||December 31, 2001
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A 1277: I just bought a granite
countertop (referred to in some circles as Cappuccino or brown pearl-it
has gray, black and mauve in it). My question is similar to one you
got before. The granite installer told me there is NOTHING I must
do to the granite, that it was sealed at the shop. Just clean it and
forget it. Now my friend was saying that even though it was sealed
at the factory and has a nice shine, I still should put an additional
layer of sealer or even impregnator color enhancing sealer now and
every 6-12 months? Is he correct or is my stone guy correct. Any
help you can give would be appreciated. David, USA, DEC 21. Reply
|R2: Your stone guy has got it bang on. Polish and the like
are only needed where there have been short cuts taken in the original
polishing. Massari, UK. Reply
|R1: Dear David: They are both dead wrong.
1. Your stone guy has no clue on how to take care of your countertop,
and solved the problem (answered you question, that is) not by telling
you what you have to use to maintain it properly, mind you, but by
just reporting to you that "they have sealed it" at the shop. So what?!
First off, that particular type of stone (which is not a granite by
long shot) needed a sealing job like you need a hole in your head
(In fact, it's extremely dense). Second, the use of the proper intelligence
and cleaning products are of the utmost importance. Needless to say,
if the salesmen got to your "stone guy" to the point of sealing his
brains, too, then you'll never get any real valuable information out
2. Your friend talks just because he or she has a piece of tongue
in his or her mouth and has to show that off. On the other hand, very
possibly, he or she is reporting your what some other "stone guy"
told him or her. Maybe, if you'd like to get in touch with me directly,
you may get a chance to hear something more constructive than some
idiotic blanket rule. Sorry, I'm upset. Ciao and good luck. Maurizio,
USA, Expert Panelist, Reply
|A 1263: I have a Rosa
Gerona marble in the master bath
of my home. I have never had marble before and wonder as to what kind
of upkeep there is. It is a new home. Do I need to reseal it every
so many years? Must this be done professionally? Is just cleaning
it with a marble cleaner going to keep it nice? Thank you. Cindy.
Dec 15, Reply
|R2: To maintain the marble in your bath or
other wet areas, soap scum can be minimized by using a squeegee after
each use. To remove soap scum, use a non-acidic soap scum remover
or a solution of ammonia and water (about 1/2 cup ammonia to a gallon
of water). be aware that frequent or overuse of an ammonia solution
may eventually dull the surface of the stone. Vanity tops may need
to have a penetrating sealer applied. Check with your local restoration
company for recommendations. A good quality marble wax can be applied
to minimize water spotting. Good luck in your project. Sincerely,
Alicia, USA, Expert Panelist, Reply
|R1: Dear Cindy: It's "Rosso Verona", I guess.
Now, let's try to take some sealer out of our brains, so that some
intelligence can sink in!
FACT: Contrary to popular (and greatly misinformed) believe, marble,
especially in its polished form, is not very porous.
FACT: Sealers for stone (which are bELOW surface, therefore invisible)
do one thing, and one thing only: CLOG THE PORES OF THE STONE, SO
THAT STAINING LIQUIDS WILL NOT bE AbSORbED bY IT. In other words,
sealers for stone (impregnators) prevent staining, and nothing else.
FACT: The likelihood of staining in a bathroom is only theoretic.
Ask to yourself: "What kind of chances do I have to spill, say, coffee,
or Coca Cola, or Ocean Spray, or cooking oil in my bathroom WITHOUT
(That is, that you let the staining liquid sit on your marble for
half an hour or so, before you blot it up). The answer to that, will
tell you how much you needed a sealing job to begin with, and how
much you need to have
FACT: Marble is a calcite-based stone, therefore is sensitive to pH
active substances, such as acids and salts (even alkaline, sometimes).
What that means in layman terms, is if you spill something acidic
on the surface of
your marble (a glass with a drink in it on your "Jacuzzi" platform),
perfume, after-shave, many a formulation of glass cleaner (when you
over-spray glass cleaner on your marble while cleaning your mirrors),
and other wrong
cleaning solutions (toilet bowl cleaners are murder!), you will damage
the surface of your stone on contact, virtually immediately, and permanently.
The visual results are "water stains", "water rings", etc. The problem
is that they are NOT stains at all (nor were they generated by water!),
no matter what they look like, and are strictly related to the chemistry
of the stone (it's makeup, that is), NOT its absorbency. NO SEALER
EVEN ADVERTISES TO DO ANYTHING TO PREVENT SUCH DAMAGES. In fact, all
cans of sealers for stone do disclaim that they are not meant to protect
marble from "etching". Maybe the wording is different, but the substance
is the same. HENCE: once more, it goes to prove that you need a sealer
in your bathroom marble just as much as you need a hole in your head!
(Keep in mind that I manufacture sealers and specialty cleaning products
for stone, therefore, in a way, I'm shooting myself in the foot!).
Now that I turned all the "education" imparted to you by the marble
dealer who sold the stone to you (and who typically is just as intelligent
about natural stone as you are), upside-down, and in the right direction
for the first time, why don't you ask him or her to give you a definition
of a "Marble Cleaner"? Do you really think that a so called "marble
cleaner" (whatever that means!) sold to you by someone who doesn't
have a clue about cleaning chores to begin with, and cleaning requirements
of natural stone IN RELATION TO WHERE the stone has been installed
is it going to solve your
bathroom problems? Dream on! If you want to know something intelligent
that's really going to help you,
contact me directly. Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, USA, Expert Panelist,
|A 1258: We are looking
for a product that fills in the small pits to apply to natural
stone countertops after we install them. Can you help? Dec 12,
|R2: Use either clear acrylic glue or a shellac
stick. best regards Steven, USA, Expert Panelist, Reply
|R1: Yes I can; It's penetrating epoxy glue.
Now a couple of pieces of advice: 1. Don't bother with it. 2.
If you still insist, call a pro to do it for you. by and large it
is not a DIY project. Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, USA, Expert Panelist,
|A 1257: I just did
my whole downstairs (about 1500 sq ft) in Honed Light Travertine.
I am now in the process of sealing it. My question is "what
is the best way to protect your travertine from scratches,
stains, and dullness? I understand the sealing process and it purposes,
but need more info on Expert cleaning and maintaining travertine floors.
This is my first time experiencing a natural stone floors. I appreciate
any suggestions. Thanks in advance. Holly, Dec 12, Reply
|R2: Well, sealing the floor with an impregnator
would not help against scratches, stains and dullness. In order to
do that you would need to put a coating on top of the surface. My
friend Maurizio has these types of products plus (this is most important)
the necessary expertise to tell you how to care for the floor. Generally
speaking you will need to invest in a professional stone restoration
company. Please have them provide references and other floors they
successfully maintain. best regards, Steven, USA, Expert Panelist,
Dear Holly: Why don't you
ask your question to the people who sold the stone to you? I'm sure
they made good money out the deal, and I am also sure that they are
absolutely concerned that you're going to be a happy camper with the
stone they sold to you for years to come! I mean, if they sell it,
they've got to know how to properly maintain it, right! Well ... maybe
not. If that's the case, get my website address through the management
of this site. A visit there should give you some insight. Ciao and
good luck with the sealing (I'd call a pro to do it, if I were you),
Maurizio, USA, Expert
|A 1231: I have
installed a new Travertine tile floor
in my kitchen. The seller says I should seal it, the installer says
I shouldn't, just wax it. What is the proper care for this stone?
Thank You, Richard, Nov 30. Reply
|R4: Hello Richard, Is the stone polished or honed? In both
types of stone it's always good to seal. you should always seal.
MFDA, USA, Reply
|R3: Always watch the grout and caulk joints. You want them
to stay solid. Damp mopping with a neutral pH cleaner is necessary.
I prefer impregnators rather than topical sealers. The wax is a topical
sealer. If you have a problem with the floor due to traffic or heavy
duty stain problems then look into coatings. With wax I always feel
that I am getting into a cycle of wax maintenance. best regards Steven,
USA, Expert Panelist, Reply
|R2: Dear Richard: Do you want it sugar coated, or do you want
it straight in between your eyes? Well, I'll pick.
Sealing would help a tiny bit, but wouldn't do you any REAL good.
And so would waxing (whatever that means! That is, would you know
what kind of specialty wax you should use to begin with, and what
kind of equipment?
Who's gonna tell you, the same "genius" who went along with the choice
of your stone?! but relax, like I said, even if you'd know, it wouldn't
help you much). The bare truth is: POLISHED TRAVERTINE (LIKE ANY POLISHED
CALCITE-bASED STONE, SUCH AS MARbLE, LIMESTONE, ETC.) DOES NOT bELONG
IN A KITCHEN, PERIOD. No sealer or specialty wax can overcome that.
Ciao and good luck, Maurizo, USA, Expert Panelist, Reply
|R1: Hi! You should not wax it. Seal it. Pini, USA, Expert
|A 1213: I have seen many installations (living room/dining
room floors) of 'Pierre bleue' (which I believe is also called 'Petit
Granite') but have been unable thus far to find out the type of
bonding and finish must suitable for Pierre bleue.
Also, I have a question regarding 'Gres Espagnol' - how is that
bonded and finished - what type of stone is it - I have checked
in books, on the Internet, ... and it doesn't seem to exist - I've
been in contact with the architects for both of the above installations
and following many faxes, phone calls, etc. I'm still unable to get
an answer from them. Can you please, please, please help me also or
point me in the right direction on the web. Many thanks for your time.
Martina - belgium, Nov 24. Reply
|R1: Dear Martina: I've never heard of any of those two "all
too important stones". Nor I honestly care to: their names are scary
enough to me, and I have the gnawing feeling that they kinda spell
T-R-O-U-b-L-E. but if you're a stone dealer or an interior decorator
of sorts you don't care about that. As far as the bonding (setting)
material is concerned, I would ask the guys who sell them. Finally,
about the "finish" thing, once again, I have no idea what you are
talking about. Stone tiles are typically finished in the factory to
either a high gloss, or to a hone finish, or flamed, etc. Ask the
distributor what's available, have him / her show you samples, then
make your decision. Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, USA, Expert Panelist.
|A 1199: I have just installed 2 colors
of granite in my kitchen. The
countertops are in blue Carmel and the work island is made with Sapphire
black. We also have a tumbled marble backsplash. Our fabricator recommends
using a penetrating sealer. She recommended the brand "bullet Proof"
which I have been unable to find. Do you recommend this type
of a sealer for my stone? I also have travertine floors in the
living room, foyer, guest bath, and dining room. Should they be sealed
as well? I appreciate your advice. We will be moving into our new
home next week. Lynn, USA, Nov 21. Reply
|R2: Lynn, Try Maurizio's lemon slice test for absorption.
both stones are good but need a good impregnator.
Go ahead and have your travertine sealed also. Some of the areas you
describe may not need it but the vast majority do. Please check with
the people who installed the products to find out what they did. best
regards, Steven, USA, Expert
|R1: Dear Lynn: "bullet Proof", huh. Sounds impressive, don't
it! Never heard of it, although I think I can say have heard of them
all! Regardless, to determine whether your "granites" need sealing
or not, have a little fun and perform my "lemon juice test". That
will tell you. As far as the tumbled marble is concerned, yes, that
does need to be sealed. You have two options: 1. the use of a regular
good-quality penetrating sealer (bullet Proof or not); it will seal
the stone, but will leave the color as is now. 2. The use a
good-quality sealer that's a color enhancer at the same time. Not
only will this seal the stone, but it will make it look -- permanently
-- darker. To see what I mean, try to wet the stone with some water.
Once it's soaked, that's the color that a color enhancer will give
you. Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, USA, Expert Panelist, Reply
|A 1195: Advise
on cleaning and sealing a limestone
kitchen counter. The materials of course has to be food compatible.
Nov 19. Reply
|R2: With limestone, you might as well adopt the attitude of
'what will be will be'. Sealers will only help 1 small part. I won't
lambast you for choosing the surface. I will only say that it will
deteriorate. Didn't anyone try and talk you out of this as a countertop?
Regards, Steven, USA, Expert Panelist, Reply
|R1: Dear I am other: Ask findstone.com to give you my direct
E.mail address and get in touch directly with me on this one. One
question comes to my mind, though: "WHO ON EARTH GAVE YOU THE bRILLIANT
IDEA TO USE LIMESTONE AS MATERIAL FOR A KITCHEN COUNTER TOP?" Ciao
and good luck ( you really need it!!) Maurizio, USA, Expert Panelist,
|A 1192: Can you
recommend a comprehensive book or publication on cleaning and maintenance
of natural stone products? Kind regards, David, Australia, Nov
|R1: Dear David, As far as I know there is no such thing
(that is published) on the subject of cleaning and maintenance covering
the range of natural stone products. A few books touch on the
subject superficially and some of this information is gleaned from
other sources and is not always reliable. On larger projects
that utilize a variety of stones or use stone in a variety of applications
I am occasionally asked to prepare a comprehensive guide of the sort
that you are after. (Dr.) Hans, Australia, Expert Panelist,
|A 1250: I could have
an order for installation of Yellow St. Cecilia. I am doing
a job near boston, MA, USA. Owners only concern
is gritty or flaking of granite counter for cooking surface.
Dec 11. Reply
|R4: The areas in
this stone that flake are the oxblood color spots. They are significantly
softer than the the other parts of St. Cecelia. There are some varieties
that have fissures and some surface pitting. This product is very
absorptive, consequently if they cook a lot steer them into a different
stone. Steven, USA, Expert Panelist, Reply
|R3: THE REASON IS THAT THE STONES WERE UTILIZED
SLAbS FROM bLOCKS OF THE UPPER PART OF THE QUARRY, NOT PERFECTLY "STONED".
THIS PRObLEM IS EASILY SOLVED WITH EPOSSIDIC RESIN ON THE SLAbS bEFORE
POLISHING, bECAUSE THE RESIN CLOSE ALL THE MICRO HOLES AND YOU HAVE
A PERFECT PLAN AFTER THE POLISHING. THIS IS THE NORMAL WAY WHEN YOU
HAVE MATERIAL WITH SMALL HOLES ON THE PLAN ; OUR SLAbS DO NOT HAVE
THIS PRObLEM, bUT IF THE CUSTOMER WANTS WE CAN DO IT, THE PRICE OF
THIS PROCESS IS $ 15.00/SQ.MT. REGARDS. VINICIO, Italy, Reply
|R2: Quite honestly I don't understand
much your question. Maybe you were thinking at the cost of wiring
your message, where they charge you by the number of words! Anyway,
if the grading of the slabs is good, you shouldn't have any problem
with that particular stone. Keep in mind that's not a true granite,
and it does require massive doses of a good-quality impregnator-type
sealer. Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, USA, Expert Panelist, Reply
|R1: This granite should work for you in the
kitchen, After install clean & seal. Atkin, USA, Expert Panelist,
|The problem is they have friends, who
have this stone and when you run your hand over it your hand is full
of what feels and looks like sand. Your expertise in this matter is
what is needed soon. Thanks again, Mike
counter does not seal or clean and still flakes. Note this is not
a true granite. I need to know if this stone is ever going to stop
flaking. Would like to give more info, but tell me what you need to
1159: Just had a granite countertop installed in my kitchen. What
brand of sealer do you recommend? The granite
is Verdi butterfly. Thanks. Dave, USA, Oct 29. Reply
|R2: Dear Dave: I make a sealer (and a
very good one, indeed!), but I won't push it to you. I feel it would
be unethical to use this site to free-advertise products (unless they
represent a breakthrough and are one-of-a-kind. It's certainly not
the case with sealers for stone!!). What bugs me is: How come you
don't feel like relying on your fabricator on this very important
issue? Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, USA, Expert Panelist, Reply
|R1: Hi Dave, Not to parse words but what
you want is an impregnator. Sealers are usually topically applied
i.e. waxes and other plastics. Impregnators should be oleophobic and
hydrophobic (repel oil & water). Our friend Maurizio has come
up with a lemon slice test for consumers to use & I expect you
to see his response on how often to check. (twice a year probably)
I rarely endorse specific brands as I know people from most of the
different companies that make them. I will say contact Maurizio because
he has formulated some dynamite products. Regards, Steven, USA, Expert
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
is a new way of texturing granite = DC thermal plasma machine (www.findstone.com/pr1.htm).
Micheal, Canada, Reply
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
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
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, Expert Panelist, Reply
1081: Care: I would like
information on how to clean and seal a slab of blue limestone
which is to be used as a hearth in front of my fireplace. Jennifer,
USA, August 30, Reply
Dear Jennifer: There are specific products such as impregnator-type
sealers (below surface) that have the task to clog the pores of the
stone to dramatically reduce its absorbency. Once properly applied,
it will not be visible, nor will it change the color of the stone.
If you want to make your stone look darker (like when it's wet), then
there are other types of impregnator-sealers that are color enhancers,
too. There are also topical finishes (Urethane-like) that are applied
to give the stone a shiny or satin look. Unless you plan not to use
your fireplace, my advice is against these latter types of product.
They scratch easily and can't be spot restored. Every time you have
to strip them completely, and that represents a nasty chemical chore
that, in the long run, could even have unwelcome side effects on the
stone itself. For routine cleaning there are products specifically
designed to deal with the delicate chemistry of natural stone. Since
I want to restrain myself to advertise specific products, if you want
more precise information, don't hesitate contacting me directly. Ciao
and good luck, Maurizio, USA, Expert Panelist, Contact
A 1078: Care: We are going to be putting honed
black granite in our remodeled
kitchen. On your site you advised using a penetrating
sealer that's a color enhancer. Is there a brand or product
name we should look for? Is this something that you reapply every
year? Thanks for your help! Marks, USA, August 28, Reply
Marks: This site has an educational purpose and it's not meant to
advertise specific products. I'm sure that you can appreciate that.
On the other hand, I can understand the need of consumers for more
precise answers. It doesn't help much, does it, to read about a particular
type of product without a precise indication of a recommended brand,
and where to get it! Do contact me, and I will gladly help you. Ciao
and good luck, Maurizio, USA, Expert Panelist. Contact
A 1055: Care: I am renovating a 1930 log cabin
built on the pre-cambrian shield (Manitoba, Canada) It has a
huge 10 foot fireplace constructed of local stone, much of which
I believe is granite. The
stones look great when wet, and I would like to enhance
the colour of the stones...Any suggestions? Thank you in advance.
J Micheal, Canada, July 24. Reply
There are lots
of colors enhancing sealers in the market. Check with your local
tile store or building supply to see what is available in your area.
A 1027: Care: I have been told of a marble
cleaner, "Natural" is the label and I am unable to locate the
product here in the Seattle area. Do you know who makes it and I will
contact the Company or do you know of a distribution point out this
way and I will call and order it. Sultan, USA. June 29 reply
R1: Now let's understand the definition of "marble cleaner".
We're all brainwashed! We see a label on a cleaning product that says
"glass cleaner" and we assume that such product is designed to clean
glass. Wrong. A cleaner -- any cleaner -- is formulated to interact
with a certain type(s) of soil, no matter on which surface it (they)
are sitting. A glass cleaner is designed to clean light soil such
as finger-prints, dried-on dust and water-spots. Needless to say,
if you have such type of soil on, say, a "Formica" surface, the glass
cleaner will perform just fine. It is not that the "glass cleaner"
has a brain and goes: "Hey, that ain't glass, it's Formica ... Whadda
ya think I'm stupid?! I ain't cleaning it!..." On the other hand,
if you have, say, soap film and hard mineral deposit on your
glass shower stall door, or if you have baked-in food on the glass
of your oven, you can try using a "glass cleaner" until you drop,
but you're never going to be able to clean that stuff off your glass
Do you follow
me so far? OK, then, what's a "marble cleaner"? Something that cleans
marble surfaces no matter what kind of soil you have sitting on it?
Not by a long shot. For starters, you'll never get away with ONE "marble
cleaner". In fact, there's no way that you can clean, say, your marble
shower stall from soap film, hard-mineral deposits and mildew, with
the "marble cleaner" you use to clean your marble floor, or your vanity
top. They are totally different types of soil.
Now, let's understand
marble. It's a calcite-based rock that has a very delicate and somewhat
unstable chemistry. Calcite (Calcium Carbonate) reacts in "strange"
ways to harsh chemicals, especially of an acidic nature. If something
acidic hits a marble surface, the Calcium Carbonate will immediately
go to work to neutralize (kill) the acid (that's way most heartburn
remedies are made mostly of Calcium Carbonate). What happens is that
the Calcite gives itself up in order to neutralize the acid. In other
words they kill each other. If the marble surface happens to be polished
to a high gloss (by the way, the gloss on a marble surface is produced
mechanically, by abrasion and friction, like gemstone, not by applying
some sort of finish onto it), then the damage will appear like a dull
spot that looks like a "water spot", but that is actually an etch
mark, that is a surface damage, not a stain (no matter what it looks
of most household cleaning products available off the shelves of the
supermarket is typically too harsh for marble, therefore those products
will no doubt clean whatever soil they were designed to remove from
the marble surface, but they will clean off some of the marble, as
well, by corroding it. Therefore, a "marble cleaner" (in its different
formulations, accordingly with the soil it has to deal with) it's
a cleaner that will remove the soil off the marble surface, while
leaving the marble alone. Needless to say, it will also work fine
on any other surface it's applied on. Typically, "marble cleaner"
are either neutral (pH 7, also referred to as pH balanced), or alkaline
(but with specific chemical characteristics).
All that said,
as you can easily understand, there's nothing "miraculous" about "marble
cleaners" (although there's a company out there calling itself Miracle...),
so, if I were you I wouldn't get too much worked up about finding
such "Natural" brand. If you have no problem, so far, with your marble,
any good "marble cleaner" will do just fine. If you do have a problem
instead, chances are that you'll never going to be able to solve it
with a cleaner. If you do have a problem, feel free to tell me about
it. best of luck! Maurizio, USA, Expert Panelist. Contact
I read your
note with interest and appreciate the work and effort you went to
in explaining your thoughts. Sincerely, Sultan. Reply
A 1015: Care:
We just purchased a home with limestone floors. We
don't know how to take care of them or anything about limestone. Rhonda,
USA. June 21. reply
R1: Limestone floors
usually have a relatively high water absorption (compared to granite)
and are light coloured, therefore they are susceptible to staining.
To avoid this they must be sealed and the sealant maintained.
A good way of telling if the surface needs resealing is to place a
drop of water in a high traffic area a another in a low traffic area
and watch them bead and soak in. A drop of water on a well sealed
floor will sit high on the floor and take a while to soak in.
The drop will soak in quicker a s the sealant deteriorates.
For regular maintenance, avoid wet mopping the floor, instead use
a dry mop regularly and a damp mop when necessary. A wet mop
will tend to carry any dirt into the tile even if it is sealed.
Sealers only reduce the staining potential. Jim Man, Australia, Expert
A 1014: Care:
I would like
to know if after installation the things that you need to know about
the upkeep of granite.
Does it stain? Does it crack? Is there ever a "bad batch"
of granite? How often does it need to be sealed, etc.? Dbrown,
USA. June 20 reply
R1: The quality of
granite varies, but in general it has a low water absorption, high
abrasion resistance and high strength. This means it has good
stain resistance, shouldn't show wear (some blacks may show tracking)
and shouldn't crack after laying if laid correctly. The most
important maintenance issues are maintaining the shine and minimising
Maintain the shine by reducing the introduction of grit - use
mats outside. Clean the floor regularly with a dry or damp (not wet)
mop. If necessary use a neutral pH detergent to clean very grubby
areas. Tracking on darker monotone colours may be a problem.
In a home this may be reduced by periodically changing traffic paths
eg. moving furniture where possible.
Granites are very dense with low porosity so they shouldn't need
sealing. Attend to spills as soon as possible by blotting up liquids
and using minimal liquid to clean up drier stains (water can carry
the stain into the stone). If stains do occur, various methods
can be used - a web search under stone, stain and the staining agent
will get you some useful advice. Regards, Jim Man, Australia, Expert
R2: You ask if the granite stains.
Well, it might. You see our beloved stone industry is, alas, pretty
much totally unregulated. When they find a stone in some corner of
our blessed planet that take a polish and doesn't look like marble,
they label it as "granite", no matter what the heck that stone
is. As a consequance, the vast majority of the stones traded as "granite"
are in fact related to granite like a cat to a cow. Granite (the real
one, that is) is more porous than marble (approx. twice as much).
but then there are stones like labradorites, basaltic, etc. that are
much denser and virtually water-proof (therefore they will not stain).
At the other end of the spectrum, we have stones (gneiss, anitrites,
metamorphic sandstones, quarzites, etc.) that are as absorbent as
a sponge and will stain like crazy. So to give an answer to your question,
one must know what kind of "granite" you have.
As far as cracking is concerned, it's a possibility that's only
connected with poor installation, not the type of stone. Yes, of course,
there can be a bad batch, like with any other natural product. Unfortunately,
however, since there's not any official grading, you're at the mercy
of the dealer's ethics. Finally, the sealing is advisable only with
"absorbent granites", therefore the answer is consequent to the type
of "granite" you have. Good luck, Maurizio, USA, Expert Panelist.
A 1010: Care: I am starting a cleaning business
and I am interested in cleaning public buildings. This of course
would include cleaning of sandstone, granite and marble. Could you
please send me some good reference texts. John, Australia. June 19
R1: All you will ever need to CLEAN natural stone floors
is a good professional-grade mop, some good pH neutral detergent,
and plenty of good ol' tap water. The funny thing is -- you will soon
find out -- that the persons in charge of maintenance of the buildings
you'll be servicing won't be much interested in that, however. They
will expect you to keep those floors as shiny as they were on the
day of the cutting of the ribbon! And at this point, cleaning has
nothing to do with it. That is stone surface refinishing and it represents
the pinnacle of all the stone related activities. From a professional
knowledge point of view, in fact, stone refinishing is much more demanding
than setting or fabricating. It makes sense: it doesn't take an expert
to make the human body -- just some passionate lovemaking! -- but
it does take an expert (a doctor) to take care of it! The reason why
stone refinishing is so professionally demanding is because Mother
Nature made stone so different from one another. Not one marble is
the same of the next one, therefore, you can't treat all marbles the
same way. In other words, it is not a standard procedure.
If this is beginning
to sound scary (and it should), wait until you get into granite! Just
consider this: the vast majority of the stone traded as "granite"
are in fact related to granite like a cat to a cow! And this is not
my opinion, it's a geological fact. Of course, in your search for
THE solution you will meet with a whole army of salesmen touting their
miraculous one-medicine-cure-all, and so-easy-that-even-an-idiot-can-do-it!
There are even a couple of companies here in the US selling their
franchise! (Franchising something that can't be standard? ... Wow!).
You may even go for one of them, but -- mark my words now -- you will
eventually find out that there's no substitute for professionalism.
Nobody can become a surgeon by just watching one while operating for
a couple of days! Of course, all that doesn't mean that you should
give up; it only means that if you're serious about it you should
consult with serious professionals and stay away from the quacks.
You're starting with the right approach: you're asking for reliable
publications on the subject. I don't know about anything else, but
I think that the technical papers that I've been publishing over the
years could be helpful. If nothing else, you will find out that the
only things the salesmen ever published are some fancy brochures!
If you want, you can contact me at our website and I'll be glad to e-mail
you our publications at no charge. Good luck, Maurizio, USA, Expert
A 1008: Care: I was
wondering what your thoughts are on applying a protective clear coating
to stone and brick exterior walls. I've read a lot of conflicting
information. What types of preservative clear coatings are
available and what are their pros and cons? Finally, is applying a
preservative something I can do myself or do I need to hire someone?
(What are the steps I should take in determining if I need to apply
the coating or not, who to hire, etc?) USA. June 14 reply
R1: First of all
decide on why you want to coat the stone. Is it for stain resistance,
additional strength, graffiti resistance, increased durability. The
product you choose will depend on your reason. When applying
a coating, stones especially must be allowed to breathe, that is,
allow the transmission of water vapour. The application of a impermeable
coating may result in irreparable damage by spalling of the surface
caused by build up of pressure form water - especially in high frost
areas. Most of the chemicals used are hazardous, so if you do
apply them protective equipment is essential. Jim Man, Australia,
Expert Panelist. Contact
A 1007: Care: I'm gathering information on
stone care maintenance and restoration. I need information with
companies providing this type service. Thank you.
Carlos, USA. June 13 reply
R1: Look no more!
You can get in touch with me and perhaps we could talk business. Fair
enough? Good luck, Maurizio, USA, Expert Panelist. Contact
1606 USA: I am attempting to find the product "Dress
Slate" that I used several years ago on my interior slate
floor. It is a petroleum-based product. I have not
been able to locate the company nor anyone who carries the product. Is
it available? If not, what product can I use over Dress Slate? I
don't want to remove the existing material if it can be avoided. June
R1: You must find
out other name for your slate, for "Dress slate" is common name for
a slate given to required size. Daniel, Slovakia, Expert Panelist. Reply
A 931: What
is the proper daily care for a granite
kitchen top (black with a grain running thorough it)? My countertop
is less than 2 years old, and I am starting to notice blemishes, as
if someone took a piece of plastic and made a scratch mark. I
have special polish from the fabricator I bought the granite from,
but I was told to only use that once or twice a year. Coda, USA, Feb
Q 891: I love carving
limestone. I am currently working
on several pieces, which can be used as water bowls and birdbaths.
(An attempt at art function) so my quest now is to find the best
solution to seal the porous limestone for the pool of water. Any
thoughts would be appreciated. Thank you, Joan, USA, Feb 23, reply
R1: Well Joan. This is a dilemma. I have
carved several limestone fountains, and sealing the bowl is always
a problem. Regular stone or tile floor sealers do not hold
up under water for very long. They tend to "float" back out
of the stone, and the result is water penetration, eventually completely
through the stone. Recently we used a product called a brushable
tripolymer sealant with excellent results. The draw back to
this type sealer is that while it does try transparent, it has a
definite yellow appearance. So after 20 years, I'm still looking
for that perfect product that will stay in the stone doing its job
for a long period of time under water, without affecting the appearance
of the stone. If you come up with something, please let me
know. JVC, USA, Expert Panelist, Reply.
Comments? Complaints? Compliments? firstname.lastname@example.org
The views expressed in this section are not of Findstone.
just spent about ten minutes looking at your site, but from what
I did see I am very impressed. It looks very helpful and user friendly
I will use your sight for various things in the future, Thank you
for this resource. Randy, CLEANING CO. , FL, USA.