Everyday, homeowners all across Phoenix Tile Cleaning & Sealing are staring at their marble floors and countertops in frustration wondering where their beautiful shiny surfaces they once had went. They remember being able to see a reflection in their marble or thinking to themselves wow, this kitchen is so clean, it literally SPARKLES!”. Well, we have good news for you! You don’t need to replace your marble in order to get those days back! Arizona Stone Care can get your desired shine back for you.
Our marble polishing and stone restoration specialists and marble and granite polishing technicians have received extensive training in all the techniques required for safely and effectively treating all the stone surfaces in your living or work space. As a result, they know how to bring out the inherent beauty and shine hiding just beneath the surface of your natural stone or marble — so near and yet so far from your perception and enjoyment.
Whether your décor includes marble, granite, travertine, slate, sandstone, limestone, onyx, quartzite, or another natural stone, you can trust our highly trained and extensively experienced marble and stone restoration technicians in Phoenix Tile Cleaning & Sealing to use the most appropriate method for achieving top-notch results while handling your job with professionalism and care. You’ll discover new beauty and increased character in your natural stone surfaces once our experts have shown you what our marble and granite polishing and restoration services can do.
At Arizona Stone Care, we believe in providing master craftsmanship for every customer with every job we handle. Pleasing the customer has always been our main goal. One way we do that is by staying up-to-date on all the latest marble and stone polishing and marble and stone restoration techniques. We ensure that our specialists maintain the up-to-the-minute expertise that allows them to make the most of today’s widely available industry resources. We also use the latest, state-of-the art marble and granite polishing equipment, which helps us meet our goal of bringing beauty, durability, and a deep, protective shine to all your natural stone surfaces.
Your complete satisfaction is our primary goal. Call our office today or visit to find out how we can transform all the stone surfaces in your home or business space through our marble and stone restoration and marble and granite polishing services. We look forward to scheduling your Phoenix Tile Cleaning & Sealing marble service, and helping you become one of our many satisfied customers!
As your Phoenix Tile Cleaning & Sealing Marble specialist, we offer a complete lineup of marble and stone polishing, restoration, cleaning, repair, and installation services. From simple marble and granite polishing to extensive marble and stone restoration projects, our experts are well-equipped and fully trained to help you renovate and/or renew the beauty of every part of your home or business décor that relies on natural stone for an impressive decorator touch. Our professional marble polishing and stone restoration services are designed to add a rich new look to your space — one that “reflects” beauty, both literally and figuratively. And that professional beautification includes tackling your dull, dingy, grimy natural stone tile and grout. If you have marble areas in your home and you want to make sure that it keeps looking great for many years, finding a marble restoration and cleaning company is almost imperative. You can rely on us, your Phoenix Tile Cleaning & Sealing expert, to remove any types of stains and scratches, and to provide you shiny and clean marble floors and kitchen work tops and counter tops.
There are some cleaners who make use of chemicals and toxic substances for marble cleaning. These chemicals do make the marble look clean and shiny temporarily, but in the long run they prove quite harmful for the marble. They gradually eat away the marble, and cause irreparable damage to it.
Before hiring any company confirm with them whether they would use safe, environmentally friendly marble cleaning and maintenance techniques or not. If there are scratches and scrapes on your marble flooring, hire a company that can remove them efficiently and can bring your marble back to its original shine and beauty.
Attempting a DIY marble polishing project can prove to be a daunting task. Not all marble polishes will work on all types of marble. Marble polishes that have acrylic polyurethane finishes should be avoided at all costs. In a similar vein some people have been known to use wax on marble believing that it can polish as well as protect; this is simply untrue and should be avoided at all costs. Marble being a calcite based stone is sensitive to vinegar, tomato, tomato sauce, bleach, lemon, coffee, urine, vomit and many household cleaners. If it all possible these microfiber cloths when cleaning marble. Cleaning your marble properly is instrumental in maintaining a stone cold gorgeous marble surface.
If you have spent time exploring Travertine to find the perfect pattern for your kitchen or bath project, you will most certainly want to ensure that it looks as beautiful as it did when you first saw it. As your natural stone flooring expert, we’re here to make sure that it does!
Why Seal Travertine Tile?
Travertine is a natural and porous stone. As such, it needs to be sealed to protect its natural beauty (not to mention your investment) so it doesn’t absorb liquids , like red wine, and become permanently stained. Sealing means that you don’t lose what originally attracted you to the stone. A sealer acts like a barrier between the stone and potential stains.
When Should a Sealer Be Applied to Travertine Tile?
Sealing Travertine is very easy and should be done during installation and periodically thereafter – approximately every three to five years, depending on usage and traffic, as well as the products used to clean your surfaces after use. Harsh chemicals, for example, can prematurely wear away the sealer.
What is the Difference Between Enhancing and Natural Sealers?
You have several sealer options available to choose from, you’ll find these at a local home center or tile and stone supply store. The most common are Enhancing and Natural sealers.
- Enhancing sealers darken stone and give it a ‘wet’ look.
- Natural sealers offer the same protection without changing the stone’s appearance.
How Do You Apply a Sealer to Travertine?
- A sealer can be applied to Travertine using a sponge, brush, paint pad, cotton towel or sprayer.
- Any sealer that has not been absorbed by the stone in 5 minutes should be removed using an absorbent paper or micro-fiber towel.
- Allow at least thirty minutes of drying time between applications if two or more coats are applied. After the final coat, wait two to three hours.
- Test the sealer by putting water droplets on the stone; if you notice no water being absorbed, the Travertine has been successfully sealed!
- Although a sealed floor can be walked on two hours after applying the sealer, you should typically plan on twenty four hours to completely cure the surface.
- Definitely keep it dry for at least twelve hours.
Don’t Seal Stained Stone!
Before you seal, make sure your original surface has no stains! If you seal a stained stone, the stain remains forever. Similarly, your sub floor or installation surface needs to be clean and free of debris prior to installation. If items such as screws, nails, washers, even loose coins get stuck in the thin-set, they may rust and stain the stone from the back.
Although we recommend that Travertine be sealed given how porous it is, it makes sense to seal any natural stone surface – particularly Marble, Limestone, Onyx, Quartz and Granite in addition to Travertine. Yes, even Granite is porous, although considerably less so than Travertine. Without being sealed, it will start to look dirty after use.
For all natural stone surfaces, you will want to quickly clean up any liquid spills and especially those from red wine, Kool-Aid, soda or paint…and as always, contact us for any of your Phoenix Tile Cleaning & Sealing Travertine needs!
You now have Granite, Marble or another Natural Stone installed in your home and you’re excited! Now for your questions… How do I clean it? Does it need to be sealed? What about regular cleaners – can I still use them? As your natural stone flooring expert, we’re here to answer all of those questions for you!
Caring for your Granite Countertops
Clean the countertop daily with a soft white cloth and a neutral cleaner or household detergent such as Dove. Household cleaning products including Windex, Lysol Disinfectant and 409 can be used, but may leave a film. A solution of vinegar and water works great to remove streaking, smudges, and body oil.
Granite countertops are generally sealed at the time of fabrication. Resealing is up to the individual. Manufacturers of impregnators recommend countertops to be resealed from 1 to every 4 years, or longer, depending on the application, the sensitivity of the individual, and the type of stone.
Spills should be wiped up immediately. Blot the spill with a clean paper towel. If the countertop stains, a poultice may need to be applied. Use the flat side of a razor blade for removing stuck on tape residue, dried paint, glue, dried food, etc. Use #0000, or finer, steel wool to remove dried water spots, smudges, hazy areas, and for general cleaning. Do not use the steel wool wet, and use a pencil eraser to remove aluminum trails.
- Do not use acid-based cleaners such as rust removers, sterling silver cleaners, etc., on the countertop, or place rags saturated with acid based cleaners on the countertop.
- Do not use any cleaners containing Hydrofluoric Acid.
- Do not use strong abrasive cleaners such as Comet or SoftScrub.
- Do not leave spills on the countertop for prolonged periods of time.
Natural Stone, Granite and Marble
Natural Stone, Granite and Marble care isn’t any more difficult than other materials you’re familiar with such as leather, formica, wood, etc. The difference is mainly in the cleaning agents.
Natural Stones, especially calcite based stones such as Marble, Travertine, Onyx, and Limestone, have a delicate chemical composition. Cleaning solutions not formulated for Natural Stone may interact negatively with your stone and cause damage. Follow our basic Do’s and Don’ts to preserve the beauty of your Natural Stone.
- Use floor mats or rugs for areas with direct access to the outside.
- Clean or shake your mats often.
- Dust mop your floor frequently. Sand, dirt, and grit are the biggest enemy to stone floors.
- Buy the appropriate tools such as a good sized closed loop cotton string mop and a professional type mop bucket with a ringer.
- Mop with a stone friendly floor cleaner, as opposed to soap and water to reduce soap film buildup.
- Apply a stone polish as soon as possible after installation or restoration to keep that shine. (Not necessary to do right away if you have had your floor detailed by a natural stone professional.)
- Damp mop your floor regularly.
- Damp mop your floor with vinegar, lemon juice, or other cleaners containing acids on Marble, Travertine, Limestone, or Onyx surfaces. This can seriously damage your stone.
- Damp mop your floor with a commercially available cleaner unless it indicates it’s SAFE for your Granite and Marble care.
- Use a vacuum cleaner with worn or missing wheels.
- Clean your kitchen countertop regularly with a safe Marble and Granite cleaner.
- If you have a calcite based stone such as Marble, Limestone, Onyx, or Travertine installed, use coasters under all glasses.
- Take care to clean spills by blotting them as soon as you can.
- If needed, apply a penetrating sealer that is safe for use in food preparation areas.
- Use products that contain lemon, vinegar, or other acids on Marble, Limestone, Onyx, or Travertine.
- Use scouring powders or creams.
- Use more cleanser than recommended.
- Clean your bathroom vanity top regularly with a Marble and Granite cleaner intended for Natural Stone.
- Apply a penetrating sealer if needed.
- Clean Marble, Travertine, Limestone, or Onyx Surfaces with vinegar, lemon juice, or any bathroom cleaners containing acids.
- Clean with dry or soft cleansers that contain abrasive.
- Clean your vanity mirror with a household cleaner if it’s above a Natural Stone vanity.
- Use any powder cleaner, or any cream cleaner.
- Paint your nails on your Marble vanity top, or perm your hair anywhere near it.
- Put any wet bottle, such as perfume and after shave, on top of a Marble vanity.
- Minimize soap scum by using a squeegee after each use.
- Always remove soap scum with a product intended for Marble or Granite.
- Monitor your grout and caulk lines periodically and address any problems immediately.
- Use just any cleanser, either in a powdery or creamy form.
- Frequently use ammonia solutions. Your surface will dull over time.
- Clean your Granite or Marble shower walls with any generic soap film removers.
- Use any generic mildew stain removers on your polished stone shower wall.
It is advisable to maintain careful records about the type, name, and origin of the stone existing in your home. If such records do not exist, you should explore the following options before determining a cleaning and maintenance program:
1. Consult with a Phoenix Tile Cleaning & Sealing professional stone supplier, installer, or a restoration specialist to help identify whether your stone is siliceous or calcareous.
2. Conduct a visual identification of the stone. While there are exceptions, the following characteristics are common:
- Granites have a distinct crystal pattern or small flecks; very little veining.
- Limestone is widely used as a building stone. Colors are typically gray, tan, or buff. A distinguishing characteristic of limestone is the presence of shell and/or fossil impressions.
- Marbles are usually veined, fine-textured materials that come in virtually unlimited color selections.
- Sandstones vary widely in color due to different minerals and clays found in the stone. Sandstone is light gray to yellow or red.
- Slates are dark green, black, gray, dark red, or multi-colored. They are most commonly used as a flooring material, and for roof tiles, and are often distinguished by distinct cleft texture.
3. Conduct a simple acid sensitivity test to determine if your stone is siliceous or calcareous.
You will need:
- 4 ounces of a 10% solution of muriatic acid or household vinegar
Because the test may permanently etch the stone, select an out-of-the-way area (a corner or closet) several inches away from any mortar joint. Apply a few drops of the acid solution to the stone surface on an area about the size of a quarter. Two possible reactions will occur:
1) Acid drops will bubble or fizz vigorously – a sign that the stone is calcareous.
2) Little or no reaction occurs – stone can be considered siliceous. See note below. Rinse the area thoroughly with clean water and wipe dry.
NOTE: This test may not be effective if surface sealers or liquid polishes have been applied. If an old sealer is present, chip a small piece of the stone away and apply the acid solution to the fractured surface.
CAUTION: Muriatic acid is corrosive and is considered to be a hazardous substance. Proper head and body protection is necessary when acid is used. Again, it is always wise to consult with a Phoenix Tile Cleaning & Sealing stone professional if you are unable to visually identify the stone and/or are uncomfortable using the acid test.
We always take pride in educating our Phoenix Tile Cleaning & Sealing clients about their Travertine, Granite, Marble and Limestone product. We feel that the more we can educate our clients, translate industry jargon into plain everyday speech, and empower our clients to learn more about their Natural Stone…..well, let’s be honest, the more likely we are to get called when there is a problem! All selfishness aside, here are some important things you ought to know about your Natural Stone product.
Finishes – There are three primary stone finishes:
- A polished finish has a glossy surface that reflects light and emphasizes the color and markings of the material.
- A honed finish is a satin smooth surface with relatively little reflection of light. 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.
Many other finishes are available and used throughout the world. Consult with a Phoenix Tile Cleaning & Sealing stone professional if your finish does not match these three primary types.
Commonly used Terms and Definitions
Calcareous Stone is composed mainly of calcium carbonate. It is sensitive to acidic cleaning products and frequently requires different cleaning procedures than siliceous stone. Types of calcareous stone include: marble, travertine, limestone, and onyx. What may work on siliceous stone may not be suitable on calcareous surfaces.
Impregnators are water- or solvent-based solutions that penetrate below the surface and become repellents. They are generally hydrophobic (water-repelling), but are also olio phobic (oil-repelling). Impregnators keep contaminants out, but do not stop the interior moisture from escaping. These products are considered “breathable,” meaning they have vapor transmission.
Lippage: A condition where one edge of a stone is higher than adjacent edges, giving the finished surface an uneven appearance.
Maintenance: Scheduled cleaning, specific procedures, and inspections performed on a daily, weekly, or other regular basis to keep the stone in proper condition.
Poultice: A liquid cleaner or chemical mixed with a white absorbent material to form a thick, stain removing paste.
Refinishing: Repolishing or honing of dull, once-polished marble, limestone, or granite floors and walls.
Renovation: Cleaning and repolishing of neglected dimension stone surfaces.
Restoration: Large-scale remedial actions taken to restore a structure or area to its original or acceptable “near original” condition.
Siliceous Stone is composed mainly of silica or quartz-like particles. It tends to be very durable and relatively easy to clean with mild acidic cleaning solutions. Types of siliceous stone include: granite, slate, sandstone, quartzite, brownstone, and bluestone.
Travertine Honing Defined:
The term “honing” draws varying definitions from the professionals in our industry. Some of our competitors view “honing” as a process to finish stone. Tile retailers refer to a “honed” stone as one that has been “finished” at the factory, suggesting the stone needs no further care or maintenance and will look as beautiful on your floor as does the showroom sample.
We, as professional travertine experts in Phoenix Tile Cleaning & Sealing, prefer to describe “honing” as more of a “custom abrasive process” because that is far more descriptive and accurate. The custom abrasive process we mention is designed to be the most effective without causing damage by unnecessarily opening up air pockets that turn into holes. We use lower grit levels with more sanding impact which will clean the stone & finish the Travertine to a soft sheen with glowing reflection. What our competitors refer to as a “honed” finish, we describe as a “satin glow finish.”
Travertine Honing Process:
Travertine honing is the most common professional procedure performed on travertine as the vast majority of travertine installations are fabricated to a honed finish. When your travertine has worn for several or more years, has inevitably developed small holes, and has taken on a generally dull or poor appearance, you may be ready for travertine honing.
Our professional travertine experts in Phoenix Tile Cleaning & Sealing are able to machine hone your travertine with the use of diamond abrasives. This procedure will remove minor scratches and surface abrasion and return the travertine to a like new appearance or in many instances better. Of course, you may elect a slightly higher hone or lower hone depending upon your taste and preference.
Travertine Honing can also be performed with only the use of abrasive compounds, known as honing compounds. These honing compounds will typically produce an acceptable finish, but will not correct more extreme wear and tear issues. In instances where removing excessive lippage is desired, or more significant wear is present, our travertine restoration service would be necessary. Compounds are traditionally used for annual maintenance and every few years the diamond abrasive method can keep your honed travertine looking new. Using honing compounds is typically reserved for a finish that is more matte. This is based upon the premise that honing compounds will not provide a great deal of clarity to your travertine finish.
Over time, the finish on natural stone tiles becomes worn and scratched from chairs, pets and shoes. This leaves the tiles looking dull and unsightly. Buffing removes the scratches and leaves the floor with a renewed shine. Using special polishing pads with a buffing machine is like sanding down all the blemishes and resurfacing the tiles. Because stone tiles are consistently colored all the way through, there is no need to worry about damaging the surface. As your natural stone flooring expert, we enjoy sharing our knowledge with you. If, at any point, the job becomes too difficult, or you need an experienced professional’s help, just give us a call!
- Mop the floor to remove all built-up dirt, oil, and other debris from the pores in the tile. Suction up the water with a wet vac.
- Mix a batch of filler compound according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Use the compound to fill cracks, chips, and holes in the tiles. Pack the compound tightly into the cracks and holes, and apply enough so that it extends above the surface of the tile. Leave the filler to cure as directed.
- Cover the doorways into the room or close the doors. Close the air vents in the room. This prevents any dust from spreading throughout the house. Open windows for ventilation.
- Tape plastic sheeting to any immovable objects in the room. This includes baseboards, cabinets or appliances and is necessary to prevent damages resulting from contact with the buffing machine.
- Check the buffing machine to make sure it is in good working order. Clean any dirt or debris away from the moving parts of the machine as they will interfere with operation.
- Install a 100-grit diamond polishing pad on the floor buffing machine. Uncoil the power cord and make sure it is behind the machine. Fill the well on the buffer with water when using a wet diamond polishing pad. Dry polishing pads do not require you to fill the well.
- Guide the machine over the floor to smooth out any uneven spots, level the patches where you just filled in cracks and remove scratches. Direct the machine in long, even strokes, and do not concentrate on any one spot for too long or you will leave swirl marks. Continue buffing until you finish the entire floor.
- Change the pad on the machine to a 200-grit diamond polishing pad, and make a second pass across the entire floor. Once done, repeat the process with a 400-grit pad, then an 800-grit pad.
- Continue buffing the floor until you reach the desired sheen, increasing the grit of the pad as needed. Replace each grit level of polishing pad as needed. The pads wear out over time and will not buff the floor properly once dulled.
- Mop the tiles with clear water to pick up any dust or debris left from buffing. Then vacuum up the water with the wet vac. Leave the floor tiles to dry completely before sealing to protect them from staining.
We hope our step by step guide on how to buff natural stone tile will help you with your next DIY project….and remember, we’re always one call away for any of your natural stone care needs!
Travertine is a natural stone product created inside of hot springs. The escaping water vapor from the cooling stone creates numerous holes, pits and channels within the stone that give it a naturally rustic look. Travertine tiles are perfect for outdoor use in many applications around the home and garden. The warm-colored tiles can complement many areas of the home’s exterior in a variety of settings.
Use the Tiles as Pavers
Travertine tiles come in a variety of thicknesses, depending on the size of the tile and the manufacturer. You can use those measuring 1/2 inch or thicker in place of pavers to create walkways, driveways and patios. The tiles come in a variety of sizes and shades; create patterns by using one size and color of travertine on a walkway, and a second size, shape or color on a patio to delineate the two areas and create visual interest. Take care if using travertine tiles in this way not to use tiles measuring 3/8-inch thickness or thinner. Thinner tiles will need a mortar bed for proper installation and may crack outdoors.
Create a Pool Deck
Travertine tiles reflect heat on hot days, remaining cool to the touch, unlike brick or bluestone. Travertine does not discolor or become chalky after installation, either, which makes it the perfect material to surround pool decks. The texture of travertine ensures that the stone remains slip resistant for wet feet, while its cool feel prevents burns. Use large tiles to surround the entire pool deck, as well as the walkway or path leading to the pool from the house or patio to give the area a cohesive look.
Reface the Retaining Wall
You can reface or reclad retaining walls made of brick or stone in travertine tiles. While travertine stone does have some natural variation in color from piece to piece, it typically remains within one color palette. This can appeal to homeowners looking for a warm, natural-colored retaining wall without the grays, blues and reds so often found in fieldstone or slate. Depending on the type of travertine tile used, sleek, contemporary walls or rustic and weathered walls can be created. Select a honed and filled travertine tile for a more contemporary look or a tumbled tile for a more rustic finish.
Refacing Stair Treads
Complete the look of your patio, pool deck or travertine retaining wall by refacing the fronts of stair treads with travertine tiles. Travertine is freeze/thaw resistant, making it an ideal tile to use on steps or stairs outdoors. Travertine is also available in decorative, engraved and stained tiles, which can lend a decorative element to the steps leading up to the home or garden. Select a shade and finish of travertine that matches the stones used elsewhere outdoors. If covering the tread of the steps as well, consider using a more rustic finish to help give a better grip under foot when the stairs are wet.
Always remember to call us, your Phoenix Tile Cleaning & Sealing Travertine experts, for any of your Travertine needs!
Travertine tile is limestone with personality. The stone features pitted holes where mineral water has seeped through the limestone. Some installers will fill the holes with grout, and others prefer the natural look, leaving the holes unfilled. The unfilled travertine, of course, works better on floors than on countertops. The travertine is polished for a smooth, shiny look. The stone comes in a wide-range of colors from reds to grays.
Sealing Travertine Tiles
Once travertine tile is installed and grouted on a floor or counter top, it should be sealed to protect the stone and keep it looking new. You can test your travertine to determine if it has been pre-sealed by pouring a little water on the stone. If the stone turns dark and absorbs the water, it needs to be sealed. Check if the stone manufacturer recommends water based or oil based sealant.
Cleaning Travertine Tiles
Acid will etch travertine tiles so spills of wine, vinegar, coffee, soda, and tomato products should be wiped up immediately. For routine cleaning, a soft sponge and a cleaner that is recommended for stone should do the trick. Some professionals recommend that travertine be treated the same as hardwood furniture and coasters always be used to prevent drops from acidic drinks marring the surface. For floors, a regular dust mopping with a soft untreated mop will keep the tiles beautiful and remove sand and grit that could scratch the sealant. If you’re in Phoenix Tile Cleaning & Sealing, remember that we’re always available to handle all of your Travertine cleaning for you!
Repairing Travertine Tiles
Travertine repair kits are readily available to refill holes that have lost their filling or to repair cracks that have appeared from settling or use. Epoxy grout can also be used for filling holes or crack repair in travertine tiles. It is available in a variety of colors.
Replacing Travertine Tiles
If a travertine tile is beyond repair, it can be removed and replaced. Use an angle grinder to cut through the tile diagonally and close to the edge of the tile. Carefully use a hammer to bust up the tile and remove as much as you can. Hammer and chisel the remaining tile, grout, and adhesive. Once you are down to the subfloor, you can replace the tiles that you removed. It is a good idea to have a few extra tiles from your original batch on hand, so that the replaced tiles will match those that were originally installed. If no original tiles are available, try to match the replacement tiles as closely as possible. Do not forget to seal the new tiles once they have been installed.
Travertine tile is a beautiful, natural stone for your home. With proper installation, sealing and cleaning, it will add to the enjoyment and value of your home for a lifetime.
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