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Marble and Limestone

Honed Finish
(See other page for polished finishes)

How to:

Seal | Clean | Repair | Protect
Strip & Restore | Easy Care

Sealers and Sealing instructions
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honed limestone marble floor
Honed Marble Honed Limestone

Advantages to this material:

Timeless, classical beauty. The great variety of colors and patterns allow for a wide spectrum of design options.

When you look at the pictures above, you see part of the confusion about these materials. You cannot tell by look or feel which is limestone and which is marble. Actually, they are the same stone called by different names by the sellers. The cleaning and sealing characteristics are the same under either name.

More honed marble & limestone details:

Three concerns: 1. Stop etching by acidic liquids. 2. Stop dulling traffic wear. 3. Retain the soft, honed appearance and feel. All are accomplished by the correct sealer choice. See below.

When you compare honed marble and limestone to honed granite, it is often difficult to tell which is which. You cannot tell by look or feel. But, granite does not react with acidic liquids. Here is how you can do an acid test to confirm which you have. Be sure to test on the underside as acid will etch marble and limestone faces.


As you progress down this page you will see:
  • The products you may need for surface Preparation before sealing.
  • Pictures of each of the recommended sealers for this surface type. Click the sealer's picture for it's full description.
  • Handy tips to prevent issues that others have had before coming to Aldon.
  • Perhaps more information than you need now, but might be of interest later.

Surface Preparation before sealing
What you need for your Marble and Limestone projects


You have 1 of the 3 possible situations that follow. The products you need are listed in the sequence that you would use them. Click the picture to add a product to your list.

#1. If the Honed Marble or Limestone is not yet grouted

Use 1st 2nd 3rd
Grout Release
Grout Easy

Grout Release
*Grout Residue
Remover

Remove marble scratches
**Fine Stone
Restoration

* Should not be needed after using Grout Easy. Grout Residue Remover is an acid based product, so dilute way down and use with caution on cement smears.
** If the stone has scratches to be removed before sealing. This process will dull a polished finish in rubbing out a scratch. So test the process described carefully including the SBS Sealer aerosol to restore the high gloss finish.

#2. If the Honed Marble or Limestone is grouted, but never sealed.

1st 2nd
Grout Release
*Grout Residue
Remover

Remove marble scratches
**Fine Stone
Restoration

* Grout Residue Remover is an acid based product, so dilute way down and use with caution on cement smears.
** If the stone has scratches to be removed before sealing. This process will dull a polished finish in rubbing out a scratch. So test the process described carefully including the SBS Sealer aerosol to restore the high gloss finish.

#3. If the Honed Marble and Limestone has had a sealer applied in the past.

Use 1st 2nd
Remove all sealers
Premium
Stripper

Remove marble scratches
*Fine Stone
Restoration

* If the stone has scratches to be removed before sealing. This process will dull a polished finish in rubbing out a scratch. So test the process described carefully including the SBS Sealer aerosol to restore a high gloss finish.

Your Choices for Sealing


"S-B-S Sealer" . This sealer is | Solvent Base | Penetrating Type. Provides: color enhancement | low gloss | strengthening | efflorescence barrier. Coverage guidelines (depending on absorption) 150 to 500 sq.ft./gal.

clean, protect, seal tile - stone - pavers - brick
Add to Project List
Gallons

Case (4 gal)

Aerosols

Case Aeros

Sample

Honed Limestone
S-B-S Sealer on a honed limestone. Creates a matte finish unless applied heavier to create a close to polished finish. The stone now has a barrier to acidic liquid etching.

clean, protect, seal tile - stone - pavers - brick

Acid Protection: This picture shows a liquid line of full strength muriatic (pool) acid. The arrow points to the left half protected with SBS Sealer. There is no fizzing on the sealed half because the acid cannot contact the stone through the sealer.

Considerations:
A honed limestone/marble stone finish has unique criteria that limits choices in sealing. It is usually desirable to have very little if any change to the factory finish.

A sealer applied with an applicator tool (brush, roller) usually leaves streaks on this kind of surface. This criteria dictates the use of a sealer that can create a thin and invisible coating that will repel oil and water type liquids. And can be applied as a spray. S-B-S Sealer is the best choice for this and it also comes in aerosol cans for spraying. You can see a video of how easy a process this is here.


Add one application of "Lifeguard" for another level gloss. You can increase gloss with more applications as desired.

"Fine Stone Sealer" . This sealer is | Water Base | Coating Type. Provides: no color enhancement | no gloss. Coverage guidelines (depending on absorption) 150 to 500 sq.ft./gal.

Sealer for limestone and marble
Pints

Case
(case=16 Pts.)
Sample n/a
Honed marble with Fine Stone Sealer

Red arrow shows water drop spreading on unsealed left half.
Yellow arrow shows water drop maintaining a high bead on the sealed side.
Considerations:
A honed stone finish has unique criteria that limits choices in sealing. It is usually desirable to not have an observable change to the factory finish.

"Fine Stone Sealer" will meet that criteria.

Picture: Honed marble / limestone, very low absorption = sealed in one application | No change to gloss or color
Add one application of "Lifeguard" for another level gloss. You can increase gloss with more applications as desired.


Easy Care Products: for a Marble and Limestone floor.


Mexican tile - clean, protect, seal tile
_____________________
Quarts

Case 12 qts

Gallons

Case 4 gal
Sample n/a

Mexican tile - wet mop cleaning without streaks

_____________________

Quarts

Case 12 qts

Sample n/a
"Insta-Clean" removes food, grease, oil, etc. stain causing materials - from floors, patio furniture, machinery.
"Maintain" - for no streak wet mopping of Marble and Limestone and all other types of flooring.

Mexican tile - clean, protect, seal tile
_____________________
Gallons

Case 4 gal

Mexican tile - dusting the easy way

_____________________

Pints

Case 16 pts

Sample n/a

"Lifeguard" prevents traffic wear to a sealer. Adds gloss.
"Dust Whiz" - easy dry mop dust pickup at 1,000 sq. ft. in 3 minutes.


Items of Interest

You may have heard of concerns about Marble and Limestones. All of them would be prevented with the information we provide here. Therefore, you can have the floor you want!

How to select a sealer
To select a sealer it is good to have some idea of the absorption rate so you achieve the gloss level (none to high) and all the other benefits available without using more sealer than necessary. Also, you can test for (and protect against) acidic liquid sensitivity.

An Aldon sealer does far more than just bead water and look pretty! To see what that is click here.

Your results may vary somewhat from these pictures due to variations in computer display and the surface materials themselves. Nevertheless, you will be able to see the differences well enough to make good choices.

Important: If your project has had any sealer applied in the past, it must be evaluated differently. To see why, Click here!

Sealer "solids" levels?
This discussion applies only to the petroleum solvent based sealers. With the water based sealers, solids level is not a consideration.

Here are the relative solids level of our petroleum solvent based sealers:
  Lowest: SBS Sealer
  Next level Higher: Penetrating Paver Sealer
  Another level higher: Porous Stone Sealer
  Highest level: Mexiglaze

A porous surface will require more gallons (more money) of a lower solids sealer than using a higher solids level sealer. That, plus different surfaces have different requirements, is why we make the different solids levels. They all work as described, so it is only a matter of which is best for your needs.
The more porous the surface, the more solids will be required to achieve the desired effects of gloss, strengthening, stopping efflorescence, etc.

The more porous the surface, generally the greater the need for the sealer to create a stronger surface.

An old sealer below the surface, even after stripping, will lower the absorption and porosity to some degree. Sometimes it is uneven below the surface and can create an uneven coloring effect with a color enhancing sealer applied later. Another reason to test first.

Do not make decisions based only upon the price per gallon.
Unlike other sealers, Aldon's sealers typically require fewer applications (fewer gallons), less cure time, and longer life. And that is only a few of many considerations.
To see more of why the price per gallon has little to do with what will be your total project cost, click here. For other questions about sealers, see the FAQ Sealers link on the slide out menu.

Do not believe yet that you have the type of surfacing you were told:
There is no need for confusion or problems brought about by misidentification of a surface type, yet it happens all too often. Sellers use fancy marketing names that can be misleading about the true nature of a surfacing. For instance, a customer was told they bought "Petite Marble and Limestone" for a bar surface. But, unlike granite it was etching circles from wine drips. After simple testing, it proved to be a limestone which is treated very differently than granite. It was easily restored and protected after a 60 second test. Please review our "Surface Types" page to compare pictures, descriptions, and testing if needed, to confirm you have what you were told.

Do not "pre-seal" - apply a sealer BEFORE grouting.
Do not use any sealer as a grout release barrier (pre-sealing). This technique creates many risk factors to be avoided. Prevent grout smears, surface scratching and keep grout residue out of surface texture by coating with Aldon Grout Easy before grouting. Grout Easy is a water soluble coating that comes off easily while grout is being cleaned off in the normal process with water and a sponge.

Colors fading?
The iron oxide pigments used in concrete products, and the colored clays in clay products, do not fade . The appearance of fading is actually from tiny efflorescence particles (white powder) in the pores. It can be removed and color restored (with Aldon Efflorescence Treatment) and then stopped from returning, and color restored, by sealing with the appropriate Aldon penetrating type sealer.

You can stop efflorescence (white powdery stains)
Efflorescence (subsurface originating white powdery stains) is common with many surfaces. This can even occur before installation. However, it is easily made to disappear without scrubbing by using Aldon Efflorescence Treatment. If the white powder is old and is now "crystalline" that is bonded to the surface - it can be eaten away with Aldon Grout Residue Remover.

Renew a glossy finish
Aldon Sealer applications can be made hours or years later, but do not apply thin layer upon thin layer. Apply a sufficient quantity to insure below surface penetration & bonding. Or, for the solvent based penetrating sealers, test spraying lacquer thinner as an alternative to slightly melt and reform the surface and not build too much gloss or create sealer "layering". A layer of sealer on top of another layer of sealer can result in poor bonding between layers and that can cause separation peeling that looks grayish.

Concerned about Doing It Yourself or what your contractor says?
If you are concerned about doing it yourself - consider that the satisfaction of a project is directly related to YOUR knowledge of what needs to be done and how. Who actually does the work is less important. We estimate that 50% of the usage of Aldon products is by "do it yourself" homeowners and we know they are happy because we hear from them.

Our goal for our contractor customers - NO CALL BACKS. A good contractor will understand the logic of Aldon application instructions on the labels and will not take shortcuts. If a contractor does not agree, feel free to let us find out what is so unusual about this particular project so the contractor does not have to return.


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