Installation and Care of Natural Stone
Your natural stone can provide you with a lifetime of beauty and pleasure, provided proper care is given. Learn why natural stone is unique and unlike any other surface, why special care of natural stone is needed.
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. These blocks were sliced into slabs which were then refined to give their 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,” the material is actually porous. 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 a stain may be left behind.
Installation and Care of Natural Stone
Installation Considerations for Travertine, Limestone or Marble Pavers:
With a ‘Dry set’ the installation process is the same as for concrete pavers. We do recommend that when tamping the pavers, use a pad.
With a ‘Wet set’ application, you use thinset on a concrete slab. When finished, clean and seal the stone with an impregnating sealer. To take care of natural stone properly, we recommend Dry Treat products.
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 resist etching.
Protected Stone vs Unprotected Stone
Our protective sealers make stains bead up for easy removal, to easily take care of your natural stone. 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 them away with no damage.
Dry-Treat impregnators offer more than oil and water-based stain protection – deeper penetration and permanent bonding technology means protection from more serious issues, such as salt efflorescence, picture framing, salt spalling and freeze-thaw spalling.
Fluorochemical technology is the most advanced technology available, providing the ultimate shield against both water and oil-based 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. Our sealers work on all types of stone, from ultra-porous Juparana Columbo to super-dense Absolute Black.
Natural 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 making the stone susceptible to stains. Cleaning products containing too much acid or alkaline will etch the stone. Scouring powders and abrasives will scratch the surface.
Maintenance cleaning with a pH-balanced, neutral cleaner such as Rejuvenata will help remove soils that normal dusting or damp mopping leave behind. This process 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, making your care of natural stone surfaces in your home even easier.
If your customers are complaining about slippery surfaces, and they have 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 another product, typically, “Shark Grip,” then needs to be applied to overcome the slipperiness! The reason is that these products are unable to penetrate or impregnate the stone. This situation is a double-edged sword: The situation is uncorrected or only temporarily corrected, and you can spend a lot of money.
For care of natural stone products, we recommend Dry-Treat Cleaner and Sealer products. You will never have a slippery surface, nor probably, ever have to seal again with these fantastic products. We have recommended Dry-Treat to many contractors when they have told us about client situations with regard to slipperiness, prior to being educated on the proper cleaning and sealing techniques for travertine, limestone and marble – interior or exterior!
How Are Dry-Treat Sealers Different?
Dry-treat sealers stand out from other products in two main ways.
- Dry-treat sealers better protect the stone from traffic wear, weathering, efflorescence, salt attack and freeze-thaw attack by penetrating much deeper into the pore structure of the stone.
- Once the sealer molecules are inside the pores, a covalent chemical bond is created with the capillary pores beneath the surface, which results in a semi-permanent or permanent treatment.
How To Protect And Maintain Your Surface With Dry-Treat
Dry-Treat™ specialty cleaners and impregnating sealers are designed to both maintain and protect a large variety of porous surfaces. Some of the surfaces that Dry-Treat™ products are engineered to protect include concrete, pavers, brick, virtually all types of natural stone, and other structural and surface materials.
Choosing The Right Type Of Surface Treatment
To choose the right type of surface treatment that will work best, first consider what surface is being treated and where the surface is located. For example, Dry-Treat’s impregnating sealers are usually highly effective at protecting the surface and also make keeping the surface clean easier. However, if the stone is located near a saltwater pool or in an area where freeze-thaw conditions are prevalent, a specialty treatment may be required.
Choosing The Correct Sealing Method
When choosing the correct sealing method, think about how you want the surface to appear. In most cases, an invisible or transparent sealing method is desired as this type of treatment will have no effect on the overall look of your flooring or countertop.
On the other hand, you may be looking for a sealer that will enhance the color of the surface in question. In this instance, you should select a Dry-Treat sealer that is designed to enhance the visual appearance of the surface that you are treating.
Stoneworks is a Distributor of Dry-Treat Products for the Best Care of Natural Stone
When you invest in natural stone, you invest in a product that can last lifetimes. Proper care of natural stone will help ensure that its beauty endures. Contact us today to learn more about our natural stone products or Dry-Treat cleaning and sealing solutions.