1.Q: How do I maintain my stone floors?
A: Dirt & grit do the most damage to your natural stone surfaces due to their abrasiveness. That is why we recommend a really good matting system, it is extremely important to keep grit from coming into your home and onto your stone floors. Homes have the advantage of low traffic and the ability to leave shoes at the door. The stone surface should be dust mopped or vacuumed regularly, as removing grit from the floor will keep scratching to a minimum. Prompt spot cleaning of (acidic drinks and food, ie. Milk, juice, wine, tea, coffee, oily foods, ketchup, takeaway meals…etc) spills will minimize or eliminate stains and etches. A light damp mopping will be required with a clean damp microfiber cloth and a flat mop. Use the flat mop system, and a moderate amount of neutral PH cleaning solution. You can then buff dry with a clean dry microfiber cloth on the flat mop to ensure a streak free finish. You can purchase this system in our online shop.
2. Q: Why is a natural polish better for your floor rather than coating it?
A: Since there are currently no coatings available for stone that are harder than the stone itself, coatings will scuff and mark much more readily than stone itself. Coatings are soft and will attract dirt faster than a natural polish. Removing the dust and debris from the coated surface is much more difficult than from natural polished surface. Also putting a coating onto natural stone seals it not allowing it to breath, which can cause the stone to spall, meaning the stone cannot breathe, moisture builds up with nowhere to go and causes multiple cracking in the stone. Coatings will also build up on the surface producing a plastic-like appearance that is subject to yellowing from entrapped dirt and UV (ultraviolet) rays. The removal of coatings by harsh strippers can also damage the stone.
3. Q: What is “sealing”?
A: Sealers in the stone industry are called impregnators because they impregnate the interior of the stone with finely engineered silicones and resins that go through the pores of the surface. Stone sealers do to stone what exterior wood sealer does to wood. They protect the interior of the material. An Impregnating Sealer gives you a certain amount of time to clean up any spills and if you have your stone sealed with an impregnating sealer you have more of a chance of removing any stain left after spills, providing the spills were not left sit on the stone for too long. Impregnating sealer does not change the appearance of the stone as that is not its purpose. If a sealer implies that it will make your floor or stone surface shine as well as protect against spills then it is what is called a topical sealer/coating and you should be aware that they can damage your stone as they do not all allow your stone to breathe and can ultimately damage your stone as described in Q.2s’ answer above.
4. Q: Do stone impregnators really protect the stone surface?
A: Technically to a limited extent. Impregnators will not prevent traffic patterns/wear or scratches, nor will they prevent etching from acidic spills. An impregnator will keep acid and other damaging liquids out of the stone temporarily, spills should be cleaned up immediately.
5. Q: If impregnators will not prevent wear, scratches and etching, should my stone still be sealed? Would my tiler / installer have done it already?
A: All stone need to be sealed with a penetrating sealer. Most contaminants that damage your stone are water or oil soluble. An impregnator that is resistant to both oil and water should be used. The premium impregnators allow you more time to get to and clean up spills before they penetrate your stone’s surface. Never assume that your contractor or installer has sealed your stone. Always ask if it has been sealed and with what type of sealer.
6. My marble floor looks dull and lifeless, I have cleaned them and they still look dull and dirty, do they need to be cleaned professionally?
A. If your floors are just dirty you can clean them yourself, and they should come clean again and you will see them shine again. However if the shine is gone and they will not stay clean after mopping then they are not just dirty and in need of a clean but are worn and will need to be re-polished by a professional.