Stone is a very hard material, but that hardness varies from stone to stone. Marble is nearly half as hard as granite and although stone is a tough material it can scratch, etch, crack, stain, and break apart. Stone can hold up to many abuses, but some of the problems that happen to stone are from accidents we create. We would like to go over some of the problems that happen to stone and how you can avoid problems in the future.
Granite is chiefly composed of minerals nearly twice as hard as a calcium based stone like Marble. For this reason granite is usually more likely to resist scratches and etching and why we install it in our kitchens. In addition, marble, because of its main component calcium, is susceptible to acid cleaners, acidic foods like orange juice, tomato juice, cola products, wine, etc. and will etch marble. Granite is highly resistant to acids and scratches, with the exception of hydrochloric acid, and it’s these qualities Granite is an excellent choice for countertops in kitchens.
Although most people choose granite over marble in kitchens, many prefer marble in their bathrooms. This is mostly true because acidic foods are generally non-existents in bathrooms, but surprisingly, some women’s make-up products carry acid properties. These acidic products chemically burn marble and will etch it too, and remove the polished finish in seconds. Etching can be repaired by repolishing the stone. In case of etching, the entire stone may need polishing but in some cases spot polishing can be done by a professional.
Another problem may be stone scratching. Scratches in stone are rampid with the softer ones, particularly Marble, Travertine, Limestone, and others. Stone is rated on a scale from 1 to 10 by it hardness, making talc 1 and diamond a 10. This hardness scale only proves that stone such as a diamond can scratch granite (rated at about a 7) and although Granite can’t scratch a diamond it can scratch marble (rated at about a 4). Softer stones like Marble can very easily be scatched, even by some hard plastics. Taking some precautions with items that move over these softer stone surfaces will help. Think about placing some felt on the bottom of your chair legs and taking your shoes off while in the house; soil from outside brought in by your shoes will contain some sand which is harder than Marble.
Although there are some advantages some stone has over another, all stone can crack. Stone cracking causes can be from improper installs, like the stone in the picture to the right here; with improper setting beds stone will become unstable and its weakest area will crack. Although some stone cracking is beyond our control, it can, in most cases, be repaired or replaced. Most importantly, repairing a stone crack early can prevent many problems later and it will be less expensive.
Also, stone chips and stone breaks can be repaired. With enough force, stone can break of pieces. We have completed many repairs around kitchen sinks where home owner have nicked the edge of their stone with pots. In this case to the right, a wine bottle fell and broke off a whole section of the granite top. You can never be too careful and accidents will happen. The one thing to remember is that stone is not so hard that it won’t break or chip.
Many people in our industry in some manner touch the stone in your home before you really enjoy it; but there is only one trade who can offer you sound advice when it comes to cleaning problems to fixing mistakes that happen along the way. Sasso Bello studies these areas of stone maintenance so you don’t have to. In all, many professionals who play some part in the stone trades can offer you some basic pros and cons about maintenance, but it’s the care professionals, those who are specialized, who can get you out of those old cleaning habits and into new ones. Sasso Bello has seen the problems, fixed them, and knows how to stop them from happening again. Like all things in our lives, stone cleaning will be necessary too.
Stone is very hard, a rock, tough in nature, durable and problem proof. In most instances you can’t cut stone with a knife; it’s heat resistant, holds up to the most intense abuses and is stain resistant. If this was at all true, we would be out of business. If you need some help with stone repairs please give us a call so you can truly enjoy your stone’s beauty.