With proper maintenance, you can prevent most forms of damage to natural-stone floors and countertops. However, for certain types of damage, the only solution may be hiring a professional stone restoration specialist. Here are some of the most common forms of damage that require a professional.
Deep Scratches or Gouges
If you have stone floors, you may eventually notice gouges or deep scratches on the surface. These forms of damage are usually the result of tracking in grit and debris on shoes, using a vacuum, or dragging heavy items over the floors. Light scratches on some stones like slate can sometimes be hidden with mineral oil, but deep scratches and more severe damage usually require a professional to repair. Depending on the depth of the damage, it may be necessary to grind the stone to remove the scratches before the finish is restored.
While natural stone is very strong, it can still chip. Most chips in granite and marble countertops happen along the edges, especially around the sink, when a heavy object is dropped. You may be able to fix a small chip yourself using superglue. For larger chips or chips along the sink, it’s best to call a professional. Most chips can be repaired with epoxy resin and color matching as long as they are cosmetic and not structural.
Etching is a form of permanent damage that happens when acidic products such as tomato juice or common household cleaners come in contact with the stone. One way to prevent etching is to regularly use a stone-safe granite sealer and wipe up spills right away. If acidic liquids sit on the surface, they can cause etching by interacting with the calcium carbonate in the stone itself. If your stone has etching, which can look like water spots or dull marks, no amount of cleaning or polishing will help. The only way to remove etching is through professional restoration.
If the stone’s surface appears dull, the solution may be as simple as a good cleaning. Sometimes dullness in a stone shower is caused by soap film. Using a high-quality granite shower cleaner can remove film from the surface of the stone and prevent future buildup. If this doesn’t solve the problem, the dullness might be the result of stains and mild etching that has occurred over time, which may require refinishing. The shine on stone slabs and tiles comes from the manufacturer’s finish. When the finish is damaged, cleaning and buffing won’t restore it. The entire surface will need to be refinished by a professional stone restoration specialist, which requires grinding the surface with diamond abrasives before the stone is polished again. Refinishing can restore all types of finishes, including polished and honed, using different techniques.
Granite Gold® recommends caring for the natural stone in your home by cleaning and sealing it regularly and correctly. To learn how to clean natural stone, or to find out about our high-quality products that are safe to use on granite, marble, slate, and all other types of natural stone, call 1-800-475-STONE today.