Frequently asked Questions
There's nothing more beautiful than walking into a room with beautiful natural stone installed.
Marble, sandstone, granite and other surfaces each have their unique character and style. They are of course supposed to be walked on, and will inevitably become worn and dirty from accidental spills as well as from expected general wear and tear. Here are some frequently asked questions that can assist you and your natural stone floors….
Why do my surfaces have dull marks?
Many varieties of stone are very sensitive to acids, which can etch the material and leave permanent marks. Etching can result from fruit juice, alcohol, soft drinks and other common substances such as general cleaning products. StoneMaster® can remove etch marks, scratches and other blemishes, returning your stone to its original beautiful condition. StoneMaster® can either return your stone to its original state or hone your floors creating a more "matte" finish.
How much dust will be created during the restoration of our floors? Is the grinding, honing and polishing process messy?
It is very rare that any dust or mess is created during the restoration process as we use diamond abrasives and water. In any case StoneMaster® technicians will take every necessary precaution to ensure no mess or damage is left behind.
What is "efflorescence" and how can I get rid of it?
Efflorescence is the build up of salts on the stones surface. Salts occur naturally in all materials, but soluble salts can be picked up from water penetrating into the stone that are then carried through to the surface of the stone, leaving behind the salts as a whitish mark.
StoneMaster® can effectively remove the efflorescence using chemical processes, however this will not solve the problem of what caused the efflorescence in the first place. Minimizing the recurrence of the problem is vital in order to prevent the efflorescence from promptly returning. Correct pre-sealing, waterproof membranes, and by using appropriate grout systems is the best way to prevent this efflorescence from reoccurring.
Will applying a sealer result in my surfaces becoming slippery?
A sealer such as Deepshield™ Transparent Penetrating Sealer is designed to penetrate deep below the surface of the stone, therefor not making your natural surfaces any more or less slippery.
Will a sealer change the colour of my stone? Can I actually enhance the colour of my stone?
The high quality sealers we use from Deepshield™ actually penetrate into the pores of the stone surface and therefor do not change the look, feel, texture or colour of the stone. Deepshield™ does produce a colour enhancing sealer called Deepshield™ Colour Enhancing Penetrating Sealer, designed to slightly darken and enhance the beauty and character of coloured natural stone.
What should I use to clean my natural floors?
You should use a specifically formulated stone care cleaner, and a soft cloth. Never use vinegar and water or acidic or alkali cleaning products to clean your floors as these can cause permanent etching and damage. Powdered cleaners or abrasive pads should not be used on stone flooring as these will often result in scratching, dulling the character of your surfaces.
Will sealing my floors make them stain resistant?
Sealing will make your surfaces stain resistant but not dirt resistant. The sealed surface should be cleaned as regularly as non-sealed surfaces. If certain problematic substances come into contact with the surface, they will be much easier to clean, compared to a non-sealed surface.
What kind of maintenance program should I implement?
The number one cause of damage to stone flooring is dirt, grit and grime. A fantastic way to reduce the amount of sand that finds its way onto the floors is by simply placing mats at entrances. When cleaning, the best material to use would be a dry, untreated micro fiber dust mop and vacuum every day if possible. Mopping every week or whenever there is a spill is also important. Always ensure that you use a product that will not damage the stone.
When I installed my stone flooring, they had a beautiful shine. How can I bring back the shine?
In cases where flooring has been scratched over time by the continuous grinding and sand, grit and grime, surface polishing may bring your flooring back to an acceptable shine, however some scratches may remain. In cases where the scratches are deeper a complete restoration will be required in order to restore your flooring to their original "new like" state.
Why wont the watermarks on my stone floors dry up?
There is a very good chance that this may not be a watermark but etching in the surface of the stone. This occurs instantly when acidic substances from common items such as soft drink, red wine, lemon juice or other general cleaning products come into contact with any calcium based stone. Polishing is often the only solution to remove etch marks.
I hear a lot about sealers, what exactly are they?
There are two main varieties of sealer. StoneMaster® use an Australian made water based sealer called Deepshield® which is a deep impregnating and penetrating sealer that forms an invisible barrier which rests under the surface of the stone and minimizes the effect of staining and other damage for up to 15 years. The other type of sealer is known as a topical sealer, which rests on top of the stone, and needs to be replaced far more regularly.
Do's and Don'ts for Natural Stone Flooring
- DO clean up spills immediately.
- DO Dust floors regularly.
- DO Rinse and dry your surfaces after washing.
- DO Clean floors with a stone soap or a mild detergent.
- DO Place non-slip mats at entrances to minimize the amount of sand and dirt that is carried across surfaces.
- DO NOT use anything acidic to clean calcite-based stone such as marble, limestone or travertine. This can include vinegar, lemon juice and other cleaners.
- DO NOT use abrasive cleaning materials that can leave scratches and dull the surface.
Give us a call on 0478 085 801 and allow us to take care of everything, our knowledgeable and friendly customer service can assist you with your questions and bookings.
- Honed: Honing leaves a beautiful soft satin finish, that does not show minor scratches and requires less maintenance than other surfaces. Marble, slate and limestone look fantastic with a hones finish.
- Tumbled: Tumbled stone has the effect of being pitted with broken rounded edges and corners. The stone is literally “tumbled” in a machine lo achieve this look.
- Brushed: A simulated worn-down or aged look, achieved by brushing the surface of the stone with a wire brush.
- Stripping: The removal of existing applied sealant, wax or polishes.
- Sealing: A below the surface impregnating barrier designed to repel the effect of staining from spillages and general wear.
- Acid Wash: A more rustic look compared to a honed finish. Acid-washed finishes show fewer scratches and are shiny with small etch marks. Acid washing is a method used to soften the shine on granite and is commonly used on marble and limestone.
- Flamed: A rough and very abrasive texture achieved by heating the surface of the stone to extreme temperatures, followed by rapid cooling.
- Polished: Granite, limestone, marble and other materials are often polished to a high shine finish. Polishing can remove light scratches and surface staining.
- Anti-slip: This is the application of resin and anti-slip treads for interior or exterior use.
- Grout haze: A light haze of residue that has dried on the surface of the stone or tile after grouting.
- Grinding: This is the process of aggressively sanding a stones surface to remove larger amounts of material. This is usually recommended when the surface of stone tiles are uneven.
- Sand Blasted: A finish for stone that is matte in appearance created by the application of sand under very high pressure.
- Etching: Etch marks are often confused with a stain. Etching is however caused by soft drink, coffee, lemon juice and other common acidic substances that can instantly eat away at the stone. A stain is a mark hat has penetrated the stone but not damaged the surface.
- Porosity: Porosity can essentially be described as the ability of a stone to absorb liquid. All natural stone is porous to some degree.
- Acidic: or containing an acid; having a pH of less than 7.
- Alkaline: or containing an acid; having a pH of less than 7.
- Neutral: Having neither acid nor basic properties, it is neither acidic nor alkaline. On the pH scale it has a rating of 7.
Scratch Resistance (Mohs Scale)
- 10 Diamond Diamond, Abrasives
- 9 Corundum Ruby, Sapphire, Abrasives
- 8 Topaz Topaz, Emerald
- 7 Quartz Hardened Steel, Granite
- 6 Orthoclase/Feldspar Granite, Iron Pyrite, Glass
- 5 Apatite Knife Blade, Iron
- 4 Fluorite Platinum
- 3 Calcite Marble, Limestone, Travertine, Slate, Gold, Silver, Fingernail
- 2 Gypsum Plaster of Paris
- 1 Talc Talcum Powder
Give us a call and allow us to take care of everything, our knowledgeable and friendly customer service can assist you with your questions and bookings.
Call us now for your free quote, or enquire with us online and we will call you back as soon as we can. Feel free to call us any time on, at StoneMaster® we provide our services after hours for your convenience.