Stone Problems

Stone is a natural product and simple care and maintenance will keep it looking beautiful. Each piece is distinctive and matchless. Marble, granite, limestone and other decorative stone are durable materials that will last a life time. However, if not installed correctly or properly cared for, will experience problems that will shorten its life.


The following problems are the most common in dealing with stone.


Loss of shine : The loss of the high polish on certain marble and granite can be attributed to wear. The bottoms of ones shoe acts like sandpaper on a stone floor surface and over time will wear the polish off. To prevent excessive wear it is important to keep the floor dust mopped, place walk off mats at all entrances.


Staining : All stone surfaces can become stained very easily. Most foods, drinks, ink, oil and rust will stain marble. Once a stone becomes stained, it can be very difficult to remove. To prevent staining clean the spilled material as soon as possible.

Etching : The dull spot created when liquids containing acids are spilled on marble is called etching. Marble and limestone etch very easily. Granite is more acid-resistance and will rarely etch. To prevent etching, avoid using cleaners and chemicals that contain acids. Bathroom cleaners, toilet bowl cleaners and lemon cleaners commonly contain acids. Certain drinks and foods contain acids and will also etch. Light etching can be removed with a little marble polishing powder. Deep etching will require resurfacing of the stone.


Etching : The dull spot created when liquids containing acids are spilled on marble is called etching. Marble and limestone etch very easily. Granite is more acid-resistance and will rarely etch. To prevent etching, avoid using cleaners and chemicals that contain acids. Bathroom cleaners, toilet bowl cleaners and lemon cleaners commonly contain acids. Certain drinks and foods contain acids and will also etch. Light etching can be removed with a little marble polishing powder. Deep etching will require resurfacing of the stone.


Efflorescence : TEfflorescence appears as a white powdery residue on the surface of the stone. It is a common condition on new stone installations or when the stone is exposed to a large quanity of water, such as flooding. This powder is a mineral salt from the setting bed. To remove efflorescence do not use water, buff the stone with a clean polishing or #0000 steel wool pad. The stone will continue to effloresce until it is completely dry. it take several days to as long as one year.


Pitting : If your stone is developing small pits or small pieces of stone are popping off the surfacethen you have a problem. Mineral salts are the cause for pitting. Instead of the salts depositing on the surface(efflorescence) they deposit below the surface of the stone, causing pressure within the stone and therefore the stone spalls, flakes or pits. Unfortunately once a stone begins to spall it is almost impossible to repair. It is recommended that the stone be replaced.


Yellowing : Embedded dirt and grime can give the stone a yellow, look. Waxes and other coatings can yellow with age. Certain stones will naturally yellow with age. This is caused by oxidation of iron within the stone and especially problematic with white marbles.


Cracks : Cracks in stone tiles can be caused by settling, poor installation, excessive vibration, etc.Cracks can sometimes be repaired by filling with a color matched polyester or epoxy. Before a crack is repaired, it is wise to find out how and why the cracked occurred in the first place otherwise it may crack again.