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Scratching the Surface on Marble Care

Like many esthetics in your home, natural stone requires upkeep. It is important to not let too much time pass between maintenance visits to prevent costly stone restoration. Here is a little information on common stone found in most homes either on counters or floors:

 

Granite

Granite is an igneous rock composed of quartz and feldspar. Granite is the most common stone used by builders due to its durability and low maintenance for homeowners. The stone is porous and very dense which makes it possible to resist scratches but should still be sealed every three to five years.

 

 

Marble    

  

Marble is a metamorphic rock formed when limestone is altered by intense pressure and heat with the earth. The colors and veins in marble come from layers of different minerals and impurities that crystalize together, these minerals include calcite, pyrite, feldspar, iron, magnesium, and serpentine. Marble is very porous and high maintenance. It is prone to scratches and etch marks. Marble must be polished and sealed to maintain the shine. At times honing is required to remove scratches and surface etch marks.

 

Limestone   

Limestone is a sedimentary rock composed of calcite with a variable amount of silica in it along with clay, silt, and sand. Like marble, it is very porous and because most of the naturally occurring colors are light, stains are easily seen. This stone requires more maintenance than most.

 

 

 

Travertine  

Travertine is a type of limestone. It is a soft stone more porous than marble or granite. It is a banded stone composed of calcite, formed by evaporation of river and spring waters. It is prone to scratches and staining but also presents a unique problem of small holes or craters. They are created when acid reacts with calcium in the stone. These should be filled periodically to slow-down deterioration and if you want the fill to be less noticeable, they should be attended to before the holes become large. Polishing and sealing is required to maintain the appearance. Honing is also sometimes required to remove scratches and surface staining; it is known to absorb deep stains.

 

 

How experts perform the work

Although each stone is unique, they are all treated the same when it comes to restoration. Here is a little more about natural stone honing, polishing, and sealing:

 

Honing

If there are not any etch marks or a need for honing a trained technician would proceed using either a powder polish, paste polish, or crystallizer. If etching and scratches are present, the floor or counter will require honing to the depth of the damage and polishing to bring back its original luster. Some etch marks can require honing all the way down with a 50-grit diamond pad although it is rare.

 

Polishing

Bathroom counter polishing Dallas, TXBringing back the shine can only be done using a buffer, diamond grit pads and a polish or powder solution. Depending on the desired finish, your marble technician can start with a 200 grit and go up to 3500 grit. It really depends on the desired appearance and the choices are satin, semi-gloss, gloss, mirror or even a honed finish.

 

Sealing

It is recommended to seal every three years or when the sealer breaks-down. Sealers work by penetrating through the natural pores of the stone to create a long-lasting breathable layer. A topical sealer should never be used because it prevents the stone from breathing. Sealing protects the stone from wear and tear as well as staining and water absorption.

 

Helpful Tips

  • A simple test used to indicate the need for sealing is to place a small amount of water on the floor or counter. It should bead up and not be absorbed. If it does absorb quickly, or leaves a dark area indicating absorption, it is time to seal.
  • Protect your stone by placing absorbent pads or mats where soap dispensers and cooking oils would be placed.
  • Always clean your natural stone with a neutral PH. Never use acidic household cleaners as they will etch the stone and result it expensive repairs. If you hire a maid, be sure to test their knowledge on natural stone care and review their products or provide your own.
  • Be mindful of acidic fruits, always use a cutting board.
  • Hiring a professional to inspect, clean, and seal can prevent costly repairs. Be sure to use someone certified in stone care, like Paneless Home Services (214) 662-2300.

 

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