You will rarely find it in the supermarket. Likewise in the car repair shop or in the industrial kitchen. Much more likely to be in the headquarters of a bank or the bathroom of a mansion. A natural stone like marble is not a floor covering to be laid where many people shop or cars are repaired. Nevertheless, it can of course happen that a cleaner encounters the marble floor during a construction cleaning. Then it’s good to know what she should look out for.
Porcelain stoneware – the material of ceramic tiles most commonly installed in drugstores, supermarkets, retail stores and public buildings – is a so-called artificial stone, i.e. an industrially produced floor covering. In contrast, natural stone, as the name suggests, comesfrom nature and is quarried. After extraction from the quarry and cutting, it is called natural stone.
During the construction phase, floor coverings made of natural stone should be specially protected, e.g. by covering them after laying. Virtually all soiling can be removed from porcelain stoneware with the right special cleaners –this is not always the casewith natural stone, especially sensitive marble. For example, metal abrasion from carelessly moving a conductor can only be removed chemically by strong acid. This is not an option for sensitive natural stone – in this case the last option is to remove the metal abrasion mechanically.
Natural stones can be classified into soft and hard stones. Granite is one of the hardest natural stones. In its technical properties, granite comes close to porcelain stoneware. On the opposite side of the hardness scale is marble.
When cleaning marble and granite natural stones, the cleaner must first identify what type of stone it is. If you can scratch the stone with a cutter knife, it should be treated with care products. If no scratches are left behind, cleaning agents that do not form layers should be used.
Both stones – marble and granite – also differ in their resistance to acids.Granite is resistant to most acids due to the mineral composition. However, caution is advised with coloured granites. Cement residue removers containing hydrochloric acid should also not be used. The hydrochloric acid offers the danger of corroding – i.e. rusting – the iron components in the granite. The result is unsightly yellowish or brown stains, which sometimes only appear weeks or months after the cement residue has been removed. Marble is a soft stone and belongs to the group of limestones. Marble flooring is also rarely used where many people come and go – sand or shell grit would scratch the floor.
Marble has been quarried for centuries – the best known is Carrara marble from Italy. It is also called white gold and is one of the most expensive natural stones. Michelangelo’s David is made of Carrara marble. The precious stone was and is appreciated not only by artists and stonemasons. Nowadays it is also used as table tops, wall tiles and façade panels. Floor tiles are also available in marble and are chosen when a particularly exclusive floor covering is desired. However, cleaning marble and granite can be a headache for cleaners.
Due to its high lime content, marble is very sensitive to aggressive cleaners and those containing acid. These would attack and even dissolve the lime, corroding the flooring millimetres deep. This makes cement haze removalas well asrust removal difficult.
Even mineral water enriched with carbonic acid will attack sensitive limestone if left to soak for a long time.
To lay a marble floor, all the skill of the tiler is required; as a rule, he will grout it by hand. The advantage of this is that significantly less cement residue remains on the floor covering. A good tiler will then wash it off thoroughly with water immediately afterwards. The more care that is taken here, the easier it will be to remove the cement residue after the joint has hardened.
For cement haze removal on marble use an alkaline cleaner -. for example the basic cleaner alkaline from haid-tec. This does not dissolve the cement as well as an acid cleaner, but if the mechanical cleaning performance is increased at the same time, e.g. by using MelaminPlusPads, equally good results can be achieved.
As said before: an acidic or aggressive cleaner can corrode the marble – it becomes dull, the surface is damaged! If one wants to repair this damage, it is, if at all, only possible with great effort and craftsmanship by a specialist. Attention is therefore necessary when cleaning marble.
Natural stones are often polished at the end of the treatment process in order to show off the grain and colouring to their best advantage. This is done mechanically on so-called polishing lines. A rough cut granite looks more like a grey pebble.
Marble also looks particularly good with a polished surface. Black marble appears deep black instead of mouse-grey – with all marbled, i.e. veined natural stones, the polish brings out the beautiful grain and tonality to the full.
Thus, both granite and marble look much more beautiful when polished than with other surfaces. However, this also brings with it a serious disadvantage: polished also means that the floor coverings are not slip-proof.
In order to achieve the required slip resistance despite the polished surface, haid-tec has developed a patented micro-blasting process.In this process, tiny depressions are made in the surface only selectively and finely scattered, which increase the slip resistance to the required slip resistance class with a suction cup effect and interlocking with the footwear. The gloss level is retained as far as possible.
In addition to coarse and fine grinding, granite can have various other surface finishes that increase slip resistance: sawn, bush-hammered, flamed-brushed and others. However, these types of processing impair not only the appearance but also the cleanability. The rougher the surface, the more difficult it is to clean.
In contrast to marble floors, granite floors are much more resistant to acids and are similarly robust to porcelain stoneware. Therefore, the basic cleaner acid can be used for almost all granites without risk. Some caution is only required with yellow granites. In this case, the dosage and exposure time should be reduced to avoid discoloration. Alternatively, alkaline cleaning is used as with marble and the lower chemical cleaning effect is supported by mechanics through MelaminPlusPads. You also have to be careful when using the rust stain remover. It should only be applied selectively and over small areas.
Layer-forming cleaning agents reduce the anti-slip properties. As described above, granite does not require any maintenance cleaning agents. Also, the gloss level of polished granite cannot be increased by gloss cleaners or waxes – the gloss comes from the stone itself. The shiny surface will last for a long time if you keep the floors clean with the right cleaning measures. If you clean a granite floor properly, it will remain beautiful virtually “for all eternity”.
The PolyPlusPads are particularly suitable for the sensitive marble floors, because you can achieve a light polishing effect with them. For the maintenance cleaning of granite floors, the haid-tec porcelain stoneware cleaner is also suitable due to its similar properties. In combination with MelaminPlusPads, cleaning is particularly efficient.
With over 3,000 objects walked on and over 5 million square metres of floor area, David Haid is a proven expert in the cleaning of porcelain stoneware floor coverings. As an author in our haid-tec magazine „BODEN-ständig“, he shares his expertise from over 15 years of professional experience with you and provides valuable tips, especially for challenging cleaning projects.
If you have any questions, he will be happy to help you at any time and can be reached via the following channels.