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Absorption

Materials with either very high or very low absorption will perform better in exterior applications. For materials rated as highly absorbent, water will evaporate more easily, so the material will be less likely to be impacted by freeze-thaw cycles. Materials rated as minimally absorbent will simply remain impermeable to water and its effects.

Acid Sensitivity

Acid rain and other acid pollutants will etch materials that contain calcium or magnesium carbonate (i.e. marble, limestone and travertine). Materials rated as moderately sensitive or highly sensitive will patina more rapidly than materials rated as minimally sensitive. All materials used in exterior applications will patina.

Freeze/Thaw

Materials rated as suitable for exterior applications have minimal cracking or spalling in repeat freeze-thaw cycles.

Natural stone for interior applications

Most stones are suitable for the majority of interior applications, but care should be taken in the selection of materials for use in wet areas such as swimming pools and bathrooms. In these cases, reference to the technical characteristics and slip resistance of materials is advised. Maintenance and care of natural stone can be improved by the use of specific chemical impregnators/sealers.

Cleaning natural stone

It is important to understand the type of stone used and its composition. Natural stone can be classified into two general categories according to its composition: siliceous stone or calcareous. Siliceous stone is composed mainly of silica or quartz-like particles. It tends to be very durable and relatively easy to clean with mild acidic cleaning solutions. Types of siliceous stone include granite, slate, sandstone and quartzite. Calcareous stone is composed mainly of calcium carbonate and will react to acidic foods such as lemons or tomatoes. This reaction will result in a dulling in surface sheen and change in texture, otherwise referred to as “acid etching”. Cleaning products that work on siliceous stone may damage the surface of calcareous surfaces.
For day-to-day maintenance, do not use scouring powders or creams as these products contain abrasives that may scratch the surface. Thoroughly clean surfaces with mild detergent and rinse the surface dry. For specific hard markings use only recommended cleaning products for the type of natural stone used.
Do not allow vinegars or lemons juice to stand on stone, and specifically limestone, travertine and most marbles/onyx.
Do not use everyday house cleaners on your stone surface.
Do not use any harsh brushes which might spoil the surface finishes.
As a general rule of thumb, whenever a spill occurs, immediately blot the spill with a paper towel, don’t wipe the area as it will spread the spill. Flush the area with plain water and a mild liquid dishwashing detergent and rinse several times. Dry the area thoroughly with a soft cloth, and do not use products that contain lemon, vinegar or other acids on marble or limestone.