Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ

  1. How do I clean stone?
  2. A lot of people think because it's stone, it is impossible to damage it! Nothing could be further from the truth. Stone has many potential weaknesses, but once it has been properly protected and maintained the beauty is unparalleled.

    Best method for cleaning stone:

    The first step in stone tile maintenance is the sealing of the stone. Generally, all stone must be sealed. Follow the manufacturers recommendations for the product you choose.

    Everyday Cleaning

    Immediately wipe up spills and messes. Use pH balanced cleaners and soap-less detergents for daily cleaning. Mild dishwashing liquid sometimes works quite well on stone surfaces. Acidic cleaners will etch and remove the polished surfaces from alkaline stones like marble, travertine and sandstone. Acidic cleaners will eventually erode the grout in the joints, making cleaning and maintenance more and more problematic. This is especially true if using acid cleaners on sanded grout installations.

    Heavy Duty Cleaning

    Again, try to solve the heavy duty cleaning needs with pH balanced cleaners. These can include scouring cleaners and poultices manufactured for this purpose. Be sure to take advantage of a soft bristled brush to agitate the cleaners in the grout joints. Again, test an inconspicuous area with any abrasive powder to evaluate if it will adversely affect the finish of the stone. If these results are not acceptable, then proceed to the more aggressive high-alkaline "heavy duty" or "deep clean" type cleaners available from good manufacturers.

    Other Cleaning Information for Stone

    • Most stones, once protected, require occasional scrubbing to remove surface buildup of dirt and grime.
    • On some types of stone tiles, you can apply coatings to produce a "wear layer" or "sacrificial" coating.
    • On honed (smooth but not polished) or slate (rough) finish stones, a good scrubbing is required more often, due to the texture of the product holding the dirt to the surface. A good penetrating sealer cuts down the frequency of this task.
    • For stains on marble or stone, a product commonly referred to as a "poultice" should be used. Poultices are used in paste form and are applied to the surface, covering the entire area where the stain is. Then a piece of plastic, larger than the stain area, is applied over the poultice and sealed off with tape. Allow the prescribed amount of time by the manufacturer and remove plastic and poultice. The stain is normally drawn out of the stone.
  3. How should I seal grout?
  4. The doctor always recommends sealing cement grouts. For ease of maintenance and protection against stains, this is a small cost of the total job, but the effects of not sealing can make you unhappy with the entire job. Some sealers protect against everyday dirt and minor staining elements; others protect against harsh staining elements like hot grease. Look for warranties and protection information on the manufacturer's label. Grouts can also be re-colored by applying topical coatings much like painting. There are special products made just for this technique and the best news is, they work! If you have damaged grout that is discolored, you can fix it. Generally, cementitious grouts require sealing while specialty grouts like epoxy and furans do not. If the grout darkens with water, it requires a sealer.

  5. What is the best way to seal tile?
  6. Generally, if water will penetrate or darken the surface of ceramic or stone tile, so will staining materials.

    Stone

    The first step in stone tile maintenance is the sealing of the stone. Generally, all stone must be sealed. Follow the manufacturer's recommendations for the product you choose.

    Ceramic

    Generally, glazed tile requires no sealer. Some unglazed tile requires no sealer. Know the type of tile you are installing. Test it with a small amount of water. If the surface darkens, it absorbs water and requires sealing. Glazed tiles should never be sealed. The glaze itself is the sealer and is far more permanent and resistant to wear than any sealer.

How-To Videos

These videos were taken from www.remodelingmyspace.com on step by step instructions for installing ceramic tile.

Need More Info?

Check out this website for more information on installation: Remodeling My Space