Everything and more you need to know about caring for your marble and natural stone surfaces

General FAQs

How long does it take to restore a marble floor?

It generally takes a full day to strip, clean, polish and seal a floor up to 25 M2. Once we finish you can walk on the floor, albeit in socks and back to normal traffic the following morning.

How much does it cost to restore a marble floor?

Each job is priced on an individual basis. Price depends on size, extent of repairs, depth of scratches etc… If it is a limestone, quarry or terracotta surface it will need to be left overnight to dry out before we can apply a seal. Regardless of the cost, it is always less than the price of replacement and in the majority of cases your floor is going to look like new.

My new pup has wet the marble floor. Is there anything that will remove the stain and the residual smell?

It sounds as if the acid in the urine has caused a chemical reaction on the floor. This has caused the polish to be removed in this area and the stain to take hold. This is called etching. marblefloorpolishing.ie would remove the stain and polish the floor. The smell will be gone when the stain is removed.

The granite worktops in my new house really don’t look their best. Is it worth keeping them? Synthetic ones are cheaper. Is there really such a difference?

Acrylic and manufactured worktops may have the look of granite but for resistance to bacteria, heat, scratches, stain and overall performance, granite is unsurpassed. Some marble with honed finishes also make high quality kitchen worktops.

How do I protect my floor when the Christmas party season begins?

It is more important than ever to keep to your daily maintenance of cleaning with a dry dust mop. With extra visitors make sure you keep grit, dirt and broken decorations off the floor with regular sweeping. Although your floor will withstand the battering, sharp edges could cut through the sealant, which may let liquid spill into it next time you mop or spill a drink. Stiletto heels may scratch the sealant on your floor, allowing liquid to seep through at a later date. So it can be a good idea to put down mats and rugs when expecting guests.

What type of finish is best on a marble floor?

It all depends on what you wish to achieve. Stone flooring that is honed has a smooth, matte/satin finish. An extra with a honed finish is that it does not show the pattern of wear as easily as a polished marble floor. The polished surface is highly reflective. If you want to achieve a more formal look then consider a polished finish.

I have just laid a new stone floor in a busy area of the house. Is it worth putting down rugs to protect the floor?

Areas that have a lot of traffic may show signs of wear quicker than the rest of the floor because of the dirt and grit brought in on shoes. Placing rugs or mats near an entrance will help trap the dirt and grit that can act as an abrasive on the floor. Remember to clean the rugs and mats often and always clean underneath. Underlying grit will also act as an abrasive on the floor.

I want to have my marble floor cleaned. Is this a very dirty job?

Not at all, there is no dust as the process is a wet operation using industrial cleaning machines, and a wet vacuum to remove the slurry from your marble floor. A professional marble restoration company will protect the surrounding surfaces such as kick boards etc.

My new marble floor never looks clean even though it was sealed. What can I do?

If your marble floor looks patchy the problem here may be that the floor was sealed but not all of the grout residue was removed from your marble tile before sealing.

My limestone floor has been neglected for years. A friend told me it needed ‘Diamond Grinding’. Can that really help?

When regular maintenance procedures are no longer adequate, complete restoration may be necessary. Problems like cracked, loose chipped tiles, deep staining, and incorrect maintenance can cause yellow marks and require intensive restoration. At marblefloorpolishing.ie we would use diamond grinding discs during the restoration. This treatment allows the floor’s true beauty to be seen again. We may also use epoxy resins to help repair damaged and lose tiles and stains may be removed by using a poultice.

Why won’t the water spots on my marble clean up?

These are not water spots, but an etch mark in the surface of the stone. This is what happens when an acidic substance comes in contact with natural stone. marblefloorpolishing.ie would polish the stone to get rid of the etching.

My marble floor is very dirty and has lots of scratches. Will cleaning my marble floor remove the scratches?

No unfortunately not. The dirt and stains can be removed quite easily but in order to remove the scratches you will have to get a professional marble restoration company to re-polish your floor. If the scratches are not too deep they may be removed with super-fine abrasive powders. Deeper scratches can be removed with diamond abrasive pads.

What is the best way to take care of my new limestone floor?

We would always recommend your floor be protected with a high quality sealer. The main cause of wear to limestone floors is grit. Ideally a dust mat placed both inside and outside the room will help remove grit from shoes and prevent it from getting onto the floor. A dry dust mop should be used regularly. Always clean up spills as they happen so as to avoid staining. marblefloorpolishing.ie recommends that from time to time you should have the floor cleaned with stone soap. Your limestone floor with remain in top condition and looking its best.

I’d heard that a polished floor is basically already sealed. Am I right?

Polishing the stone can highlight the stone’s natural beauty and can help protect it. However spills can cause a chemical reaction which damages the polish. marblefloorpolishing.ie always recommends a floor be sealed to protect against stains.

What maintenance or cleaning is required on my marble floor?

Use a dust control mop / soft sweeping brush daily, wash your floor as required using the correct amount of stone soap in water, and change the water frequently. Depending on the foot traffic on the marble floor, get a professional marble restoration company approx every 18 months or so to strip off any old seal, clean, and polish your marble floor to a high shine and then seal with an appropriate sealer.

Why use granite in the home?

Granite is very durable and heat resistant. It helps make a feature of any room it is used in.

What is the best way of cleaning my marble floor that has stains on the surface?

Ideally to keep your marble floor looking clean and pristine it should be sealed when laid, and dry. Firstly use a dust control mop/sweeping brush with soft bristles daily to remove any grit etc which may be brought onto the marble floor on the bottom of shoes. This grit will scratch and damage your marble. Any spills should be wiped up immediately, do not use abrasive pads or scourers to try and remove persistent stains such as red wine, orange juice, vomit, etc. If your floor has been sealed, a professional marble restoration company will be able to remove the stains for you.

Should I use regular cleaning products to clean my marble floor?

It is not recommended that normal cleaning agents are used as some of the harsher chemicals may in fact etch and damage your marble floor. We recommend that a natural neutral product such as stone soap be used, if used correctly it can both clean and enhance your marble floor.

What can marblefloorpolishing.ie do for me?

marblefloorpolishing.ie can arrange to call at a time that suits you to view your floor, we won’t recommend work to be completed that is not necessary, if work is required we will issue written quote detailing what is involved and what to expect. Should you decide to proceed we will come to complete the work when you require it. We will not collect payment until you have inspected our work and are happy with the finish. We value our name and our work speaks for itself.

Why has my marble floor lost its original appearance?

It may be because of very heavy traffic or the use of harsh cleaners. Always use cleaners especially designed for natural stone. An untreated dry dust mop is best for daily use and stone soap periodically.
The granite worktops in my new house really don’t look their best. Is it worth keeping them? Synthetic ones are cheaper. Is there really such a difference?
Acrylic and manufactured worktops may have the look of granite but for resistance to bacteria, heat, scratches, stain and overall performance, granite is unsurpassed. Some marble with honed finishes also make high quality kitchen worktops.

I often have fruit juice spillages on my stone kitchen floor. Can anything be done about the dull spots this has caused on the floor?

All spillages should be cleaned up straight away to help prevent staining. Fruit juices are particularly acidic and can remove the polish from the tiles, causing these dull spots. We would always recommend areas like this should be cleaned and polished.

Can anything be done to remove a red wine stain without damaging my stone floor?

Because natural stones are porous they will absorb food and liquid. This will result in stains if the spillage is not cleaned up quickly. PMAC could reverse the process by applying a poultice which will re-absorb the spill. The type of poultice varies depending on the type of floor and the type of spill.

My tiled floor looks really worn out. Would it be easier to just rip it out and replace it?

Replacing your floor can be expensive. The best thing to do is to let us assess the tiles. They may return to their original glory with a professional clean and a quality sealant. If you decide to keep the floor do not forget the everyday maintenance of cleaning with a dry, dust mop and periodical cleaning with stone-soap. This will keep your floor looking its best for as long as possible.

Will a polished stone floor wear away quickly in heavy traffic areas?

Polished stone floors can become dull with heavy foot traffic. Normal footwear does not cause the main damage however- sediment and grit do. The sediment and grit that lies on the stone surface is the main enemy. The floor should be kept clean as part of everyday maintenance and cleaned by us whenever necessary.

My new house has travertine tiles in the bathroom. Are they really suitable for a bathroom?

Travertine is essentially hard water deposits in large enough quantities to quarry and cut into blocks, then tiles. It is made from water so it is great in a wet environment. We would check to ensure you do not have any open holes or voids through the stone where water could go through. We would then treat the tiles and you should care for them the same as any other natural stone.

Can a stone floor really last a lifetime?

If installed and cared for correctly then it should last the lifetime of the house. Stone floors must be properly installed, sealed correctly and cleaned with the right products.

How slippery is stone underfoot?

Stone is no more slippery than other surfaces such as lino, wood or ceramics. Stone can be slippery if the floor is both dirty and wet. We can apply an anti-slip coating to stone to increase slip resistance.

What is honed marble and limestone and where can it be used?

Marble, travertine and limestone that is honed has a matte or satin finish rather than a high reflective polish. One feature ofhoned marble is that is does not show etching as readily or wear patterns on the floor. Some prefer this because it has a less formal, softer appearance than polished stone.

Our dog threw up and we did not discover it until the next morning. When I cleaned it up there are dull spots and the floor feels rough. Is my floor ruined?

It is unlikely your floor is ruined. This is etching. Etching happens when acid in some form comes into contact with marble or limestone surfaces. This causes a chemical reaction that removes the polish or roughens the surface. We would suggest getting the dull spots and the roughness polished.

I noticed some of my stone tiles seem to be raised slightly. I’m worried someone will trip. Can this be fixed?

This sounds like a lippage problem. Lippage is a condition where the edges of the tiles or slabs are not at the same level as each other. This can be the result of installation problems and the floor settling. Removing this uneven level of your floor surface consists ofgrinding the high spots so that the floor becomes level. At PMAC we use what are called “lippage removal discs” to grind down the surfaces to reduce or even completely remove this lippage. Lippage removal can eliminate some of your worst scratches and floor stains. All tile lippage should be removed before polishing your floor surface.

How can I avoid damaging my stone flooring?

The good news is that once the stone floor is sealed it is very hard to damage. Unlike wooden flooring that can be scratched and easily marked.

If I choose Granite for kitchen worktops, can it be damaged?

High impact blows can harm granite. It can chip if subjected to sharp hard objects. Unsealed granite absorbs stains like oil eventually causing dark spots/discolouration.

Which is more stain resistant, granite or marble?

Both are natural stone products.
Granite is more durable than marble and more stain resistant.
There are alternatives. Terrazzo can be polished to a mirror like surface. You can create any colour floor or pattern. Terrazzo requires the same care as a natural marble floor.

My terrazzo floor is dull and has some small chips. Can anything be done?

All Terrazzo tiles can usually be restored. Your Terrazzo may not have been protected by a high quality sealer and so may not be recoverable.
PMAC would mask the discoloration and restore the gloss finish.

My tiles look great but the grout is always dirty. What can be done?

Grout can be difficult to work with. It can take on staining that may not have an effect on a regular tiled or stone surface. Poor grout can be enhanced and we would use a protective coating to ensure the best colour recovery and protection possible.

I used glass cleaner on my marble and now it looks dull. Can anything be done?

Surface damage to marble tiles can generally be treated. We would use a restoration process that can restore the tile surface to its original condition.

What is Limestone?

Limestone is a sedimentary rock that consists of mostly organic material such as skeleton and shells of marine creatures. Over millions of years it solidifies into solid rock. The summit of Mount Everest is limestone that started out on an ocean floor.

What colours do natural stone tiles come in?

They come in a variety of tones, colours and shades. Earthy tones are creams, beige and brown – Limestone; reds and whites – marble; green, grey, black and multi-colour – Slate and Granite.

What is Travertine?

Travertine is formed by geysers when the extreme hot underground water dissolves the underlying limestone and carries it upwards with the geyser water. When the water falls to the ground it re-hardens into stone. The new stone is full of gas bubbles which give Travertine its characteristic appearance.

What is the best way to take care of stone surfaces?

The best way is to mop frequently using a clean dry dust mop. Do not use scouring powders, creams or acidic detergents (lemon or vinegar)

Is each piece of granite unique?

Yes. It is a natural stone and you will not see the exact piece anywhere else ever.

Is a natural stone floor practical with young children around?

You’ll be glad to know it is. If they suffer from asthma or eczema, natural stone tiles are far less dust harbouring than carpet. Your stone would have been sealed so potty training can be easier on you, just mop up any little accidents with a cloth.