Frequently Asked Questions
Why has my marble lost its shine?
There are generally 2 reasons why marble may lose its luster.
Wear & Tear
- Wear & Tear
- Acid attack
Foot and Paw traffic creates wear. The dustier or sandier the floor the greater the wear. The more feet traverse the area the greater the wear. Even the type of shoe can have an impact with high heel shoes doing greater damage the flat soled sneakers. Keep the floor as free of dust will help, as will an appropriate entrance mat (a spaghetti mat is your best friend here). A 100 lb woman in flat shoes may exert 3 psi pressure standing, but the same woman walking in high heel shoes with a ¼” diameter heel will generate 160 psi pressure with each step. Now concentrate that through a grain of sand caught under that heel with a width of 0.2 mm and the pressures can rise to almost 20,000 psi, more than enough to scratch marble.
Marble can be dissolved by acid. A small amount will create a local pit that disrupts the stone’s ability to reflect light – its shine. Acid can be introduced through cleaners (lemon-fresh, orange scented, vinegar infused or vinegar), foods & fruits (lemon, lime, tomatoes, acid rain, or pet fluids. Anything with acid will dissolve or mar the marble, travertine, concrete or terrazzo stone surfaces.
Cleaning with an inappropriate cleaner is the second most frequent cause after normal foot traffic.
How should I care for my marble?
- Clean with non-acidic cleaners (such as MARBLELIFE Marble & Travertine Cleaner)
- Never clean with vinegar or a lemon-fresh, orange scented or vinegar infused cleaner.
- Keep your surface dust and sand-free. This can be done with periodic dust mop cleaning.
- Use appropriate entrance mats, which means a mat that allows dirt and dust to fall INTO the mat so that it is not available to be transferred by the next set of feet.
- Seal counters every 2 years to avoid staining.
- Consider a MARBLELIFE hardening treatment designed to increase the marble’s resistance to wear much like a dental fluoride treatment.
Does sanding, grinding, honing or polishing produce dust?
In the old days, when stone was ground dry one would get dust, but today with MARBLELIFE’s wet grind methods dust is captured in water to create a paste that can be vacuumed up. The net result is a clean floor. In fact, we aim to leave every project cleaner than we found it.
Why is it recommended that marble be sealed?
Stone is naturally porous, which means it can absorb spilled liquids. Depending on the liquid one could then see discoloration or staining. Removing material from a stone pore, is like trying to clean a test tube with a sponge, possible but not easy. Yet, we want to be able to clean the surface, without the stone absorbing the cleaner which can result in darkening. By sealing the surface liquids are kept on the surface, making cleaning possible without wetting or darkening the stone, or transferring dirt from surface into the stone.
If it important to realize that sealing provides you the time needed to clean-up a spill, it does not mean that given enough time a spill cannot find its way through the seal.
If is also important to realize that staining provides no protection against acid attack or etching.
When a penetrating seal is applied, the surface is soaked, allowed to rest for a few minutes and then the excess is removed from the surface leaving only the seal in the pores where we need it. As such, it does NOT cover the marble.
Topical sealers are available that will halt etching but are generally not employed as they can alter the natural beauty and appearance of your elegant stone.
How often should our marble be serviced?
The more frequent the wear or foot traffic the more frequent the surface will need attention. As such, a hotel or office building lobby may need monthly visits, whereas a residential home may only need a service visit annually.
Your dentist likely recommends a fluoride treatment to strengthen your teeths’ enamel. Similarly, hardening your marble’s surface can resist wear and reduce frequency of restoration.
Stone should be serviced immediately when chipped or cracked, just as you would for a cavity.
A polished floor lasts longer than a dull scratched floor, as scratches guide new grains of sand to dig the furrow deeper. Better to have lots of small shallow new scratches, then deep scratches. As such, an annual visit is recommended to maintain your surfaces’ gloss and appearance.
Why can’t a ‘per square foot’ rate be quoted over the telephone?
Stone restoration and care is determined not just based on the area to be serviced, but the depth of the damage, and the extent of the damaged.
The same floor, cleaned with an acidic cleaner such as vinegar may need a multi step service across the entire space, whereas the repair of a scratch or traffic pattern between 2 doors may require intensive work at the local damage site, but then be blended into the floor finish resulting in a less costly charge.
In order to provide a cost effective accurate estimate a trained craftsman needs to review the area impacted and conditions across the entire project.
An over-the-phone quote would need to be bid conservatively high, versus an in-person review of the site conditions and needs.
How long should we wait to use a freshly restored marble surface?
Generally, you can place the restored service back into service immediately,
The only exception is when one is having a topical seal installed in which case this will depend the cure profile of the coating. This is rare in the case of marble, where most services require honing, polishing and sealing.
In the case of sealing, once the excess seal has been removed from the surface one can walk on the surface. We would recommend letting the surface rest for a day before requiring it to do kitchen food prep duty. Full strength is generally attained within 7-days.