Homeowners frequently choose natural stone for use in foyers, kitchens, bathrooms, hearths and other heavily used surfaces. Due to its porous nature, natural stone is often treated with a penetrating sealer designed to provide stain protection and moisture-vapor transmission.
There are many variables that must be considered when designing a program to clean these materials: physical properties of the stone, abrasion risk, environmental factors, and maintenance budget. It is highly recommended that a maintenance professional be consulted if there are any questions or concerns regarding a cleaning method or product.
Guthmann Construction recommends contacting The Marble and Stone Shop at (704) 376-2254 with your specific questions and concerns. They carry a variety of cleaning products and sealants for each type of natural stone listed below:
Marble – a popular choice because of its sophisticated beauty, but it requires a high level of maintenance when used as flooring, especially in high traffic areas. It is easily scratched and absorbs oils and other liquids. It is highly recommended that the surface be sealed with a penetrating type siloxane or fluoropolymer. Only clean marble with natural soap or a neutral pH detergent. Polish with a liquid paste wax only.
Granite– one of the most popular natural stones because of its durability and longevity. It is the hardest of the polished stones commercially available, and it is completely fireproof. It cannot be burned by hot pots or pans taken directly from the oven. Granite should be sealed with sub-surface oil repellent. Even polished granite will absorb oil and water, so be sure to wipe spills immediately. Use pure soap or a neutral pH detergent only. Always buff completely dry after washing, otherwise streaking will occur.
Travertine– a type of limestone used frequently because of its versatility and availability. It is porous with many visible holes, and these can either be filled in with cementicous filler or left unfilled for a rustic appearance. It is highly recommended that the surface be sealed with a penetrating type siloxane or fluoropolymer. Only clean trave11ine with natural soap or a neutral pH detergent. Polish with a liquid paste wax only. Sealing is recommended for interior and exterior locations.
Slate – very durable stone with a textured surface. Wear is usually noticed on the peaks. The characteristics of slate vary greatly with the source, and it is important to know the stone’s origin when designing a maintenance program. Evaluate your stone for density, tensile strength, absorbency and abrasion resistance.
Photos credits: Houzz