What causes cloudy stone worktops?

 

Stone worktops are a fantastic investment in any home. Of course, they need to be properly maintained if you want to get the most out of them. Cloudy spots can ruin that beautiful finish. Knowing the causes of cloudiness will help you prevent them from occurring.

Incorrect cleaning solutions

Not all cleaning products can be used on natural stone. You need to make sure that you use a stone-safe cleaner. While you might read about using window cleaner or soapy water to clean stone surfaces, this is not ideal because it will build up over time and affect the look of your stone. Abrasive cleaners are also not recommended because they can leave scuff marks on your worktops.

Incorrect cleaning techniques

Just as you should avoid abrasive cleaning solutions, you should also avoid abrasive tools. Even if you use a stone-safe cleaner, an abrasive sponge will do serious damage to your stone worktops.

Oily spills

If you spill any kind of oily substance on your worktops, you need to clean it right away. The longer it sets, the more time it has to seep into the stone and leave a lasting stain. If you notice an oil stain on your worktops, you can use poultice powder to help remove it. You will need to allow the powder to stand on the affected area for up to 24 hours. After this, remove the powder and apply a degreaser with water. Keep the area wet, along with the degreaser, for 30 minutes. Vacuum the solution up and use a clean white cloth to blot the area. If this does not suffice, you will need to use a poultice with a solvent and poultice powder.

Incorrect application of a sealer

Stone worktops should be sealed immediately after installation and on a regular basis to prevent substances from seeping in. If, however, the sealer is not properly installed, it could be due to the fact that the wrong sealer was used or if it was not applied as per the manufacturer’s instructions.

Hard water

Water spots and rings can form if you do not wipe up any water right away. If spotted early enough, these spots are easy to remove with a stone-safe cleaner. If the build up is more severe, you may need to call a professional.

For the most part, natural stone worktops are very forgiving. So, even if you notice some cloudiness or other stains, there is usually no need to worry. If you cannot resolve the problem yourself, you can always depend on your local stone cleaning expert to assist.


 

Get rid of pink film in your shower

Pink film has a number of names. It is also referred to as pink slime or pink mold. It is a bacterial substance that can take on a pink, pink-orange or even an orange-red colour. This bacteria is airborne and it loves damp conditions. It feeds on the fatty materials that can be found in shampoo and soap. If you do not take action right away, it can leave your natural stone stained.

How to clean your stone

The good news is that you can get rid of this pink film quite easily. All you need to do is spray some bleach-based disinfectant on the affected area. Allow the solution to sit for a few minutes before brushing the area thoroughly. Rinse well with water when you are done. In some cases, you might need to repeat this process if there are any areas you’ve missed.

Keep in mind

When using bleach on natural stone, it can result in etching and iron oxidation (rust). This does not mean that you cannot use a bleach-based cleaner. It just means that you need to be extra careful when it comes to the resting time and rinsing.

Like most things in life, prevention is better than cure. To prevent pink film in your shower, take the time to squeegee all surfaces after you shower. This will limit the amount of moisture that remains and slow bacterial growth. You can also perform regular cleaning so that you don’t need to work as hard to clean these surfaces. If your stone has become damaged due to pink film, call an expert and schedule a professional clean.

How to disinfect stone without the risk of etching

Disinfecting the surfaces around your home is an essential part of any cleaning routine. Unfortunately, there are a lot of substances out there that will do more harm than good. Here are some important tips to keep n mind when disinfecting your stone surfaces.

About etching

Etching affects the uppermost layer or the finish of your natural stone worktops. It is a chemical reaction that occurs when acidic substances react with the calcium in the stone. Not only will the change be visible, but you will also feel a change in the texture. Many people refer to this type of damage as water marks but it’s so much more than that. While water can be wiped away, etch damage cannot.

Use the right cleaner

There are two main considerations to keep in mind. Firstly, you want to look for a stone-safe cleaner. Secondly, you need to look for a cleaner that will properly disinfect the surface. If you want to make your own cleaner, all you need to do is mix 50% isopropyl rubbing alcohol with 50% water. You will need to allow 3 – 5 minutes for the cleaning solution to take effect.

If, despite your best efforts, your worktops suffer from etching damage, there is still hope. You can use a marble polishing compound to remove minor etch damage. If the damage is more severe, you might need to call a stone restoration professional. They will have all the supplies and tools needed to get your worktops looking great again in no time.

Limestone surfaces – how to choose and care for them

When choosing worktops or other surfaces in your home, you will notice that there are a number of types of stone available. Choosing the right stone for you is just as important as understanding how much care is involved. Here’s what you need to know about limestone.

Uses

Limestone is made up of coral, shell and various forms of natural debris. Many people use them as worktops, flooring, backsplashes and more. You can even use them around your fireplace or hot tub. The only concern is that your limestone should not be overly exposed to water. That said, there are a few types of limestone that will be suited for installation in bathrooms and similar areas with high levels of water and humidity.

The effect of iron

Iron can be found in limestone slabs and, when it comes in contact with water, it will oxidize. This can result in stains over time and these stains cannot be removed. There is also no way of ridding the stone of iron because its is one of the many minerals that form part of the stone itself.

Porosity

As soon as you install limestone, it is important that you have it sealed. You will also need to reseal on a regular basis. If not, water will penetrate the stone and come in contact with the salts in the stone and, when it dries, the salts recrystallize. This can result in flaking, peeling or even breaking on the surface of the stone.

Water-soluble materials

Limestone is known to contain calcium carbonate and other water-soluble organic matter. These materials will dissolve in the water over time and you will notice your stone start to disintegrate.

If you already have limestone in your home and it has suffered water damage, not to worry because you don’t necessarily need to replace it. Contact a professional for restoration services. You will find that it’s a lot easier and cheaper than replacing the stone.

Granite worktops and how to make your choice

When choosing granite worktops for your kitchen, bathroom or other surfaces in your home, there are three main factors to consider. By taking the time to really consider all of these factors, you will make a choice that you will enjoy for many years to come.

Colour

Granite comes in various colours including beige, brown, pink and grey. If you are looking for a more dramatic design, you should consider a black and white slab. These two colours make the perfect modern contrast that will set your home apart from all the rest.

Pattern

Some colours are available in a solid variety without any veining. Plain white is rare but you shouldn’t have trouble finding shades like grey or charcoal. Marbled and speckled designs are also available. The best thing to do is take a look at the various designs to figure out which one you like the most.


Finish

Now for the finish – there are several options. Polished granite is less porous while a honed finish will ensure that it is smooth and non-reflective. If you want a less porous stone without losing any of the natural features, ask about a leathered finish.

No matter the colour, pattern or finish you choose, make sure that you order quality granite and ensure that it is sealed after the installation is complete. You will also need to reseal these surfaces on a regular basis to ensure continued protection.

Why you should opt for professional stone installations

When you purchase natural stone for your home, you might be tempted to perform the installation yourself. This is not always a good idea since DIY installations come with a number of risks. A professional installation can offer so many more benefits. Here are some reasons why you should choose a professional stone installation.

Project planning

When you know that you are going to have an expert perform the installation, you can talk to them about your plans from the beginning. They can help you plan the work from start to finish and they can even offer some amazing advice.

Flawless installation

If you have never installed stone before, you may not know just how tricky it can be. Apart from the sheer weight of the stone itself, it can also prove difficult to maneuver. Getting the stone level is another challenge and making sure that any seams are properly aligned can prove challenging for anyone. Instead of trying and potentially botching the job, have a professional take care of the installation for you.

Careful handling

Stone might be tough but it can crack, chip and break. When a professional handles any stone slab or surface, it is always done with care. These experts know how to handle stone in such a way that it will not be damaged during the installation process.

Save time

You will probably need to get somebody to help you perform the installation or even multiple people if the slabs are particularly large and heavy. Without previous experience and the right tools, installing stone surfaces can become quite a long process. Professionals will get the job done quickly and with amazing precision.

When shopping for natural stone products, make sure that you keep the installation process in mind. The last thing anyone wants is a poor installation or damaged stone. Poorly installed stone surfaces, backsplashes, flooring or any other decorative aspect will not look nearly as appealing as if they were installed meticulously by an expert.

Choosing the right stone for your kitchen backsplash

There are a number of practical and aesthetic aspects to consider when planning a new kitchen or redesigning an existing one. Apart from flooring, furniture and worktops, you also need to choose the right backsplash. It might not sound like such a big deal but the right backsplash can make all the difference. Here are the top three factors to consider when selecting the backsplash for your kitchen.

Types of stone

You will notice that there are several types of stone from which you can choose. Quartz is available in a wide selection of colours and it is particularly durable. It is also non-porous which is certainly an advantage. Marble is more affordable than most people realise but it does need to be sealed regularly to prevent stains. It is also great if you want a heat-resistant surface. As for granite, this tough stone is not as porous as marble but will still require regular sealing. Both marble and granite are great if the area will be exposed to high temperatures. Quartz is not known for being particularly heat-resistant which is why you should keep this in mind when making your choice.

Slab or tile?

A slab will create a seamless appearance and it also makes cleaning a lot easier. Since you have fewer pieces to install, you can also expect the installation process to be quicker and easier. AS for tiles, there are far more design options from which to choose as well as different sizes. So, it depends on what exactly you are looking for at the end of the day.

The best finish

Stone can be finished in a number of ways. From smooth and shiny to matte or honed, each offers its own benefits. Textured stone will be a bit tougher to clean but it also adds depth to your kitchen décor. Again, like the slab or tile question, there is no right or wrong answer. It’s all about personal preference and how much maintenance you are prepared to perform.

Remember, your natural stone provider will be able to offer you the best information and advice based on your needs and personal preferences. Take the time to discuss all your options with a professional before placing your order.

How to choose the right stone for your home

When investing in stone features in your home, it’s important to make sure that you choose the right type of stone for each purpose. This will ensure that you choose the most durable and aesthetically-pleasing option to suit your needs. So, before placing your order, here are a few points to consider.

Where will the stone be installed?

The type of stone that you use for your kitchen worktop will differ from that of your flooring or stone surrounding your fireplace. Some stones are harder than others and some are more porous than others. Keep this in mind when selecting your new stone feature.

Appearance

The colour, pattern and finish you desire will also help you choose. Different types of stone are available in different colours. Some types of stone offer a greater variety from which to choose. For example, quartz worktops are available in far more varieties than marble or granite.

Maintenance

All stone needs some degree of care on a regular basis. That said, your maintenance routine will vary depending on the stone itself. For example, marble is particularly porous and will need to be sealed regularly. It is also important to clean up spills right away and wipe down these surfaces regularly. Quartz, on the other hand, does not require sealing and this is one of the main reasons why it has become increasingly popular.

Strength

The durability of the stone depends largely the type of stone itself. The softer and more porous the stone, the more prone it is to chipping and cracking. It’s also important to make sure that you choose stone products from a reputable supplier.

Price

Last, but certainly not least, you need to consider the price. The cost of natural stone is usually based on the durability, aesthetic appeal, type, source and size of the stone. Make sure that you obtain all the necessary specifications prior to making a final decision.

If you are not sure what type of stone will suit your needs best, take the time to discuss these needs with a trained professional. Not only can they help you find the right stone for you, but they will also be able to assist when it comes to installation services.

How to remove pet stains from stone

If you have natural stone flooring in your home and you have at least one pet, you may already realise just how troublesome pet stains can be. Fortunately, there is a way to get rid of these stains. Here’s what you need to know about getting your stone flooring back in beautiful condition.

Removing the urine stain

First things first, you want to get rid of the stain. Like all other types of stains, the faster you react, the better the outcome. As soon as you notice that your pet has had an accident, you should blot up the liquid with paper towels. Do not wipe! This can cause the stain to spread and result in further damage. Once you are done, you will need to mix approximately one teaspoon of dishwashing liquid with a gallon of water. Apply the solution to the area and allow it to sit for about a minute. Blot the solution up and rinse thoroughly with clean water. Allow the area to dry before examining it again. If you notice that there is still a stain left behind, you might need to remove them with a poultice.

Using a poultice

You will need to wet the area with distilled water so that the pores fill up. Then, you need to prepare the poultice by mixing flour and hydrogen peroxide (20 volume) together to make a creamy paste. Apply the poultice strictly to the stained area. Cover with some plastic wrap and secure in place with painters’ tape. Seal the edges and allow to dry thoroughly. It takes 24 – 48 hours. Now remove the poultice with a plastic putty knife and rinse with distilled water before buffing with paper towels or a soft white cloth. You might need to repeat these steps a few times if the stain is particularly stubborn.

If you notice that the area has become etched from the stain, it will need to be polished in order to restore the look completely. In addition, if you do not feel absolutely confident in your abilities, it is best to hire an expert.

What you need to know before installing limestone

If you are considering installing limestone in your home, it’s important to know what you can expect. Apart from a definite improvement in terms of aesthetic appeal, this stone can also add value to your home by ensuring that you have stylish yet durable surfaces.

Where to install limestone

This type of natural stone is ideal for use as kitchen backsplashes, flooring, worktops and fireplace surrounds, to name a few. Given the more porous nature of the stone, it is important to note that it should be installed where it will not come into contact with too much water. If you would like to use limestone in your bathroom, you need to make sure that you discuss this with a stone professional. Not only will they be able to assist you in finding the right type of limestone as well as any additional treatments such as sealing.

Why limestone is vulnerable to water

There are a number of reasons why water can change the appearance of your limestone surfaces. This is due to three main reasons: the iron content, porosity and presence of water-soluble materials in the stone. The iron in the stone can oxidize which will result in stains that cannot be removed. Limestone is also known for being especially porous. When water penetrates the stone, it will come into contact with the salts inside the stone and, when the stone dries, the salt will crystallize again. This can result in flaking, peeling or even the breaking on the stone surface. Other water-soluble materials in this stone can also dissolve or disintegrate over time which will compromise the integrity of the stone.

In short, the most important thing to remember is that there are steps you can take. You can seal the surface regularly and make sure that you clean up any water or spills right away. If your limestone surface suffers damage despite your best efforts, don’t replace it just yet. You can have the stone professionally cleaned and restored.

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