All of our stone maintenance programs include re-grouting minor missing grout and repairing minor chips and cracks at no additional cost.
The loss of polish on stone floors is mostly caused by dust, dirt, sand and other fine particles scratching the surface from foot traffic. Removing the dust and dirt from the floor will help keep this scratching to a minimum. The less scratching that occurs, the less frequently polishing or restoration will be needed. A good quality cotton mop works best. Do not over wet the floor, light damp mopping is all that is needed. If grout lines start to darken scrub well and wet vacuum out debris.
Make certain that the cleaner you use has a neutral pH of seven. High alkaline or mild acidic cleaners can dull or damage the finish, in particular "no streak" cleaners. Although they may be neutral pH seven, some contain "Chelates" which dissolve or destroy calcium in the water and eliminate hard water deposits. Since marble and some stone contain a large amount of calcium, these cleaners attack the finish on stone floors.
Test: Drop a small amount of the concentrated cleaner in an inconspicuous location and let it sit for 5-10 minutes then wipe up. If the spot is dull then the cleaner is not neutral and will etch your floor.
Always use a clean mop and clear water, especially in high traffic areas. Keep the floor clean. Use a good dust mop daily, this will reduce wear and tear on the stone and reduce the need to have it refinished.
Changing of water needs to be done often. Use the same mop and bucket for the stone only.
Do not use the mop and bucket to clean other surfaces.
Use a two water bucket system to clean floor
Wipe off spills immediately, if possible, to minimize stains and damage.
Use PH neutral detergents to clean scuff marks.
Apply penetrating sealers that are recommended by the installer, stone care professional or stone manufacturer on the more absorbent materials to minimize stains. Sealers should be applied by a professional.
Seek the help of a professional stone maintenance contractor for long-term care and maintenance.
Do not use harsh chemicals to clean the stone. Do not use cleaners containing acid such as: vinegar, lemon juice, bathroom cleaners, grout cleaners, abrasive cleaners, or any cleaner with a high alkaline content.Do not use abrasive pads to clean the stone.
Do not use a dirty mop to clean the stone floor. It will stain your floor and grout.
Do not roll heavy loads directly on your floor. The corners of the tile may break. Use plywood or any other material to distribute the weight.
Which method is the best?
The best way to decide on a polishing schedule is to polish the floor and observe how long it takes for the floor to begin to dull. The floor should then be polished and a schedule set up to suit that observed pattern of wear. Over time high traffic areas may become too worn down to polish to a deep shine. When this happens the area should be restored with diamond abrasives to bring back the original clarity and depth.
Our expertise in the industry has shown that coatings (e.g., wax and urethane) are more of a problem than a solution. These coatings prevent the stone from "breathing" and may yellow light colored stones, and the chemicals used for stripping the coatings off can damage the floor. These finishes are no answer to imperfections in a stone floor and in the long run may only exacerbate problems. The best approach is to not use coatings at all.
The only sure method of polishing all forms of granite floors is by sanding with diamond abrasives and/or polishing powders.
Marble, Limestone & Travertine
Marble, Limestone & Travertine are very effectively treated by all methods, as described on our services page. Diamond abrasives are the best choice if there are minor imperfections in the stone that need to be ground out before restoration.
No matter which method is used, periodic maintenance should be done regularly. Once the finish becomes dull, restoration is need to bring the finish back to its original look. Your maintenance schedule will be determined by how well the stone is cared for on a daily basis and the level of traffic on the floor.
Many terrazzo finishes have a topical sealer applied. However, a natural finish is a more durable and long lasting alternative, that also gives a more natural look to your finishes. Terrazzo can be maintained with restoration and polishing methods.
Polishing main traffic areas like lobbies and entrances should be done frequently while low traffic areas may need to be polished less frequently. With heavier traffic levels, commercial sites will need polishing on a more frequent basis.
Polishing residential floors can be done on a quarterly, semi-annual and annual polishing schedule due to significantly lower traffic levels.
Leaving your natural stone unprotected will stain very easily. To remove the stains can be expensive and sometimes may cause permanent damage . It is advisable when getting your floor refinished, to have it sealed. This reduces the possibility of staining. A sealer penetrates the stone and helps to repel water, dye, dirt, and other substances from causing a stain.
Our expertise in the industry has shown that coatings (e.g., wax and urethane) are more of a problem than a solution. These coatings prevent the stone from "breathing" and may yellow lighter colored stones, and the chemicals used for stripping the coatings off can damage the floor. These finishes are no answer to imperfections in a stone floor and in the long run may only exacerbate problems. The best approach is to not use coatings at all.
Sealing unlike wax, it allows the stone to "breath". Sealers do not offer 100% protection from staining. If enough of a substance is left long enough it will penetrate even if the stone has been treated. Particularly oil and solvent based substances. But generally most liquids will evaporate before they would penetrate a properly sealed stone.
Sealing should be reapplied annually or after refinishing.