Natural Stone, Tile and Grout Care

Did you know that at Bob’s Best we also specialize in the deep cleaning, polishing & sealing of Travertine, Marble, Granite and Ceramic floors?

Our IICRC licensed trained technicians will bring back shine, removing the lack luster appearance caused from tiny scratches and breath new life into your investment. Here are a few questions about sealing we get asked many times, and our answers are below.

How important is it to seal my new Travertine, Marble, Granite, Limestone, Slate Tile & Grout?
Answer: Very important!! Most, if not all of these materials will absorb liquids and dark liquids can leave a stain when the proper sealer is not applied. Here is a good example: Travertine floors that has had red wine spilled on it and left overnight could pose a potential issue. If this floor had not been sealed that red wine stain would be much more difficult to remove and, possibly, could permanently stain the stone. So a good sealer properly applied will allow your material to be “stain resistant”…not stain proof. In addition a properly sealed floor will make your regular cleaning maintenance program much more effective allowing for fewer “professional cleanings”.

Is it really worth the price it cost to seal my Granite, Travertine, Limestone, Marble, Tile & Grout?
Answer: Absolutely! When investing somewhere between $5.00 – $20.00 (or much more) per square foot for your stone or tile to be installed, is it not worth the .75 – $1.00 per square foot to protect it? However, I must add…not all sealers are created equal nor are all applications being done properly to allow them to perform to their optimal level. If you are not satisfied with how your sealer is performing, most likely, an inexpensive product has been used and or has been applied improperly by an inexperienced applicator. The technology available today had resulted in some excellent protective sealers that, when you break it down by the square foot cost of the whole job it is extremely economical and effective to protect your valuable investment.

How often should I re-seal my natural stone, tile or grout?
Answer:. There are a few things to consider when answering this question: What type of sealer was first applied, was it applied properly, how much walking traffic does the area have, how often is the shower used, what type of cleaner is used & how often is the area being cleaned. (This is an important question to really consider with showers) There are basically two types of sealers, one is generically called a “topical sealer” which is really a coating, for it sits on top of stone or tile like paint sits on drywall. Second type is a “penetrating sealer” which as the name implies penetrates inside your stone or grout & protects just below the surface, nothing is left on top. Not all, but most polished natural stones: marble, travertines, granites, etc. it is recommended to use a “penetrating sealer” and NOT a “topical”.
So how often should one re-seal? As you can see it really can vary depending on many factors. The best way to determine if your sealer is still being effective is to have Bob’s Best do a free inspection & consultation.
Here are the general guidelines: Softer floor stones that are more porous ; limestone, travertine & cement grouts: Traffic areas 1- 2 years ( kitchen, entries, main walk areas) non-traffic areas 2-5 years. Heavily used showers should be inspected every year and re- sealed at least every 2 years of sooner .Granite counter tops 5-10 years, Marble counter tops could be about the same as granite depending on the marble, however marble as another maintenance consideration that is very often mistaken as a stain, etch marks. And, although there are always new products hitting the market I have yet to test a ”sealer” that prevents etching, as well as, leaving the marble as natural looking as possible.