Stone Sealing & Color Enhancement
You've got to seal your stone inorder to enhance stain resistance (unless your granite counter was resinated). Normally this is done with a penetrating sealer design to seal WITHOUT altering your stone's natural appearance. Today, however options exist designed to deepen the stone's natural color, or to enhance it sheen.
Have you sealed your marble or granite counters in the past 2-years? Counters encounter more potentially staining liquids than any other surface. Cooking grease is the most common. Non-resinated counters are susceptible to spill absorption and staining. If your counter is more than 5-years old there is a good chance your counter was NOT resinated and needs to be sealed.
Newly installed stone or tile floors? If your grout has not been sealed, the very act of mopping to clean it will transport solubilized dirt from your tile top into your absorbent grout lines. Grout is typically a colored portland cement to which water has been added. When it cures the water evaporates from the grout leaving behind a fine network of capillaries or pores. Dirt and spills can enter and stain your grout using these very pathways. Once IN your grout it is no longer available to be wiped up. Sealing fills in these pores with a colorless material removing these pathways to staining. Sealing is basically your insurance against an ugly outcome from an unexpected spill or accident.
Note - while counter slabs are more and more frequently resinated, this practice has NOT been widely adopted by stone tile manufacturers, as such floor and wall tiles do NOT benefit from the positive seal enhancement of resination, and should be sealed every other year to enhance stain resistance. Typically, the first area to show a change will be your grout, as it is more porous and more absorptive.
Marble & Granite Counters
The good news is that penetrating sealing treatments are fairly inexpensive. Maintain your marble or granite's finish and beauty.
Slate, Flagstone, Brick & Quarry Tile Seal Enhancements
While you are at it you have an option to alter or adjust your stone and grout's appearance. Want a deeper color? Consider MARBLELIFE's stone enhancement treatments. What to upgrade from a matte to a semi-gloss or gloss finish? MARBLELIFE's Interlok treatments can provide a durable enhanced sheen. Suitable and beautiful for your flagstone, slate, quarry tile, or brick surfaces.
Ceramic & Porcelain Tile Grout Enhancements
Ceramic & Porcelain tile have a naturally stain impervious surface that does not require staining, HOWEVER the sanded grout with which these materials are installed is porous and susceptible to staining. If your tile has been installed for more than 2 years, you might want to open a closet and take a look at what the grout USED to look like. You will see evidence of how your grout is darkening as it is gradually stained most often simply by the very act of mopping the floor. This process can be halted with the application of a penetrating clear seal. Keep in mind however that you are simply freezing the current condition of the floor. Once stained, while a deep extraction cleaning will remove any surface dirt, it cannot remove a stain. Once stained, you may be interested in MARBLELIFE's COLORseal treatments capable of restoring your original or a new grout color in a manner as to restore a fresh, clean grout appearance...consistently. Further once COLORsealed your grout has substantially improved stain resistance. Take a look at our grout services for more information, or our Gallery for a series of before-and-after photos.
If your stone counter was fabricated in the past few years, there is a good chance it has been resinated. Originally designed to reduce a raw slabs brittleness inorder to improve its ability to survive transport between the quarry and counter fabricator without cracking or breaking. The process involves vacuuming a polyster resin through the natural capillaries in the stone. What was done to reduce breakage has a valuable side benefit for the homeowner as it effectively seals the stone prior to fabrication. If your counter was fabricated after 2004 there is a good chance you benefit from this development. If installed or fabricated prior to 2004, you are still going to need to periodically arrange to have it sealed. Unfortunately, stone tiles and floors are not presently being resonated, however there is talk of changing this in the near future...