Systems & Sealants

A Few Words About Tile, Stone & Grout Maintenance

What is sealer?
Sealer is like a coat of armor for your stone and/or grout. Sealer will decrease the likelihood that anything can stain or harm your surface. We believe that you should always use a quality stone sealer, allowing you to retain the natural beauty of the surface.

Why should I seal my natural stone?
Protected stone, tile and grout will be easier to clean, resist staining, and provide a safer and healthier environment. Considering the investment, why wouldn’t you provide the surface with the maximum protection possible?

How do I choose a proper sealer?
We carry many types of sealers and can recommend the proper type. Our sealers are available to sample in our showroom. If you bring a piece of your stone to us we can help to create a test sample using different finishes and sealers prior to purchasing.

Can I use typical house-hold cleaners to clean my natural stone?
This is one area that is very important in stone care. It’s important to use non-abrasive and acid-free cleaners. Keep in mind that stone is soft and can be scratched with abrasive cleaners and also scrub brushes. It may also be dulled or etched over time by acidic cleaners (such as vinegar/water, Windex or 409). We have appropriate cleaners available in our showroom.

How do I clean my recently installed and sealed stone counter tops?
Our suggestion for your ongoing care would be to use our Revitalizer Daily Use Cleaner with Protector. Not only is this an excellent cleaner for removing everyday soils and spills, but every time that you clean you’re reinforcing the protection of the initial sealing.

Can I use your products designed for stone on my other surfaces?
We do not recommend our products to be used on anything other than their intended use.

How can I tell if my stone has already been sealed?
Apply a drop of water at least ½-inch in diameter to the top and the stone and let stand for at least 15 minutes. Cover with a glass to inhibit evaporation. If the stone did not darken then your stone is probably sealed against water-based stains.

Is one coat of sealer enough for natural stone?
When sealing a very dense stone, one coat may be sufficient. Most stones and grout will require two coats. A few of the more absorbent stones may need additional coats to be properly sealed. The Design Tile & Stone team will be able to assist you in etermining your needs.

Will my natural stone look glossy after sealing or enhancing?
No, unless you selected a topical, high gloss sealer such as a lacquer. If properly applied, impregnating sealers will leave your surface looking natural. Enhancing sealers are designed to darken the stone while retraining the original polished, matte or honed look.

There’s a hazy, grout looking residue smeared all over my newly installed ceramic tile floors?
The haziness that you see is probably grout smear from the installation process. This can be safely removed using our Restore Restoration Cleaner for Ceramic Tile and Grout. Make sure you protect all walls, baseboards, carpeted areas, plants, foliage and metals. Restore™ may damage stainless steel and other surfaces. Sweep or dust mop loose dirt and debris off of the floor. Prepare a solution of 1 part of Restore™ mixed with 4 parts of warm or hot water. Liberally apply over your floor using a sponge or mop. Agitate well using a stiff nylon bristle scrub brush or stiff bristle push broom. Rinse well with clean water and mop, sponge or wet vacuum to remove the remaining solution. Repeat the rinsing and wet vacuum process to insure that all dirt, soil and cleaner residue have been removed. Thoroughly rinse all metal surfaces. I would strongly recommend sealing the floor once you’ve removed the grout haze to protect it from staining and soiling. Use our Grout Sealer for protection against oil and water-based stains.

Is it really necessary to seal stone outdoors? What do I need to protect it against?
Outdoors can be very harsh on your stone. There are things that can affect your stone that are visible like pollen and dirt and then there are things that are not quite that easy to see like UV Rays. You make an investment to your home by putting natural stone in your yard, so it would be worth it to seal the stone and preserve its natural beauty. Sealing with our sealers will give you maximum protection against rain, other chemicals, oils from trees and plants, & all of those wonderful and fun filled outside barbecues. We have a variety of sealers to choose from. We have sealers that will preserve your natural look, sealers that will enhance the natural look, and high gloss lacquer to give it that immaculate shine. As the home owner you need to decide what look you would like to achieve.

I put something down on my polished white marble table and it left a white ring mark on it. How can I clean this spot?
This kind of discoloration and ring mark that you are noticing are likely not stains but actual etch marks. Etch marks occur on polished marble and other stones of this nature due to acids or other chemicals reacting with the minerals in the stone. This causes the stone to feel rough and look a little discolored, usually lighter. In order to remove these there would have to be a refinishing process done to restore its original, polished look. If it is in fact a stain, a product called poultice can be tried. The purpose of a poultice is to wick the stain out of the stone.

Why does the name of stone change from one store to the next, although the stone looks identical?
Stone could sometimes be from the same quarry but from different sections and different owners. Some stones look identical but originate from different parts of the world, which makes the appearance look the same but possibly with different mineral composition. The name changes could also be a marketing technique.

How can I give my stone fireplace a wet, high gloss look while being safe around the fireplace?
The StoneTech Professional High Gloss Lacquer is a coating as well as a sealer. The lacquer will give you the wet look you are looking for plus the gloss. If you are just in search for a wet look and not such a high gloss, we do have our StoneTech Professional Enhancer Pro. The enhancer is a sealer as well as an enhancer. It will give your stone the wet look with out the shine. Both products are safe around your fireplace once they have cured.