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Care and Maintenance

1.  Natural Stone Slabs Counter Tops

1.1.       Sealing

Natural stone slab requires sealing at the time of installation. The stone must be sealed  after the final clean.

We recommend using a penetrating sealer designed for natural stone, such as Aqua-Seal Gold+, or similar. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for applying the sealer.

The sealer acts as a barrier that reduces the rate of absorption by the stone and it makes the stone surface easier to clean and maintain. It is important to note that the application of sealer to the stone surface will not make the stone surface stain proof.

The effectiveness of the sealer reduces over time through use-age, cleaning and other environmental factors. We recommend a professional contractor be employed to clean and reseal your natural stone surfaces every 2 years for best results.

1.2.       Cleaning – Countertop/Benchtop Surfaces

Clean stone surfaces only with neutral (pH 7) cleaner, such as mild liquid dishwashing detergent and warm water. Use a clean soft cloth to achieve best results.

Too much cleaner or soap may leave a film on the surface causing streaks.

Never use abrasive cleaning substance such as scouring powders or creams; these products may scratch the surface.

Rinse the surface thoroughly after washing with the soap solution and dry with a soft cloth.

Recommendation:

  • Use coasters under all glasses, particularly those containing alcohol or citrus juices.
  • Do not place hot items right off a stove or out of an oven directly on the stone surface, place hot items on a trivet or a mat acting as a barrier between the hot surface and the stone surface
  • Use trivets or mats under china, ceramics, silver, or other objects that can scratch the surface
  • Many common foods and drinks contain acids, such as lemon or vinegar, that will etch or dull the stone surface

2.  Natural Stone Tile

2.1.       Sealing

We recommend using a penetrating sealer designed for natural stone, such as Aqua-Seal Gold+, or similar. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for applying the sealer.

Depending on the characteristic of the natural stone, sealing maybe required at various stages:

Marble, Limestone, and Travertine Tile:

Depending on the density of the stone and the moisture sensitivity of the stone, the tile may require sealing all sides prior to installation. If the stone is not moisture sensitive, seal the tiles after installation but prior to grouting and then again after conducting the final clean of the tiles prior to handover.

Granite Tile:

Seal the tiles prior to grouting and then again after conducting the final clean of the tiles prior to handover. Some light colour granites darken when wet, but the stone dries out. The wet look of the stone is normal and does not affect the performance of the stone.

The sealer acts as a barrier that reduces the rate of absorption by the stone and it makes the stone surface easier to clean and maintain. It is important to note that the application of sealer to the stone surface will not make the stone surface stain proof.

The effectiveness of the sealer reduces over time through use-age, cleaning and other environmental factors. We recommend a professional contractor be employed to clean and reseal your stone surfaces every 2 years for best results.

2.2.       Choosing Grout Colour

We recommend doing a test of grout before grouting the entire surface.

Using a full tile or off-cuts, glue several tiles onto a piece of plaster board. Select the grout colour options from a colour chart. When the adhesive is dry, grout the tiles in the selected colours and make your final grout selection after viewing the fully dried samples under the same light conditions as where the tiles are to be installed.

2.3.       Dry-lay of Natural Stone Tile

We recommend the tiles be dry laid and inspected prior to commencing the installation.

Dry-lay the tiles in the same configuration as they will be installed thereby ensuring vein direction, shade and pattern can be inspected and approved by the client prior to commencement of installation.

2.4.       Cleaning

Floor Surfaces Internal

Dust mop interior floors frequently using a clean dry dust mop.

Subject to the amount of traffic and the ingress of dirt, periodically wash the stone surface with clean, potable water and neutral (pH 7) cleaners. Soapless cleaners are preferred because they minimize streaks and film. Mild liquid dishwashing detergent or stone soaps are acceptable provided the surface is thoroughly rinsed after cleaning.

Wet the stone surface with clean water. Using the cleaning solution (following manufacturer’s directions), wash in small, overlapping sweeps. Rinse thoroughly with clean, potable water to remove all traces of soap or cleaner solution. Change the water in the rinse pail frequently. Dry with soft cloth and allow to thoroughly air dry.

Never use abrasive or acidic cleaning substance as these products may scratch the surface.

We recommend a professional contractor to clean and reseal natural stone surface every 2 years for best results.

Note: Most damage to natural stone surfaces is caused by sand, dirt, and grit due to their abrasiveness. Mats or area rugs inside and outside an entrance will help to minimize the sand, dirt, and grit that will scratch the stone floor. Be sure that the underside of the mat or rug is a non-slip surface and keep the area beneath the mat from of dust and dirt.

Bathroom and Other Wet Areas

Soap scum can be minimized by using a squeegee after each use. To remove soap scum, use a non-acidic soap scum remover or a solution of ammonia and water (following manufacturer’s directions), however, frequent or over-use of an ammonia solution may eventually dull the surface of the stone.

Beware of colouring agents such as spray-tan, hair colour and bleach as these products may damage the stone surface.

Exterior Stone

Exterior stone should be given periodic overall cleaning as necessary to remove accumulated dirt. Easily accessible stone surfaces such as steps and walkways, should be kept free of debris and soiling by periodically sweeping and washing with water. A high-pressure hose can be used for cleaning. Normal maintenance should include periodic inspection of stone surfaces for structural defects, movement, deterioration, or staining.

The open surface structure on rough surfaces will collect more dirt compared to a smooth surface. Depending on the nature of the wear and dirt, professional cleaning may be required to maintain the stone. For light cleaning use a bristled brush in soapy solution of clean water.

3.  Porcelain

Sealing not required for porcelain products.

It is important to sweep or wash the surface daily to remove dust or other forms of debris that collects on a floor or wall.

Effective cleaning usually can be achieved by normal washing or scrubbing. Neutral (pH 7) cleaner, such as mild liquid dishwashing detergent are recommended. The correct amount of cleaning agent should be used to remove marks as using excessive cleaning agent might result streak or films on the surface.

Do not use acidic cleaning agents as it may result in grout attack or cause hazing of glazed/gross tiles. Avoid abrasive cleaning methods, as they can contribute to excessive ware.

Finally, rinse the surface with clean water to ensure that cleaning products are removed completely.