Normal maintenance requirements are similar to wood floors or carpet where routine sweeping or vacuuming is done for removing dirt. Stone surfaces should be resealed when water no longer beads on the surface. The frequency of resealing will depend on traffic and use. Stone, like any other natural product, will age and patina over time adding to its beauty and character.
Marble and granite are porous materials and therefore, are subject to staining if not maintained properly. In granite, the same porosity that allows for staining also allows for easy stain removal. In most cases, stains can be prevented by quickly wiping the spill. If a spill is left overnight, especially if the liquid is grease, oil, coffee, or wine the granite will usually darken. To remove the stain, a poultice should be applied, which may pull out the stain from the granite. Marble can be stained and etched by acidic or oil-based products. If try to remove the stain yourself and are unsuccessful, please contact Carved Stone Creations...
Remember, many are porous, especially the popular swirl vareties. These swirl types are often not even true granites (more artistic license). Geologists use the term gneiss. Gneiss is usually made of the same material components as granite, only the stone cools more quickly in the earth's crust. Their swirls still show the movement of the stones active molten history. The important part is that these stones, with smaller crystals, are more porous than granites with large crystals. Impregnators are needed to reduce staining.
Sealing stone is strongly suggested, as it will create a barrier between the stone and dirt and stains. Even if a sealer is used, this is NOT going to make the stone 100% resistant to stains. Any staining agent that comes into contact with the stone should be removed immediately. Sealant and cleaner should be included on every stone order. We sell the Miracle Sealant Company products because they are widely considered the best available. Sealant is easy to apply. Use a sponge brush, paintbrush, or roller to spread it evenly over the surface of the stone. Traffic and use will affect the need to reseal a surface but resealing annually is a...
In our opinion, no. We have sold lots of slate, and have never had any complaints that people were tripping on the cleft areas of properly installed slate. We have had some specifiers concerned about it, and have decided not to use slate, but those who went with it, were always happy, to our knowledge. One consideration is that there are usually some pieces within a slate shipment that the tile contractor should sort and not install. We always recommend that this instruction be indicated in the project's stone specifications.
That will usually depend on the tile. Marble, granite and limestone tiles are usually cut from blocks and then turned into tiles on a tile saw. If produced by a good tile factory, these tiles will have a size variance that will allow for a 1/16" grout joint. Imported slate, and other stones, such as quartzite and sandstone, are usually produced with a size variation that will only allow joints from 1/8" to 3/8", depending on the stone and factory.