The misconception that stone does not need any maintenance is far from the truth. All stone needs some type of care and maintenance. Your needs depend upon where the stone is used— floors, walls, countertops, vanities or shower walls.
Natural Stone Types:
Granite… Hard, igneous, crystalline rock. Clean with neutral cleaner, but first check if using color enhancing sealer by swiping with acetone to check for color fastness.
Limestone… Soft sedimentary rock. Polished or Honed, more easily stained than Marble, needs sealer
Marble… A variety of Limestone, characterized by “veins”. Usually polished, but easily stained
Onyx… A variety of Marble and translucent
Travertine… A variety of Marble with many holes filled with epoxy or cement grout, susceptible to abrasion, can be refilled.
Sandstone… Scratches easily, very porous & absorbent, needs sealer (2 coats). Doesn’t polish
Slate… Usually tiles, scratches and wears easily, needs sealer (2+ coats). Doesn’t polish
Fine Floors to treat like Natural Stone:
Terrazzo… Pictured are 4 different blocks. Made of 70% marble chips/30% cement or resin. Should be polished & sealed, but may have topical finish.
Saltillo Tiles… AKA Terra Cotta, Soft clay tiles which will bleed if mopped, so be sure to keep sealed or finished with multiple coats. Low PSI (<500) when cleaning to prevent pitting
Proper maintenance will begin by determining whether the stone has a topical coating or a finish (wax, acrylic, polymer or urethane) applied. If so, efforts should be to clean and maintain this, not the stone. If you’re beyond cleaning and maintenance on this floor, then restoring the stone to it natural beauty is in order, and generally less costly to maintain.
The first step is to strip away any finish. Our services would be limited to stripping waxed or water based urethane floors prior to cleaning. Other floor coatings require some knowledge of the coating and safely stripping it would be critical to maintaining the stone’s appearance.
We routinely provide cleaning and sealing services:
Cleaning is essentially 4 step process-
We apply a penetrating sealer (not a topical sealer). This provides stain guarding while maximizing the stone’s appearance and allowing the stone to “breath” (vapor permeable). Penetrating sealers should be applied every 2-3 years after proper cleaning. Color enhancing sealers will be penetrating sealers as well. Topical sealers used to supply a “glaze” will require greater maintenance, so we try not to recommend those. If requested however, we will apply an appropriate sealer to meet your need.
Powder Polishing is available in order to restore or maintain a shine on calcium containing stones (Marble, Limestone, Travertine). A Gloss Meter is used for consistency.