov7. Reply
R1: Dear Mamta: I don't know who gave you such a stupid information. Yes, marble is porous, but not much. In fact, most of the times it does not requires to be sealed with an impregnator-type sealer. For all I know, when wet (besides carpet) all surfaces are slippery! Should you be interested, 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! They represent one-of-a-kind document that you won't find anywhere else, I promise! Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4157: A friend is a general importer from India and has just started to import marble from that country. My friend has suggested we may wish to use this Indian marble to do our floor when we undertake a major renovation of our house. Neither my friend nor I is experienced with marble so I wounder if you would explain the pros and cons of using marble - also, is Indian marble well regarded? What should I be wary off? Robert, Nov7. Reply
R1: Dear Robert: I regard Indian marbles very much -- at least the few I'm familiar with. As far as pros and cons are concerned, they depends on the way a particular person perceives marble, and what he or she expects from it. In other words, your pros and cons may not be the same for the next person. You could learn a few things about marble and its maintenance requirements by getting my maintenance guidelines for resideantial stone installation. They do carry a small price tag, but, trust me on that, they are well worth it! Gimme a holler at: info@findstone.com. I'll be glad to help you out! Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4156: I am Egyptian markter & need to know about marble in my country, import, export, quarries, and in all of the world, becous I am doing a market plan to export bloks,slabs,and tils& art work for florring,antequs too. I expect a great help from you, Nov7. Reply
Q 4156:   What do you think of multicolor red, or green malitaca(aka verde san francisco) for kitchen counters? Bob, Nov7. Reply
R1: Dear Bob: I never think anything. I only believe in facts, and the facts only emerge from testing. I wrote a very interesting article on "How to Shop for a Kitchen Countertop" that will give you all the intelligence you need to venture yourself with confidence in the stone industry jungle! 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 on 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's postings! Don't become another statistic! Ciao and good luck, Maurizio
Q 4155: Please forward your article on How To Shop For a Kitchen Countertop as well as your information on maintenance guidelines. We are building a new home in Florida and are still in the process of choosing Giallo Veneziano granite slabs for our kitchen countertops. The salesman for the granite company tried to tell us that if we look at one slab in the "family" we do not need to look at the other 3. As it turned out, by insisting on looking at the other three, we discovered several imperfections in all of the slabs. He used masking tape to mark each location that was to be avoided. Yesterday, we received a phone call from the salesman saying they are having a difficult time cutting around the imperfections (no surprise there). The imperfections look like dime to quarter size dark spots. He suggested that if we were looking for perfection, we might consider choosing another surface. Any comments you might have would be greatly appreciated. Thank you. Mary, Nov7. Reply
R1: Dear Mary: For once the salesman's right. You can't get perfection with "Giallo Veneziano" or any other "busy" "granite". Either you accept a few natural flwas as part of the stone, or you choose a more consistent "granite". About your request for my articles, gimme a holler at: info@findstone.com. I'll be glad to oblidge! Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4154: I am interested in receiving your free guidelines for maintenance of residential stone installations. Just had travertine and granite installed and need to know how to take care of it. I also noticed advice about not having granite sealed. Should we seal ours? They called it "black leopard", said it was from China. Should the travertine be sealed? One other question, should the granite slab sit right on the cabinets or should there be a 3/4" board under it? This seems to make it not fit properly. The bull nose does not "wrap" the cabinet, it just lays on it and from certain angles you can see the gaps in the cabinet where the granite lays, KJT, Nov7. Reply
R1: Dear KJT: Bad countertop installation right there! (And "MIchelangelo" strikes again!) Have your fabricator come back and deal with it. Travertine, if polished, should not be sealed. If hone-finished, only in the kitchen and showerstall (maybe). About my maintenance guidelines, gimme a holler at: info@findstone.com. I'll be glad to oblidge! Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4153: Hello, my name is Brianna, my friend Amber and I are doing an 8th grade science fair project the science question is: which type of roofing materials wil catch on fire the least? if you can help us in any way we would appreciate it, Brianna, Nov7. Reply
R1: Dear Biranna: Slate and terracotta tiles. Ciao and good luck with science fair project! Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4151: We have Uba Tuba tiles installed in our kitchen. What do recommend we use to clean them and keep them shiny? Should they be sealed. Chris, Nov7. Reply
R1: Dear Chris: Gimme a holler at: info@findstone.com. I'll be glad to oblidge! Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4150:   I had Tennessee Flagstone steps put into my pool and the installer tried to put a sealer on it and instead I got a large stain that is white in color. How do I get this stain out. Thanks Bernie, Nov7. Reply
R1: Dear Bernie: Very simple: call the installer back and tell him to deal with it! Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4149: Hi, our family just got a new puppy. I was excited over the fact that the area he would be staying in was covered in travertine, making "accident" clean up easy (compared to carpet). What I was disappointed to see is that when the dog had accidents that it almost immediately etched the stone, (made dull spots). The stone was sealed when we had it installed, but it has not helped these areas. Also, I noticed some spilled coffee did the same thing. Do you have any fixes for this type of thing? Thank you, Becky, Nov7. Reply
R1: Dear Becky: Now, what doe the application of an impregnator/sealer on polished travertine -- which doesn't need to be sealed to begin with -- has got to do with acid etching??! Is that the kind of "intelligence" that you dealer and installer were able to deliver to you? Amazing, ain't it! (By the way, coffe is slightly acidic, too) Gimme a holler at: info@findstone.com. I'll be glad to help you out! Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4148: I just installed baltic brown granite in my kitchen and am looking for guidelines on how to care/repair it (I already have a small scratch in it). Thank you for your help. Meg, Nov7. Reply
R1: Dear Meg: Gimme a holler at: info@findstone.com. I'll be glad to oblidge! Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4147: Dear Maurizio, based on your article about stains, is the pet urine a staining agent? Where do you classify it? How do you clean it? I am planning to put Saturnia floor. Please let me know , Walter, Nov7. Reply
R1: Dear Walter: Ues, it is. It would be classified as an organic stain. Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist

Q 4146: On the front of a building Im working on restoring, there is one soapstone which has spalled off approximately 1/2" to about 1" thick. It is an area of 16"x16". Is there a product that can I can trowel on to repair this stone ? Tom, Nov6. Reply

Q 4145: We are in Florida, where our water flows through limestone crevices underground before getting to us. The water leaves spots -- especially around the faucet. These can be scraped off (I used the edge of a wood golf tee), but that is rather time consuming. Can I use the edge of a spoon? These lime deposits "sit up" a bit. Is there something else that would work well to remove the marks? I have green Uba Tuba counters in the kitchen and baths, Theresa, Nov6. Reply
R1: Dear Theresa: With UbaTuba you should be able to remove the hard water deposit by using "Lyme-away" (spelling?), available at any supermarket. Don't use that on marble or other calcite-based stones!! Now, how about the cleaning agent that you use daily on your "granite"? Please, don't tell me water and dish soap, or glass cleaner! For proper maintenance guidelines gimme a holler at: info@findstone.com. Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4143: Hi. I've just had a granite countertop installed by a major retailer in our area. It's on our kitchen island, and very long, 9 feet. They put a seam right across the largest part of the granite. My problem is with the seam. It's about three feet long, and in some spots it's 1/16th of an inch wide, other parts it's 1/8, 1/4, and 1/3 in one spot. I'd call that jaggedy. Is that kind of rough cut to be expected? Also, when they put the stuff in the crack, they used a torch and now the area next to the seam seems wavy. Is that normal or just bad installation, Steve, Nov6. Reply
R1: Steve, Without looking at it it would be unwise to make a designation. That said it sounds completely wrong. Call the company that provided the counter and explain your dissatisfaction with them. Regards, Steven, Expert Panelist
R2: Dear Steve: No, it's not normal by a long shot! And, yes, for what you're reporting it IS very bad installation. If you bought your countertop from a "big box" you're in excellent shape: complain and, either they will force the fabricator to rectify the situation by replacing your island ("band-aids" and "aspirin" won't work!), or they'll give you your money back. Now, how about daily maintenance of your stone (once it's done properly, that is!) which is so vital yet so neglected? Gimme a holler at: info@findstone.com. Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4142: We have an immense amount of honed & filled travertine throughout our house. What specific cleaner should I use for the floors and what should I use for the showers walls to remove hard water spots, etc.? Cathy, Nov6. Reply
R1: Dear Cathy: I did prepared very comprehensive maintenance guidelines for maintenance of residential stone installations, floors, walls, countertops, shower enclosures and all! To get them gimme a holler at: info@findstone.com. Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4141: We are thinking of installing this stone on our island backsplash and behind the cooktop . Do you think this application would be ok? What type of adhesive should be used? Thanks. Don, Nov6. Reply
Q 4139: I have acquired a house with a cultured marble shower and would like to replace the walls, however the shower base is no longer being manufactured. Is it possible to prep and paint the base to match the new walls (they would be a gloss black) and have it withstand normal usage? What type of paint would be successful ? Thanks.Keen, Nov6. Reply
R1: Dear Keen: I know absolutely nothing about plastic and paints. Sorry. Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4138: I have Juperano Columbo granite countertops in my kitchen. How should I attempt to remove an olive oil stain? Kate, Nov5. Reply
R1: Dear Kate: I wrote a very compehensive article about stain removal techniques. If you want it, gimme a holler at: info@findstone.com. Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4137: About 6 weeks ago I had "granite" counter tops installed in my kitchen (amaretto gold). A couple weeks ago I noticed a hairline crack starting from the backsplash area and running about 4 inches into the counter! Is this due to improper installation? My contractor hasn't been too responsive, claiming "it was clean when I left". Any advice? Also, do I need to seal this type of counter top? What's best for daily cleaning? Thanks for your informative site, Jenny, Nov5. Reply
R1: Dear Jenny: Without actually seeing the crack I really can't make any comment, but, yes, it could be due to improper installation. Mind though, it's only a possibility. You've got to try working things out with your fabricator. About sealing and daily maintenance, gimme a holler at: info@findstone.com. Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4136: I would like to request information for an in depth maintenance guideline and on how to shop for a bona fide stone restoration contractor. Is there a home appliance (such as a hard floor polisher from Sears or Oreck) that can be used for maintaining marble floors? James, Nov5. Reply
R1: Dear James: Yes, SEARS carries a little floor machine that's a carpet shapooer and a hard floor buffer at the same time! It works fine. About maintenance guidelines, gimme a holler at: info@findstone.com. Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4135: Please can you help. I have imported some Black Granite from Zimbabwe and it has oil spots on it. How can I get rid of these spots, Gareth, Nov5. Reply
R1: Dear Gareth: I wrote a very comprehensive article on stain removal techniques. If you want to know how to get it, gimme a holler at: info@findstone.com. Ciao and good luck, Maurizio
Q 4134: We have a shower enclosure that we believe should be completely marbleized and I need information about hanging/installing marble up-side-down, Thanks, Frances, Nov5. Reply
R1: Dear Frances: If I had any reson not to like you, I'd tell you how to do it, but since I love you, the best piece of advice I can give to you is to hire a professional! For the maintenance of your marble showerstall (very demanding, indeed!Which includes vital tips on the proper installation of the tiles) gimme a holler at: info@findstone.com. Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4133: My granite contractor didn't finish the job I have reasonably well fitted (not perfectly fitted) slabs in my kitchen, but need to seam them myself. Can you give me specific brand names to look for in the stores for seaming material? The counters are Verdi Butterfly, so a black seam would be fairly invisible, Ed, Nov5. Reply
R1: Dear Ed: I'd go to a local tile and marble retail outlet and find out with them. If you'd like to have solid maintenance guideliens about the daily maintenance of your countertop, gomme a holler at: info@findstone.com Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4132: St. Thomas is a small US owned island, and I cannot find anyone listed as a marble stone refinisher. However, there are a lot of guys who are willing to use a diamond rotary polishing machine to polish my 20 yr old white marble floor, laid with a 1/2" sanded grout line. Will the sand from the grout come up and dull the polishing action of the machine? Should I insist on using a machine that holds 3-4 marble blocks, such as I have read about, or believe that the diamond rotary disk is OK? I have an estimate from a regular commercial cleaning company who has "done marble work, but not lately". They do maintain/buff the new marble floor of the local bank here, and want $3,600 to "machine scrub, polish and buff" about 970sq ft. I am ignorant in this area, and would greatly appreciate your professional opinion,. Kevin, Nov5. Reply
R1: Dear Kevin: 1/2' gap with sanded grout, huh. I personally wouldn't touch that floor with a 10 foot pole! If you didn't have that problem I'd come and do it myself for that price! Diamond pads are out of the question. Marble blocks don't exist. There are grinding "bricks" for grinding, honing and polishing, but you'd need a special machine to begin with (which, trust me, is not available anywhere on the island!), plus and most importantly, once again the job couldn't be done because of the presence of the sanded grout. If I were you I would settle for someone to come over and use a honing powder all over your floor with a regular floor machine. It won't be shiny (you'll never be able to polish it), but it would be clean with a nice uniform satin finish that, in my opinion, is even better than polished, considering the "rustic" look that 1/2" grout lines give to the whole project. For more info about honing powders and how to use them, gimme a holler at: info@findstone.com. Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4131: We are thinking of using travertine tiles for our kitchen backsplash. We enjoy cooking and do not know if the travertine would stain from grease, etc. Could you please let us know if travertine is a good choice or if we need to go with something else. Could you give us some suggestions, Anja, Nov5. Reply
R1: Dear Anja: I want to assume that you're talking about either hone-finished or tunbled travertine, right? Travertine is indeed a good choice but it does need to be sealed with a low density impregnator/sealer for stone (the stone itself is not very porous). To clean the inevitable splatters off the backsplash surface, we recommend specialty cleaning products that are formulated for natural stone. To know amore abut this subject, gimme a holler at: info@findstone.com. Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4129:   We have a new marble threshold in our bathroom. The marble has several small pits which were not there when it was installed. The largest is approx. 1.0 x 0.25mm. Can they be repaired to look like new, or does the threshold have to be replaced? The threshold would be expensive to replace since it has a bevel on it for wheelchair access. Thanks. Dean, Nov5. Reply
Q 4128: I have installed travertine in my kitchen, hallway, entry way, and den. We love its natural look, however, it is developing holes from the size of a match head to the size of a pea. Is there any thing that I can do to help prevent these and how do I repair them? They collect dirt and to me are unsightly. Dan, Nov5. Reply
R1: Dear Dan: They are unsanitary, too! Buy some wall-grade grout (sandless, that is) to match the color of the stone. Mix it with latex additive and, using a putty knife fill the holes leaving a little mund. The following day, take a razor blade and slowly shave the mound off attacking it from several directions toward the center, until the filler is flush with the stone surface. To prevent new holes from opening there's not much that you can do other than making sure that you're using a too harsh cleaning agent. For more info on maintenance guidelines of natural stone, gimme a holler at: info@findstone.com Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4127: Please help.... I have flagstone in my entryway. It's about 15 years old and quite dull. Recently I had my cat's water bowl on it. What a mistake. Now I have an area approx 2' X 2' with a bad water stain. Any suggestions, Cindy, Nov5. Reply
Q 4126: My hubby was given about 8 boxes of tile that he decided to put on the kitchen countertops. He has not grout them yet but he noticed that a couple of tiles got stained when he was cooking... he could not get the stain out; so, he replaced the tile.. I noticed that the tile is "pool" tile.. Even though I love the non-slid texture of the tile, the color, etc. What can we do or use to seal the tile from getting stained and to make sure the sealant is safe to use on the kitchen countertops.. HELP!! Nov5. Reply
Q 4124: We just had a granite kitchen counter put in using Giallo Veneziano and it has spots that will not shine it looks like it has water spots little 1/2 inch ruff spots .... the installer says it is the stone..... so i told him to replace it ... now he states all Giallo Veneziano has that feature .... is this true, Michael, Nov4. Reply
R1: Michael, Yes it is true. Certain stones, Giallo Veneziano being one of them does have this type of characteristic. Regards, Steven, Expert Panelist
Q 4123: Saw a posting from you on findstone.com about some guidelines for maintaining home stone installations. We purchased a home recently with travertine floors. The travertine turns out to have some scratches, which, I believe can be minimized through polishing. The home also has a nice granite countertop which is in excellent condition Before doing anything, we are looking for guidance from experts. The web site findstone.com has provided much useful information. Thanks to you all, and thanks in advance for any further information or guidance you can supply. Regards, Bill, Nov4. Reply
R1: Dear Bill: For starters, polishing your traqvertine will not minimize the scratches. Second and most importantly, how to plan to go about the business of polishing? You can't certainly do it yourself, that's for sure! As far as you kitchen countertop is concerned, spill a few drops of water on it and see it darkens where the water is sitting. If it does, then your "granite" needs to be sealed. If not, it does not. As far as daily maintenance is concerned, gimme a holler at: info@findstone.com Ciao and good luck, Maurizio,Expert Panelist
Q 4122:   I'm trying to find out why Belfast sinks are so called. Can you please help, Dr Anthony, Nov4. Reply
R1: I have been told in the past that the name derives from the 'Belfast' company that first manufactured them. I have seen Belfast branded old sinks so it seems feasible. Bryan UK, Expert Panelist
Q 4121: I have scratched some slate tile on my floor with a piece of machinery and do not know how to treat this scratch. It is fairly deep, about 1/8", and fairly long and wide. I would rather not replace the tile, so do you have any suggestions about repairing this scratch? I saw your article about contacting you concerning the correct tools to perform this operation. I hope you can elaborate, Bob, Nov2. Reply
R1: Dear Bob: Nobody can remove a scratch. It would be like trying to remove a hole out of doughnut! What you should do is to eat the doughnut and the hole is gone! Same thing with your slate: you'd have to grind your tile along the scratch down to the depth of it, and the scratch is gone. The only unsurmontable problem is that you can't grind natural-cleft finished stone. This is by far the major draw-back with natural-cleft slate used as a flooring material: it can't be refinished. Forget it, replace the tile. Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4119: We would like to know if this limestone is too porous to use on the kitchen countertops. some say yes and some say you just have to watch out for acidic liquids..what about washing dishes. Fran, Nov2. Reply
R1: Dear Fran: I never heard of a limestone called "this". Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
R2: Don't do it. We were considering it and went home with a sample (unsealed). It failed the grape juice and ketchup tests on contact. Too high risk for us -- even if well sealed. Lisa
R2: Fran. Just what limestone is this limestone? That aside, with any calcite based stone, you do need to be aware that any thing acidic including vinegar and most fruit and vegetable pulp and juices. These will chemically etch your surface. Most limestone is fairly absorbent also, although some more so than others, and a penetrating sealer will help keep spills from entering the stone and staining, but no sealer will prevent the surface etching from happening. Good luck, JVC, Expert Panelist
Q 4118: We want the list of all available stones in nigeria, for research purpose, Funchso, Nov2. Reply
Q 4117: Are there any differences between verde ubatuba and verde butterfly with regard to porosity, and hardness, resistance to scratching, etc (it will be put in a residential kitchen). Also, when shopping for this, should we look for anything such as number of passes for polishing , etc.? Also, what sealant works best to resist oil stains? Thankyou for any guidance you can offer in this regard. Sim, Nov2. Reply
R1: Dear Sim, VERDE BUTTERFLY should be with less water absorption and larger strength than VERDE UBATUBA. Hardness and resistance to scratching is similar. Daniel, Slovakia, Expert panelist.
Q 4116: Great site! I was ignorant, and impatient enough to get in a hurry grouting a flagstone patio surface. I've got flagstone set in mortar on a concrete slab. Then tile grout between stones. The surface was fairly uneven and I missed some grout in large areas 1/4 inch thick in some places. Any suggestions on removal of this unwanted grout? Jason, Nov2. Reply
Q 4115: We want to install Green Rose Granite as our kitchen countertop. I have a small kitchen and only room for a a 25in sink. I now have a Kohler overmount porcelain sink with a corner garbage disposal. I like this because now I have two drains and room under the sink for a garbage can. I want to install a new sink just like this but I want it to be undermount. We have gone to several installers of granite and one told me he could install this as an undermount sink even though it actually is an overmount and put the granite around it. Do you know if this is actually possible and can it turn out nice? No other fabricator has mentioned doing this for us - they all say we will have to go to a single undermount sink of 25in which is not what I want. Can you give us advice-Thanks
Jim,
Nov2. Reply
R1: Dear Jim: I'm old enough to have learned that when some say: "It can't be done..." more often than not they are sut up by somebody that just did it! Most people think inside the box because it's the comfortable thing to do, After all that's why there are only a few leaders and so many followers! Then, once in a blue moon, somebody who decides to use his or her own brain, dares to think outside the box and does ... the impossible! I ought to know: I made it my rule to always question the box!! Call me radical if you want, but I like the fabricator who told you that they can do it! Now, 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's postings! Don't become another statistic! To get my thorough and in-depth maintenance guidelines
for residential stone installations gimme a holler at: info@findstone.com. You'll be glad you did! Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4114:   Is $3,600 a fair and reasonable price to "machine scrub, polish and buff" 960 square feet of 20year old white marble tile flooring laid with 1/2" grout line? It would be done with a "comercial machine that uses a diamond disk" Please let me know soon. Thank-you Carol, Nov2. Reply
R1: Dear Carol: Yes. Now, remember, once your floor is restored you want to make sure that you will maintain it properly, as you can tell from several of this very site's postings! Don't become another statistic! To get my thorough and in-depth maintenance guidelines for residential stone installations gimme a holler at: info@findstone.com. You'll be glad you did! Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4113: Hello. I recently purchased travertine tiles for my entry way, two hall ways, kitchen and bath rooms. I haven't had it installed yet, but after reading through the web site I'm wondering if purchasing the travertine was a good idea. Is the kitchen floor the only area of the house were I use a sealer or do I seal everywhere? Do I seal before and after the floor is installed? I don't have lots of money so I don't want to make any mistakes. If it doesn't turn out right my wife will kill me. Please help I really want this project to be a success., Leechef, Nov2. Reply
R1: Dear Leechef: Now, we don't want your wife to kill you, do we! If it's polished travertine you do NOT want it in the kitchen. While sealing wouldn't be necessary, absorbency (better said, the lack thereof) would be the least of your concerns! If the travetine is hone-finished, then it's OK to install it all over. You may want to consider sealing it in the kitchen and, maybe, in the showerstall.
Now, 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's postings! Don't become another statistic! To get my thorough and in-depth maintenance guidelines for residential stone installations gimme a holler at: info@findstone.com. You'll be glad you did! Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4111: Is pietra cardosa a good kitchen countertop material? do you have any experience with "brshed absolute back"? thanks, Nov2. Reply
Q 4110: I have "Blue Eyes" Granite in my kitchen. I've noticed a large dark area around the installed hand soap dispenser. The excess hand soap seems to have absorbed into the granite. It was supposably sealed on installation, 6 months ago. Any suggestions on how to get the stain out or prevent it from reoccuring? Thanks - Val, Nov2. Reply
R1: Dear Val: Not much, really. The stain is through and through. It was probaly absorbed by the sides of the hole, rather than from the top. It's also possible that your fabricator did a lousy sealing job. Virtually impossible to remove. Have your fabricator deal with it, they made good money out of your countertop. Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4109: I have been having a very difficult time cleaning my slates floors. Everyone tells me to do a different thing to do. What should I do? I have black slate in my shower and on the floors. In the past I used Miracle sealer and Miracle enhancer. My floors and shower have white marks coming out. It looks very dirty. Please help! Dana, Nov2. Reply
R1: Dear Dana: For your mental well being, rip it out and start all over with a more proper stone. Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4108: Is there a problem if you use rubber backed rugs on a polished marble floor eg will the rubber discolor the marble? Hope you can help us with an answer to this. Thanks, Ann, Nov2. Reply
R1: Dear Ann: Not all rubber compounds are the same, as not all marble are the same. Some time -- though not often -- under the "right" circumstances, damage can occr (mostly etching). Now, 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's postings! Don't become another statistic! To get my thorough and in-depth maintenance guidelines for residential stone installations gimme a holler at: info@findstone.com. You'll be glad you did! Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4107: We mistakenly bought a piece of snadstone-thinking it was marble for our bathrrom vanity top. Whenwe took it the marble cutter, he never mentioned that it was sandstone until it was already cut -$215 later he tells us he had to seal it because it just like a sponge. I fear that we have made a very ,expensive mistake. Is there any hope that our sandstone vanity top will not be an ugly stain ridden eyesore? How can we prevent stains or should we throw it away before we attach it to the vanity? Please Help. ATT, Nov2. Reply
R1: Dear ATT: I depends on the sandstone, the sealer and the operator who applies it. If all the factors of the equation are in place, then there's hope (well ... kinda!). Should you need more infor, gimme a holler at: info@findstone.com. Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4106: Dear sir, Kindly send me the physical &chemical properties of the following sand stones from india. 1.Beig sand stone (Dholphur)
2.Pink sand stone (Dholphur), Shrikanth, Nov2. Reply
Q 4103: I met a company at International Stone Show in Las Vegas last weekend. They are selling Turkish travertine pavers. According to them, 1 1/4" thick is good for driveway with sand installation up to 12"x12". Do you think 1 1/4" is thick enough for a car to drive on it? If I use granite instead of travertine, is 1 1/4" still workable? Jim, Nov2. Reply
Q 4102: I had a goldish brown granite kitchen countertop installed about a year ago. When the contractor installed my sink, he used some kind of fixative/sealer/glue? to seal around the sink. He assured me the wet looking spots would dry over time. They never did. The rough unsealed edges of granite underneath the over mount sink absorbed this stuff and now it looks like a one inch wet spot around my sink, although it is definitely not caused by water. Is there anything I can do to extract or repair this? Krista, Nov2. Reply
R1: Dear Krista: Nope. Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4100: Can you suggest anyway to "Cover" up the offcentered tile on our fireplace face? We've installed a new insert and the tiles lines REALLY show up. We've heard of a masonry type "Faux" finish, do you know anything about it? Or, would the thin layers of stone be good to reface with? Where can we find them in, California area? What would you suggest (short of redoing all of the tile work). Thanks, respectfully, Pat, Nov2. Reply
Q 4099: I have found a granite I like called "Lapidus". I can find very little if anything about it. Perhaps it is AKA something else. Are you familiar with this stone and if so is it well adapted to the kitchen. It has interesting seams of quartz that are bluish gray as well as a very earthy browns and tans. It looks similar to some Juparana's I have seen. Thanks Bill, Nov2. Reply
R1: Dear Bill: Never heard of it. To find out whether or not is suitable for a kitchen countertop you're going to have to find that out on your own. I wrote a very interesting article on "How to Shop for a Kitchen Countertop" that will give you all the intelligence you need to venture yourself with confidence in the stone industry jungle! 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 on 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's postings! Don't become another statistic! Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert panelist
Q 4098: Soapstone. For residential countertops good or bad choice? Where can one buy slabs at a decent price? Lone, Nov2. Reply
Q 4097: Help! Grease stains on unsealed granite! Is there anything I can do to get them out? Krigier, Nov2. Reply
R1: Dear Krigier: Did you ask to your fabricator? What did they tell you? If they don't know, gimme a holler at: info@findstone.com. Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4096: I had Ivory Brown granite installed in my kitchen about 6 months ago. At the time of installation, the installer applied 2 coats of sealer and said that we wouldnt't have to seal it again for a year. We had an overflow on our dishwasher that was putting wet water on the granite strip behind the sink. It makes the granite look oily or wet. We thought it would dry out once the overflow valve was fixed but it hasn't. Will the application of acetone or hydrogen peroxide work on this even though it is not an oil stain? Also, in case it makes a difference we live in an area where we have hard water so we use a water softner. Lin, Nov2. Reply
R1: Dear Lin: Obviously, your "granite" is not even close to being sealed properly! Two applications of a sealer, one right after another, speak volume about the total lack of professionalism of your fabricator. Each coat should be applied after an interval of at least 24 hours. What's more, probably your "granite" will need something like 6 to 12 applications (also depending on the make of the sealer) -- always with an interval of at least 24 hours in between -- before your stone is properly sealed. Now, do you really think that you fabricator is going to come back to your house every day until the job is done?! ... Dream on! To remove the stain you have now, I really don't know. It all depends from its real nature. Try with Hydrogen Peroxide first. Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4095: The information you share is invaluable! Please don't stop reading when I state that my question involves water marks and discoloration on Absolute Black granite. I have read the many other postings regarding it and am pretty sure that my situation is similar, yet maybe slightly different.
This granite is from India, the kitchen counter tops were fabricated and had an Italian Craftsman polish applied prior to installation. They were fine for a month or so. Water marks and discolorations began appearing. Black Wax was applied. Other sealers were applied. The island top was
replaced, supposedly this new island top had no chemicals or sealers applied to it. After a short while, all tops - island included - continued to show water marks. We have experimented with a piece of this Absolute Black, trying to get it to stain or mark, unsuccessfully, (it may not have had polish or sealer on it, it was from the supplier's stock yard), and have used the recommended paint stripper on it and seemed not to get anything 'off' the top, no hint of coloring etc. Someone has suggested bleach be tried. I am wondering if under these circumstances, you
1) still recommend Mythelene Chloride be applied to the tops -or-
2) suggest we consider trying oxalic acid and a polisher as you recommended
in a response to someone else
3) approve of Pamir's Black Wax being applied if the resulting color is
less than desirable
Your advice will be very much appreciated..... and followed! Kris, Nov2. Reply
R1: Dear Kris: Some mess, huh! You claim that you read several of my previous postings, but it looks to me like you didn't learn much from them! :-) One application of one gunk after and on top of another, to eliminate a problem that was created by gunk to begin with! Then you get a scrap from the yard, with nothing on it, and ... miracle! No problems with that one! Get rid of all the gunk and be happy thereafter! Considering all the different layers of garbage sitting on your stone, probably the Oxalic Acid with a buffer will be the better and final solution. But you'd better know how to use it, though! If you need additional assistance, gimme a holler at: info@findstone.com. Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4094: 1)Is it considered standard and acceptable practice to place a solid stone but seam over a dishwasher in a kitchen installation?
2) What are the general and expected visual characteristics of Jerusalem Gold Limestone. Is the color fairly consistent? Joni, Nov2. Reply
R1: Dear Joni: In the stone industry there are no standards. Yes, usually the color is fairly consistent. Now, 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's postings! Don't become another statistic! To get my thorough and in-depth maintenance guidelines for residential stone installations gimme a holler at: info@findstone.com. You'll be glad you did! Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4093: Supporting raised granite countertop (as breakfest bar) how do I know if I have sufficiently supported my granite slab when I am cantilevering it over and away from my countertop? approximately 16" overhang. Appreciate any advice on this project, Michelle, Nov2. Reply
Q 4092: I read most of your site and found it quite informative. Can you tell me what the best cleaner is for hard water damage on grout that is used for tumbled marble? The marble is fine and has mostly held it's original look but the grout has white hard water stains. I am afraid to use anything for hard water as it might damage the marble. Help..please Gary, Nov1. Reply
R1: Dear Gary: You don't have a cleaning problem, alas. You have a structural problem. Get your contractor back and solve the problem. If they can't, then gimme a holler at: info@findstone.com Ciao and good luck, Maurizio Bertoli, Expert Panelist
Q 4091: I have a few questions regarding my "granite" selection for my kitchen counters. The three that I like most are NEW VENETIAN GOLD, VERDE BUTTERFLY, and SILVER SEA GREEN (the first being the most preferred and so on). First, what is the difference between sealers and impregnators and which is best, b/c I have received varying opinions on the two? Second, since the New Venetian Gold is my most preferred stone (and the lightest in color), I have a concern that the sealing/impregnating may alter the stone's coloring--is this the case? Does this particular stone even need to be sealed (I am an avid cook and the stone will be getting a lot of use; however, I am now building the house and thus have no stone on which to perform your test)? Lastly, if you could give me your opinions on the three stone choices as far as which you think would be the best choice, I'd apprecite it greatly. They are all similarly priced by my supplier/fabricator, so that carries no weight in this decision. Verde Butterfly is a very close second and may be the best choice, but I like the New Venetian Gold b/c of its lighter color--anyhow, tell me what you think is best and necessary. I look forward to you response/help. Thanks a lot. Kevin, Nov1. Reply
R1: Dear Kevin: If you cook a lot, unless the slab of the "New Venetian Gold" had been resined by the factory, you do not want that stone in your kitchen. It is in my list of borderline "granites", but when I hear that the owner will be doing a lot of cooking, it immediately crosses the line! "Verde Butterfly", is, very definitely, "your man"! Now, 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's postings! Don't become another statistic! To get my thorough and in-depth maintenance guidelines for residential stone installations gimme a holler at: info@findstone.com. You'll be glad you did! Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4090: I am working for a company that is new and we are trying to find out how to make cultured marble tile. We are trying to find out the ingredients and formula's on how to produce it. We have a cultured marble machine, we need to know what the formula is. We know that you have to have calcium carbonate, resin, and MEK. I am trying to find out the mixture and the percent of each.,Ray, Nov1. Reply
Q 4089: We have just installed granite counter tops called Indian Nevada.....the granite looks a bit dull...what can I use to polish and clean it....must I oil it....if so what oil....also the installer made a mistake in the cutting and there was a small piece chipped out where there is a join....he has patched it but it is very noticeable and in a prominent area....could you please advise me what to do...thank-you. Val , Nov1. Reply
R1:     Dear Val: I have no comment about your "Indian Nevada" "granite" (never heard of it). If it's not polished to a high shine it could be that the stone doesn't take a high polish, or that it was not polished properly at the factory. No matter what, there's nothing you can do about it now. PLEASE, DO not oil it!! About the small chip not repaired properly, get your fabricator's butt back into your house and have them fix it properly. Now, 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's postings! Don't become another statistic! To get my thorough and in-depth maintenance guidelines for residential stone installations gimme a holler at: info@findstone.com. You'll be glad you did! Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4088: Need info in sandstone around the Liverpool (England)
1 were it has come from
2 types of cements that will be present
3 is there any other material around and why was it not used, Jaysons, Nov1. Reply
R1: Dear Jaysons, firstly the most famous stone from the Liverpool area is Woolton a dull red sandstone. The quarry was opened to build the Anglican cathedral and was kept open until it's completion over a hundred years later. My father informs me in common with many other buildings it was built with 3-1 sharp sand slaked lime. Portland cement was almost certainly used later. The most abundant stone used in Liverpool is York sandstone. Yorkshire is the most productive sandstone area in the UK and being reasonably close to Merseyside it was probably most cost effective to use, I don't know how many types of York were used in Liverpool but it's probably in the hundreds. There were other stone producers in Cheshire for example but I can only guess (correct me if I am wrong) that in the main the were not as competitive as those in Yorkshire. There are some prestigious buildings that have used Portland limestone. Hope this helps. Bryan UK
Q 4087: I am currently deciding between Dakota Mahogany and Swedish Mahogany for a kitchen island. I've been told by the sales rep that Swedish Mahogany is a tough sell because most if not all the slabs she has seen have fist-sized black spots on it. I've asked to see a slab and will be returning shortly to view. That said, which in your opinion would be a better choice? I am somewhat concerned about pitting and staining. Would either one need an impregnator-type sealer? Thanks! Doug, Nov1. Reply
R1: Dear Doug: I have no comments about the "fist-sized black spots" on Swedish Mahogany. Maybe you like them! For the rest, I wrote a very interesting article on "How to Shop for a Kitchen Countertop" that will give you all the intelligence you need to venture yourself with confidence in the stone industry jungle! 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 on 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's postings! Don't become another statistic! Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
R2: Dear Doug, SWEDISH MAHOGANY and DAKOTA MAHOGANY are very similar, very good materials with similar characteristics. They do not need a sealer. Daniel, Slovakia, Expert Panelist.
Q 4086: Thank you first of all for the opportunity to find solutions through your website. I want to use non-polished slate (12x12) in a large shower area and some say it's fine and some say that it has potential for cutting the feet. Can you help? Elaine,Nov1. Reply  

R1:   Dear Elaine: For starters, there's no such an animal like polished slate. Anyway, it won't cut your feet (that's ridiculous!!), but you will have all sorts of other problems related to its maintenance. I wouldn't consider slate, if I were you. Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4085: I am considering purchasing Travertine stone flooring for my bathrooms and kitchen. I noticed (in reviewing your website) that travertine doesn’t require sealing due to its water resistant nature. However, I would like to fill the holes with a clear filling agent to make cleaning and maintaining the tiles an easier task. Do you sell a product or can recommend one that will work well for this application? Will polyester resins or epoxy work?? Thanks for your help and thanks for a GREAT website..!!! Chris, Nov1. Reply
R1: Dear Chris: First off. I must assume that you're talking about honed and unfilled travertine. That said, you do NOT want to do that job yourself!! Filling travertine implies re-grinding and re-honing of the stone surface after the filling. Epoxy filler -- whether clear of colored to match -- would be very good, but it requires a proven professional, it's going to stink your whole house, and it's going to be quite costly. Filler for travertine will do just fine. Now, 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's postings! Don't become another statistic! To get my thorough and in-depth maintenance guidelines for residential stone installations gimme a holler at: info@findstone.com. You'll be glad you did! Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4084: Hello there. I've been carving wood now for a couple of years and I just got hooked on carving soapstone and alabaster this past year . I'm very much interested in carving limestone ! Where would be a place for good quality limestone thats close to home in missouri that I can purchase? Would you also know of any books on carving /sculpting limestone? thank you so much! Chiefdar, Nov1. Reply  
R1: Dear Chiefdar, Southern Indiana is the home of many quarries in one of the preferred carving limestones. In the area around Bedford / Bloomington you should be able to find what you are looking for in a mill "bone yard". If that is not close enough to you, I'm sure there are local limestones in Missouri that are quarried for building purposes: check with a local stoneyard or masonry supply house. As for books, a good one is "contemporary stone sculpture" by Donna Meilach. Good luck, JVC, Expert Panelist
Q 4083: With all the appreciations for the great information your site gave to me,i need some information about the price of a kind of Iranian travertine called ATASH KOOH I will be thankful if you give me the information sincerely your`s, Reza, Nov1. Reply
R1: ATASH KOOH IS THE CREAMY TRAVERTINE VERY BEAUTIFULL AND AVAILABE
ON TILS .305X305,400X400,450X450 AND SLABS MIN 1000X2000 MM. AWAIT YOUR DETAILED INQUIRY
Q 4082: I have marble countertops in the kitchen. Some vinegar got on the counters and where it sat for more than 5 minutes we have a light spot. I believe that it is the sealer that got discolored (might be polyurethane). What is the best way to get rid of these and bring the normal shine back.Craig, Nov1. Reply
R1: Dear Craig: The vinegar didn't need 5 minutes: it would have done the "job" in 10 second flat! What you believe about the sealer is, of course, wrong. Even if your stone had beed sealed with a sealer for stone (a.k.a. "Impregnators", which are below surface sealers) you would have had the same result. There's no polyhurethane or other stuff like that on your marble: it's bare stone. The real problem resides precisely in your opening statement: "I have marble countertops in the kitchen". You shouldn't, that's all. Now, to repair the etch mark made by the vinegar on your stone surface you
will need a professional stone refinisher. Now, be very, VERY cautious and do NOT take chances. Unfortunately there are lots of quacks out there (including the genius who went along and sold you polished marble for a kitchen countertop)! I wrote a very comprehensive article titled "How to Shop for a bona fide Stone Restoration Contractor" that will give you all the intelligence you need to tell a champ from a chomp! Gimme a holler at: info@findstone.com. For your stone's sake, you'll be glad you did! You can also ask me how to get my comprehensive maintenance guidelines on 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's postings! Don't become another statistic! Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
A 1390: I noticed that you seem to have a lot of information about the wear and care of limestone. What do you know about Bulgarian white and yellow limestone and would you recommend it for use in a formal entryway? How soon would it begin to turn black from regular footstep traffic? Also do you know anything about Antique Blanc Rose and how practical that would be for a kitchen application -just looking at it makes you wonder how you clean it? Rachel, Jan 30. Reply
R1: Dear Rachel: I don't know the first thing about those Bulgarian limestone. Generally speaking I always encourage people to stay away from limestone, but then, this is just a general suggestion. What I do know for sure, however, is the you do NOT want Antique Blanc Rose in your kitchen floor!! (unless, of course, you're kitchen is going to be only some sort of show-place!). Maurizio, USA
I would really appreciate your opinion on whether Antique Blanc Rose would be the right choice for a kitchen floor. Supposedly it is a hand made cooked stone that is over 100 years old salvaged from the South of France. Have you any experience with this stone? Rachel
Dear Rachel: I already answered your questions, didn't I? I repeat, I don't know the first thing about those two limestone. Nor I care to know. Just because they are limestone, I don't like them already! No limestone will ever find its way inside my house, and the same principle applies to Antique Blanc Rose, despite the impressiveness of the name!  Maurizio, USA
A 1384: What do you know about Bulgarian white and yellow limestone for usage in a formal hallway? Also what information can you share about Antique Blanc Rose for usage on a kitchen floor? I am interested in how you clean and maintain these floors? I am also wondering about the usage of the Antique Blanc Rose? Rachel, Jan 28, Reply
R3: Dear Rachel: If you ask me, cleaning that floor wouldn't be a problem: a good clean mop with a solution of water and a stone detergent (NOT a stone soap). The real problem will be represented by the removal of all the stains that you will eventually be getting, no matter how well you're going to have that stone sealed, even if the contractor uses the "Seal-all" impregnator made by the "Bestest" company.  Maurizio, USA.
R2: Hi Rachel , limestone is absorbent. You can clean with a stiff hand brush and a cleaning agent. Wet dry brush sparingly. Do not create a puddle with the sealer. Always do a sample first. John, USA.
R1: Dear Rachel, the name for Bulgarian limestone is VRATZA. It has been used for years in our country. It is suitable for floor because of its pleasant color, stability, but after some time, it is difficult to remove dirt from surface from its filled pores. ANTIQUE BLANC ROSE is French type of terracotta. Daniel, Slovakia
Thank you for your prompt response to my questions regarding Bulgarian Limestone.
How would you remove the dirt from the filled pores -is it a complicated operation requiring professional cleaners or could you clean it by yourself with what cleanser? Does it require a "sealer" and what type would you recommend. How porous or absorbent is this stone? I thank you for taking the time to answer these questions. Rachel, Jan 29.
Thank you for your prompt response regarding Bulgarian Limestone. You mentioned that dirt would have to be cleaned from time to time from filled pores. Are you referring to professional machine cleaning -or can it be maintained for a reasonable period of time through home cleaning methods. Should this stone be sealed and would you have any information on what type of sealer. Also, what do you think about the maintenance of Antique Blanc Rose on a Kitchen Floor. Is it at all cleanable or practical? I appreciate your time and expertise, Rachel
Dear Rachel, excuse me I am not an expert for stone maintenance and use of terracotta. I can only say, that in my university the floors have been from Vratza limestone for over 20 years. Pores are filled by dirt. The floors were not cleaned by special technics or chemicals. Maybe other expert will advice you. Daniel, Slovakia.
Q2364: I recently tried to clean my marble floor with phosphorous acid and doing a good job until I spilled some of the acid on the floor from the bottle. Is there a way to bring the shine back on the Marble? Aug 1, Reply
R1: Dear ???: I have this theory (and, please correct me if I am wrong): Anonymous people not only are they rude, but they are idiots, too. Case in point: cleaning polished marble with an acid! Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, USA, Expert Panelist.
A 1119: I need some help with some words I hope you can take the time to help me : Delippage, grinding, honing, flaming, tumbling, satin, polishing, crystallization, buffing compounds, impregnators, color enhancers,and topical coating. USA, Oct 3. Reply
 
R1: Here they are!
Delippage: A grinding action aiming at eliminating "lips" from a poorly executed installation, a "lip" being a difference in level where two tiles meet. The industry standard of acceptability of a "lip" is 1/32" Grinding: An aggressive frictioning action implemented with very coarse tools and material aiming at reducing the thickness of a given piece of stone.
Honing: It's grinding with gloves! It's still grinding, but with much less aggressive tools and material, which is meant to eliminate scratch patterns from a stone surface, without producing additional ones (at least very visible). There are several degrees of honing; Low hone, when the final result is a smooth surface without any reflection whatsoever. Medium hone, when there's a slight reflection from a low angle point of view; high hone, when it's almost polished. Medium hone and high hone -- according with different types of stone -- are also referred to as "Satin finish".
Flaming: Is a particular process that aims at tempering the surface of a slab of granite (or marble). The procedure is usually implemented on a very rough surface, and is carried out by alternating the action of a very powerful torch, with cold water from a hose. The operator actually holds a torch with one hand and the hose with the other.

Tumbling:
It's a process by which rough pieces of stone (usually precut to a determined size) are put inside an asymmetrically turning barrel (or drum, or tumble), together with some harder materials, usually, stones. The process -- that goes on for several hours -- produces a rough, yet scratch-free finish, and it also creates chips along the edges of the pieces of stone (that get smoothed out by the tumbling action), giving a final look as if the stone had been used for centuries.
Polishing: Is the extremely fine abrasive action -- that follows the honing phase -- that will produce a gloss as high as the stone at hand can show. It can be implemented with specialty powders, or with manmade "brick" (same abrasive powders cemented together with some sort of resin). The most popular powders for polishing stone are aluminum oxide, or tin oxide.
Crystallization: It's a marketing term to describe what turns out to be a make-believe polishing procedure for calcite-based stones. It's designed for operators with no previous experience, who would like to learn how to polish marble, but think it's too difficult. The process is a chemical approach which is meant to actually destroy the crystals of Calcium Carbonate on the surface of the stone by means of a strong acid (typically fluoridric acid), so that some other shining agents (mostly waxes) can bond to it.
Buffing compound: itís a mix a polishing powders. Some times it can be found in a cream or paste form.
Impregnator: it's a below surface, penetrating sealer meant to clog the pores of the stone, so that it will not absorb staining substances.
Color enhancer: It's mostly mineral oil (of the type that doesn't evaporate), that's absorbed by the stone and gives it a so called "wet look". It's very popular with tumbled marble. Most color enhancers are impregnators, too.
Topical coating: Itís a coating that's applied to any surface for protection purposes. In the case of a floor it could be a wax. In the case of a hardwood floor it could be polyurethane, etc.
Ciao, Maurizio, USA