Archive for the Stone Care Category
Granite is a very hard and durable stone, making it a popular choice for home and office. Stoneline Designs offers Absolute Black Granite in two finishes, Polished and Honed. Today we’ll look at the Polished finish.
Polished Absolute Black Granite is a glossy finish which leaves the stone surface impervious to liquids and resistant to scratching. It is an excellent choice for high use applications like a family dinner table or kitchen countertops, and also attractive as a formal dining table, conference table or occasional table.
No maintenance is required for a Polished granite table top. To clean the table top, simply wipe off with a sponge and water. Dish soap or window cleaner can also be used when necessary.
Stoneline Designs’ Absolute Black Granite is a deep black stone from Zimbabwe with no veining and consistent coloring. A 1″ sandblasted border and edge detail is standard on all our granite table tops. Standard granite width is 3/4″ thick. Stoneline produces granite table tops in any size up to 66×116″. (72″ width and 120″ length as available.) Larger table tops are built in multiple sections, up to 30 feet long.
Jerusalem Beige Stone is a warm off-white stone from Israel with veining in a sweeping pattern over the whole surface. Our Jerusalem Beige stone has a Brushed finish with a 1″ hand-tooled border detail. The light color and natural movement in the veining pattern make it an excellent choice for a modern office or home.
Jerusalem Beige stone is a medium hard stone and scratching can occur. Therefore, coasters and placemats are recommended. It requires periodic reapplication of Mineral Oil. The frequency of application depends on use; we recommend once every two years for an occasionally used conference table or dining table. A table with heavier use will require more frequent applications.
Our Jerusalem Beige Stone table tops are 3/4″ thick, available up to 60×108″. Larger conference table tops in Jerusalem Beige are made of multiple pieces.
As more and more homeowners create “outdoor room environments,” placing a granite table outside seems like a natural. After all, granite is a durable material, and granite monuments can remain outdoors for hundreds of years. A granite dining table or cocktail table can add the perfect touch to an outdoor living space. There are a few factors to consider before purchasing a granite table for outdoor use:
What is the granite finish? Polished granite is a hard finish which can withstand exposure to the elements. On the other hand, honed granite is much more porous and more likely to stain. Honed granite is not recommended for outdoor use.
Will the granite table be exposed to sunlight? Many granites are treated with a resin to smooth out the surface. This resin is invisible, and as durable as the stone under normal conditions. However, under constant exposure to sunlight the resin will discolor and will eventually create a yellow cast in the granite. Because of this, we do not recommend granite in a location where it will be exposed to full sun.
How much maintenance are you willing to do? Polished granite typically requires almost no maintenance. However, when used outdoors you may choose to seal the granite for additional protection. In addition, if you place your dining table or cocktail table in a shady location to reduce sun exposure, you may find yourself frequently cleaning up pollen, tree sap, bird droppings, etc.
Can the table base be used outside? Be sure that your table base is designed for outdoor use. Direct exposure to the elements as well as the increased humidity outdoors can be a problem. Some metals are more rust-resistant than others; make sure you know all the materials your table is constructed from before placing it outdoors.
Of course all of the factors above depend on your local climate. If you live in an arid region like the Southwest, you will have much more leeway in placing a granite table outdoors. If you live on the coast, salt in the air will be yet another issue.
Black slate is a medium soft stone, appropriate for infrequently used tables such as formal dining tables or occasional tables (End, Coffee & Console Tables). We do not recommend slate for high use applications like kitchen countertops. Due to the softness of the slate, scratching can occur. Coasters and placemats are a good idea to protect your slate table top.
To maintain a slate table top and keep the appearance and color in good condition, periodically reapply the final oil finish used in the sealing process. This is a simple process: wipe on the oil finish, buff with a soft cloth, and wipe off any excess. Frequency depends on use, but we recommend re-applying approximately once every 2 years for an occasionally used dining table.
Stoneline Designs slate is called “Cleft Black Slate” because the stone is split (cleft) to provide a rough, textured surface. Our slate is a black stone from Italy with consistent coloring. A 1″ hand-tooled border detail is standard on all our slate table tops. Standard slate width is 3/4″ thick (an approximate width due to surface variation in the natural material). Stoneline produces slate table tops in any size up to 48×84″.
StonelineDesigns, Inc. creates beautiful office furniture using wood, steel, glass and stone. Our stone topped conference tables are very popular for both home and executive offices. Following are descriptions of some of our most popular types of stone, slate and granite.
We received this question from a reader:
Q. Today a Zimbabwe granite counter was installed in our kitchen. It was thereafter cleaned by a house cleaning company, I presume with regular cleaning material. Afterwards it showed stripes which we can’t get out anymore. We only tried with water, as we did not dare to use any strong material. Please advise if and how we can solve this.
A. You will need to ask your stone fabricator as they probably used a sealer on the stone and you will want to make sure that the cleaning products you use are compatible with their sealer. On stone finished with our sealer, we use a glass cleaning product (Windex) for difficult streaks.
Honed Absolute Black Granite has a beautiful satin finish, making it very popular in modern home design. Unfortunately, the Honed finish is somewhat porous, and shows discoloration from fingerprints and liquid stains. Many unlucky homeowners have installed Honed Absolute Black Granite countertops because they loved the look, and then found out too late about fingerprinting when the marks appeared on their brand new countertops.
At Stoneline we offer both Polished and Honed Absolute Black Granite table tops, though we do not recommend Honed for kitchen countertops due to the fingerprint issue. We have recently learned of another granite finish which may provide an alternative to Honed: Antiqued.
Antiqued Absolute Black Granite is a textured surface which diffuses reflected light, for a satiny appearance similar to the Honed finish. Our first look indicates that Antiqued granite is more impervious than Honed, and appears not to show fingerprinting to nearly the same degree.
Antiqued granite deserves a closer examination as a possible alternative for high-use applications like family dining tables and kitchen countertops. We will post again when we have more information on how the Antiqued finish holds up to long-term use. In the meantime, keep your eye out for Antiqued Absolute Black Granite.
Honed Absolute Black Granite has developed a reputation as a difficult or problem material due to fingerprints showing on the stone. We have even seen columns calling honed absolute black granite a “nightmare” which no one should ever use.
It is true that honed absolute black granite requires more maintenance than polished absolute black granite. And it is not possible to completely eliminate fingerprints. For that reason we do not recommend honed absolute black granite for high-use applications like kitchen countertops. But fingerprinting doesn’t have to be a nightmare. Understanding the honed finish and knowing how to work with it are the secrets to success with this beautiful stone.
In some cases, the reason that finger prints show up so much is that the final wash step has not been performed properly. Many crews emphasize multiple applications of Mineral Oil, while we emphasize getting it off again. With oil left on the surface, every time you touch it, you move oil around. The oil is meant to saturate the stone so that the pores do not accept oils from fingerprints. Fingerprint oils will show up as a stain if the pores are not evenly colored by oil already. We suggest the following technique to achieve an even finish:
Re-apply a thin layer of Mineral Oil so that the surface is consistent in color. (Use only cotton rags or a heavy weight paper towel/ shop rag for all steps.) Remove as much excess as possible with dry rags. Clean well with a large sponge, water and a mild dishwashing soap (we use Dove because it has a mild de-greaser). It is important not to apply dish soap directly to the top. Apply soap to the wet sponge. Wash well and rinse extremely well with wet rags. After the top has dried, we use Windex on a rag to even out areas that might still seem a little darker than the rest of the stone due, to too much oil left on that area.
Stoneline’s Benjamin Grey Stone is a warm grey stone from Jerusalem with soft veining in a sweeping pattern over the whole surface. It is an excellent choice for a conference table, executive desk, occasional table or infrequently used formal dining table. Benjamin Grey is a medium hard stone and some scratching can occur. We recommend coasters and placemats to protect your stone table top.
For general cleaning the stone can be wiped down with water, a little soap and a soft sponge. Dish washing soap and warm water will remove fingerprints and most other oily spots. Very stubborn stains can be removed with a bristle scrub brush and cleanser such as Ajax. (This type of cleaning however will remove the luster and the finish will have to be reapplied.)
Repeated washing on highly used table tops will slowly wear off the sealer. The surface may eventually appear duller. For periodic maintenance , we recommend applying another coat of mineral oil. Frequency depends on use but approximately once every two years for an occasionally used dining table.
To reapply mineral oil top coat, mix Watco Natural interior oil finish (Woodworkers Supply 800-645-9292) with 20% Mineral Spirits and apply a thin coat. Wipe off the excess with a clean rag. Buff the surface with a dry rag until there are no puddles or beads of oil. Any oil that dries on the surface will appear glossy and the procedure will need to be repeated. Let dry 24 hours.
Re-Sealing The Finish
If a problem such as a stubborn stain occurs, it may be necessary to re-seal the finish. First wash the top thoroughly with a clean, soft sponge and warm soapy water. (Tough oil stains may need to be scrubbed out with a bristle brush and Ajax.) Use Acetone (or stripper purchased from HMK) to strip the finish only if it is necessary. After cleaning, rinse thoroughly with clean water to remove all residue from the cleanser, as this may effect the finish. Let the stone dry (a fan speeds the dry time). With a large, clean, soft rag, wet the surface with the sealer (use gloves). Apply a thin even coat and wipe up the excess with a clean rag. Any sealer left puddled on the surface will dry glossy. If necessary, reapply after the surface appears dry. A 3rd coat may be necessary if the stone has been stripped.
A Honed (satin) finish with a 1″ hand-tooled border detail is standard on all our Benjamin Grey Stone table tops. Standard Benjamin Grey width is 3/4″ thick (an approximate width due to surface variation in the natural material). Stoneline produces Benjamin Grey table tops in any size up to 60×108″. Larger table tops are constructed in multiple pieces, up to 30′ long.
Honing black granite creates a beautiful satin finish. However, the Honed finish is not as impervious as Polished. Honed granite will show discoloration from fingerprints or liquid stains, which must be treated with regular maintenance. Because of this, Absolute Black Granite, Honed Finish is somewhat controversial for home use. We do not recommend Honed Black Granite for kitchen countertops.
A homeowner expecting Honed Absolute Black Granite to be as carefree as its Polished counterpart is bound for disappointment. However, with proper maintenance Honed Black Granite is an attractive option for conference tables, formal dining tables and occasional tables (end, coffee and console tables). It can even be used for a more frequently used family dinner table, if the homeowner is aware of the fingerprint issue.
Daily maintenance: For general day to day cleaning, use a sponge and water only. Window cleaner and dish soap can also be used when necessary. Some discolorations (such as an oily spill or heavy fingerprint use) may take a couple of washings to even out.
Dealing with Problems: If your Honed Absolute Black Granite table top has a scratch or an area that has been polished to a higher sheen (usually by rubbing against something during transit), you can generally sand the surface back to the matte finish. Use 320 wet/dry sandpaper with water and sand by hand. Then use a Scotch-Brite rub out page (Grey super fine) as the final texture. Try localized sanding first in a small area, and go through the sealer steps. If the sanded area does not blend in well, it may be necessary to evenly sand and refinish the entire surface.
Resealing: Should the top need resealing, we recommend Premium Impregnator #314P from Gran Quartz (800-458-6222). This is the same product used to seal the granite surface in our factory. To reapply sealer, first clean the sandblasted border area and Honed surface with soap and water. Rinse well and let dry. Then apply two or three coats of sealer to the textured border and Honed surface. The border will absorb far more sealer than the Honed surface. Rub off the excess on the Honed surface, but leave the textured border wet. Let dry a few hours between coats. On the final coat, the sealer needs to be buffed off of the Honed area immediately with a clean cloth while it is still wet. If it dries, it becomes cloudy and is difficult to remove. Work quickly, moving around the entire top to buff off the excess before it flashes and dries on the surface. If it dries cloudy, reapply a small amount of sealer and re-buff the whole surface to an even appearance.
Stoneline Designs’ Absolute Black Granite is a deep black stone from Zimbabwe with no veining and consistent coloring. We offer granite in either Honed or Polished finish. A 1″ sandblasted border and edge detail is standard on all our granite table tops. Standard granite width is 3/4″ thick. Stoneline produces granite table tops in any size up to 66×116″. (72″ width and 120″ length as available.) Larger table tops are built in multiple sections, up to 30 feet long.
See also: Absolute Black Granite, Polished Finish