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Marble Cure /
Q 2212: Need information on filling holes in terrazzo resulting from carpet removal. Jacobs, July 12, ReplyR1: Dear Jacobs: You can use either unsanded grout to match the terrazzo's background color (if any), or just plain "Portland" cement, if color matching is not an issue.
Once the material you use is dry, sand the repairs flush with the rest of the floor. And remember, "terrazzo" is marble, and your floor will require the same maintenance as a marble floor. Maurizio, USA
Q 2182: My mom is trying to strip paint from her marble fireplace but it seems to leave a residue of some kind. The paint remover she is using is a marble safe stripper, (so it says on the container) but I am clueless how to get the paint out of the little crevices or how to get the residue off. Any ideas would be very appreciated. Carter, July 8R1: Dear Carter: If the label of the product says that it's marble-safe, then it must be expensive stuff!! No solvent-based stripper can damage marble. Get a cheap paint stripper based on Methylene Chloride and use a medium bristle brush (natural fiber). Maurizio, USA
A 2126: I have just installed marble flooring in my new house. However a great deal of acid has fallen on it and a large area has become etched quite deeply. What do I do? The area has become very fragile. I am not sure I can get a replacement piece to match the colour on the rest of the floor. HELP!!!!! Sonia, UK, June 26R2: If the acid did indeed make the tile completely fragile then replacement is the only remedy. Do call a stone refinishing expert for an on site inspection. Regards, Steven, USA
R1: Dear Sonia:
Before you make any further decision, get hold of a good professional
stone refinisher. If they're worth their salt, they will take care of
your problem. That should help you with your decision.
Also the top does not have any kind of shine or reflection on it. Does not look if any sealer was applies on the surface which I think is necessary for a kitchen marble island.
Please advice how this problem can be corrected in-house or will I have to seek professional help. Our furniture line is "rustic" so a fine finish is not mandatory. Thanks for your help. June 26
R1: It was not finished completely. The finishing process should be done by a professional. Regards, Steven, USAR2: I know exactly what your problem is and how to take care of it in an easy way that anybody can do. Too bad I don't deal with anonymous. Maurizio, USA
A 2070: I have recently acquired a new
apartment using Perlatino Sicilia marble
slabs in the living room. As part of the interior design,
I have extended the living room at the expense of the storeroom. As a
result, I had to buy and install additional marble slabs in the storeroom
area. I have a couple of questions:
1) No, you can't.
2) No, you don't. "Perlatino Sicilia" (geologically a compact limestone) is an extremely dense stone and absorbs very little, if anything. Try to spill a few drops of water on it and you will notice that even if you let the water sit there for an hour, none of it will go in the stone.
3) I don't understand what you're talking about. Why did you have your floor polished after installation. Weren't the slabs already polished by the factory? Now, granting that -- for some mysterious reason -- you had the floor polished, I can NOT assume that it was polished by "the normal method" (as you call it). No truly professional method of polishing could darken your grout lines. So, I must assume that they did not actually polished your floor (no matter how shiny it looks) but "crystallized" it instead, which has been proven as being a fake way of polishing (kind of a high-tech, high-risk way of waxing. You're darn lucky that your particular marble can take the chemical beating inherent to such dubious process.) The reason why I assume that, is because the "polishing" is done with steel wool pads under the floor machine (instead of white nylon pads, or natural fiber pads), and steel wool, effected by the strong acid which is the main part of any "crystallization" concoction, can make the grout darker. What to do now? Nothing unfortunately, other than scraping off the grout and applying a new one. Sorry. Maurizio, USA
A 2065: Our marble vanity countertop had become dull in one particular location. Much of the rest looked as good as new. Upon having a refinisher review the situation in Nov, 01, he indicated it was caused by cleaners, etc with citrus extracts. I thought it may have been caused by my contact lens cleaning solution because the location of the problem was exactly where I cleaned my lenses. He said not possible. The counter top was then diamond buffed, honed and polished. It is now becoming apparent that the dull haze is coming back in the same location. We are using only approved marble cleaners and am keeping all contact lens material in the sink. The refinisher claims what ever we did before, we are still doing that and are causing this problem. I am certain this is not true. What could be the answer? I have another appointment with the refinisher and would be interested in your ASAP. Thank you. Nancy, June 15R1: Dear Nancy: Your stone refinisher is dead wrong: Contact lens cleaners do etch marble. (besides, any pH active generic cleaner could etch marble, not only those based on citric acid.) If you want, I could teach you how to refinish your marble surface yourself. It's pretty easy, in consideration that you're dealing with a light etching After that, yes, you guessed, keep your countertop protected (with a plastic sheet or something) where and when you clean your lenses. Maurizio, USA
A 2062: The polished top of our marble
table appears to be etched. We had a
party and someone spilled white wine
on a small area. The area appears to have lost its finish and feels
An etch mark is -- like you already know -- some sort of shallow, chemical scratch. How can you possibly remove a scratch with a poultice, which is meant to remove oily stains??!!
You had your marble surface refinished before and that's the only way to go about repairing a surface damage such as an etch mark, unless you want to try doing it yourself, which I'd be glad to teach you After that, keep your finger crossed and keep your stone surface protected. No stone impregnator/sealer under the sun (not even mine!) will ever prevent such types of occurrence. Sealer for stones only help prevent stains (true stains, that is) not a surface damage just because it so happens to look like a stain. Maurizio, USA
A 1937: We have some problem with our marble.
Marble is not getting good polishing.
How to avoid or cover the cracks? What types of resins we have to use
for covering cracks? And tell me the resining process.
R2: Dear Surendra, is your chemical analysis correct? What is it "Loi"? Your stone is not true marble or limestone because of large amount of SiO2. Maybe quartz grains are situated inside limestone or marble, which can create problem during polishing. Daniel, SlovakiaR1: Dear Surendra: By the chemical analysis you're reporting, your marble is no marble! To be classified as marble a stone has to have at least 60% of Calcium Carbonate (CaCO3) in it. It's not the case, here. The presence of the Magnesium Silicate (among other weird things) may help classify the stone as a dolomitic marble, but I have no idea what this 24.1% of Loi is all about. If you wish, you're welcome to send me a few samples of your "marble", so that I can fool around with them a little bit. If I can't polish that thing, then it can't take a polish, period; but if it has even a remote chance, then I will find it for you. Maurizio, USA
A 1923: I've recently installed a 4' marble
enamel stone on a wet bar. I had to sand down the sharp edge
to create a bullnose, which took off the enamel finish. I'm looking
for a product that will put the luster back on the sanded part.
I'm afraid that stuff is as much marble as I am the Emperor of China!! Sorry, I'm a stone man. I'm not in the enamel business. Maurizio, USA
A 1818:I need to find out what to use to clean a tumbled marble backsplash, Michael, May 14.R2: If the backsplash has been impregnated, use a neutral pH spray cleaner by the same manufacturer of the impregnator. Steven, USA
A 1799: I have used "a tub and tile cleaner" on some grout and now have lightened streaks on my marble shower walls. It appears to have bleached the surface.. It also must have been acidic as the polished marble finish in the streaks is dull. Can they be removed, polished out or otherwise fixed? SDS, Florida,May 14.ReplyR2: You have etched the marble. It will require a professional refinisher to fix it. After you fix it discontinue using all caustic cleaners in the area. Switch to neutral pH products and elbow grease. Steven, USA
A 1787:I just recently found a pair of little water fountains which are painted white. Under the white paint is marble. I have been trying to get the paint off the marble with paint thinner, but it's not working very well. How can I get it off easily without damaging the marble? And if it is already damaged how can I make it look good again? kristy May 14.ReplyR1: Dear Kristy: Let's take one issue at a time. First, the paint thinner must be based on Methylene Chloride, or else it will never work 100%. Apply it liberally, then use a medium bristle brush and a nice dose of elbow-grease! No mineral solvent (and Methylene Chloride is quite strong, indeed) can damage marble. Once all the paint is off, if you see that the surface of the stone is damaged, you can repair it by smoothing it out with with metal-grade sandpaper starting with a 100 / 120 grit, followed by 200 / 240, and then 400. the whole procedure must be done with the constant presence of water. Maurizio, USA
A 1776: The information you supplied in
this post was very beneficial, however; I made the mistake of taking a
combination of water & vinegar to
my marble coffee table, & those little water
spot looking things appeared. Needless to say I can't
get rid of them...any suggestions? (This was in response to A 1027)
R2: Dear SDS: Wrong cleaner. You etched the surface of the stone. Only a professional can fix the damage by honing and re-polishing the marble for you. After that, to avoid to repeat the original mistake, Maurizio, USAA 1757: I am looking for a product to clean a white marble headstone. Any specific product you can suggest? Bill, April 24.
R1: Hi Bill, Your first thoughts must be. Why do I wish to clean this old headstone, Have I considered the character and patina that has probably taken years to accumulate. Then if you wish to reverse nature. First, using clean water, dampen the entire stone gently without disturbing the dirt. Once the stone has been saturated, use plenty of clean water and scrub the surface lightly and carefully with a natural bristle brush just hard enough to lift the surface soiling. Any honest dirt that remains should be left. Cover the stone with a paper poultice and allow to dry completely, this will ensure that dissolved particles are deposited in the paper and not returned the surface of the stone. OR !!! If you are unsure or the headstone is of particular emotional or historic importance please employ a qualified conservationist. Roy. UK.
A 1729: Hi- I have been asked to clean some marble stairs regularly, So far I have only swept them, Can you tell me the easiest and cheapest way to clean/shine them? April 18.
R2: Ongoing care should be a neutral pH cleaner specifically suited for stone. It may require professional refinishing. It may require a surface coat to help it. Without seeing the area I can't recommend a specific program. Steven, USAR1: Hi! As you are at present only brushing the stairs Iit would seem no drastic action is required. If the intention is to just freshen them, you might try the following:
Firstly damped the stair with clean water This will ensure dirt loosened during further cleaning will not be absorbed.
Secondly scrub the surface lightly, using a soft natural bristle brush and a little PH neutral, uncoloured, unscented soap. Wipe off the excess water. Lay on clean paper towel and allow surfaces to dry into the paper, This will absorb any dissolved soiling, When the paper appears to be drying, remove. Buff the dry surfaces with a clean cloth. Roy, UK.
A 1660: I SAT A LEAKY BOTTLE OF TV's
"ZAP" ON MY BOSSES DARK GREY MARBLE TABLE
TOP. HE SAID "SHIT HAPPENS" , BUT I FEEL LIKE A REAL TURD WORM. PLEASE
A 1622: I have marble floors with white grout. How do I clean the grout without damaging the marble? Please suggest a product. Myers, March 31.A 1474: I represent a general contracting company. We recently installed a Diane Reale marble countertop, without any sink cutouts. It was installed on the top of two custom cabinets. There are some "fissures" in the stone, one of which you can "feel" to the touch. The marble fabricator has advised that he fabricated the stone and installed to industry standards and this is the nature of the product. (The fabricator has advised that the stone tops are stable and secure) The owner is questioning the fact that you can feel the fissure. Are there any published guidelines, which indicate specifics characteristics to the various natural stone products? (or marble in particular) Donna, USA, Feb 26.
R1: The short answer is not really. With Diano Reale the fabricator could fill the fissure and polish it smooth. About industry standards, I am not sure they would apply. This sounds like a customer service issue. Regards, Steven, USAA 1602: We have a natural polished marble floor in our shower which we put in when we built our house six years ago. To minimize any build-up of soap scum we squgee after every shower but now I am beginning to see the start of hard water (calcium) deposits on some of the marble areas. How to minimize this build-up? Scott, March 28.
R1: Dear Scott: Yes, I do, but you're not gonna like the answer. The hard-mineral deposit that you see is not what it seems to be. In other words, they are not hard-mineral deposits. If you check your shower stall, especially in its lower part, you will notice that there's either grout or caulk missing. The water found its way under the floor tiles and now the moisture migrates, by absorption, through the core of the stone and the grout lines. The "mineral deposit" that you see is in fact some type or another of inorganic salts that emerge on the surface as a result of the chemical reaction of the water with the makeup of the stone. The damage is deep inside the stone (actually through and through, since it started from the bottom). You will be tempted, I'm sure, to toy around with possible topical remedies (it's human nature at work!), but ultimately you will have to reach the conclusion that there's only one painful solution: rip out the floor, reinstall new tiles, then, from then on, you will monitor you grout and caulk lines religiously. The good news is that, after all, it's only money! Maurizio, USA,A 1490: We have recently purchased a 4 year old home with a marble shower, tub, etc. The shower was never dried down and is covered with water spots, minerals, etc. What can I used to clean this? The shower door is also covered with scum. Someone suggested CLR. What do you suggest? Also, the house had two tub enclosures with water spots. Any suggestions for that. March 4,
R2: Don't use CLR!! We just did, and it bleached the black marble in our shower. I am trying to see if there is a relatively easy way to repolish the marble. JSHA, USA.R1: Dear March 4: Thank you for disclosing your name to us who work for free for you.
My answer is just as meaningful as your identity: March 10. Ciao, Maurizio, USA
A 1472: We have this yellow
marble tiles 600 x 300 x 16mm floor installed
on a landed property in the living / dining area, wet method were used
in the polishing process, meaning flooding the place with about 15mm of
water and using abrasive stone to polish floor to shine, about 3 month
later the floor start to blister & flak (breaking off). Marble
tiles were purchase by home owner direct from supplier, Our role is only
to install & polish floor to natural appearance.
biblical name? (Dr.) Hans, Australia
R1: Lee send more information and photographs if you can. It is very difficult to develop a theory without more information. Regards, Steven, USAA 1429: I need information about cleaning marble; I have 3 antique marble sinks, with original china bowls; one is slightly stained (yellow); one is perfect, and the other has paint residue from brush cleaning. Can I use sandpaper, and if so, what grit? or do you have a better alternative for me. Also, where can I sell these pieces? Feb 12.
R1: About the yellow stains, just forget about them. For the rest, hire a professional stone refinisher. Don't try anything yourself, for the sake of your tops! Maurizio, USAA 1424: I recently purchased a home with marble flooring. I DID NOT know that you could not clean with a solution of water and VINEGAR. Hence, my floor is now splotched. How do I fix this? I am assuming that it will need resurfacing/polishing. More importantly, I need to know if it can be repaired. What are my options? Roger, Feb 10
R1: Dear Roger:
I was under the impression that the water and vinegar thing had gone out
of fashion, by now! Back in the early and mid nineties, I made tons of
money out of vinegar: I was selling it by the square foot, not by bottle!!
Then it looked that people wised-up, finally ... Well, with a few exceptions,
R1: This is really odd as marble is not usually painted to achieve its colors. Please contact a local restoration professional to look at the fireplace for you. Best regards Steven, USA,A 1269: Whilst Black Galaxy does not pit as much as Jet Black, it appears there are a few pits or chips in a kitchen top recently installed that I have viewed. What can cause this to happen? Is it the mica spots falling out, or is it water exploding them off or was this likely to be in poor polishing of slabs. Some pits are more like chips approx 3 to 5 mm in size. Is this common for Black Galaxy? or Should the top be perfect without any pits or chips at all. Over 8 to 10m2 there would be say 20 or so pits or chips, with most needing light to show them up, but some are quite evident. Is this something that can be fixed. If so, how? Michael. Dec 18. Reply
R2: Michael, As Black Galaxy is not technically a granite it is usually not prone to pitting. That said there are many grades to materials and you may have one that is pitted. The problem with telling you to fill them is that Black Galaxy typically has a very high gloss. You are noticing pits that takes some light at a particular angle to see. My thought is you would see any resin or schelack that I would instruct a professional to use. This would help with feeling the pits though. Please decide what is the most important aspect, seeing the pits or feeling the pits, before you proceed. Best regards Steven, USA.R1: Dear Michael: I don't even know if there's any Mica in Black Galaxy. In fact it's a gabbro, not a granite. Regardless, Simply put, you're looking at some poor grade slabs. Maurizio, USA
A 1166: I would appreciate any information regarding Saturnia marble care. My floors are two years old. The traffic areas are showing wear with a change of grain colors and pitting in some areas. Thanks, Leonard Nov 5R2: Dear Leonard: For as long as you keep that nasty habit of yours of walking on your floor, it's going to keep happening! "Saturnia" stone (crosscut travertine) is typically delivered with a medium hone finish. If you ask me, that finish -- because of the way the polishing lines in the factories are set up to work -- is not fit for sale (it's not uniform and is all swirly). Furthermore, as you probably know, travertine is full of natural holes that get filled in the factory with some sort of cementitious material. Foot traffic will generate wear and tear patterns, which will alter the original look of the factory finish and will also remove some of the filler. it's simple to understand, isn't it. So, why is it the dealer who sold the stone to you wasn't able to answer your question (I bet you asked him, didn't you?). To restore the surface of your floor to a finish as close to the factory
spec as possible (including the refilling of the holes) you need a professional stone refinisher. Maurizio, USA
R1: Greetings! As Saturnia is a form of travertine,
wear and tear to the degree that fill material is being lost is not unusual.
What may be unusual is that it is occurring within two years of installation.
A 1133: We are renovating our home in Malaysia, and have just installed approx. 3000 square feet of factory - polished fossil beige marble flooring, as well as marble on the walls and floors of the bathrooms. The marble has been treated with a solvent-based sealer (Novabond (TM). No matter how many times I mop the floor with water, it still appears to be covered by a haze. Is this due to the sealer? Is it possible to remove this haze and restore the high polish by application of any kind of marble treatment? The contractor sold us a bottle of some kind of wax product, which is supposed to be diluted with water and mopped onto the floor. We have not tried it yet. Do you recommend waxing a marble floor to protect it from normal foot traffic? Will this wax product restore the shine to the marble? The marble floor on the outside balcony is exposed to equatorial sun and rain, and the natural rust-coloured veins in those tiles are becoming more pronounced, even though they were also treated with sealer. We are wondering whether we should apply polyurethane or another product for extra protection of the exterior marble flooring. Because of the large area, we are thinking to invest in a polishing machine (not possible to rent these machines here in Malaysia). The salesman recommends a Taski ergodisc 400rpm sold by DiverseyLever Ltd. in UK. He normally sells this machine to mosques and commercial outlets, but not so much for residential use. I am confused whether this machine is meant for merely buffing the marble, or for actually polishing it. In your opinion, would such a machine be of practical use to help keep up the marble floors? Thanks--D. Chan, Malaysia, Oct 11R6: Well, I wasn't lucky enough to ever be in Malaysia, so I did not consider the possibility posted by Fred. If that's the case, then the first thing to do is to strip out the sealer, then wait, wait, wait .............! What did I tell you about the possibility of a second opinion! Maurizio, USA,
R5: Several years ago I visited Malaysia and saw several homes with marble floors and they all had the same problem. That problem was improper installation and a very high moisture problem. The haze you are seeing is most likely soluble salts which is known as efflorescence. If you try sealing the stone you will only make it worst. The continued rusting that you are seeing is also the result of moisture. My advise is to simply clean the stone, do not seal it.. Eventually the problem will disappear, but it may take years. Fred, USA,R4: Hi, Don't wax marble, Try mineral spirit or acetone to get the haze off If not, then strip the floor. Polishing machine is for professionals. unless you want to learn how to polish. Pini, USA,
R3: Dear Chan, The hazy appearance is likely to have been caused by the sealer being applied on a damp floor. If the sealer was applied soon after the tiles were laid, the tiles and substrate may still have been damp. It is difficult to be more precise without knowing how the tiles were fixed to the floor. The only remedy is to strip the sealer by re-polishing the marble. There is no need to wax the floor if you have sealed it. Waxing the floor can be used as a replacement to sealing but it does not give as a high a level of stain resistance. The good thing about wax is that it is not permanent, it can also give a good lustre to the marble. As far as the rust stains on the outside stone is concerned, it appears that you have some unstable iron based minerals present in the stone that are rusting and bleeding out. It is difficult to fully exclude water from getting into stone. You not only have to seal the stone surface but also grout lines and ensure that water can not travel up from the substrate. The use of an impervious coating like polyurethane could be dangerous as it could lead to spalling or micro-pitting . I STRONGLY SUGGEST you do nothing until you get a stone consultant to look at your problems otherwise even greater damage could occur. Contact me if you want further advice. Regards, Jim, Australia,R2: This may be sealer/impregnator excess on the surface of the stone. If it leaves footprints or looks dirty, this is definately the problem. Try an intensive stone cleaner with a natural fiber pad and floor machine. Wet vacuum the solution after scrubbing. Repeat as necessary. Maintain regularly with a stone soap. Bob, USA,
A lot of stuff, here!
of laying the marble, and the stone was dry. Marble layers have taken pains to wipe away excess grout. Nor have we used any acidic solution for washing the floors.
Do you mean to say that the chemicals recommended will not
harm the polish beneath the haze? Will they actually strip the sealer
-- and not just the sealer residue -- from the surface of the stone? As
soon as we
to seal your marble floor?" Rest assured, mineral solvents don't damage marble. Ciao, Maurizio, USA,
A 1337: 'Dear Maurizio' Today is the first day I came to this site...and have read this entire page. I noticed that you stated that you were in the stone business, and that you lived / operated this business in Michigan. I also live in Michigan and am interested in buying granite countertops for my kitchen, and would like to know if it is possible to buy them from you. I noticed throughout your answers, your knowledge, honesty and sense of integrity are qualities you possess, and would like to deal with you. Is this possible? Do you sell to the general public? Sincerely, Rebecca, Jan 16
R1: Dear Rebecca: Yes, of course, I do sell to the general public, but I'm afraid that your source of information is not correct. I live in New Jersey (where all the fun is!!!), not in Michigan. Sorry, but if you're interested, I do know a good man out of Shelby Twp. who could help you out (under my personal guidance, rest assured!). He's my master distributor for the state of Michigan since 1993 and he's a very honest guy who I'm proud to consider one of my dearest personal friend (I spent several nights in his house, and even cooked risotto for his family!!). Let me know. Maurizio, USA, Expert Panelist