Natural stones and marbles are a beautiful and durable material but will benefit from care in its use and maintenance.
Good Housekeeping Practices
1. Drag heavy appliances across the surface or use knives/choppers directly upon it.
2. Use any cleaning medium which is abrasive, acidic or caustic: dulling (or worse) of the finish will result. i.e. Viakal limescale remover.
3. Leave liquid spillages on the surface for long periods; fruit juices, oils, detergents and make-up can have a detrimental effect on the sealer or the material itself if left in contact for extended periods.
4. Use surfaces as a workbench or stand on them for access (to replace light bulbs for example); it is dangerous for you and bad for the stone.
5. Leave hot or greasy items sitting on the surface.
1. Wipe up spillages immediately with a clean cloth.
2. Dry up water splashes; leaving water spillages to dry naturally (for example, around taps) could, over time, lead to unsightly limescale deposits especially in hard-water areas.
3. Protect the surface from chemicals (such as hair dye), make-up, oils, creams, alcohol and the like.
4. Use a trivet (pan stand) to support hot items.
5. After use, wipe down the surfaces with a clean damp cloth, a little soap in the wiping water may be desirable but frequent washing with copious amounts of water is not recommended.
If the 'Good Housekeeping Practices' are followed there should be no necessity for major maintenance works; however, to retain the shine on polished surfaces and assist the water-repellent characteristics, the occasional application of a combined cleaner/sealer/polish will be beneficial. (For example 'Akemi Triple Effect' is an easily used spray-on/wipe off product for polished marble maintenance and is food-safe). Where surfaces are to a honed finish, products such as 'Lithofin MN-Stainstop' are suitable. For specific applications it may be beneficial to consult the sealant manufacturer.
Marble-type material is reasonably tough but not infinitely so, hence a little care as outlined above will help to maintain its beauty. As with all natural materials, some of the aesthetic appeal comes from the variations of colour, veins and markings within any particular type of stone and any slight imperfections or brecciations are normal and give each piece its individuality. The suitability of marble etc (or a particular type of marble) for use in a specific project can be advised by your fabricator. Some marbles are highly figured, veined and filled, so have a reduced mechanical strength; again, talk to the fabricator about their use in particular situations.
Whilst the foregoing information is given in good faith as a general guide, it cannot be specific for each individual application.