Glossary of Natural Stone Finishes

Let’s Talk About Natural Stone Finishes

Natural stone comes finished in many ways. It doesn’t start that way from the quarry and it doesn’t always have to stay the way it is after it is installed.

The appearance of all natural stone is rough when it is first quarried. The surface is then altered to any number of finishes. (The name of the finish often explains how the finish is produced.) When selecting stone, understanding your options will help you to choose the best finish for the look you are going for and for your intended use.

Fabricators and stone suppliers almost always purchase stone that is already finished, so when you purchase new stone for an installation, the finish you see is the finish you get. Most of the time.

Professional stone refinishing can often alter the finish of stone using various methods, even after it is installed.

With this in mind, the following glossary of finishes will help you understand natural stone finishes, which ones are best for various purposes, and what options you have to change certain finishes.

Your Finish Options

Following is an overview of the most popular finishes, how they are achieved, and where they are most appropriate.

Polished

Natural stone with a polished finish has a glossy, mirror-like quality that showcases the colors, veining, and other unique characteristics of natural stone. If your highest concern is that the stone has an elegant appearance, a polished finish is a good choice. A polish can be achieved by using a specialized abrasive technique. Diamond-infused pads mounted on a machine rub against the stone, similar to sandpaper on wood. Industry professionals describe this process as honing and polishing. Progressively finer grit pads are used until a highly reflective polish is achieved. Polished finishes may not be slip resistant and are most appropriate where a slip and fall hazard is not a concern.

Honed, Satin, or Matte

Natural stone with a honed finish is softer and velvetier in appearance than a polished finish. The words honed, satin, matte and other descriptive terms are used interchangeably to describe a finish that is not as reflective as a highly polished finish. A honed finish can be created using the same specialized abrasive technique as that of polished stone, except that the level of desired polish is achieved sooner, with less polishing. Honed finishes are often requested where slip resistance is desired, however, a honed finish is not a guarantee that the surface will be slip resistant. Some stones are slippery even when honed.

Brushed / Antiqued

If a textured look but a smooth touch is desired, a brushed finish, also known as an antiqued finish, may be a perfect option. This type of finish is achieved using wire wheels and brushes that create thousands of microscopic scratches. The end result is a natural stone finish that looks like it has beautifully and uniformly aged over centuries of time and use. A brushed finish is an excellent choice in a setting where slip resistance and ease of maintenance is desired. Most brushed finishes will be a little more difficult to clean than honed or polished finishes.

Textured / Hammered / Tooled

Unlike smooth honed and polished finishes, textured finishes, also known as hammered or tooled finishes, have varying degrees of roughness, depending on the methods used to fashion the texture. For example, a flame heats the surface of granite to create a flamed finish. With a sandblasted finish, abrasive media is sprayed under high pressure across the surface of the stone. A tool that looks like a meat tenderizing hammer is pounded on stone to create the pockets and ridges of a bush hammered finish. With a cleft finish, the stone is simply split, and the naturally uneven break is the finish. Textured finishes hide imperfections and camouflage minor surface damage like scratches and etching, so they are ideal for areas with excessive traffic. Textured finishes are not ideal for countertops or surfaces that need to be cleaned often, because the uneven surface will snag sponges and cleaning cloths. These finished are most appropriate for exterior stone installations such as sidewalks and pool decks.

Custom

A combination of finishes may be used on a single stone surface to achieve a custom finish. For example, a logo or pattern can be sandblasted onto polished stone by protecting certain polished areas and sandblasting other areas. A similar process might involve applying acid to stone that contains calcium carbonate, causing chemical reactions that will roughen the surface of the stone. A custom finish is a great option for creating a focal point or showcasing a natural stone feature.

Impregnators, Enhancers, and Topical Coatings

There are a variety of sealers, coatings, and enhancers available that can also alter the look of stone. Be sure to consult with your PRO as using them may not always be useful or beneficial, and in some cases will result in problems.

Impregnating Sealers

Contrary to popular belief, impregnating sealers do not give stone a shine or change the texture or appearance of stone in any way, except if an impregnating sealer also happens to be an enhancer. Impregnating sealers are designed solely to fill the pores in stone to inhibit spills from staining.

Enhancers

The colors inherent in some natural stones can be heightened and intensified with enhancers. If you desire stone with a wet look (think how the color of jeans darkens when wet), enhancers will achieve this while also offering different levels of shine. Most enhancers do not inhibit staining unless the enhancer is also an impregnating sealer. Enhancers are often considered permanent, because once they are applied, they are extremely difficult to remove, but enhancers do tend to fade or are slowly removed over time with cleaning.

Topical Coatings

Unlike impregnating sealers that penetrate beneath the surface of the stone and don’t affect the look of the stone at all, sealers that stay on the surface of stone are referred to as topical coatings. Although these coatings protect stone against stains, etching, scratches, and other surface damage, they can be problematic. In general, coatings themselves can be damaged, turn yellow, and attract dirt and contaminants. Many topical sealers on floors look great at first, but once the appearance of the coating diminishes, it must be completely stripped and reapplied. Another consideration is that stone on floors needs to breathe. Coatings can trap moisture, resulting in damage to the stone itself, such as cracking, flaking, and spalling. In some situations a topical coating might be suitable, but you will want to consult with your stone restoration PRO to be sure.

Stone Restoration Technicians Can Change Finishes

When all is said and done, if you are not happy with the finish of existing stone floors, countertops and other surfaces, let’s discuss it. We can evaluate your stone and may be able to alter the appearance more to your liking. We routinely refinish shiny, polished stone surfaces to a honed (matte or satin) finish and vice versa, apply decorative textures, enhance colors, and apply specialty treatments.

How to Get Dye Stains Out of Carpet

Dye stain? No worries. Dyes can be removed from carpet.

Dyes are found in many foods, drinks, and other items, such as magic markers, health and beauty products, cleaning solutions, and decorative items. When dyes end up on your carpet or upholstery, they can be difficult to remove if improper methods are employed. Here are our PRO tips for getting dye stains out.

Blot. Blot. Blot. Then Blot Even More.

Use a white cloth or paper towels to blot as much of the dye as you can. Follow this with putting a few drops of cold water directly onto the dye stain. The water will help dilute remaining dye. Continue with blotting, using a clean section of the cloth or towel each time. Do not rub! Just blot, drip a little water, and blot some more, over and over until no more of the stain is transferring to the cloth or towel.

IMPORTANT!

Don’t forget to test: Of course, your stains don’t always cooperate by appearing in inconspicuous areas, but do keep in mind that it is always recommended that you first test any cleaning solution on a portion of carpet or upholstery that is out of the way, such as a closet or the under side of furniture. Do not use these methods on wool, leather, or silk carpeting or rugs.

The following methods are great for dyes and a host of other tough stains. You will likely need to repeat the process several times to completely remove the dye. Stain removal takes patience and persistence.

The Dish Soap and White Wine Vinegar Solution Method

  1. Pour two cups of warm water into a bowl. Stir in a tablespoon of white vinegar and another tablespoon of dishwashing liquid.
  2. Dip a sponge into the bowl and wring out well. Then begin applying the solution directly onto the dye stain. You should see immediate lifting of the stain, but continue blotting until the stain has lifted completely.
  3. Follow with blotting the area with clear water, then blotting dry with a clean white towel or paper towels.

Peroxide and Dish Detergent Solution Method

  1. Pour two cups of warm water into a bowl. Stir in half of a cup of 3% hydrogen peroxide and a tablespoon of dishwashing liquid.
  2. Dip a sponge into the bowl and wring out well. Then begin applying the solution directly onto the dye stain. You should see immediate lifting of the stain, but continue blotting until the stain has lifted completely.
  3. Follow with blotting the area with clear water, then blotting dry with a clean white towel or paper towels.

OxiClean™ Carpet & Area Rug Stain Remover

  1. Spray enough of the product to saturate the dye stain.
  2. Allow the product to dwell for 10 minutes.
  3. Blot the area dry with a clean white towel or paper towels.
  4. Follow with blotting the area with clear water, then blotting dry with a clean white towel or paper towels.

Let your carpet and upholstery cleaning PRO help: On your next scheduled cleaning, show your technician the area. Any remaining stain residue can be treated and cleaned.


This article is one of a series of articles written and published on behalf of SurpHaces PRO Partners.

Pros and Cons of Prefab Countertops

If you are selecting a surface for your kitchen countertops, you may be considering going with prefabricated rather than custom cut slabs in order to save money. It’s important to understand that your investment decision involves more than just price. There are many factors to consider, from material selection and quality to design options and other considerations. Here are the pros and cons of prefabricated countertops.

Material Selection

Each type of countertop material has its own unique qualities. The most appropriate material selection will depend on your particular needs. Suppose you rarely cook or entertain, and you are more concerned about how the stone looks than how it holds up to use. You could get away with choosing a highly polished marble. If you are looking for a way to add value to your home for potential resale, granite is a widely popular choice.

PRO Prefabricated countertops are available in a variety of colors and textures.
CON Manufacturers of prefabricated countertops may not offer the countertop material you prefer, and your material selection may be more limited than if you were to select a slab.

Material Quality

Low quality materials may be cheaper, but as the adage goes, you get what you pay for. Take Chinese quartz, for example. It is more likely to have discolorations from resin pooling on the surface than quartz sourced elsewhere. Problems with other types of countertop materials occur, depending on region, methods of quarrying and transport, and other factors.
PRO Prefabricated countertops responsibly sourced from reputable suppliers and manufacturers can be of the same level of quality as countertops custom cut by a fabricator.
CON Prefabricated countertops may have dye lot variation from one countertop to another. If you are buying more than one countertop, you might see a slight difference in color.

Shape, Size, and Edge Options

Kitchens come in all shapes, sizes, and designs, and so do countertops. Choosing countertops that perfectly suit this very important space in your home is one of the most important home design decisions one can make.
PRO If you happen to find prefabricated countertops that meet your specifications and satisfy your design expectations, you may save a few bucks with this option.
CON Prefabricated countertops have zero flexibility when it comes to dimensions and edge options. What you see is what you get. In addition, seam placement may be problematic with prefabricated countertops.

Cost Considerations

The two major factors that determine the price of having new kitchen countertops installed are the cost of the materials and the amount of time the job will take from start to finish, which translates to labor cost.
PRO Because prefabricated countertops are standard sizes that are ready to install, prefabricated pieces generally are about half the cost of slabs, which require more preparation prior to placement.
CON If your prefabricated tops do not come with holes for the sink, faucets, cooktop, or other features or if the dimensions of your kitchen cabinets do not exactly match those of prefabricated countertops, you will need to hire a stone fabricator to customize your tops. This basically defeats the purpose of buying prefabricated tops. You would be better off with a custom cut slab.

If you decide to purchase prefabricated countertops, be sure to ask your contractor to include all labor expenses with your quote. With prefabricated countertops you may not save as much money or get the quality workmanship that you expect.

3 Tips for Comparing Stone Restoration Bids

Choosing a stone restoration contractor by comparing bids based only on price can be a costly mistake. There are other important factors to consider before you make a decision. Here are three tips for comparing stone restoration bids.

1. Does your contractor understand your particular type of stone?

Although there are similarities between marble, granite, travertine, and other types of stone, there are also differences that require specific restoration processes. Janitorial and cleaning companies may provide valuable services but their technicians are rarely properly trained, qualified, or experienced when it comes to natural stone restoration. Even some stone restoration companies may have little or no experience with your specific type of natural stone. Be sure to ask what your prospective contractor knows about your stone. They may offer the cheapest price, but in the wrong hands, your stone could end up with poor quality results or problems such as dimpled or wavy surfaces.

2. Are there hidden costs not included in the bid?

Basic stone restoration involves honing to remove surface damage and polishing to restore the finish of the stone. Your prospective contractor may not have included other procedures necessary to make your stone look brand new again in the bid. For example, does your stone have deep scratches, chips, or cracks? If the bid only includes honing and polishing, the contractor is not legally obligated to do special repair work. Does your stone need to be sealed? If so, check if sealer application is included in the bid.

3. Will the contractor be able to accommodate your schedule?

Scheduling is important for many people, but especially for business owners and property managers. In order to minimize disruption to the normal routines of employees, guests, and patrons, it’s important to know that your contractor can provide a plan of action that includes a start and finish date, and if necessary, work during the least busy hours or make special accommodations, such as keeping sections of flooring open for traffic while they work. Be sure to communicate your needs and confirm these details before accepting a bid.

Once you’ve taken the time to select contractors and gather bids for your stone restoration project, follow these tips to make an informed decision so that you will be happy with the entire experience, not just the price.


This article is one of a series of articles written and published on behalf of SurpHaces PRO Partners.

DIY Carpet Cleaning Machines Aren’t Worth It

DIY Carpet Cleaning Machines Aren’t Worth It

Fresh, clean carpets create a welcoming atmosphere. Whether you are a renter who wants to retrieve a deposit, a landlord looking to spruce up a rental property in between tenants, or a home owner who wants to make their home fresh and clean, wall to wall carpeting should be professionally cleaned. Before you make the mistake of renting a carpet cleaning machine to save a few bucks, read on to learn why DIY machines may not be a good choice. DIY machines are heavy, awkward and messy. But more importantly they are not as effective as professional carpet cleaning and using them could result in problems.

DIY Carpet Cleaning Machines Are Heavy

Carpet cleaning machines are heavier than vacuum cleaners. No matter how lightweight a machine may be, carpet cleaning machines all require water, and water is heavy. If you choose to rent a carpet cleaning machine, be prepared for a pretty intense workout.

DIY Carpet Cleaning Machines Are Awkward

Carpet cleaning machines are more difficult to maneuver than vacuum cleaners. If you are cleaning stairs, hallways, closets, and other tight spaces, carpet cleaning machines may be especially awkward to use. If you have knee or back trouble, this could be problematic.

DIY Carpet Cleaning Machines Are Messy

Carpet cleaning machines can be messy. Canisters and attachments get coated with soiled water residue and detergents, and hair and debris collects in brushes. The machine must be thoroughly cleaned before it is returned.

DIY Carpet Cleaning Machines May Not Be Effective

Even if you find a machine powerful enough to achieve a deep cleaning comparable to professional carpet cleaning equipment, this is no guarantee that you will be able to achieve the desired results. Professional carpet cleaning technicians are trained in proper cleaning methods and the appropriate kinds and amounts of cleaning solutions for particular types of carpeting and soiling levels. All of these factors matter when it comes to achieving the best possible results.

In some cases, carpets may even look worse after improper cleaning with a rented machine than they did before cleaning. That’s why many landlords require tenants to sign an agreement to NOT use a rented carpet cleaning machine to clean carpets.

DIY Carpet Cleaning Machines May Leave Carpets Too Wet

Dry time is very important. Mold and mildew problems can happen when there is excessive moisture left behind after carpet cleaning. With machine rental carpet cleaning, if too much moisture remains, the carpet padding can stay wet long after the carpet itself has dried. Professional carpet cleaning removes most of the moisture and requires minimal drying time.

DIY Carpet Cleaning Machines Are Noisy

Vacuum cleaners are notoriously loud. Rented carpet cleaning machines can be twice as loud as vacuums.

DIY Carpet Cleaning Machines Are Time-Consuming

When you factor in the amount of time it takes to select a machine, wait in line, check out, loading and unloading in your vehicle, setup time, cleaning time, cleaning the machine, loading and unloading again, and returning the machine to the vendor, DIY carpet cleaning can take a whole weekend. Since time is money, you may not actually save money in the long run compared to hiring a professional carpet cleaner.

DIY Carpet Cleaning Machines Don’t Come With a Professional Technician

Sometimes spot removal, odor control, and other special considerations will require the knowledge and expertise of a professional carpet cleaning technician. If you choose to rent a carpet cleaning machine, it will be up to you to figure out how to resolve certain problems.

If you want fresh, clean carpets, renting a carpet cleaning machine to save a few bucks is not really worth the trouble. Professional carpet cleaning is affordable, easy, and effective.

Slab Selection and So-Called Imperfections

Natural stone countertop selection requires a bit of due diligence by consumers, from preliminary research and measurements to selection and the final slab inspection. When it comes to slab inspection, the most important thing to remember is that what you see is what you get. Here’s what you need to know before you make a final decision on a slab purchase.

Naturally Occurring Stone Features

Sometimes during slab inspection, clients find what appears to be small imperfections, such as fissures or spots. These naturally occurring stone features have no effect on the structural integrity of the slab.

Fissures, which are similar in appearance to a crack, are a result of geological or environmental forces, crystallization of minerals, and other conditions, whereas cracks are a result of man-made stresses, such as transport from the quarry to the fabricator or from fabricator to a residence or commercial facility.

Spots on a slab, like shade variation, veining, and other natural characteristics, are a common feature of natural stone. Naturally occurring spots are not stains, which are a result of something spilled on stone.

If the slab you intend to purchase has one of these stone features, you have a few options. You can embrace the fact that your countertop material is a completely unique product of nature and appreciate its perfectly imperfect appearance, you can select a different slab, or you can consult with your fabricator on other options.

Your Countertop Layout

Depending on the layout of the countertop design, fabricators may be able to cut slabs for inconspicuous placement of a portion of the slab. Because your countertop will need space cut out for the sink and faucets, it may be possible to avoid it altogether so that the spot or fissure ends up in the scrap material. If you have an area you want to avoid, ask for a layout to determine whether this is an option for you.

Once you find a slab you love, inspect it carefully to be sure it is the most appropriate choice for your countertops.

Why Pool Decks Turn Green and Black

Why Pool Decks Turn Green and Black

What is that green and black stuff growing on my pool deck? This is a question pool owners often ask. This article will help you identify and remove pool deck discoloration, as well as minimize the likelihood of future discoloration.

Biological Growth Types

The majority of unsightly green and black spots on pool decks are the result of biological growths in the form of algae, molds, lichens and mosses, and plants such as ivy and grasses. Let’s take a look at each:

  • Algae is commonly green in color but can also be black, orange, red or yellow. It is easy to identify since it grows in mats, films, and patches on the surface of stone, brick and concrete. Algae is a single-cell plant but lacks roots, leaves, stems and vascular tissue. Most algae, especially the green type, needs moisture and sunlight to grow. However, there are species that will grow in damp, low-light areas.
  • Moss is most commonly green but can also be red. Like algae, it requires sunlight and moisture to grow. It also needs a mineral source often found in soils. Unlike algae, moss has a root structure and a very small leaf structure. It will often grow in grout between stone and masonry.
  • Mold is a fungus, not a plant. It does not require sunlight but does require moisture and an organic food source. Mold is generally black in color but can also be red, orange, brown, or yellow. Limestone is especially susceptible to mold growth, since it contains organic matter that can feed mold.
  • Lichens are comprised of a fungus living in a symbiotic relationship with an algae or a relative of bacteria called cyanobacterium (or both in some instances). They can be red, yellow, red, green, or white. Lichens are identified by crusts or leaf-like structures with defined borders growing away from the surface of the stone or masonry.
  • Ivy, grasses, and higher plants are easily identified by their root systems and large leaf structures. They are often green in color.

Removal of Biological Growth

Regardless of the type of biological growth, removal requires the use of biocide cleaning chemicals, such as peroxide, bleach, or other biocides. Here is a basic cleaning procedure that is recommended to remove these growths. Be sure to carefully read the directions on chemicals and take all necessary precautions. Wear gloves and protective clothing. A mask is recommended, since some mold and algae can emit spores that can be harmful to your respiratory system.

Algae is best removed when it is dry since the spores are more likely to become airborne when wet. Allow the surface to fully dry, or expedite the drying process with a fan. Remove as much algae as possible by scraping or scrubbing with a stiff broom or brush.

A pressure washer can be used to remove the remaining biological growth, but there are a few additional precautions and recommendations:

  1. Do not use high pressure. Test the pressure in a non-conspicuous area to make sure you are not damaging the stone or masonry.
  2. Use hot water, if possible. Hot water will kill some of the biological growth and sanitize the surface.
  3. Use a wide nozzle tip to minimize damage. Keep the tip of the wand at least 12 inches away from the surface.
  4. Bleach or vinegar can be used to clean stubborn growth. Mix the bleach or vinegar. Use one cup of bleach or vinegar with one gallon of water. Test this mixture in a non-conspicuous area to see if it will cause discoloration. Some stone and masonry types can lighten, discolor, or etch with bleach or vinegar.
  5. Apply the bleach or vinegar mixture on the deck and allow it to sit for 15-20 minutes. Do not let it dry. (If it accidentally dries, apply more of this mixture.)
  6. Scrub the area with a nylon brush. Rinse with plenty of clean water. Be careful to avoid nearby plants, since this mixture can kill landscaping plants and grasses.

In lieu of bleach or vinegar, you can use many of the commercial cleaners appropriate for your pool deck surface type. You can find them at most home centers. If your pool deck is natural stone, be sure to use a pH-neutral, stone-safe cleaner. Read the directions carefully.

Spot Removal

If you have just a few spots, you can use 3% hydrogen peroxide. Simply spray the growth with the peroxide, allow it to sit for several minutes, and then rinse with water.

Prevention

Your best defense to keep biological growth at bay is to clean the deck on a regular basis. We can professionally clean your pool deck for the best results. We can also apply sealers and preventive biocides to inhibit new growth.

We can provide specific recommendations regarding cleaners for green and black growth on your pool deck.


This article is one of a series of articles written and published on behalf of SurpHaces PRO Partners.

Carpet Spot Removal Can Create New Spots

If you own carpeting, you are probably familiar with the idea that spots should be removed right away before they turn into permanent stains. Sometimes spot removal, especially if you are removing several spots at once, gives carpeting an inconsistent appearance. Here are the details about what causes this problem and what you can do about it in the future.

Too Clean

With successful spot removal, the soiling substance is removed, leaving the treated area clean and fresh. The problem is that if the surrounding carpet looks dull and dingy, you’ve simply exchanged one kind of spot for another, a dirty spot for a clean spot. Obviously, a clean spot is not a stain. Nevertheless, due to the noticeable difference between the clean area and the rest of the carpet, it might as well be. The solution is to have your carpet professionally cleaned. Dust, dirt, and contaminants that stubbornly cling to carpet fibers can be extracted with professional carpet cleaning, leaving the entire carpet clean and fresh. Note that you will also need to increase the frequency of vacuuming, because it is not always easy to see how dirty carpet really is.

Spot Remover

When inappropriate DIY cleaning methods or improper cleaning solutions are used for spot removal, carpet fibers may become discolored or bleached, causing an inconsistent appearance. With discoloration, professional cleaning may resolve the problem. However, don’t delay in scheduling services, because the substances causing discoloration can set into the carpet fibers permanently. With bleaching, professional cleaning will not likely help. The reason for this is that bleaching removes color from the carpet, and there is no way that professional cleaning will put the color back.

Aggressive Methods

Scrubbing spots too aggressively or using abrasive cleaners, scouring pads, or stiff brushes for spot removal can result in damage to carpet fibers. When carpet fibers are bent, frayed, or missing in the treated area, but the carpet fibers in the surrounding area are still in tact, there can be noticeable variation in the appearance of the carpet. Professional carpet cleaning will not resolve this problem, but it may help disguise the problem by lifting and freshening the carpet fibers in the damaged area.

Protective Treatments

If spot removal is frequently necessary, and your carpet is more than two or three years old, you may also consider having us apply a protective treatment. New carpets are usually treated with stain and soil resistors, but these wear off with time and use. Consider having a us re-apply the treatment after professional cleaning, because it can help make spots easier to remove and less likely to turn into stains.

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions about spot removal or to schedule services after a spot removal mishap.


This article is one of a series of articles written and published on behalf of SurpHaces PRO Partners.

Stone Fabrication. Stone Restoration. What’s the Difference?

If you are considering natural stone as a material for your kitchen or bath plans, whether new home construction or a renovation project, you will need to know the difference between a stone fabricator and a stone restoration contractor, and you will need to enlist the services of both. Here are the details.

Why the Confusion?

In the stone industry, from quarry to countertop, different types of companies practice different specialties. Some companies are concerned only with supply, others with design and installation, and others with repair and maintenance. Some companies may focus solely on commercial properties while others specialize in residential properties, and some may service both. Although stone fabricators usually do not do repair and restoration work and restoration contractors usually do not do new installation, there are occasionally some companies that do cross over work from one specialty to the other.

Stone Fabrication

Most people know that when it comes to natural stone countertops, fabricators offer a wide variety of options for countertop edges, backsplashes, decorative trim, and more. What many people don’t know is that fabricators rarely do anything with the face of the stone. Occasionally fabricators repair minor flaws in a slab face or provide a custom finish if they are properly equipped to do so, but for the most part, fabricators specialize in cutting and shaping natural stone.

Highly skilled technicians make a rectangle slab of stone conform to your creative vision, matching the specifications of each element in your kitchen design, from cabinets, sinks, and cooktops to faucets and other features. Fabricators finish edges so that they have a clean, elegant appearance that matches with the surface finish. Once stone is installed, a fabricator may wipe down countertops to remove dust or construction debris or apply a sealer, but any other work involving the face of already-installed stone, for example, changing the finish from honed to polished or vice versa, will require the services of a professional stone restoration contractor. Basically, homeowners can expect the appearance of the face of the slab to remain unchanged from the slab selection phase to when they see it as the newly installed top.

Stone Restoration

Natural stone restoration contractors help maintain the like-new appearance of already-installed natural stone, such as countertops and vanity tops, as well as walls, tub surrounds, fireplace surrounds, hardscape, and other stone surfaces. Their services may involve repair, restoration, or maintenance.

Over the course of time, countertops will eventually show signs of wear. Acidic substances in food and drinks may cause etching, heavy use may result in fine scratches and dullness, or a dropped heavy object may cause a chip or crack. Most of the time, an experienced stone restoration contractor can resolve stone problems, repairing damage and honing and polishing to restore the finish. Stone restoration contractors may also provide maintenance services, such as regularly scheduled visits to clean, buff, and seal stone.

With proper care, a stone restoration contractor can help your natural stone last a long time. When stone replacement services are required, whether it is because of a remodeling decision or out of necessity due to irreparable damage or failure, then it will be time to consult with a stone fabricator again.


This article is one of a series of articles written and published on behalf of SurpHaces PRO Partners.

The Problem With Carpet That Hides Dirt

Carpet in living rooms, hallways, steps, and other high traffic areas can soil quickly. Some colors and styles of carpeting look clean longer than others. Chances are you have heard the well-intended but ill-advised suggestion to choose carpeting that hides dirt so there will be less vacuuming required and you will not feel the need to get it professionally cleaned as often. Why is this bad advice? Here are the details.

Carpets That Hide Dirt

Two factors to consider when it comes to how long a carpet looks clean are color and texture. Keep in mind that we are not talking about the actual cleanliness of the carpet but only how clean it appears to be. Carpeting with speckled patterns, crazy designs, or dark colored carpeting will hide dirt more than solid or light colored carpet. Certain textures with loosely distributed fibers, such as a low shag or Berber, will allow dirt to fall down below the surface, whereas other textures with densely distributed stiff fiber bundles, like cut pile carpet, will keep dirt on the surface longer.

The Cost of Less Vacuuming and Fewer Professional Cleanings

One might imagine that having carpets that stay looking clean longer would be a good thing, but hiding the dirt means you are also hiding the devastating long-term effects of dirt.

Think of dirt as tiny shards of glass. The sharp edges slice along the carpet fibers every time someone takes a step. Over time, the carpet fibers weaken and break. If you allow premature wear to be the norm, you can count on spending more money, because any money you save with fewer professional cleanings will seem insignificant once you are forced to replace your carpet a lot sooner than expected.

If you want to get the most mileage out of your investment, treat carpet that hides dirt like carpet that doesn’t hide dirt.

Carpet Care Tips

The best way to keep carpets looking clean is to actually keep carpets clean. If you keep your carpet looking clean by hiding the dirt, even professional cleaning won’t be enough to resolve the problem once premature wear becomes apparent. Whether your carpet hides or advertises dirt, it can look clean with proper care.

Vacuum regularly, especially high traffic areas. Vacuuming slowly and evenly to remove the most ground in soil. Place high quality, heavy-duty mats at entrances to reduce the amount of grit and grime tracked in from outside. Have your carpet periodically professionally cleaned, whether it looks dirty or not. Professional cleaning loosens, dislodges, and extracts dirt particles and contaminants that a vacuum can’t remove.

Our Carpet Selection Suggestion

Do not choose your carpet based on how well it hides dirt. It may seem counterproductive, but carpet that does not hide dirt may actually be a better choice. Like the adage, “The squeaky wheel gets the oil,” the dirty-looking carpet gets proper care. Go for the solid or light-colored carpet if that is what you really want. Regardless of your carpet selection, proper care is what really matters.


This article is one of a series of articles written and published on behalf of SurpHaces PRO Partners.