How to Take Care of your Stone Countertops or Flooring
The following are general maintenance and stone care tips. Proper care may vary depending on the condition and type of stone that you have. If you have any questions contact a Simply Magic Services stone care professional.
All stone needs to be sealed with a penetrating sealer which leaves no coating on the surface of the stone. While the stone is trying to reject liquids that can leave a stain, these sealers give you more time to wipe up a spill. Sealing is a must for all kitchen and bathroom areas. Premium impregnators that reject both oil and water are worth the extra cost. Always require a small test of the proposed sealer on your stone. Approve a sample tile or piece of slab before sealing is done. Some sealers can slightly change the color of your stone. Do not assume that your builder, installer or stone fabricator sealed your stone.
Household chemicals are not formulated to clean your stone. Many can do more harm than using nothing at all. Even the use of water alone can have a long term detrimental effect on some stones. Neutral cleaners containing conditioning agents and sealer or the use of stone soap is recommended. Repeated use of an appropriate cleaner will keep your stone looking fresh and add to the natural luster of the stone. Due to the softness of much of the stone used in your home, it is imperative that grit (sand & dirt) be kept off the surfaces. Grit is normally harder than stone used in residential building and is the main cause of scratches especially in floors. Entry floors require walk off mats that will cover two adult steps. Remember to shake or wash off the mat frequently to remove the accumulated dirt. Be aware that rugs with rubber backs can leave marks in your stone requiring costly restoration to remove. If your floors have a lot of traffic, dust mop the floor daily with an untreated dust mop. Damp mop your floors weekly with a conditioning neutral cleaner or stone soap. Follow the directions. In most cases it is advisable not to put coatings or waxes on your natural stone floor. Coating can restrict the flow of air through the stone causing moisture related problems such as spalling.
Vanities, counters and walls can be cleaned with an appropriate cleaner put in a spray bottle. Spray the surface and clean with a soft natural fiber cloth. Showers should be dried with a squeegee and towel. These surfaces can be polished with a topical stone paste wax. The application of this wax will add shine and protection of the stone.
If mildew begins to grow in your shower, on your stone, it can be difficult to remove. The chemicals used to remove scum and mildew will ruin a marble shower requiring expensive restoration. Marble will etch from acid but many granites are acid resistant making them easier to clean. Correct maintenance cleaners and waxing are much cheaper than having to pay a stone professional to restore your shower.
Resurfacing operations are required to remove scratches, lippage (uneven tile) and wear patterns from foot traffic.
The stone is sanded with various grinding grits making the surface flat and establishing a new finish. A ground in place floor extends the life of the floor. This is not recommended for the do-it-yourself-er, a professional stone contractor is required.
MANY PRODUCTS PURCHASED AT YOUR RETAIL STORES CAN DAMAGE YOUR NATURAL STONE INCLUDING:
- Acidic Tub and Tile Cleaners
- Acidic Toilet Bowl Cleaners
- Powdered Alkaline Cleaners
- Window Cleaners
- Steel Wool
- Abrasive Cleaning Pads
USE PRODUCTS FORMULATED FOR THE CARE AND MAINTENANCE OF YOUR STONE, INCLUDING:
- Stone Soap
- Neutral Cleaners
- Conditioning Cleaners
- Penetrating Stone Sealers