Scratches and etches are common in natural stone floors and countertops which receive regular use and heavy traffic. Scratches are damage to stones created by an abrasive object such as furniture feet, heavy tools, or utensils scraping the surface of the stone and leaving a mark. Etching is similar to a stain, and is the dulling spot created by any acidic or alkaline product that comes into contact with the calcium carbonate surface (Marble, Travertine, and Limestone).
In some cases, light scratches and light etchings can be completely removed with only a thorough polishing of the stone surface. If deeper scratches or more severe etching is present then other stone care maintenance may be necessary to restore the stone. If the scratches are deep, a complete refinishing process is required (Grinding, Honing, and Polishing).
Each stone is unique, and some stones like Marble, Travertine, and Limestone are easier to clean than harder stones like Granite. Most of the stone made out of calcium carbonate are easily polished. Granite stones are very difficult to polish since they are volcanic rocks mainly made out of Feldspar, Quartz, and Mica. All granite stones resist scratching and are not subject to etching since they are not made of calcium carbonate. Any kind of stone tile or stone slab can be polished if their surface is flat. Textured stone cannot be polished.
A Sealer is a resin that goes below the surface of the stone and the grout. The resin is made of silicone, ester epoxy, acrylic, etc. mixed with a carrier that could be petroleum based solvent or simply water. The main role of the sealer is to prevent deeply embedded stains in the material.
The sealer, also called Impregnator, will dramatically reduce the natural absorbency rate of the material by filling in the space between the pores. A good water based sealer and petroleum based sealer will stay effective for 5 to 10 years.
Sometimes, some tile setters are not sealing the tiles and the grout to save money. In this case, we recommend cleaning the surfaces first, and then sealing the surfaces with a good sealer.