Preparing Surfaces Before Sealing

All to often we see stone surfaces on busy sites that have been sealed, but not properly prepared before the sealing.

Resulting in sealed in boot prints, milling dust from cutting and grinding, and general dirt and grime.

Initial conditioning and cleaning before sealing is an important part of the protection process and ensures that the open pores of the stone are free from contaminants before filling with sealer.

The simple first step is quite commonly missed out and the consequences of this can lead to inadequate sealing resulting in staining and aftercare issues quite soon after installation.

To avoid these issues use LTP Grimex intensive cleaner.

Dilute 1:10 with water.  Wash down surfaces, rinse with water and then leave overnight to dry before sealing.

The result of this simple first step is deeper penetration of sealer, which will provide longer lasting protection………and of course…….no boot prints!

For more information about LTP visit our website.

LTP Grimex

Please note that this information is offered as general guidance only and without guarantee.  Your specific circumstances may need an alternative approach.  In case of doubt, any process should be tried out in an inconspicuous area before general application.

How do I clean my external paving?

Featured

Patio’s can give that refined and uniform look to a garden area, a clean cut from grass to stone, and when newly laid they look fantastic.

olive-limestone

If you had them laid before the winter months however they probably won’t look the same now as they once did. With the amount of rain that we have had over the last few months, the probability is that you will have some form of green growth on the tiles.

This green growth is a mix of Algae, moss and lichen which builds up on the tiles, normally more common in areas of higher rainfall, as this is the perfect place for algae to grow, high rainfall and with areas for the algae to cling to.

However this isn’t the end of your patio, as this can be easily fixed with the correct tools.

Cleaning Patios With LTP Mouldex

Firstly you will want to brush the stone with a stiff bristle deck brush to remove any leaves, dirt or debris from the surface of the stone.

Making sure the area is now free of loose debris, pour LTP Mouldex direct on to the stone and spread out over the area with a brush or sponge. (Garden sprayers can be used)

Black limestone with LTP mouldex applied on it with a sponge.

Leave for a minimum of one hour, then add a little water and agitate with a emulsifying pad or stiff deck brush to help loosen algae, dirt and grime.

After a minimum of 1 hour, agitate with emulsifying pad.

After a minimum of 1 hour, agitate with emulsifying pad.

Rinse thoroughly with water. Garden hoses and jet washes can be used. Be careful though as jet washes force water at the surface at high pressures and can cause damage to some stones.
Some stubborn stains and black spot will require longer treatment, in which case apply and leave overnight.

Rinse well with plenty of water

Rinse well with plenty of water

Once fully dry, (normally 24 hours) we recommend sealing with LTP Mattstone H20, this will prevent moisture and organic molecules from absorbing into the surface.

Black Limestone once cleaned and sealed

Black Limestone once cleaned and sealed

LTP Mouldex is a highly effective HSE registered product which has been developed to Help restore natural stone and paving to its original colour.

Grey Limestone with LTP moudlex.

Grey Limestone with LTP moudlex.

KILLS & REMOVES:

  • Algae
  • Black Spot
  • Mildew
  • Mould
  • Lichen
  • Fungus
  • Pollution
  • Pollen stains

Anti-bacterial action helps prevent re-growth.

Suitable for use on all external stones and concrete paving.

Simple to use….apply and leave….scrub and rinse.

The fast acting formula will restore external paving and help prevent re growth.

Protecting stone surfaces after treatment with LTP Mattstone H20 will further reduce the possibility of black spot and mould spores from returning. It will also help prevent deep staining from falling organic matter and make any future cleaning much easier.

Grey Limestone After cleaning and sealing.

Grey Limestone After cleaning and sealing.

One 5ltr can will treat up to 50 sq.m deepending upon the extent of soiling.

LTP Mouldex 5ltr only £39.54 Inc VAT.  (click here to buy or find your nearest stockist)

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For further information on the application of LTP Mouldex watch the video below.

Please note that this information is offered as general guidance only and without guarantee. Your specific circumstances may need an alternative approach. In case of doubt, any process should be tried out in an inconspicuous area before general application.

Cleaning, Sealing and maintaining stone surfaces

Cleaning, Sealing and Maintaining Stone Surfaces 

Natural stone has been used on floors and walls for centuries. As with all natural materials, it does need a certain level of care.

 

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, white emulsifying pad, 4pcs pole, sealant applicator & pad holder, microfibre cloth, scrubber or scrubber dryer machine.Stone_cleaning_and_seal_Pack1

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

  1. Dilute LTP Grimex 1:10 with water.
  2. Apply solution to the surface with a mop or sponge. Under floor heating must be off.
  3. Agitate to release the residual dirt and grime from the surface with a mildly abrasive pad (LTP White emulsifying pad).  Rinse well using a sponge & water.
  4. Do not use acidic cleaners, such as LTP Grout Stain Remover.
  5. Allow the surface to dry (preferably for 24 hours).

Cleaning natural stone with LTP Grimex

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 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 white emulsifying pad (for polished, smooth or honed surfaces) or scrubbing-brush ( LTP Deck brush) for Rough Cut surfaces 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.

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

  1. Surfaces must be clean and dry. Ensure under floor heating is off.
  2. Apply the product to the surface evenly using either LTP sealant applicator,a sponge, brush or soft cloth.
  3. Redistribute to remove excess product and avoid pooling on the surface.
  4. Allow to dry. Do not walk on the surface for at least one hour.
  5. Protect from water for 24 hours and do not wash surfaces for at least 3 days.

Sealing natural stone with LTP Mattstone, LTP Mattstone H20 or LTP Colour Intensifier.

  • 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

  1. Add one cap full of product per litre of water in a bucket.
  2. Wipe surface with the solution. Do not rinse.
  3. Allow to dry. Do not walk on the surface during drying time – 20 minutes.

Maintaining natural stone with LTP Waxwash

A one litre LTP Waxwash will wash a 20 sq.m floor 40 times.

PLEASE NOTE: Always follow the detailed instructions on the product labels. Protect stone surfaces from contact with acidic substances. Do not use abrasive materials on honed or polished stones. Avoid using normal detergents or strong bleach cleaners on sealed surfaces as they will gradually remove the protective seal.
At LTP we believe in helping to provide solutions and this is why we offer
a no obligation LTP TECHNICAL HELPLINE, so please give us a call on
+44 (0) 1823 666213 and we will be happy to help you. 
Visit www.ltp-online.co.uk to purchase from the LTP Range of products or find out more about us.

PROBLEMS WITH STEAM CLEANING LIMESTONE

The simplicity of water-based steam cleaning can be appealing, but repeated use of too much super heated water can lead to risks of residual staining, mobilisation of salts and corrosion of hidden particles of Iron within some limestone surfaces.

 

Mud vein in limestone magnified 120 Microns

Surface of a Limestone magnified by 120 microns

Steam can penetrate the small cracks and fissures on the surface of the limestone.
This does clean the limestone, but will also embed water into the surface.
Repeated cleaning using a steam cleaner can activate salts and weaken the stone over time. This can also lead to spalling or fragmentation of the surface.

Cleaning to expose new fissuresCOMPROMISED SEALER?
Surfaces that have been treated with an impregnating sealers can also be compromised. Steam cleaning does not normally remove the impregnating sealer, however repeated use can expose new fissures and capillaries within the stone. The newly exposed and unsealed surface takes in more dirt and becomes harder to clean, which then requires more frequent cleaning. This increase in cleaning can exacerbate the problem.

 

SURFACE SEALER DAMAGE?Damage to stone surface

Sealers used to finish the surface of stone can also be damaged. Steam is often used to remove paints, wall papers and other
coatings from surfaces. If a film forming
sealer has been used then contact by a
steam cleaner can cause a partial separation of the seal from the surface of the stone causing it to turn white or opaque.

 

                                                                        Rust stains in Limestone after spalling
RUST STAINS ON THE SURFACE?                                  
Rust stains:  These stains are reddish-orange and are caused by the oxidation (rusting) of iron. The source of iron staining is normally from within the stone, as most of the iron on the surface is normally
removed or discarded at the point of fabrication by the quarry. Therefore most Iron remains hidden and within the stone rather than on it; however, water from steam cleaning penetrating through natural fissures in the  stone can activate or accelerate rusting.
CRUMBLING OF THE SURFACE?
Moisture from repeated steam cleaning can in someSpalling Limestone
cases cause spalling or fragmentation of the surface.
The migration of salts from moisture in the limestone can promote crumbling of the surface causing larger fissures and craters to appear. This is more
common in Limestone’s and marbles that contain naturally occurring mud or calcite veins which are more vulnerable to this issue.

 

WHAT TO DO?

COMPROMISED SEALER: Intensively clean the surface of the stone with LTP Grimex. Leave overnight to dry. Re-apply impregnating sealer – LTP Mattstone or LTP Colour Intensifier. For routine aftercare use LTP Waxwash. This is a PH neutral cleaner that will not damage the stone or compromise the seal.

SURFACE SEALER DAMAGE: Remove the Film forming sealer using LTP Grimex or LTP Solvex. Leave overnight to dry. Re-apply the film forming sealer – LTP Ironwax Satin or LTP Ironwax Gloss. For routine aftercare use LTP Floorshine. This gentle cleaner will clean the surface and repair the seal where it has worn from abraision every time the floor is washed.

RUST STAINS ON THE SURFACE: Intensively clean the surface of the stone with LTP Power Stripper. Leave overnight to dry.Re-apply impregnating sealer – LTP Mattstone or LTP Colour Intensifier. For routine aftercare use LTP Waxwash. This is a PH neutral cleaner that will not damage the stone or compromise the seal.

CRUMBLING OF THE SURFACE: Intensively clean the surface of the stone with LTP Grimex. Leave overnight to dry. Use a suitable resin stone filler of the correct colour to fill in the voids. Re- hone the surface of the stone using a twister pad and sponge down with a little water to remove any dust or sediment. Leave to dry. Re-apply impregnating sealer – LTP Mattstone or LTP Colour Intensifier. For routine aftercare use LTP Waxwash. This is a PH neutral cleaner that will not damage the stone or compromise the seal.

This information is offered without guarantee.  The material should be used so as to take account of the local conditions and the surfaces to be treated.  In case of doubt, the product should be tried out in an inconspicuous area.

LTP cleaning of natural stone

Cleaning tips for natural stone wall and floor tiles

When is intensive stone or deep cleaning required?

  • As an important stage in the installation process of wall and floor tiles.
  • Where poorly maintained natural stone floor tiles need a top up seal.
  • When restoring natural stone wall or floor tiles.
  • For routine cleaning of unsealed external patios and paved areas.

Why would newly installed wall or floor tiles require intensive cleaning?

Keeping natural stone wall and floor tiles scrupulously clean before and during the fixing process, is vitally important. Intensive cleaning of stone floors and walls before application of the correct protective sealing product will make sure the result does not disappoint. Installing stone flooring and worktops by nature creates grit, dirt and adhesive residues. Ensuring that a vacuum is used (being careful not to scratch the surface) to remove loose dirt from your new stone floor or worktop will not address stains and residue marks. Simply washing stone flooring in water will not be effective in removing ingrained marks or adhesive. Using standard household cleaning products that often contain bleach is likely to damage the surface of your newly installed natural stone floor or wall. You should make sure that the correct cleaning product is used for the natural stone material being installed. Need more information about surfaces? Visit our identify your surface selector.

Selecting the correct intensive cleaning product for your natural stone flooring or wall tiles

LTP has developed a range of four intensive cleaning products that offer intensive cleaning solutions for most commercial and domestic applications. Each of our intensive cleaning products has been designed to address the needs of specific circumstances related to artificial and natural stone. We have solutions for all types of natural and artificial stone flooring, granite countertops and fireplace surrounds. Ensuring you have the correct product for the task by simply contacting our Technical Helpline on +44 (0) 1823 666213.

Removing grout stains1. LTP Grout Stain Remover (1&5 litre containers)

An intensive cleaning solution for removal of cement and grout residues from stone flooring and wall tiles. Extremely effective against mineral salt formations (efflorescence) and the removal of plaster and dust stains. Useful for routine cleaning of unsealed patios and other outside paved areas. LTP Grout Stain Remover may be used on glazed ceramics, quarry tiles, terracotta and some stone. (Do not use on limestone, marble or other acid sensitive surfaces.) Buy LTP Grout Stain Remover

 

 

Cleaning grime from natural stone2. LTP GRIMEX (1&5 litre containers)

The answer to stubborn grime, oil, old layers of wax or acrylic and even rubber sole marks on terracotta and natural stone flooring. Ideal for removing ingrained dirt and grime, both internally and externally. Suitable for use on glazed and unglazed tiles this product is excellent for renovating old quarry tiles, terracotta, slate, stone, marble, stone fireplaces and can be used to clean brick and external paving.
Buy LTP Grimex >>

 

 

Removing oxidised linseed oil3. LTP POWER STRIPPER (1&5 litre containers)

For removing existing layers of sealer from tiles. One of the few intensive cleaning products on the market capable of breaking down oxidised boiled linseed oil and beeswax from the surface of terracotta. Powerful amines, ammonia and alkalinity penetrate and help lift the hardest, heaviest films. Ideal for intensive cleaning of heavily contaminated vitrified quarry tiles, limestone, travertine, sandstone, slate, glazed ceramics and porcelain. Strips most things first time thereby minimising labour costs. Buy LTP Power Stripper >>

Removing tick layers of sealant4. LTP SOLVEX (1&5 litre cans)

A powerful non-caustic stripper that softens most types of solvent based surface sealer, which can then be removed with ease. Suitable for removing most wax, oil, emulsion and polyurethane sealers. Will not discolour or damage natural stone, slate, terracotta or quarry tile surfaces. After washing and rinsing, surfaces are ideal for re-sealing. Buy LTP Solvex >>

Polished Marble Fixing and Sealing Guide

The following instructions are appropriate for Polished Marble.

STEP 1: FIXING THE STONE USING PROPRIETARY ADHESIVE.

Apply adhesive to primed concrete or timber surface.

Using a notched trowel spread out the adhesive evenly.

Butter the back of each piece of stone with adhesive.

Leave adhesive to dry naturally. DO NOT force dry.

DO NOT cover stone. Covering slows curing and prevents the stone breathing.

 

Useful tools: Notched trowel, mixing trowel,mixing drill, adhesive whisk, bucket, sponge, electric wet cutter with diamond disc, grout float, 2mm spacers.

Polished-Marble-Fixing-1STEP 2: INITIAL CLEAN USING LTP GRIMEX BEFORE SEALING.

Dilute LTP Grimex 1:10 with water.

Apply to the surface and gently agitate using a mildly abrasive pad.

Rinse well using a sponge and water.

Buff off any water marks that remain before they dry.

Leave the stone to dry.

Useful tools: LTP white emulsifying pad, LTP pad holder & 4 pc pole.

Polished-Marble-Fixing-2STEP 3: INTIAL SEAL USING LTP MPG SEALER BEFORE GROUTING.

Apply sealer evenly to the polished stone surface using sealant applicator or similar.

After 20 minutes buff visible sealer into the polished surface.

2 hours after the final coat of sealer grout the joints.

Rinse well with plenty of water.

Dust of remaining residues and leave to dry for a minimum of 24 hours.

Useful tools: LTP sealant applicator, 4 pcc pole & buffing cloth.
Polished-Marble-Fixing-3STEP 4: FINISH WITH A FINAL COAT OF LTP MPG SEALER COVERING THE JOINTS AS WELL

The surface should be clean and dry.

Apply sealer making sure to cover the joints as well.

Buff off excess within 20 minutes. DO NOT allow sealer to dry on surface.

Leave to dry. Light traffic only for first 24 hours.

DO NOT COVER. Covering slows curing and prevents the stone from breathing.

Useful tools: LTP sealant applicator, 4 pc pole & buffing cloth
Polished-Marble-Fixing-4STEP 5: Aftercare and Routine Cleaning

1 capful of LTP Waxwash per litre of water.

Mop surfaces with the solution.

Buff using microfibre cloth or similar to finish.

Leave to dry.

LTP WAXWASH DOES NOT DAMAGE THE STONE & HELPS MAINTAIN THE SEAL (40 washes per litre x 20sq m)

Useful tools: LTP 4 pc pole & pad holder,buffing cloth,bucket.

Polished-Marble-Fixing-5

 

At LTP we believe in helping to provide solutions and this is why we offer
a no obligation LTP TECHNICAL HELPLINE, so please give us a call on
+44 (0) 1823 666213 and we will be happy to help you. 
Visit www.ltp-online.co.uk to purchase from the LTP Range of products or find out more about us.

Why do I need to seal my Floor or Wall Tiles?

If your tiles are porous like Natural Stone, Terracotta, Slate, Polished Porcelain & Quarry Tiles then we would always recommend sealing them.

There are essentially three aims when sealing a tile.

  • Stain Prevention
  • Surface Protection
  • Surface Enhancement

It is not always possible or indeed necessary to achieve all the aims, however stain prevention tends to be the overriding aim.

To achieve these aims there is the choice of two types of sealers

These will either be spirit based or water based.

These two types of sealers can be used independently or together depending on the type of surface being sealed and depending on the type of finish required:

Essentially there are three types of finish:

The first two are achieved with impregnating sealers, and the third with Surface sealers

Impregnating Sealers:

Unsealed, most natural tiles are absorbent to some degree or other, just  pour a tea spoon

Natural stone protected with LTP Mattstone

Natural stone protected with LTP Mattstone

of water on to an unsealed tile and observe how quickly the water is absorbed. English Limestone, Sandstone, Marble  and Terracotta tend to be the most absorbent and denser surfaces such as Granite and basalt? Much less absorbent, Travertine and Slate sit somewhere in the middle.

Full bodied Porcelain and Quarry Tiles may seem highly vitrified, but they can still be absorbent. On the whole the cheaper the tile here, the more absorbent it is likely to be..

Tiles have small pin-holes and open fissures as part of its natural texture. This texture will tend to accumulate grit and stains as part of the natural wearing process and unless they are impregnated will cause the floor to stain.

An impregnating sealer will have a carrier, often white spirit and a sealer within it. Once absorbed the carrier evaporates leaving the sealer in situ protecting the tile just below the surface

Depending on the porosity of the tile, a second or third coat of sealer may be needed.

In some cases a secondary seal is required to protect the surface of the tile, or to give the surface a gloss or satin finish.

Impregnating sealers are absorbed into the tile sealing it just below the surface, they tend not to alter the characteristic of the tile and whilst they offer mechanical strength to a tile and in some cases ..colour enhancement.., they will not offer surface protection.

Surface sealers

To achieve surface protection and a different finish to the tile , a surface sealer is used, these will provide the tile with a gloss or satin finish. In this case clearly the natural look of the tile is being altered.

Apply LTP Glaze Protector

Glazed Tile- Sealed with LTP Glaze Protector

As a general rule surface sealers tend to be water based, rather than spirit based and depending on the nature of the surface being sealed can be used on their own or in conjunction with an impregnating sealer.

Advantages and disadvantages of Spirit Based & Water Based Sealers

Spirit based and water based sealers now perform equally well provided you purchase a water based sealer rather than a water based water repellent.

In our experience whilst water based impregnating sealers are becoming more widely used for environmental reasons, spirit based sealers are still much more popular for the simple reason: they are easier to apply.  Spirit is a better carrier than water, so spirit based sealers transport the sealer deeper into a tile.

However, as with paints the trend is away from solvent/spirit based products to waterbased sealers.

Another reason for considering waterbased sealers is they have much less odour than spirit based sealers.

External Use:  Swimmimg Pool surrounds: Wet Rooms:

In most circumstances impregnating sealers will be breathable allowing use in wet area’s and outside.

This is not always the case with surface sealers:

Whether they are polyurethane varnishes or waterbased;  surface sealers are not breathable and should not be specified for wet area’s or externally.

And finally

Everything above applies to grout joints as well as tiles. So remember to seal the grouting as well to achieve a perfect durable finish for your tiled surface with LTP Grout & Tile ProtectorLTP 600ml Grout & Tile Protector Aerosol

Marble Floor Loosing its Polished Sheen?

Why do Polished Marble Floors lose their Sheen?

This issue is not un-common, we get hundreds of calls every year about the use of polished marble in heavily trafficked areas.
English: Jefferson County Court House, Beaumon...

Using Marble for Floors

When considering a natural stone polished marble as a floor covering there are several factors to take into consideration, the two most common are location and ease of maintenance.

The effect of foot traffic on a marble floor

Polished marble used in heavily trafficked areas will always be subject to wear from abrasion. This is more common for natural stone marble floors in kitchens and halls. Foot traffic is abrasive and it wears down the polished surface of the marble floor creating dull patches. Signs of this can sometimes appear on natural stone marble floors within six months of installation. Sealing the marble floor can offer a little mechanical strength to extend the wear ability, but it will not prevent it from happening.

LTP MPG Sealer is our recommended product for protecting polished marble floors.

Correct maintenance of marble floors is vital

Using the correct maintenance products on marble floors can help to extend the life of the polished surface as they do not compromise the seal or damage the surface of the marble. If an inappropriate cleaning solution is repeatedly used it can damage natural stone weakening the surface. In the case of polished marble it can cause it to degrade and then show signs of wear sooner than expected.

LTP Waxwash is our recommended product for maintaining polished marble floors sealed with LTP MPG Sealer.

Restoring the sheen on marble surfaces

There are chemical solutions available to restore the sheen to a marble, however they tend to be for repairing small spot marks from acid spillage rather than whole floors. The best solution for restoring the polish on a marble floor is a mechanical one. The surface of the marble floor should be re-burnished using diamond pads followed by correct sealing and then an appropriate maintenance regime. This process is normally repeated every 12-18 months to help maintain the sheen.

When we see marble floors at airports and in hotel reception areas, machines are used repeatedly to clean and re-burnish the marble surface, this is how they manage to stay in good condition. This is not always so practical in a domestic situation.

An alternative finish for marble

If this all seems too much for you it might be worth considering a honed finish instead of a highly polished for your marble floor. as it will be more forgiving and will not need the repeated re-burnishing and re-sealing. A honed finish can be achieved using lower grit diamond pads and the same mechanical polishing process.

For a honed marble floor LTP recommends sealing with LTP Mattstone or LTP Mattstone H20 (Eco friendly selaer) and maintaining with LTP Waxwash.

Should you use a professional floor restoration company?

The application techniques described above are achievable by a competent DIY enthusiast using the products as described. However, natural stone is often expensive and each stone has its own natural characteristics. We often find that many of our customers prefer to use the experience and skills of a professional stone restoration and cleaning company to make sure that their project finished to the highest standard.

LTP is pleased to be associated with the following companies that specialise in natural stone restoration and cleaning:

At LTP we believe in helping to offer solutions and this is why we offer a no obligation
LTP TECHNICAL HELPLINE, so please give us a call on +44 (0) 1823 666213 or email info@ltp-online.co.uk and we will be happy to help you.

Visit www.ltp-online.co.uk to buy or find out more about our range of products.

Wet Rooms & Swimming Pool Surrounds – Clean, Seal & Maintain

Cleaning, Sealing and Maintaining Natural Stone – Part Four

Swimming-PoolNatural stone has been a popular choice of cladding material in wet rooms and around swimming pools for centuries. As with all natural materials, it does need a certain level of care.

This is the fourth 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 post explains the LTP three-step approach to cleaning, protecting and maintaining natural stone surfaces used in wet rooms and swimming pool surrounds. The following guide will explain the process and help keep your surfaces maintained and in good condition for many years.

Natural Stone Surfaces – Wet Rooms & Swimming Pool Surrounds

The following instructions are for unpolished, travertine, limestone, marble, sandstone, slate, terrazzo and granite.

Step one: Initial cleaning

Before sealing, clean natural stone thoroughly to make sure that sealing the surface is effective. This is true of newly installed surfaces, as well as existing, due to the contamination that can occur during fitting.

For newly installed surfaces cleaning should remove all grout and cement residue and any general dirt or grime that has built up while fitting.

NEWLY INSTALLED SURFACES

Before grouting and once surfaces are clean and dry: Wash surfaces well with LTP Grimex and once clean and thoroughly dry, apply a minimum of one coat of
LTP Colour Intensifier & Stainblock. This treatment will help with the removal of residual grout and protect the surface of the stone.

Cleaning newly installed unpolished, travertine, limestone, marble, sandstone, slate, terrazzo and granite in wet room or swimming pool areas.

  1. Dilute LTP Grimex 1:5 with water.
  2. Apply solution to the surface and agitate. Turn under floor heating off.
  3. Rinse well with clean water.
  4. Use LTP Grout Stain remover to remove residual grout. (Do not use on limestone or marble).
  5. Allow the surface to dry for 24 hours.
The 5 step process to cleaning natural stone for wet rooms and swimming pool areas

The 5 step process to cleaning

Refurbishing used and heavily soiled stone surfaces

1.   Thoroughly clean the stone before sealing. Remove old layers of sealer, dirt residues and deposits from after care products from the surface and pores of the stone.
2.   Dilute LTP Grimex 1:3 with water, apply to the surface with a sponge or water brush and leave to sit on the surface of the tiles for as long as it takes for the dirt to release. 5-30 minutes depending upon the level of dirt
3.   Agitate the surface with a stiff brush or emulsifying pad every 5-10 minutes (you can use a scrubber machine if the surface is suitable).
4.   Continue to scrub while adding clean water. Remove residues from the surface with water or scrubber machine.
5.   Rinse thoroughly with clean fresh water to remove all remaining residues.
6.   Allow the surface a minimum of 3 dry and damp free days before applying the protective seal.
7.   For the removal of other types of dirt refer to the table below.
8.   Do not use acid based cleaners on limestone, marble or any other calciferous stone.

For the removal of other types of dirt refer to the list below. If you are unsure please call our helpline for advice.

Step two: Protect your stone surface from stains

To protect unpolished, travertine, limestone, marble, sandstone, slate, terrazzo and granite surfaces in wet room or swimming pool areas and help prevent staining LTP recommends applying LTP Colour Intensifier & Stainblock.

The equipment you will need for this task: bucket, applicator, brush, cloth.

Application of LTP Colour Intensifier Stainblock: Enhanced natural finish protects against water, oil, grease, dirt, grime, organic matter and aids maintenance

  1. Ensure surfaces are clean and dry. Turn under floor heating off.
  2. Apply the product to the surface evenly using a brush or soft cloth.
  3. Fully saturate the stone with sealer. Remove any un-absorbed excess (within 1 hours).
  4. Allow to dry and do not walk on the surface for at least 3 hours.
  5. Do not make wet or wash treated surfaces for a minimum of 3 days.
The 5 step process to sealing natural stone in wet rooms and swimming pools

The 5 step process to sealing

Topping up the protection (wet rooms)

From time to time it may be necessary to top up the protection offered by LTP Colour Intensifier & Stainblock particularly wet rooms. To achieve this apply LTP Grout & Tile Protector spray. After cleaning and once surfaces are completely dry, spray the sealer 20cm from the surface in a sweeping motion making sure to cover the surface of the stone and grout joints. Touch dry within 5 minutes. Leave to cure for a minimum of 24 hours in wet areas before use.

Step three: Maintaining unpolished, travertine, limestone, marble, sandstone, slate, terrazzo and granite in wet room or swimming pool areas.

Using the correct maintenance product will increase the life of your stone seal, offer more protection against staining and make sure wet room or swimming pool area 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 wet room and swimming pool areas sealed with LTP Colour Intensifier & Stainblock.

1.   Dilute one capful of LTP Waxwash in a bucket of water.
2.   Mop the surface with the solution. Do not rinse.
3.   Allow to dry. Do not walk on the surface during drying time – 20 minutes.
4.   Use LTP Stonewash to clean and maintain stone clad wet rooms and bathrooms.

Please note: A one litre LTP Waxwash will wash a 20 sq.m floor 40 times.

Maintaining natural stone in wet rooms and swimming pools

Maintaining natural stone in wet rooms and swimming pools

SHOULD YOU USE A PROFESSIONAL FLOOR RESTORATION COMPANY?

The application techniques described above are achievable by a competent DIY enthusiast using the products as described. However, stone products are often expensive and by nature each stone has its own characteristics. We often find that many of our customers prefer to use the experience and skills of a professional stone restoration and cleaning company to make sure that their project is completed to the highest standard.

LTP is pleased to associate with the following companies that specialise in natural stone restoration and cleaning:

PLEASE NOTE: Always follow the detailed instructions on the product labels. Protect stone surfaces from contact with acidic substances. Do not use abrasive materials on honed or polished stones. Avoid using normal detergents or strong bleach cleaners on sealed surfaces as they will gradually remove the protective seal.

At LTP we believe in helping to offer solutions and this is why we offer a no obligation
LTP TECHNICAL HELPLINE
, so please give us a call on +44 (0) 1823 666213 and we will be happy to help you.

Visit www.ltp-online.co.uk to buy from the LTP Range of products or find out more about us.

Natural Stone and Tiles – Common Stains: Water

How to remove Water Stains ­from Natural Stone and Tiles

A water stain mark on natural stone

A water stain mark on natural stone

Natural stone and tiles are an investment that can add real quality to your home or office environment. When staining or marking of a stone surface on a kitchen, bathroom or office floor or work surface occurs, such as water stains; this can create a potentially difficult situation to resolve. This is the first in a series of articles from the LTP Technical Team that identify the most common stain issues for natural stone and tiles.

Understand your surface

Ensuring that you know what has caused stains on stone, the material stained and whether the surface is protected can all have a bearing on how you should address the issue. If you are in any doubt it is often more straightforward to seek expert assistance. At LTP we offer FREE technical assistance via our Helpline +44 ( 0) 1823 666213. In most cases, it will be easier to assist you if you are able to supply photographs of the issue and surface. Please send images to info@ltp-online .co.uk with as much information as possible.

Is your stone surface protected?

Natural stone protected with LTP Mattstone

Knowing if your stone surface or tiles has a protective seal applied is important in understanding the best solution to address the issue. Often when a protective seal is in place the method for tackling the problem is much less aggressive and simpler. Essentially this is because the stain is most often only affecting the protective seal.

To protect natural stone and tile surfaces to help prevent staining LTP recommends for following sealing products.  LTP Mattstone or LTP Mattstone H20 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.

Common stains on natural stone and tiles – Water Stains

Water stains can appear on natural stone and tile surfaces such as floors and worktops when water is left to stand, as it dries into the surface it can cause a stain. This is most common with porous stone surfaces such as limestone, flagstones, sandstone and terracotta, but water stains can also affect glazed ceramics, porcelain and polished surfaces such as porcelain, granite and marble.

The most common causes of water stains are outlined below…

Using the wrong maintenance cleaner can gradually affect the performance of the seal. This after a while allows water to penetrate beyond the seal. In areas of hard water, these water droplets can dry out to leave a lime deposit on the surface. Hard water stains are difficult to remove using normal detergents.

Repeated cleaning of stone surfaces using water and a mild detergent can create a film on the surface.  When we mop and clean our surfaces the water dries off to leave a very slight film of residual detergent. In the months that follow this can create a micron thick film across the surface.  Water droplets can dilute the detergent in the area that they sit on leaving a spot mark.  This all happens on a fairly microscopic level, which is why staining of this nature is sometimes only visible when looking across a surface towards a light source.

The LTP approach to removing water stains

The method that LTP recommends for tackling water stains differs depending upon the surface type.

Limestone, Marble, Travertine and other Acid Sensitive Surfaces

For acid sensitive surfaces, we recommend using LTP Grimex or LTP Power Stripper. Simply wash the area as directed by the label instructions, rinse and allow to dry. Note that if the surface has a protective seal the surface may need re sealing. To make sure that you achieve a uniform finish a wider area may need treatment.

Porcelain, Terracotta, Sandstone and other NON Acid Sensitive Surfaces

For surfaces that are not acid sensitive, we recommend using LTP Grout Stain Remover. Treat the affected area as directed by the product label, rinse and allow to dry. In some cases you can simply buff the surface to its original shine. Where this is not effective and to help maintenance you may consider applying LTP Glaze Protector.

If the stain persists repeat the treatment, if this is unsuccessful please contact our FREE helpline.

PLEASE NOTE: Always follow the detailed instructions on the product labels. Protect stone surfaces from contact with acidic substances. Do not use abrasive materials on honed or polished stones. Avoid using normal detergents or strong bleach cleaners on sealed surfaces as they will gradually remove the protective seal.

At LTP we believe in helping to offer solutions and this is why we offer a no obligation
LTP TECHNICAL HELPLINE, so please give us a call on +44 (0) 1823 666213 or email info@ltp-online.co.uk and we will be happy to help you.

Visit www.ltp-online.co.uk to buy or find out more about our range of products.