(Option for natural look, Penetrating Sealer approach)
The honed finish is produced in the initial stages of the polishing process taking the surface to a smooth finish but without producing a shine.
On completion of the installation of a honed marble floor, we recommend that it be sealed with a penetrating sealer, (see attachment or refer to website for list of recommended sealers). Penetrating sealers do not change the appearance of the material or leave a film on the surface. After application of the sealer any excess sealer residue should be removed by buffing with a white nylon pad. This buffing process will leave the floor with a low sheen or satin finish which, if preferred to the completely matt finish, can be maintained by simply buffing with the white nylon pad after washing the floor.
For clients that prefer a more matt finish, the low sheen left after completion of the sealing process will wear away within a short period of time. Washing of the floor for general maintenance purposes should be carried out using warm to hot potable water with a dash of methylated spirits which helps eliminate wash marks. If necessary a mild detergent (dish washing liquid or shampoo are safe options, or alternatively sees our recommendation below for Method or Lithofin products), can be added to make removal of soiling or dirty marks more effective. Adding detergent can mean washing marks are obvious on completion and if so, wash with fresh hot water and a dash of methylated spirits to eliminate marks. Depending on the extent of traffic, it may be necessary from time to time to “scrub wash” either manually using a white nylon pad or using a commercial cleaning machine. We recommend that sealing, buffing and scrub washing be carried out by professional sealing contractors, (see attachment or refer to web site for list of recommended contractors).
With regards to the durability of the sealer, the general benefits can be long lasting, up to two or three years or more, however any exposure to acidic substances, e.g. alcohol or citrus juice, will breakdown the protection provided by the sealer.
In the event that a serious spillage occurs in a particular area, specific areas can be resealed without it being obvious. This is possible because it is a penetrating sealer and is not evident on the surface. To check on the extent to which the sealer continues to be effective, spill water on the floor and if still effectively sealed, the sealer should cause a resilient effect on the water, that is, the water reacts as if the surface were slightly oily and the water tends to form globules rather than run on the surface of the stone.
As penetrating sealers provide no surface protection, that is, spillages of acidic substances, (alcohol, citrus juice etc.), will leave an etch mark on the surface. Some materials are more forgiving of such marks due to colour, movement and pattern, (if not clear please discuss with one of our showroom consultants).
If the above penetrating sealer approach is considered unsuitable please refer to the maintenance sheet for use of surface sealers on honed stone surfaces. This may be of particular interest for light mono coloured materials which are less forgiving due to colour, porousness and absence of veining or patterning. Note surface sealers are not to be considered for wet or external areas.
In some parts of Western Australia the water supply is “hard” due to a high mineral content and if left of the stone surface may result in etching of the surface. In this case, surfaces should be wiped down after use to ensure no water left on the surface. This will also help minimize any build up of calcite or minerals on the stone surface. If calcite or mineral build up is allowed to accumulate over a period of time it may become necessary for the stone to be re surfaced by an experienced stonemason or sealing contractor. Regular buffing with a white nylon pad will minimize risk of build up.
For removal of difficult marks scrubbing with a white nylon pad, (white as per the white backing on a “Scotchbrite” sponge and intended to imply minimal in terms of abrasiveness). Even though using a pad with minimal abrasiveness be cautious and perform a trial in a less conspicuous area to ensure no adverse effect. While effective in removing the mark, such thorough cleaning may result in a “clean spot” from removal of accumulated soiling.