Care & Maintenance – Marble User
Marble surfaces show wears sooner than granite, but can be restored with honing and polishing more easily. Marble surface etched by acids, including soft drinks and juice. Absorbs oils and other liquids and is easily stained.
A polished finish on the stone has a glossy surface that reflects light and emphasizes the color and marking of the material. This type of finish is used on walls, furniture tops and other items, as well as floor tiles.
A honed finish is a satin smooth surface with relatively little light reflection. Generally, a honed finish is preferred for floors, stair treads, thresholds and other locations where heavy traffic will wear off the polished finish. A honed finish may also be used on furniture tops and other surfaces.
A flamed finish is a rough textured surface used frequently on granite floor tiles.
Polished Marble looks beautiful, but is an intriguing paradox. On one hand, marble is hard, durable and lasts for years. On the other hand, the polished surface can be marred by chemicals, stains and abrasion. Keeping marble in its magnificent, original state, takes ongoing tender loving care.
What can ruin marble surface?
Sand and grit carried from outside by shoes can easily scratch and abrade the marble surface like a sandpaper. Unprotected furniture legs may leave scratches too. Dragging heavy objects or sharp items on the floor can cause very deep scratches or gouges that may be permanent.
Marble is porous and can easily be discolored by spills from food, sitting pots, metal furniture legs, oil, ink, water damage, etc.
Spills from drinking liquids or food containing acid will etch (dull mark) marble surfaces. For example: lemon juice, orange juice, carbonated beverages, cranberry juice, apple juice, wine, tomato, etc. The dull mark may have a coin size or spread over several tiles. Another source for etch marks are cleaning products containing acid. For example: Tile cleaners, vinegar, Ajax, Soft Scrub, etc.
In addition to chemicals containing acid, chemicals that contain high alkaline or bleach can damage marble floors to lose its shine and elegance.
Local water may contain chlorine, salts, magnesium, potassium and other minerals. When water is used continuously to clean the marble floor it may ruin certain types of marble by causing pitting, spalling and yellowing. This is why it is important to protect the floor with a premium sealer.
Improper Maintenance Procedures
Continuous use of water as the sole cleaning agent (without chemicals), or using dirty mops, or not changing the cleaning solution frequently enough, can cause the marble to look dingy, streaky and unattractive.
Improper Maintenance Program
Not having a steady use of dust mop and damp mop may cause a decrease of the shine. In addition, a yearly maintenance may be required to renew the shine especially when the floor is exposed to a medium or heavy traffic.
Marble Maintenance Tips
Protect the floor with a premium penetrating sealer to reduce etch marks and prevent stains and moisture from filtering into the marble. To apply the sealer properly, call a professional stone care company. Traffic areas should be resealed on a yearly basis.
Install walk off matt by the main door to prevent sand and grit from spreading on the floor causing scratches and dullness. A good quality mat will capture dirt before someone walks on the floor. When it is placed outside your door it will signal people that they need to wipe their feet before entering the house.
Protect all furniture legs that come in contact with the marble with special felt pads or plastic (can be purchased in home centers). Proper protection will reduce the damage from scratches.
Place all plants on a special base to prevent deep stains and scratches.
Use only neutral cleaners or stone soap liquid specifically formulated for natural stone that will not harm the surface.
Dust mop or vacuum the floor at least 1-2 times per week to eliminate sand and grit to reduce possibilities of scratches. Do not use oil-treated dust mops on marble surfaces. Do not get the dust mop wet; if the floor is wet, be sure to dry it before dust mopping. Run the dust mop in one direction, do not move it back and forth. Always store the dust mop keeping its head off the ground. Wash it in cold water with laundry detergent and machine dry.
Damp mop the floor regularly 1-2 times per week to remove dirt and soil. Mix solutions as per manufacturers directions. Always use clean cold or warm water. Do not use hot water since it will cause the floor to streak. It is important to rinse and wring the mop as often as possible. If you don't rinse the mop enough you will only be pushing dirt.
Blot spills with paper towel. Don't wipe because it will spread the spill. Flush the area around the floor and then when the floor dries, it will streak or appear dingy. If your marble tends to streak every time that you mop the floor, then dry the marble with a clean terry cloth towel or buff with a residential buffing machine.
DO's and DON'Ts for Marble Surface
DO clean up spills immediately to minimize damage to your stone.
DO use trivets or mats under hot dishes and cookware.
DO use place mats under china, ceramics, silver and other objects that can scratch the stone's surface.
DO use coasters under glasses, especially if they contain alcohol or citrus juices.
DO use a tray for toiletry products in the bathroom to protect the surface from the damaging chemicals contained in many toiletry products.
DO dust mop marble floor tile regularly.
DO use door mats inside and out along with runners and area rugs on marble floors.
DON'T wait to clean up spills on stone.
DON'T use cleaners that contain acid such as bathroom cleaners, grout cleaners or tub cleaners.
DON'T use vinegar, bleach, ammonia or other general-purpose cleaners.
DON'T use abrasive cleaners such as dry cleansers or soft cleansers.
DON'T use alkaline cleaners not specifically formulated for stone.
DON'T use scouring powders and abrasives because they will scratch the surface.
DON'T Place toiletry products directly on the countertop surface.