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Popular Tile and Stone Cleaning Terminology
Marble or granite tile can make be a wonderful addition to a home. It is durable and visually appealing. All stone surfaces need regular care and cleaning to maintain their appearance. Following are some terms associated with stone tile creation, cleaning, and care.
Acid Wash – An acid wash creates a textured, distressed finish on stone tile. This chemical process is most effective, for example, on limestone than it is on marble. Some kinds of stone will suffer irreversible damage if certain chemicals are applied to them. Be sure to check with a professional before attempting this treatment.
Damp Proofing – To coat tiles with a chemical that will prevent water penetration.
Grout – Grout is a type of mortar that is used to fill in the spaces between tiles. It ensures a snug fit. Grout will need to be periodically cleaned and resealed to ensure optimal appearance and performance.
Resin – Resin is nearly or completely clear. This chemical is used to coat certain surfaces. It helps keep moisture out and can even aid in preventing stains.
Sandblasted – This technique uses pressurized water and sand. Sandblasting stone creates a dull finish.
Sealing – To apply sealant to a surface. This serves as a stain buffer and can also help keep moisture out.
Tumbled Finish – Tumbling gives stone an aged appearance. This is accomplished by rolling stone in with small rocks, steel bearings, or even sand for a prolonged period of time.
Veneer – Veneer is another kind of protective coating for tiles. It is appropriate for indoor and outdoor use.
Cleaning tile, stone, and grout can make surfaces look like new again. Proper maintenance is key when it comes to marble, travertine, quartzite, and other natural stones. Any chemicals that are used on natural tile and stone must be safe and often shouldn't contain lime or ammonia. Grit, sand, and soil can dull natural stones, so it's important to clean the surface often to avoid damaging the stone.
When cleaning slate floors, porcelain tiles, or marble counters, it's easier to find where repairs are needed. There are products available that seal stones, grout, or tiles together. Stores that sell household cleaning products often have soaps and chemicals that are safe to use on natural stones. Researching the type of stone on the Internet can help determine what the safest way to clean it is. Most of the soaps and chemicals are washed away with water on the surface and buffed dry.
Cleaning products for masonry items are generally safe to use on a variety of stones, including marble, ceramic, granite, and more. However, it's important to still read the directions and test a small area before trying to clean the whole surface. There are technicians available that specialize in maintenance and repairs for natural stones. They know proper care techniques for the different types of stone that many people have in their homes. Customers can ask them how to care for granite countertops, travertine floors, or porcelain tiles to know what products to avoid. Also ask how often cleaning is generally needed, and what other maintenance is recommended for the material.