Ongoing protection and maintenance After the stone flooring has been thoroughly installed, cleaned and sealed, a program should be dis- cussed regarding ongoing protec- tion and maintenance. One doesn’t have to be a rocket scientist to understand the need or simplicity of these regimens. But one does need to be a reasonable businessperson to recognize the fact that stone flooring, like every sizable invest- ment, requires a certain amount of care to continue performing at optimal levels. Selection of protection, mainte- nance and sometimes, restoration materials is absolutely key. And again, step one is simply to know the composition of the stone mate- rials that have been specified. For example, most people don’t realize that quartzite, which is a durable product of nature, can contain a certain degree of marble elements. Which surface care prod- ucts to be selected should be dependent on know- ing the percentage of that within the body of the quartz tile. Not to be confused with quartzite, quartz engineered stone tiles and slabs are agglomer- ates consisting of durable quartz chips held togeth- er by a binder of either cement or resin (epoxy). The surface care products you select should be determined by which kind of binder is used in the original manufacturing process. Obviously, cementitious materials are more porous and thus are subject to more staining than materials made with an epoxy resin binder. But what- ever quartzite is being used, seal- ers, cleaners and other protectant chemicals produced with any con- centration of alkalines should be avoided, as they can attack even the strongest of resin binders, ultimately causing deterioration. Surface maintenance programs ensure beauty and longevity Not only is natural granite beauti- ful, it is one of the most durable natural stones offered by Mother Nature. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that just a regular program of wet-mopping will maintain its look. TECHNICAL FEATURE–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– 80 TileLetter | August 2018