Caring for natural and man-made stone slabs

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There are two different types of stone in the industry: man-made and natural. Often times, it is difficult for someone to spot the differences between the two, but the routine maintenance on these stones are different from the type of cleaning solutions to use to how to buffer out a stain

So, what is the difference between caring for any natural stone slabs versus man-made slabs? 

Man-made versus natural stone 

Yes, there are two different types of stone that can be used in the design and installation of a project. Man-made stone, is also known as manufactured stone and molded concrete that is artificially colored with paint to resemble the look of natural stone. 

Natural stone is stone that is made in nature. There are several different types of natural stone such as metamorphic to sedimentary. Any natural stone slabs that are in a warehouse are created differently in nature dependent on the type of stone it is. 

For example, Marble and Limestone are sedimentary stones. This type of stone is formed deep into the Earth and is pushed up to the surface after years of being pushed through the sediment layers in the Earth! These stones are known as calcareous stones which are made mostly of calcium from the Earth. 

Why does it matter if a commercial, industrial or residential space understands the differences between if their stone is a natural stone slabs or man-made slab? 

The critical reason is due to proper maintenance from these two different types of stones. This is how to care for your man- made and natural stone slabs. 

Man-made stone 

Since man-made stone is composed of several different types of materials such as concrete, cleaning and caring for your man-made stone will differ than caring for your natural stone. 

  1. Mix granulated soap or laundry detergent with hot water in a bucket. You want at least half a bucket of water for the mixture. 

  2. Stir the mixture and use a bristle brush to scrub the surface. This helps to dissolve the granulated soap or laundry detergent from the stone. 

  3. If there is a stubborn stain, make sure to let the mixture soak.

  4. Rinse the countertop of floors off and grab a soft washcloth or towel to dry the surface. 

Natural Stone 

Natural stone needs a cleaning solution that does not contain any unnatural pH balances such as harsh chemicals or solutions. The laundry detergent used on the man-made stone will not be a good solution for any natural stone slabs. 

  1. Always use coasters, rugs and mats on the countertop or flooring with natural stone. 

  2. Never wipe the area that has a spill! Grab a paper towels or napkins and let it soak into the towels or napkins. 

  3. Use a natural stone cleaner, a stone soap or a proper mixture of dishwashing soap with warm water provided by your natural stone distributor

  4. Never use bleach, common household cleaning products or any with Hydrofluoric Acid (HF) due to overtime damage caused to the stone. 

While different types of natural stone can handle some harsher everyday cleaning chemicals, it is not recommended to use due to the overtime breakdown or films that will start to occur over the natural stone. 

At the end of the day, no matter if a space has a man-made or natural stone slab installed, the proper maintenance will differ! Need more information on the right stone for your commercial, industrial or residential project? Give Firenze International a call today! 

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At Firenze International, we offer a wide selection of beautiful and durable natural stone! We also have an experienced board of advisers with over 100 years of experience in the natural stone industry. If you have clients in search of natural stone or looking to start a kitchen or home renovation project this summer, contact us and we would love to help you and your clients find the natural stone countertops, backsplashes, and hardscaping of their dreams!

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