Superior quality in internal stone care
The floor covering is the most important area in any building and acts as an integral part of its design. If the first impression is that the floor is smooth and clean, most people assume that the building is well maintained, which conveys an organisation’s operating culture and, most importantly, the care for the people within it.
Specialist Stone Care is Thomann-Hanry®’s interior stonework division which works with natural stone and offers an extensive range of different cleaning processes, products and impregnators. Our technicians can restore all natural and man-made stone floors and surfaces.
Led by industry expert Kevin Hooper, who has over 30 years’ experience in the industry, our technicians have benefited decades of experience of cleaning interior stone. The team frequently focus on the maintenance of flooring, often in areas with high footfall.
Specialist Stone Care can survey the flooring throughout your portfolio and provide detailed recommendations, not only for initial cleaning or restoration but also advise and implement periodic maintenance cleaning programmes to your household teams.
- Specialist Stone Care are experts in the restoration, repair, polishing and maintenance of all natural and man-made stone.
- We employ experienced operatives who have industry recognised accreditations. As unsuitable stone cleaning methods can cause irreparable damage, it’s essential that specialist operatives are used to ensure that your property investment is in safe hands.
- All operatives are fully trained to BICSc standards | https://www.bics.org.uk/
- We also offer an all-in-one invisible surface protection range called Aqua Fend®. It shields floors, walls and other surfaces against long-term damage, ensuring easy ongoing cleaning and maintenance.
Cleaning and resealing stone surfaces
The use of natural stone in the commercial environment continues to grow year on year and periodic maintenance is critical to its appearance and longevity.
Combined with high traffic and lack of proper maintenance, grease and dirt are detrimental factors which can significantly contribute to the deterioration of stone surfaces.
Most of natural stone floors are porous and require sealing to protect them from staining, making the daily cleaning easier and more effective. Stains can cause disfiguration, grout can decay, and a build-up of ingrained dust and grime will cause the stone to lose its natural sheen.
Once restored, the correct programme for daily stone cleaning is essential not only to maintain the stone’s natural appearance but also to prevent permanent staining.
The internal stone care and restoration process
Natural stone will eventually lose some of its original lustre over time. No matter how well a natural stone is maintained, it will inevitably require restoration at some point. Stone floors that endure high levels of footfall will certainly become scratched, dull and worn.
When restoration is required, our Specialist Stone Care experts follow distinct processes, depending on whether they are managing restoration works on Marble, Granite, Terrazzo, Travertine, Limestone, Sandstone, Slate or Terracotta.
The process utilises mechanical technology to remove the damaged surface and reveal a new and fresh layer of stone.
- Remove scratches to restore to a smooth, level floor and a honed or high gloss finish.
- Diamond grinding is similar to sanding a wood floor; it’s simply removing the damaged layer of the floor and then refinishing it.
- Once the grinding process is complete, the flooring will need to be resealed.
This process should be only carried out by specialists.
Crystallisation & vitrification
These methods use a combination of diamonds and polishing powders, which harden the stone and allow a gloss finish to be produced. This is carried out by our experts using a low-speed rotary machine, usually on a periodical basis, supported by the correct daily cleaning regimes.
- Enhancement of the natural properties of the stone. It is possible to control the finish that can be achieved – from a matt, honed finish to a high gloss. It will also remove light scratching.
- Any lippage in the flooring is removed, to allow a smooth level finish, and an impregnating seal is recommended to prevent staining.
Many high traffic areas – for example, public buildings and stations, amongst others – face a problem in maintaining the surfaces’ fresh appearance due to insufficient periodical care.
For this reason, crystallisation and vitrification were processes designed to provide a quick and efficient maintenance solution. Both processes can be carried out much quicker than grinding and at lower costs – as well as providing a longer lasting, fit-for-purpose solution.
Clean (strip) & seal
This process involves deep cleaning the stone to remove any polish or sealant that may have been previously applied.
- The stone is sealed, using either a surface or impregnating seal – depending upon the finish required.
- The sealing of natural stone is important as it prevents the stone from absorbing water, salts and oil-based stains that can significantly harm it.
- Without proper periodical sealing, stonework will usually damage very fast.
- A professionally applied sealant will give your floor breathable and impregnable protection.
“Internal stone flooring, staircases and decorative features can be incredibly beautiful. However, much like anything else, if left uncared for, the cost of maintenance and ultimately restoration can prove exceptionally expensive. A key example of this is when the wrong chemicals are used for cleaning stonework – a very common issue that can arise even when employing reputable cleaning or maintenance companies. It is often not appreciated that, depending upon the type of stone, different chemicals are required for the cleaning process.”
How often should I maintain stone floors?
Daily maintenance should be carried out on natural stone products that contain natural fats. This will enhance the colour of the stone and help maintain its seal. If the stone has not been sealed, this should be done prior to any maintenance programme taking place.
Can I use general detergents to clean stone floors?
Avoid general detergents as they can leave the stone looking dull and washed out. They often leave residues which detracts from the natural look of the stone too.
What equipment should be used to clean floors?
Whether you are using a mop or machine, your equipment should have non-abrasive materials to ensure the surface isn’t scratched or damaged.
What treatments are best for a stone floor?
All stone floors will inevitably be affected by acid. The question is when will you need to do something about it? Let Specialist Stone Care use their extensive knowledge to restore your stone surface to its former glory and look after your ongoing maintenance demands.
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