- Q?Do you charge an estimate fee?
All our estimates are free with no obligation. Our specialists will be happy to cast their expert eye over your stone and show you exactly what we can do to clean and restore it to its former glory!
- Q?Why don’t you give over-the-phone estimates?
Stone is a natural substance and so every piece of stone has unique properties and needs. Even when two pieces are cut from the same slab, the unique mineral composition and weaknesses in one section will be different to another. And that is not even taking into account the actual damage that may have occurred, how it happened, the chemicals involved, the behavior of the subfloor under your stone, and other factors. Even concrete can behave and respond differently based on a multitude of factors.
Therefore, every stone restoration project in unique and must be personally seen by one of our specialists to assess what exactly will be needed to achieve the finish you would like. We could probably guess at a cost and what might be needed but we are experts, and experts really don’t like to guess. We would rather give your floor the respect it deserves by taking a first-hand look at what it needs. So you can be confident that when your stone specialist gives you a price for the work, it will be as accurate as possible.
- Q?Should my stone be sealed?
Whatever type of beautiful stone you’ve chosen, stone is a naturally occurring, porous material, so it is naturally prone to absorbing any liquids and chemicals it comes into contact with. Over time, this can erode the surface of your stone, creating weak spots that result in cracks, chips and crumbling. Our specialists know if a sealer is necessary for your stone and, if so, just what type of sealer to use to protect your unique stone and keep it looking stunning.
- Q?There’s a chip in my stone – help, what do I do??
Don’t panic – our specialists will likely be able to fix that for you so well, you’d never know there was ever a chip there. Call us today to schedule your estimate – one of our specialists will cast his expert eye over the problem area before creating a unique solution for you.
- Q?How do I prevent streaks on my natural stone shower wall?
If your stone is brand new or freshly cleaned, we can seal your stone for you with a customized specialist sealer that will protect your precious stone from streaks and discoloration.
If the streaks are already there, our specialists will most likely be able to clean those off for you and restore your beautiful stone back to its former glory, as well as sealing it to protect it from future damage.
- Q?How do I clean my concrete countertops/floors?
As long as your concrete surface is properly sealed, it should be easy to clean. Our specialists recommend using a pH-neutral cleaner and avoiding the use of harsh scrubbing pads or abrasive cleaners. Try a few drops of hydrogen peroxide 3% with warm water and a microfiber mopping pad to gently clean away dirt and sanitize your floors without compromising their beauty.
We are also happy to recommend an ideal product and lifestyle for your unique concrete when we come to clean and seal it for you.
- Q?Do I have to use strong chemicals to clean my concrete?
No! Concrete and stone are naturally ‘green’ products and, as long as they are regularly maintained, you can use certain ‘green’ cleaning products. You don’t even need to purchase pre-mixed ‘green’ cleaners – food-grade hydrogen peroxide (3% strength, buy in any grocery store/pharmacy) is gentle and effective, and can be used in a solution with plain water and a soft microfiber cloth to wipe down concrete surfaces.
- Q?How do I clean my marble/travertine/limestone countertop?
Travertine, limstone and marble are all in the same family, and they all appreciate and benefit from the same care and cleaning. While marble is a very strong and beautiful stone, it’s not nearly as hard as granite and is therefore more sensitive to certain foods and chemicals. Marble is particularly sensitive to acidic substances, which can dull and corrode its surface, even if it is sealed.
Use gentle, pH balanced cleansers with good ol’ plain water and a soft, fiberless cloth to clean your countertops. Or follow our suggestion below to create your own, earth-lovin’, gentle stone cleaner.
- Q?How do I clean my granite countertop?
It needn’t be a terrifying mission into the unknown cleaning your granite countertops. Just follow a few simple rules and your granite will stay pristine and sparkling for many years to come!
Even though granite is a very hard stone, it is susceptible to damage from acids. Although vinegar, lemon juice and ammonia-based cleaners are excellent for use on other surfaces, they are simply too acidic for granite and will eat away at its surface.
Immediately wipe up any spills or sticky residue using a water-dampened cloth. If the liquid has set, use a hot wet cloth to gently loosen and remove it.
Create your homemade granite countertop cleaning formula:
- 3 tbspns mild dish detergent (pH balanced, with no acid or acidic-type chemicals)
- 1 tbspn rubbing alcohol (Rubbing alcohol is great because it has antiseptic and cleaning properties and has the same, gentle pH level as water)
- Sinkful (or bucketful) of warm water (very warm, but not hot)
- Use a soft, clean, fiberless cloth (so it doesn’t leave bits of fluff all over your nice clean granite), soaked in your fancypants homemade cleaning solution and wrung out to thoroughly wipe down your countertops
- Buff and dry counters thoroughly using a clean microfiber cloth. (Although your counters will be clean, cleaners can leave streaks if not dried immediately)
- Q?How do I clean my ceramic/porcelain tiles?
One of the easiest and most important things you can do is to not give dirt and spills a chance to get comfortable – clean them up as quickly as possible using a mop or soft cloth, hot water and a mild detergent (do a spot test before using any detergent). Regularly sweeping and/or vacuuming your tile removed dirt and debris before it can settle in for the long-haul.
Plain old water is surprisingly effective at keeping your tile floor looking fab.
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also mix a cup of white vinegar with a gallon of water for a great, odor-eliminating cleanser. Just remember to wear a clothes-peg on your nose – vinegar is quite whiffy! This is also a great alternative to harsh chemicals if you have children, pets or allergies.
Once stains have settled into tile, however, it’s time to call in the big guns. Call Stone Surface Specialists today to get your tile all glorious and spiffy again!
- Q?How do I clean my Saltillo/Mexican Tile?
Saltillo (pronounced sal te’yo) is a hand-made Mexican tile, often custom stained in a warm color palette of orange, yellow or beige.Saltillo is a delicate and highly porous stone in its unsealed state.
Sweep or dust mop your floors regularly to remove any debris from foot traffic that can get ground into the waxes and acrylic coatings. Immediately wipe up spills and use a slightly damp mop as needed. Use only recommended cleaning products.
- Q?Do I really need to seal my grout?
Grout is not terribly glamorous. Even its name sounds like something that should only be whispered amongst polite company. And when grout does its job — locking tiles together and keeping out water— nobody pays it very much attention. It’s only when it becomes stained, cracked, or starts falling out completely, that it starts getting noticed.
But, humble though it may seem, grout deserves more respect. It has a heavy workload, filling gaps, strengthening floors, walls and countertops, bonding tiles together and preventing tile edges from chipping and cracking.
Grout is a cement-based material, and as such, it is porous and prone to absorbing whatever it comes in contact with, be it shampoo, kitchen cleaners, coffee spills, dirt and a myriad other substances. If grout is not sealed, these absorbed liquids can, in time, cause stains and internal weaknesses that result in unsightly cracks and chips.
We always recommend sealing fresh grout within a couple of days of curing. If your grout is already damaged, we will either recommend spot repair or complete grout replacement, followed by the using of a penetrating sealer to protect your grout against future damage.
- Q?Do I need to seal my marble countertop?
It’s possible but not certain – it depends on your unique piece of stone. Marble is a natural material, and one piece of marble is unique from every other on the planet, which is one the reasons it is so beautiful and desirable. This uniqueness also means that no two pieces of marble will have the same qualities of absorbency. Even if all marble came from the same quarry, it would be similar but still unique.
Natural stone is generally porous, but not always. If your piece of marble is not porous, it will not take a penetrating sealer. If a piece of stone cannot absorb anything, even an impregnating sealer will not be able to sink in. Impregnating sealers sit below the surface of the stone and coat its minerals to protect the stone from harmful outside chemicals and liquids. However, the good news is, if a sealer won’t penetrate your marble, neither will a stain.
The only way to be sure is to have a specialist look at and test your unique piece of marble. The ideal time to do this is right after your stone has been installed – if it is a porous piece, we will be able to seal and protect it for you right from the get-go. If your marble’s surface has been damaged because it was never sealed, we will be able to repair that for you and seal it against future damage.