Natural stone flooring is attractive and depending on the product appears opulent or organic depending on the materials. The problem is that over time the surface will wear and deteriorate. Stains, scratches and etching will occur.Stone is porous and will soak up liquids like a sponge. Oil, dirt, food, rust and ink contaminants will be absorbed creating unsightly stains. Most foods are acidic by nature as well as cleaning chemicals are all acidic. Scratches are abrasive cuts into the stone. Dirt from shoes or accumulated wind born particle can cause abrasive damage.
Natural Stone Flooring Material Types & Textures
Many natural stone products contain carbonate like limestone, marble and others. Quartz is silicone oxide, while granite is made up of numerous chemicals. Silica and alumina constitute the bulk of granite. Granite is one of the toughest of the natural stone materials for floor and counter tops. But the carbonates a very susceptible to etching by acids because calcium carbonate reacts with the acid and produce carbonic acid which in turn breaks down to carbon dioxide and water. Even vinegar will damage these materials.
Natural Stone Restoration Steps
To restore the surface the stone will have to be treated mechanically. Grinding is the most aggressive method. The finish is restored by removing surface material and exposing undamaged lower strata. Honing follows grinding. It uses finer grits to soften the surfaces texture and is followed by polishing. Using very fine grits, the stone will be polished to a high luster. This followed by sealing not only the primary tilling material but the grout as well.
Natural Stone Care & Maintenance
Once refinished there some tips to maintain the flooring:
• Mats. A high-quality mat at entry points will capture most dirt when entering. This cuts down on the amount of abrasive media that scratches and dulls the floor finish.
• Furniture Pads. Use felt or plastic pads on furniture legs, place plants on a protective base.
• Cleaning should be undertaken often. Use a dust mop to reduce abrasive materials on the floor.
• Deep Cleanings. Read the labels or safety data sheets and avoid cleaning chemicals that are acidic.
• Sealing needs to be redone over time. Usually it is a plastic resin material, sealers are removed by foot traffic and overtime will require resealing. All the natural stone products are porous. Very porous and water will disappear in under a minute. If it talks 3-4 minutes, it is porous.
Natural Stone Sealing
The resins used as sealer not only protect the surface finish but migrate into the pores of the stone adding additional structural integrity to the material. This is usually done at the factory for many materials. A polished surface is more resistant to absorption of liquids than a rough service. Exposure to spills is a factor. Beverages are either naturally staining (wine) or contain dyes like in many soft drinks and punches. Fruits and vegetable are naturally acidic and so are many kitchen oils. Some sealers provide a sacrificial surface to protect the surface and acts as a barrier to stop oil and dirt from impregnating the stone’s pores. Some are strippable while others more permanent. Strippable coatings are easily stripped or removed. These polymers are acrylics, styrene and polyethylene. Permanent coatings are polymers such polyurethane, epoxies and others. Surface coatings are all solvent based. Impregnators are penetrating sealers, either solvent or water based and contain silicone, siloxane, silane and methyl silicate.
Natural Stone Floor Cleaning & Sealing in Aliante, Anthem, Desert Shores, Eldorado, Enterprise, Green Valley Ranch, Henderson, Inspirada, Mountain’s Edge, North LV, Peccole Ranch, Paradise, Providence, Rhodes Ranch, Seven Hills, Silverado Ranch, Spring Valley, Summerlin, Sunrise Manor, The Lakes, Tuscany Village & Las Vegas Nevada
There are many stages to stone restoration. Special equipment is needed and knowledge of the materials that fit the application. The application varies with the material and how it is utilized. A countertop must deal with heat and spills, while an entry area must handle abrasive foot traffic. What works with tough material like granite varies from treatments for limestone or marble. Because of the requisite experience and knowledge plus access to the needed equipment it best to employ the skills of a professional company. Contact Silver State Floor Restoration for all your hard floor care needs!