The stone should be treated with a water and or oil repellent. These types of treatments modify the absorption factor of the stone and minimizes staining.
There are several factors to consider when choosing a sealer for stain protection.
- The type of stone (marble, granite, etc.)
- Its absorption %… See Stone Types
- The type of finish… Polished… Honed… Textured
- The stones location and the possible staining conditions.
- The Color Clue chart link will give you an idea.
- Is the product (sealer) formulated for a dense stone or for a stone with large pores? Sealers are not alike in certain respects.
- What is the service life… 6 mos.,1, 2, 5, 10 yrs. This is how long the product will work before it needs to be reapplied.
- Will the product darken the stone?
- The products and methods used to maintain the stone after it is treated.
- Some products and methods will shorten the sealers service life.
It is important to understand what a repellent treatment will and will not do.
They will not prevent etching from acidic foods and beverages on marble and limestone. However, a treated surface will minimize the degree of etching by keeping the offending substance at the surface not allowing the damaging effects to migrate deeper into the stone to cause severe etching.
A treated surface is not a total guarantee against staining. Repellent treatments are not stain-proofers. If an offending substance is left in contact for a prolonged period of time a stain may develop, however it will not become deep seated. Therefore, care should be taken to remove any spills or foods from the surface as soon as possible.
Treating the stone does not make it maintenance free, it still needs to be maintained with the proper stone care products. Honed and texture surfaces in interior settings will receive further protection from using a “stone soap”. Stone soaps dress the stone leaving a residue behind which may act as a sealer and a soil releasing agent.
Understanding stone and the products that are available for stone care leads to realistic expectations and are vital elements for a successful stone maintenance program.
- Natural Stone & Masonry Surfaces Given Proper Care Will Sustain Their Beauty Forever
- Blot up spills immediately
- Dust mop floors… Using an untreated dust mop.
- Use door mats and walk-off mats whenever possible. This will help keep dirt and grit off the floor.
- Damp mop floors regularly… Using a neutral cleaner formulated to clean stone.
- Replace metal or plastic furniture glides with nylon glides.
- Remove felt from bottom of nick/knacks. The dye in the felt may eventually cause staining. This can be replaced with clear plastic self-adhesive tabs to protect from scratching.
- Keep planter containers up off the surface of the stone. This can be achieved by using container stands that allow air circulation under the containers.
- Showers… Use a shower squeegee after use…Treat the shower with a water & oil repellent and use a stone polish; this will increase the sheeting action (water run off). This will greatly minimize hard-water deposits from occurring. Do this quarterly or more often as need.
- Shower glass doors… Treat using a glass sealant like “RainX”; this will also protect the glass from hard-water deposits.
- Don’t… use vinegar or cleaners that contain acids… such as tile, tub, toilet and grout cleaners.
- Don’t… use powder cleansers, soft cream cleansers (SoftScrub, etc.), mildew/mold removers (TileX, X14, etc.), disinfectants (Lysol, etc.) and abrasive nylon srub pads.
- There is now available safe disinfectants that have been formulated that can be used around and on stone surfaces
- Don’t use furniture polish; this will help minimize staining and etching on furniture, counters and vanities.
- Don’t… use the cork and wood container protectors. These can cause sever stains.