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Natural stone is a collective name for thousands of different types of stone, found and quarried throughout the world...

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This page has been created to post information that applies to "OUR EMPLOYEES ONLY" and inform them about various topics, which are mainly Project Management & Human Resources related.

stone Properties


Stone contains natural crystals. These crystals reflect light to provide a shine on the surface. When the crystals are dull, crushed, or broken, they cannot reflect light evenly. For example, when the lens of a flashlight breaks, it cannot reflect the light that is being emitted from the bulb.

Polished stone floors become dull when heavy foot traffic along with sediment erodes the crystals. Normal footwear does not cause the main damage, sediment and grit do. The sediment and grit that lies on the stone surface is the main enemy of the stones crystals. The damage to the crystals occur when the pressure from the shoe forces the sediment to abrade or fracture the crystals.

The only safe way to restore and sharpen the crystals is to polish them with diamond abrasives or polishing powders. The life span of crystals can be extended by administering a thorough dust mopping an extensive entrance matting is extremely important because it keeps exterior sediment from entering a building.

Understanding PH Balances

PH is a unit of measure to determine the alkalinity and acidity of a solution. PH has been defined as either the "Power of Hydrogen" or "Pre-existing Hydrogen." It is rated on a scale of 1 to 14.

1 to 6.5 being acidic (Hydrogen) and
7.5 to 14 being an alkali (Hydroxide).
7 being neutral.


Acid Bowl Cleaners Marbalex Strippers
Vinegar Marbamist Degreasers
Most Fruit Juices Marbadan Ammonia
Alcoholic beverages Stone Quest Most all purpose

Most stones used today are sensitive to both acidic and alkali cleaners. One reason is due to the fact that most stones are classified as hydroxides which classifies them as natural alkalis. Acids will burn most stones by dissolving the bonding agents that keep them together. Alkalis usually do not damage stone as quickly, however, they will cause deterioration.

The corrosiveness of acids cannot always be measured with the pH scale. In most instances, the lower the pH number the stronger the acid. A solution with a pH level of 1 is usually stronger than a solution with a pH of 4. However, there are some acids with a higher pH that are stronger than an acid with a lower pH.

On the alkali side, the higher the pH number the stronger the alkali should be. A solution with a pH balance of 12 is usually stronger than a solution with a pH of 9. When using an alkali cleaner, never use hot water because it may create a stronger alkali reaction with adverse affects.

Understanding pH balances will help select the proper chemicals that can be used on stone. However, a main factor to remember when selecting a stone maintenance chemical is the activity level. For example, most neutral cleaners have a pH balance of 7; however, some neutral cleaners are stronger than others because they have higher activity levels. There are many neutral cleaners that are not active enough to thoroughly clean a stone's porous surface. There are also an abundance of neutral cleaners that are too active for stone to endure.

Many neutral cleaners have high activity levels that are corrosive to many stone surfaces. The neutral products have suitable activity levels that are safe on all stone surfaces, if used properly.


As discussed previously, stone was formed from different types of natural minerals. Marble's main consistency is calcium. Calcium carbonate is the natural source that bonds the stone. Certain additive minerals blended in to the calcium during formation to customize these brilliant colors. The additive minerals are also color developers present in granite and other natural stones.

Black Biotite, Hornblende, Carbon
Brown Limonite
Gray Variety of minerals
Green Mica, Chloride, Silicate
Red Hematite
White Feldspar, Calcite, Dolomite
Yellow Limonite
Augite Brown, Green, Black, Purple
Biotite Black, Brown, Green
Calcite Pearlenscent and Pale Colors
Dolomite Colorless, Pink, Pale Brown
Feldspar Yellow, White, Pink, Green, Grey
Hematite Metallic Grey or Black
Hornblende Green, Yellow, Brown, Black


Minerals have a variety of crystalline properties. A different property has a different color. For instance, Augite (listed above) has different crystalline properties. Each property has its own color. Stones brilliant colors and various crystal formations developed when different mineral properties blended together along with the integration of temperature and pressure.

The veins and color grains of marble were liquid minerals that flowed through the stone when the Earth heated up. The intense heat softened the limestone to allow the liquids to flow through it. When the Earth cooled, the mineral flow stopped and gradually hardened to its current state.

The delicate colors of stone can often be altered by the improper use of cleaning chemicals, mopping with dirty solution, using chemicals that are not designed for stone care, and sunlight can fade the color of natural minerals.


Currently, there are many companies around the world that use generic names to identify different types of stone. This has created a problem for the stone maintenance industry. The original names were in Italian. Usually the name consists of two parts. The first part describes the color and the second part describes the name from where the stone was quarried. Identification of the actual name will help SCI design a more accurate maintenance plan.

Azzuro Blue
Breccia Broken Pieces
Dorato/D'oro Gold
Fiore Flower
Giallo Yellow
Negro/Nero Black
Perla/Perlato Pearl
Rosa Pink
Rosso Red
Verde Green
Bianco White


Negro Marquina- Black Limestone from Marquina, Spain.
Bianco Carrara- White Marble from Carrara, Italy.


Hardness of Stone

Marble is a relatively soft stone. On a measurement of hardness (MOHS), marble is approximately a three out of ten. Marble is made of calcium, just like your teeth. If you eat something to hard you will break your tooth. If you eat a lot of sugar you will get a cavity. Stone reacts the same way. If an improper chemical is applied to the surface, corrosion will begin to form cavities in the stone.
Listed below is the famous Measurement of Hardness (MOH) Scale for stone. This is a guide developed in the 1800's which helps evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the stone being used. For example, softer stones would require the use of a less active chemical and a more frequent dust mopping program.


    1. Talc
    2. Gypsum
    3. Calcite (Most Marbles)
    4. Fluorite
    5. Apatite
    6. Feldspar (Granite)
    7. Quartz (Granite)
    8. Topaz
    9. Corundum
    10. Diamond

The objective of the MOH Scale is to measure stones resistance to hardness. When sediment and grit are harder than the surface, they will scratch and harm the stone.
For example, a piece of hard plastic is about a 2.0. It will not scratch #3 Calcite (Marble). However, a piece of sand that measures a 6, will scratch #3 Calcite but will not scratch #7 Quartz which is Granite.
The harder the stone, the more resistant it is to a abrasion. Exterior sediment that is tracked in to buildings approximately measures from 3.0 to 7.0.