Stone Information & Tips

All Granites and marbles are a natural product, and are subject to variation in color, shading, and veining. We display samples that show all general characteristics of the marble or granite as definite as possible. Yet every sample will vary to a certain degree, some stones more than others. When using natural stone tiles, we strongly recommend that you examine the material at the job site before installation. If you have chosen slabs from our warehouse, consistency is probable within each slab (bundle), keep in mind some variation will occur. Therefore, we advise you to talk to your fabricator about viewing your slabs upon cutting.

Granite

Granites usually are classified as Igneous rocks obtained from molten masses or magmas. There is evidence that the origin of some granites may be attributed to regional metamorphism or pre-existing rocks. Rearrangement and re-crystallization taking place without a liquid or molten stage. Granite is classified in (3) different groups as follows: Fine Grain : Fine grain granites are those in which the feldspar crystals average about 1/16 to 1/8" in diameter. Medium Grain : In the medium grain granites the feldspar crystals average about 1/4" in diameter. Coarse Grain : The feldspar crystals, in course grain granites average 1/2" and greater in diameter or several centimeters in maximum dimension. Coarse grain granites have a lower density.

Marble

Marble is a metamorphic rock caused from the re-crystallization of limestone. Commercially, all calcareous rocks which are created by nature that are capable of taking a polish are called marbles. The groupings A, B, C, and D should be taken into account when specifying marble, due to the fact that all marbles are not suitable for all building applications. This is true for the comparatively fragile marbles categorized under groups C and D, which may require additional fabrication before or at the time of installation. These four groups are listed below: Group A : Sound marbles with uniform and favorable working qualities; containing no geological flaws or voids. Group B : Marbles similar in character to Group A, but with less favorable working qualities; may have normal faults; a limited amount of washing, sticking, and filling may be necessary. Group C : Marbles with some variations in working qualities: geological flaws, voids, veins, and lines of separation should be expected. It is standard practice to repair the variations by one or more of several methods: washing, sticking, filling or cementing. Liners and other forms of reinforcement are used when needed. Group D : Marbles similar to Group C, but containing a larger amount of natural faults, maximum variations in working qualities, and requiring more of the same methods of finishing. This group consists of the highly colored marbles prized for their decorative values. The soundless classifications merely indicate what method and amount of repair and fabrication is needed before or during installation, based on standard trade practices. Marble Variations : Limited Color Variation : relatively uniform in background, veining and/or movement. Moderate Color Variation : the background color has some variation and some veining; movement may appear. Inspection prior to installation is suggested. Extreme Color Variation : The background color has significant variations and contrast. Veining variation, as well as, movement may be inconsistent. Inspection prior to installation is strongly suggested.

Limestone

Limestone is defined as a rock of sedimentary origin composed mainly of calcium carbonate or the double carbonate of calcium and magnesium, or a combination of both two minerals. Re-crystallized limestone's, compact microcrystalline limestone's, and travertine's that are (capable) of taking a polish are (promoted), marketed and sold as either limestone or marble, mainly in the United States. Dimension limestone is divided into three (sub- classifications) that describe their densities in the approximate ranges as listed : Low Density : Limestone with a density ranging from 110 through 135 lb/ft3 (1760 through 2160 Kg/M3). Medium Density : Limestone having a density greater than 135 but not greater than 160 lb/ft3 (2160 through 2560 Kg/M3). 'High Density : Limestone having a density greater than 160 lb/ft3 (2560 Kg/M3). Limestone contains a number of distinguishable natural characteristics, including calcite spots or streaks, fossils or shell formations, pit holes, reedy formations, open texture streaks, honeycomb formations, iron spots, travertine-like formations and grain formation changes. One or a combination of these characteristics will affect the texture.

Stone Tips

Maintaining Shine

The loss of the high polish on certain marble and granite can be attributed to wear. This is especially true of marble since it is softer than granite. The bottom of ones shoe acts like sandpaper on a stone floor surface and over time years of use will wear the polish off. To prevent excessive wear it is important to keep the floor dust mopped, placed walk off mats at all entrances. To repair a worn stone surface, it will be necessary to have a professional hone and polish it.

Etching

The dull spot created when liquids containing acids are spilled on marble is called etching. Marble and limestone can etch. Granite is more acid-resistant 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.

Staining

All stone surfaces can become stained easily. Most foods, drinks, ink, oil and rust will stain marble if left on the surface for a long period of time. Once a stone becomes stained, it can be difficult to remove. To prevent staining clean the spilled material as soon as possible. Blot the spill with a clean paper towel or cloth. If this does not remove the stain then a process called "poulticing" may be needed. To prevent staining, sealing the stone with a good quality penetrating sealer is important.

Efflorescence

It 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 quantity 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 pad or #0000 steel wool pad. The stone will continue to efflorescence until it is completely dry. This drying process can take several days to as long as one year.

Spalling, Flaking & Pitting

Spalling is when the stone develops small pits or when small pieces of stone are popping off the surface. This condition is common on stone exposed to large amounts of water or when deicing salts are used for ice removal. Like efflorescence, mineral salts are the cause for spalling and 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

There are several reasons why a stone will turn yellow : Embedded dirt and grime can give the stone a yellow, dingy 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 marbles. If the yellowing is caused by dirt or wax build up, clean the stone with an alkaline or cleaner or wax stripper. If the yellowing is the result of aged stone or iron oxidation, it cannot be removed.

Uneven Tile Lippage

Lippage is the term that is given to tiles set unevenly. In other words the edge of one tile is higher then the next. Lippage is the result of a poor installation. If the lippage is higher than the thickness of a nickel, it is considered excessive and the tile will have to be ground to flatten the floor. This will require the services of a professional stone refinishing contractor.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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