Friday, May 13, 2011

The Artistry of Stonecare

Stone is a natural formation of various minerals into a complex grain pattern. These "grains" form a directional plane which the quarrier and manufacturers must consider when processing since the surface grains will determine the finished qualities of the stone once installed. Stone is appreciated for its timeless appeal as well as the many surface textures that can be created. Stone's ability to be refinished to an "as new condition". is one more important aspect with regards to its durability and value as a building material. The allure of a brilliant natural polish not only magnifies its myriadal grain patterning, but also serves to make a stone's surface less porous and impervious. Modern technologies have produced chemicals treatments available to the stonecare professional of today to fortify and alter a stone's appearance. Whether to make a stone less porous and impervious to staining and scratching or to add richness and added luster there exists a chemical alternative. Despite their initial effectiveness all chemical products disintegrate and need to be reapplied periodically. Claims of no-toxicity or low toxicity do not factor in environmental conditions and often performance results do not meet with expectations. The science of chemical success relies heavily on the techniques used by the stonecare professional in preparing the surfaces for application with an exacting assessment of the stone's state before any chemical based solution can be applied.  The variables between different stone types and variances amongst similarly finished stones as well as the non-specific chemical formulations that are broad spectrum engineered all need to be objectified.  Preventative Stonecare is an elaborative process which involves the initial design and material selection stages, before fabrication and installation construction, and with consideration for practical and effective maintenance programs.  Please feel free to contact me for more information regarding your project plans or for stonecare consultation and maintenance services at