UNDERSTANDING NATURAL STONE AND BEING INFORMED ABOUT YOUR PRODUCT IS ESSENTIAL IN ACHIEVING A PERFECT END RESULT
Marble, Limestone & Travertine are natural products, variations in colour and veining must be expected. STS STONE shall not be liable for any such variations that may occur in materials supplied.
HANDLING OF STONE ONCE DELIVERED TO SITE
- Ensure that stone is always covered to protect from dirt and elements. If stone was exposed to rain, please allow at least one week to air dry.
- Stone removed from crates should be stacked on a small angle against the wall ensuring that there is a corflute or similar underlay beneath the tiles. This will prevent it from unnecessary chipping and damage.
- Tiles stacked on top of each other need to be placed either back to back or face to face.
- Tiles stacked in columns must have spacers between the columns to avoid chipping. Overhang is also not recommended.
- Placing building materials on top of exposed stone should be avoided as this might also cause damage. Same goes for using stone as table- top for drinks or food as it may result in spillage & staining.
- Stone might be damaged by the building activity on and around it and should be covered as much as possible until all building works ceases.
- Natural stone is porous and sealing is a vital part of the installation process.
- After the stone has been laid & grouted it must be thoroughly cleaned & dried before applying the sealer.
PRIOR TO LAYING ANY TILES, THE HOMEOWNER, BUILDER OR TILER MUST:
- Inspect the tiles for any defects.
- Check that the tiles delivered to site are the correct quantity, colour, shade and size.
- Check that the shade is consistent throughout the batch delivered.
- Ensure that there are enough tiles on site for the project. If not order more from the same batch before work commences.
- If the stone is designated for use on polypads/pedestals, please conduct own assessment using appropriate spacers to sides and the centre of tiles to ensure adequate support.
STS STONE strongly recommends that only experienced tilers/stonemasons lay natural stone. Inexperience with natural stone can result in damage to the material.
We suggest mixing tiles from several boxes to ensure blending of any inherent shade variation.
All natural stone must be laid using specialised stone adhesives. Products not made for natural stone installation will affect the resulting finish. Always clean any adhesive, grout and wax from the surface area of stone.
Adhesives/sand or cement with salt content will react with some natural stone and should not be used for stone applications.
Natural Stone should not be cleaned with acid or acid based industrial cleaners.
During the laying process, adhesives and grout must be cleaned off the stone immediately and at all times.
Natural stone is porous and sealing it is a vital part of the installation process.
All stone products must be sealed using appropriate sealants.
General sealing guidelines:
INDOORS: Lay, grout, scrub clean, dry and seal twice.
OUTDOORS: Lay, seal, grout, scrub clean, dry and seal again.
Please note stone should be covered as much as possible before and/or after sealing to prevent dirt and damage until building activity ceases.
It is essential that sealers are applied correctly.
Different natural stones require different sealers, with some natural stones also requiring pre-sealing. Please check with us first if your stone requires this.
Consolidator / impregnating sealer might be required for certain stones laid around pool areas to protect against water and salt damage. This would also be advisable for exterior applications near seashores.
We recommend and supply various ‘Lithofin Stain Stop’ sealers & pre-sealers, depending on the stone and its application. From solvent to water based, we will gladly advise what’s better to use for your chosen stone.
Re-sealing: Sealers may last for many years. However, depending on surface usage and traffic, we suggest close inspection of the natural stone every 3-5 years to check if re sealing is required.
Natural stone doesn’t require a lot of upkeep and sealing will help prevent stains however here are some general recommendations:
Cleaning: Only use a mild cleanser as harsh chemical cleansers can eventually breakdown the sealer.
Acids and Natural Stone: Products such as wine, fruit and fruit juice, milk (lactic acid), coffee and teas, household cleaners, dishwasher powder, laundry powders ALL contain either natural acids or harsh chemicals that will eat away at natural stone and the sealers that are used to protect them. Whenever spills occur – wipe them up. If any product that contains acid or harsh chemicals is left on a sealed natural stone it will eventually eat away at the sealer and affect the stone.
Always use coasters under glasses to prevent unseen spills from remaining on the stone. As long as you follow these simple steps your natural stone will stay looking beautiful for years.
Protecting from heat. Never place a hot dish directly from an oven onto the natural stone – always use protective mats or trivets. This also protects the stone from chipping that could occur.
Stain Removal: For stain removal obviously the first step is to identify the stain. Here are some handy do’s and don’ts:
DO Wipe up spill immediately
DO Try to identify what caused the stain
DO Use a mild detergent or soap first to try and remove the stain
DO Call for professional advice if you are not sure what to do
DON’T Use vinegar, lemon juice or other acid based cleaners on natural stone. Be aware of “Natural” and “Organic” products – always read the labels.
DON’T Use cleaners that contain acid. Read product labels carefully of any bathroom or grout cleaners
DON’T Use abrasive cleaners or scourer pads or household grade steel
DON’T Ever mix chemicals together. Some combinations could create a toxic gas.
GENERAL CARE FOR MOST NATURAL STONE TYPES BENCHTOPS
A stone benchtop will always be a feature in your home and in order to keep it looking its best certain precautions should be exercised.
Don’t ever sit or stand on your benchtop. Whilst the stone is very strong, the under cabinet or substrate may not be.
Don’t place extremely hot things on your benchtop. Most of the stones are heat resistant but not heat-proof. Always use a hot plate rest or trivet.
Most Natural Stone react on contact with acid, including acids found in food like tomato, fruit juice, vinegar etc. It’s best to use a cutting board or any other form of surface protection when working on it. This will prevent reactions between stone and the acids from different foods as well as avoiding scratches.
Avoid everyday use of abrasive cleaners when cleaning, household cleaners will only remove top polish. It is also important to avoid spilling alcohol drinks or fruit juices as it can etch into the surface. Never leave wet perfumed soaps or aerosol cans on the marble bench tops as they can create stains. Refrain from using sharp objects as they can scratch the surface.
To clean stone bench tops use a pure soap that is diluted in water. For best results when cleaning use a clean soft cloth. Don’t use scouring powders or creams, these products may scratch the surface of the stone.
Majority of natural stones are factory sealed post production, however you may want to ensure it with a second sealing.
Natural Stone Benchtops will provide a beautiful, elegant and classy ambience for many years if they are properly cared for.
STS STONE shall not be liable in any respect for advice provided herein regarding installation, fixing, grouting, cleaning or maintenance.