The 5 most common myths about Marble and Limestone:
Here's a quick summary of the 5 most common myths that we hear when we talk to people on our stand at the exhibitions. A lot of the comments relate to misunderstandings about sealing and maintenance. Some of them are discussed here:
1) Limestone is porous and cannot be used in a kitchen - WRONG!
OK, it is true that limestone (and all other natural stone, including polished granite) is porous but that doesn't mean it can't be used in kitchens, or bathrooms for that matter. The simple answer is that the stone should be sealed when it is installed. This will protect it against the types of stains that typically occur in a kitchen, bathroom or elsehwere. A secondary benefit of sealing the tiles is that the grout also gets sealed. Stained grout is a common cause for complaint but sealing the grout gives it the same protection as the stone. There are more details on another blog post about sealing and cleaning.
2) You have to re-apply the sealer every few months - WRONG!
Some sealers are a bit thin on the active ingredients (that's probably why they cost less) and therefore, some of them do need to be re-applied more frequently than others. But if you use a good quality sealer, you should get a minimum of 2 or 3 years effective protection. It depends on the type of stone, where it is, how often it is cleaned and what it is cleaned with. For example, the polished marble in my ensuite bathroom was sealed with Fila MP90 over 5 years ago and is still going strong. The French limestone on my kitchen floor, which is much softer and has a more granular struture than the marble, was last sealed about 5 years ago with Fila Fob and is only just now getting to the point where it should be re-sealed.
3) Natural stone wears too quickly and is not suitable for a hallway - WRONG!
This myth is easy to dispel. Have a look at the polished marble in the foyers of grand hotels and then consider which environment is subject to the most traffic: - a hotel or a domestic hallway? Marble and limestone are used very effectively in hotels all over the world as well as in museums (e.g. Cenia Cream Spanish limestone in the Prado Museum, Madrid as in the photo), in airport concourses (e.g. Nice Cote d'Azur) and even on railway platforms (e.g. Paddington, London). But don't assume that all stone is suitable. Natural stone does vary - some limestones are harder (and some are softer) than others so it pays to get sensible advice on what would work for your project.
4) Maintenance of limestone and marble is too difficult - WRONG!
Once the right type of stone has been chosen and the correct sealer has been applied at installation time, maintenance really is very simple. Usually, it requires nothing more than sweeping and then mopping with a very dilute solution of ph neutral detergent. I would recommend using the detergent that is produced by the manufacturer of the sealer so that it is guaranteed not to degrade the sealer. You can click here to download more information on sealing and cleaning stone here.
5) Porcelain tiles do not have to be sealed - WRONG!
This is an interesting one and something that I only learned relatively recently. Although, I had heard for some time that porcelain tiles should be sealed, I wasn't certain whether this was true or not. However, on a trip to Italy last month, I saw an interview with a director of the world's second largest porcelain tile manufacturer. He said that the biggest problem they were now facing was the issue of maintenance of porcelain tiles. His company is now working with Fila (our preferred Italian sealer manufacturer) to find a solution for sealing and cleaning porcelain.
Here at Amarestone, we have been using Fila cleaners and sealers for over 10 years. We prefer to use Fila because the products work and because we get excellent technical back-up from the R&D team in Italy. I can send limestone and marble samples off to Italy for testing and Fila then specify the solution and support the recommendation with test results.
That way, the customer gets the backing of the world's largest sealer company when using Amarestone for their natural stone projects.
If you would like to know more, please visit our Resources Page where you can download hints and tips on Cleaning and Maintenance of natural stone plus lots of other useful information:
Thanks for reading.
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