ABOUT NATURAL STONE
Natural stones, as the name implies, are products of nature and have variations in texture, color, veining, and pattern. These variations must be accepted as part of using natural stone. These differences and disparities are part of what makes natural stone unique and should not be considered as flaws.
Natural stone may include naturally occurring imperfections including but not limited to: voids, veins, fissures, pits, etc. As part of the process of preparing natural stone, it is standard procedure for the supplier or fabricator to repair these by using waxes or epoxy fillers. These fills can occasionally pop out from normal wear and use. In these instances, it may be necessary to refill these voids as part of a normal maintenance process.
Purchasing natural stone products from All Natural Stone implies that you acknowledge that natural stones vary. The actual stone you receive may differ from the samples displayed in our showroom, pictures on our website, or images in vendor brochures.
If additional natural stone is ordered after your original order, there is no guarantee that it will match the original stone you purchased. Furthermore, subsequent orders may be more expensive than the original order.
Natural stone products must be installed correctly according to the type of material used, the size of materials, and the material’s installation. Installers and fabricators should install the stone according to the guidelines set by the Natural Stone Institute and the Tile Council of North America. This includes but is not limited to the use of proper substrates, mortar (including correct color) waterproofing, grout (including correct color), caulking, epoxy and other glues, and sealers.
Always do a mock-up of the installation using all of the related materials to make sure that there is no discoloration or staining prior to final installation.
All Natural Stone will not be responsible for any incorrect installations performed by any agent employed by the homeowner or the homeowner’s contractors or subcontractors.
Special care should be taken using natural stone in wet areas (showers) and outside. Natural stone is a porous material and care must be taken to ensure that no standing water occurs. This includes but is not limited to making sure that there is sufficient slope on the shower floor or shower curb, having sufficient weep holes at the shower drain, or proper waterproofing.
SEALERS AND CLEANERS
All Natural Stone should be sealed prior to and immediately following installation. In addition, regular sealing is necessary to maintain the stone. Not all sealers are the same and will not universally work on all stones. In general, natural stones require the use of either a water-based or a solvent-based impregnating sealer. While All Natural Stone sells a variety of sealers from various manufacturers and we are happy to offer information about these products, you should consult with your stone fabricator or hire a professional sealer company to determine the best sealer for the stone you purchase.
When talking with a professional installer about sealers be sure to consider things such as type of stone, stone finish, location, and your lifestyle as all of these can help determine the best sealer.
All stone will eventually have to be resealed. The considerations above, as well as the manufacturer’s guidelines, will help inform the frequency of resealing. We recommend using professional sealer companies for sealer applications.
While sealers can help prevent staining, no sealer will prevent etching of marble, limestone, or travertine. There are products available that can be applied after installation that will prevent etching. An All Natural Stone sales person can help identify those products.
Regular maintenance is necessary for natural stone as it will help maintain and protect it. Regular cleaning, with products that are formulated for natural stone, is highly recommended. Use cleaners that are correct for the finish of your stone. For example, applying a cleaner designed for a polished surface on a honed surface can result in a build up that actually makes a honed surface shiny! Never use harsh chemicals (including bleach) or harsh abrasives on natural stone surfaces as these may cause discolorations or scratches.
Quartz is made from natural stone materials and resins. The resins make quartz sensitive to high heat. Hot pots and pans should never be placed on a countertop without a trivet underneath them. And, in a bathroom, it is a good idea to use a silicone pad to protect the surface from the heat of curling irons and straighteners. And while quartz is extremely stain- and etch-resistant, it may not completely stain- and etch-proof. Care should be taken to make sure that any colored spills and acidic splashes are cleaned up quickly.
Fabricators should fabricate and install quartz slabs according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Failure to do so can result in the manufacturer’s warranty being voided.
While quartz does not generally need to be sealed, it is becoming more common. There are sealing products on the market specifically for quartz surfaces. Be sure to check the manufacturer’s warranty to make sure that it will not be voided if the quartz is sealed.
Maintenance & Care
Quartz is generally very easy to care for. It should be cleaned regularly with a product specifically formulated for quartz.
For tough stains, a light abrasive such as Soft Scrub and a soft pad can be used. Test in an inconspicuous place to make sure that the surface is not affected.
About Porcelain Slabs
Porcelain slabs have the durable characteristics of smaller porcelain tile. They are extremely strong, stain and acid resistant, and able to withstand high heat. One drawback is that porcelain can chip, however, but only if it is hit with something very hard at a high impact.
Be sure to choose a fabricator who is familiar with porcelain slabs as the process is different than that of natural stone and quartz. The fabricator should follow all manufacturer’s instructions when fabricating.
Maintenance & Care
Porcelain slabs do not need to be sealed. And, the regular care and maintenance for porcelain slabs is the same as it is for smaller porcelain tile. Any mild cleaner can be used regularly and for any tough cleaning or disinfecting, a steam cleaner can be used. For tough stains, a light abrasive such as Soft Scrub and a soft pad can be used. Test in an inconspicuous place to make sure that the surface is not affected.
TILE AND GROUT
While porcelain tile can safely be used outdoors, make sure that its finish is suitable for the installation. Polished surfaces can be extremely slippery.
Always do a mockup of your tile especially if it has a lot of variation. It is often best to open all boxes and randomize the tiles so that the different patterns are separated throughout the installation.
Although most porcelain and ceramic tile does not need to be sealed, some including those with heavily distressed finishes and crackle finishes do. It is best to check with the manufacturer for correct installation guidelines.
Natural stone tiles, especially light colored ones, should be sealed prior to and after installation with a product that is best for the stone type.
Concrete tiles should be sealed prior to and after installation.
Saltillo tiles, unless they come already sealed, should be sealed prior to and after installation.
Sanded and non-sanded grouts should be sealed to maintain being waterproof, retain their color, and to resist mildew. Epoxy grouts do no need to be sealed.
Only clean ceramic tile with a PH neutral cleaner. Do not clean tile with harsh abrasives as it can scratch the glaze. Ceramic tile with crackled glazes should be sealed, especially if being used in a wet area. Crackled glazes will need to be resealed over time depending on how heavy the use on the surface.
The best way to clean porcelain tile, when used as flooring, is spot cleaning. Wet mopping can keep dirt on the surface and soap residue can actually attract more dirt. For other areas, a PH Neutral cleaner is best and if for some reason there are tough stains on the tile a brush can be used. A steam cleaner will also lift dirt from the tile (and the grout).
Glass tiles should never be cleaned with abrasive cleaners as they can scratch the surface of the glass. Use as gentle cleaners as possible to remove dirt and water spots.
Natural stone tiles should be sealed regularly. They should be cleaned with products specifically formulated for cleaning natural stone. Never use bleach products on natural stone as they can discolor lighter stones. And when cleaning marble, never use a citrus-based product as it may etch the surface of the stone.
Sanded and non-sanded grouts need to be sealed regularly in wet areas to prevent mold and mildew from building up. Epoxy grouts do not need to be sealed. Do not use bleach on colored grouts as they can fade the coloring. Spot cleaning, especially on floors is beneficial as wet mopping can leave dirty water sitting directly on the grout and the dirt can become embedded. Steam cleaners can also be used to clean grout.
All Natural Stone is not responsible for any cracks, stains, breakage, or fissures that may occur after the material has been picked up by you or your representative from our warehouse or delivered by All Natural Stone to the location that is specified on your Sales Order. Materials must be inspected upon pickup or delivery. Any issues related to damage must be brought to the attention of All Natural Stone within 24 hours of pickup or delivery.
Returns of natural stone material must be made within 30 days from the date the order was paid for/placed. All returns are subject to the approval of the supplying vendor and are subject to a restocking fee. This restocking fee is set from All Natural Stone’s suppliers and will be a minimum of 30% plus any return shipping charges.
Under no circumstances can materials be returned after installation.