Marble tile is recrystallized limestone that forms when limestone is softened from heat and pressure and recrystallized into marble where mineral changes have occurred. The main consistency of marble tile is calcium and dolomite. While it is usually heavily veined, marble ranges in many colors.
The types of stone available today are various. When stone is ordered, it is fabricated with a particular surface type. Most home marble installations have what is called a honed and polished surface. This surface is very smooth and has a glossy surface that wears away with time due to heavy foot traffic and using improper maintenance procedures. This surface is not rough or porous. The reflectivity of polished crystals brings out the brilliant colors and grains of natural stone. The shine comes from the natural reflection of the stone’s crystals. Powders that are used during fabrication or after installation provide the polish. The shine is not from a coating.
As with all floor types, the most important thing to do is clean dust, dirt, and pebbles from the floor regularly, which means once or twice daily. This may sound excessive, but it is necessary to keep your floor looking good for as long as possible. On polished surfaces, small particles like dust between one’s shoes and the floor will slowly sand the finish to a dull appearance. Dust may even become embedded in the stone.
We recommend running a dust mop across the floor at least daily to remove these contaminates from the stone’s surface. Use a large 3-foot or longer dust mop that you can purchase from most home improvement stores such as Home Depot. Dust mop all walk areas daily. To improve your dusting results, we offer an oil-free product that you spray on the dust mop, which attracts dust and dirt. Most dust mop sprays are oil-based and can harm your floors, so avoid using them.
The pH level of your wet cleansers will determine how effective they are at cleaning specific stains. The pH is a unit of measure to determine the alkalinity or acidity of a solution. It is rated on a scale of 1 to 14, with pH levels 1 to 6.5 being acidic, 7.5 to 14 being an alkali and 7 being neutral.
The following is a list of some common acids:
Acid Bowl Cleaners,
Most fruit juices,
Many household cleaners and
Most stone flooring material used today are sensitive to both acidic and alkali cleaners. This is the case because most stones are classified as hydroxides which is a natural alkali. Acids burn most stones by dissolving the bonding agents that keep stones in tact.
The acids indicated earlier will etch the surface of polished stone, which requires a re-polish or removal to fix. On the other side of the pH scale, alkaline may deteriorate stone over time. Stone cleaning products should therefore be pH neutral. Most neutral cleaners have a pH balance of 7; however, some neutral cleaners are stronger than others because they have higher activity levels. There are many neutral cleaners that are not active enough to thoroughly clean a stone’s porous surface. There are also an abundance of neutral cleaners that are too active for stone to endure.
We have studied the various cleaning products on the market and we have determined that the products manufactured by Stone Tech or Zing Manufacturing fit the criteria stone needs. Stone Tech products can be purchased from Monterey Tile located at 225 W. Baseline Road, Gilbert, AZ. It is just east of Country Club on Baseline. To receive a discount, tell them you are a customer of All Stone, Tile and Wood Restoration. To order Zing’s dust mop treatment or cleaners please call us directly for the details. Most tile stores also sell these and other cleaning products.
We recommend a product called Revitalize for use on counter tops, showers, and occasionally on floors. For most floor maintenance, we recommend a product called Klenzall. Follow the instructions on the bottle. As a service for our customers we also sell the products for the same price you can purchase them locally, and for less money than what is offered on the Internet. For best results, consider using soft water for mopping and then wipe the tile dry with a terry cloth or towel.
Tip: Just a reminder, natural stone does not like water. Natural stone needs to “breathe.” As a result, we do not recommend topical sealers. When water gets into its pores, it has to get out somehow. Too much water on natural stone may cause it to “breathe” too much causing cracks. In the case of filled stone, too much water may cause the fill to fall out. Mop areas that need it, but not any more than is necessary. Sweep a lot, Mop less is our motto.