Granite, marble, travertine, limestone, and slate are natural quarried products. These stones are honed or polished once they are quarried. No two pieces are alike and there are inherent variations in natural stone. Variations include color and shade variation, irregular markings, voids, pits, veins, and density. It is standard to repair these variations by waxing, grinding, or filling natural stone. Normal ware can cause cracks and voids to appear; these can be repaired using grout or epoxy. These variations are common to natural stone and present in some degree. Variations add to natural beauty of stone. To prevent damage caused by tracked-in dirt place mats inside and outside of exterior entrances. Regular sweeping and vacuuming will prevent loosed dirt from abrading your floor. Dirt is an abrasive and can mar natural stone flooring surfaces.
Regular maintenance will help natural stone be more resistant to scratching and wear. Natural stone, especially polished stone is sensitive to harsh chemicals and cleaners. It is recommended to clean natural stone with warm water or pH-balanced natural cleaners. First, rinse the surface thoroughly with water using a mop while changing the water frequently. Do not use scouring powders or creams as they will mar the surface. Do not use vinegar or any acidic cleaners or strong alkaline agents. Whether stone products are sealed or not, all spills must be cleaned up immediately to avoid possible staining or acid burns. Acid based foods or drinks can etch into the polish of more delicate stones such as marble and onyx. Do not place hot items on any stone, instead always use heat resistant coasters. To prevent soap scum build up, use squeegees in shower areas.
A quality impregnating sealer can be use to penetrate natural stone while allowing the stone’s natural beauty to shine through. Unsealed stone is more prone to absorbing moisture, dirt, and cleaning chemicals. Licensed installers strongly recommend that a penetrating sealer be applied immediately after installation of natural stone.
Tile Direct makes no recommendation for, or against applications to seal. Each job is different and the buyer is responsible for consulting with the contractor to determine which sealer should be used. Tile Direct offers a full line of various stone sealers.