Cleaning, Sealing and Maintaining Stone Surfaces – Part One
Natural stone has been used on floors and walls for centuries. As with all natural materials, it does need a certain level of care.
This is the first in a 16 part series of posts that will offer a comprehensive guide to cleaning, sealing and maintaining all types of stone, porcelain, quarry, terracotta and glazed ceramic tiles and surfaces. This first post explains the LTP three-step approach to cleaning, protecting and maintaining natural stone surfaces used in internal situations.
Natural Stone Surfaces – Internal Application
The following instructions are appropriate for Travertine, Limestone, Marble, Sandstone, Terrazzo and some Granite.
Step one: Initial cleaning
Before sealing natural stone must be thoroughly cleaned to make sure that sealing of the surface can be achieved effectively. This is true of newly installed surfaces, as well as existing, due to the contamination that can occur during fitting. Equipment recommended for this step is a bucket, mop, scrubber or scrubber dryer machine.
Newly installed surfaces
LTP recommends LTP Grimex as the solution for cleaning newly installed natural stone surfaces before sealing. LTP Grimex removes grease, dirt and grime from the surface ensuring the natural stone surface is best prepared for application of a sealing product.
Cleaning newly installed stone surfaces
- Dilute LTP Grimex 1:10 with water.
- Apply solution to the surface with a mop or sponge. Under floor heating must be off.
- Agitate to release the residual dirt and grime from the surface.
- Do not use acidic cleaners, such as LTP Grout Stain Remover.
- Allow the surface to dry (preferably for 24 hours).
Refurbishing used and heavily soiled stone surfaces
- Before sealing the stone must be thoroughly cleaned. Old layers of sealer, residues from aftercare products and deposits must be removed from the surface and pores of the stone. Film forming layers of sealer (such as boiled linseed oil) should be removed with LTP Solvex before washing with LTP Grimex.
- Depending upon the levels of dirt, dilute LTP Grimex 1:3 with water. Apply with a sponge or cloth and leave to sit on the surface of the tiles for 5-10 minutes.
- Agitate the surface with a nylon pad or scrubbing-brush and leave for a further 5 minutes (scrubber machines can be used).
- Continue to scrub while adding clean water. Remove residues from the surface using a cloth or scrubber dryer machine.
- Rinse thoroughly with clean fresh water to remove all remaining residues.
- Allow the surface to dry for a minimum of 24 hours before applying the protective seal.
- For the removal of other types of dirt: Do not use acid based cleaners on limestone or marble. If you are unsure please call our helpline on +44 (0) 01823 666213 for advice.
- Care product residues, oil, grease and dirt – use LTP Grimex or LTP Power Stripper.
Step two: Protect your natural stone surface from stains
To protect stone surfaces and help prevent staining natural stone should be sealed. LTP recommends applying LTP Mattstone for a natural (invisible finish) or LTP Colour Intensifier & Stainblock for an enhanced appearance. LTP Colour Intensifier & Stainblock deepens the colour and enhances the appearance of the stone surface.
Sealing prepared natural stone surfaces
- Surfaces must be clean and dry. Ensure under floor heating is off.
- Apply the product to the surface evenly using a sponge, brush or soft cloth.
- Redistribute to remove excess product and avoid pooling on the surface.
- Allow to dry. Do not walk on the surface for at least one hour.
- Protect from water for 24 hours and do not wash surfaces for at least 3 days.
- LTP Mattstone H20, LTP Mattstone and LTP Colour Intensifier will make the surface water and oil repellent.
- Prevents stains, aids cleaning and simplifies the removal of surface stains.
- Provides an invisible barrier of protection that will not greatly alter the surface character.
- There are no health concerns once the product has properly cured.
- LTP Mattstone H20, LTP Mattstone and LTP Colour Intensifier are micro porous and so can be used on surfaces that have no damp proof course.
- Suitable for internal and external use.
- If surfaces are properly maintained we recommend touching up the protective treatment every 3-4 years.
NB. Always test the product on an inconspicuous area. Wet or non absorbent surfaces cannot be treated. LTP Mattstone H20, LTP Mattstone and Colour Intensifier are impregnating sealers which need to fully absorb. Do not allow the product to dry on the surface. Carefully buff with a soft cloth or machine to remove any excess. Remove unabsorbed impregnating sealer, if left to dry on the surface, by rubbing over with a little more sealer. Some stones may be darker after application. Acidic substances, if left on the surface, may damage stone.
Step three: Maintaining your natural stone wall or floor
Using the correct maintenance product will increase the life of your floor seal, provide additional protection against staining and make sure your floor looks great. Common household cleaning products often contain harsh substances that can breakdown sealing products applied to stone. For this reason LTP recommends using LTP Waxwash on floors and LTP Stonewash for surfaces.
LTP Waxwash (for floors): Formulated for use on unglazed tiles such as travertine, stone, limestone, slate, terracotta and quarry. Ideal for washing floors sealed with LTP Mattstone H20, LTP Mattstone or LTP Colour Intensifier. Use routinely in place of normal detergent.
LTP Stonewash (for walls): This gentle surface cleaner is formulated for use on limestone, marble, granite, slate and polished porcelain. Will clean without breaking down and removing protective seals.
Regular maintenance on stone floors
- Add one cap full of product per litre of water in a bucket.
- Wipe surface with the solution. Do not rinse.
- Allow to dry. Do not walk on the surface during drying time – 20 minutes.
A one litre LTP Waxwash will wash a 20 sq.m floor 40 times.
a no obligation LTP TECHNICAL HELPLINE, so please give us a call on
- Should I protect polished porcelain from staining? (ltpuktechnical.wordpress.com)
- Eco-friendly sealer – LTP Mattstone H20 (ltpuktechnical.wordpress.com)