Care, Maintenance and Installation of Natural Stone
Installation Considerations for Travertine, Limestone or Marble Pavers:
Dry set, the installation process is the same as for all concrete pavers. We do recommend that when tamping the pavers, use a pad.
Wet set, application, use thin set on crete slab. When finished, clean and seal the stone with an impregnating sealer. We recommend Dry Treat products.
Care of Natural Stone
Your natural stone can provide you with a lifetime of beauty and pleasure, provided it’s properly cared for. Learn why natural stone is unique and unlike any other surface, why it requires special care, and how to care for it properly.
Origin of Natural Stone
Natural stone is a creation of nature. Like so many natural formations, every piece is unique and matchless. Within each piece of stone also lies the history of one particular place on our planet. Today’s limestone floor for instance, was once a mass of tiny sea creatures, then an ancient seabed, and after millions of years of uplift, a mountainside where the limestone was discovered in our day.
Your natural stone was cut out from a mountainside originally in huge 50,000 pound blocks of stone. The blocks were then sliced into slabs which were then refined to give its natural colors a mirror like depth, smooth soft surface or left slightly rough to enhance its rich natural texture.
The luster, hardness, colors, and variation are all indications of the stone’s mineral composition and origin. This unique blend of characteristics is what makes your natural stone a one-of-a-kind, beautiful yet practical surface for your home.
Stone is Absorbent
Although we usually think of stone as “hard,” it is a porous material. Natural stone has varying degrees of porosity depending on the type of stone. If left unsealed, spills and everyday messes can easily penetrate the surface. The liquid eventually evaporates but the stain is left behind.
Highly acidic substances such as orange juice, coffee and wine will also etch acid sensitive stones and leave a dull mark. Acid resistant stones such as most granite, slate and sandstone will not etch.
Our protective sealers make stains bead up for easy removal.
Oil and water-based stains can penetrate and damage unprotected stone.
Benefits of Protecting Stone
The best way to prevent stains is to treat the surface with a protective sealer. The sealer fills in the pores and repels spills on the surface, allowing you time to completely wipe it away.
Fluorochemical technology is the most advanced technology available, providing the ultimate shield against both water and oil-base stains. The micro-molecular formula actually bonds with the stone surface to deliver unsurpassed wear resistance and durability. And because the sealer reacts with the stone, you no longer have to worry about its porosity. It works on all types of stone, from ultra-porous Juparana Columbo to super-dense Absolute Black.
There are also sealers available with antimicrobial product protection. They not only protect the surface from stains, but also resist growth of mold and mildew on the dried sealer.
Stone Needs Specialty Cleaners
Like any other surface in your home, natural stone also needs to be cleaned to maintain its beauty. However, natural stone requires cleaning products specifically designed for stone’s unique mineral composition.
Most popular general-purpose cleaners will etch or damage the stone or degrade the sealer, therefore removing protective properties and becoming susceptible to stains. Cleaning products containing too much acids or alkalines will etch the stone. Scouring powders and abrasives will scratch the surface.
Maintenance cleaning with a pH-balanced, neutral cleaner such as Revitalizer Cleaner & Protector will help remove soils that normal dusting or damp mopping leave behind. It also helps keep your stone free of dust and dry, sandy soil to minimize wear patterns from everyday use on some softer stones. Specially designed cleaners for stone will also never break down the protective sealer. In fact, some cleaners contain protective properties which reinforce the sealer and prolong stain resistance
Is your Customer Complaining About Slippery Surfaces?
If this complaint is coming to your attention and your client has tumbled travertine, limestone or marble installed, chances are a “topical” coating type of sealer (those that need to continually be re-applied every couple of years), is the culprit. Having said that, many times, when these types of sealers are applied on the surfaces (they do not penetrate or impregnate the stone) another product, typically, “Shark Grip” then needs to be applied to overcome the slipperiness! This is a double edge sword. It is costly and it typically doesn’t correct the situation or only temporarily corrects the situation.
For our natural stone products, we recommend Dry Treat Cleaner and Sealer products, www.drytreat.com. You will never have a slippery surface, nor probably, ever have to seal again with these fantastic products. I can’t tell you how many contractors have told me about their client situations re: slipperiness, prior to being educated on the proper cleaning and sealing techniques for travertine, limestone and marble – interior or exterior!