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Natural Stone And Tile « Sungloss
Sungloss Marble Company

Serving Chicagoland since 1987

The Complete Stone Restoration Co.
Call Us (773) 685-2500

Archive for the ‘Natural Stone And Tile’ Category

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Unusual Stones

Thursday, October 1st, 2015

Some people like marble, but want something different. Some people think granite is boring and want something with more pizzazz. Unique stones like onyx which contains quartz and labradorite a beautiful blue color stone from Labrador, Canada that contains feldspar found in granite and quartz are making an appearance in kitchens, bathrooms and bars.  Some quartz has the look of popular marbles.

These unusual stones give your home a unique look. Onyx isn’t used only for jewelry and accessory pieces; it can be a floor or counter – At best not in a lobby! Amethyst and rose quartz are not only gem stones, but, can now be found in your kitchen counter tops and bathroom vanities.

Agglomerated stone or volcanic stone is being used more and more with marble. “Agglomerare” in Latin means “to form a ball.”  These different ropy, folded and spindled shapes are characteristic of agglomerated stones. This stone adds different character to your marble kitchen or bath.

You don’t have to have the “run of the mill” counters. You can have unique stones that give your home or meeting place an unusual look, while gaining envy from all of your friends. Stay away from the normal and embrace the unique.

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Moisture: The Potential Plague

Wednesday, July 15th, 2015

The use of natural stone for building and decorating has been used since ancient times.   Its strength and durability make natural stone a versatile building product, thus increasing in popularity.  Although quarried from the earth, not all stone is created equal.  The biggest difference lies in the porosity, density and durability of the stone.  Calcite based stones such as Marble, Limestone, Onyx and Travertine are more porous than the denser, igneous Granite.  Because of their high porosity rate, they are more susceptible to damage, acting like a sponge and sucking in liquids, salts and minerals.

Water plays a dominant role in the deterioration process of most stone surfaces.  In fact, most problems in any structure begin with water.  Efflorescence, corrosion, and calcium buildup are all examples of how water destroys or damages the stone.  The only way to fully restore and preserve the area is to prevent further water intrusion by waterproofing: creating barriers, drainage and diversion.  Sealers, although widely used and the most important waterproofing materials, will not prevent future moisture damage if the source of the moisture is not identified and repaired.

Look for signs of moisture such as mold, efflorescence, and spalling.  Identify the source, and waterproof.  Sealing, airflow, ventilation, proper drainage and professionally directed maintenance and care all help in preventing, or at least limiting, moisture damage to Marble, Limestone, Travertine and other calcite based stone surfaces.  This is the only sure way to prevent further water damage and preserve the beauty of the earth in your home.

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Sketches on Etches

Tuesday, March 17th, 2015

And More Pains With Those Stains!

Calcium carbonate based natural stone like marble and limestone are going to get ‘etched’ and ‘stained’ – ALL OVER THE WORLD..!  Mild acids, severe acids and some of the more aggressive oils and mixtures with water and salt will eventually – perhaps very quickly sometimes – penetrate the Impregnating Sealers on the market and cause these “obsessive compulsive” reactionary spots. Its just the “nature of the beast”.

Some word games on cans and bottles confuse the issue by noting that they are “Stain Free” on one hand, and (in finer print) noting that “…if any stains or etches occur the only ‘warranty’ is that a service person will send you another can to use, or come out an ‘redo’ the sealing…(ha!)” – only to produce the same result?

My extensive communications and meetings, networking with the various Restoration Company Owners with the Marble Institute of America (MIA) finds that there is simply NO seal right now that will prevent “etching” and “staining” by even mild acids – but may only ” buy some time ” for one to blot up the liquids (by mild acids we are talking coke, tomato juice, coffee and the like, careful!!).

Topcoats can solve the etch and stain problem but they create another – the need to remove those topcoats, e.g. ” waxes”, urethanes, epoxies , etc…and also – those surfaces scratch, dull and get affected by certain liquids also – aside from yellowing over time.  There is NO “silver bullet”, no panacea that we know.  The best process we’ve found, and one that I use in my home, is that of “Super-Sealing”: the use of one seal (of a particular kind) first, allow that to dry and begin to cure, then two applications of another particular sealant intermittently, then buff to completion.  This “Super-Sealing” has given us the best results when done properly – although, again, NOT fool proof.  Still penetrable.

So, careful!  Read everything on those labels when shopping for marble seals as if you were going to DRINK them!  And, research at the Marble Institute website and Sungloss website to prepare yourself.

As a “freebie” please e-mail us at mike.sungloss@gmail.com for a booklet on the care and maintenance of marble, limestone and granite (BTW: granite is generally impervious to those “stains and etches” aggravating marble/limestone owners) but, beware-all granite is NOT created equal-and granite poses some other issues.  As beautiful as they are, marble, limestone and granite need tender loving care!

My best,

Mike Pavilon
20+ years of natural stone experience ….and counting!

Posted in Natural Stone And Tile | Comments Off on Sketches on Etches

What Does Your Lobby Say About You?

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015

Benjamin Franklin said, “Time is money”. In the February issue of Northern Illinois Real Estate Magazine, Clark Johnson, Director of Marketing for Finishing Contractors Association of America related that phrase to empty unit space in both commercial and residential spaces.  Empty unit space is a loss in potential income. The first impression visitors and potential buyers get when they set foot in your lobby could be the selling, or breaking, point. Many times that impression is not even talked about, it’s an unconscious feeling and memory that can either “turn on” or “turn off”.

Hotel or condo lobbies should delight and welcome. One way to emanate that impression is keeping the marble, granite and limestone, usually at a high gloss polish, in tip-top shape. Hospital lobbies should comfort – usually at a low or satin luster, and bank lobbies should communicate strength and organization – usually a clean, honed luster.
A small budget can go a long way when trying to improve the “messy or unkempt” feeling visitors get, especially with restoration of marble, granite, terrazzo & limestone. It’s a cost effective and very important aspect of managing a building, and homes, alike.

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The 16th Century Narutis Hotel – as part of the Commerical/historic properties

Friday, February 13th, 2015

Historic properties are often ” regulated” or guided by various city, state or federal agencies for which certain standards and rules must apply, e.g. that the structure cannot be ” materially changed” without the approval of the government agency.  Or, that certain specified processes only must be used in the restoration.

Old Town , Vilnius, Lithuania Totally refurbished into a modern delightful hotel keeping most of the stone and original masonry . That’s 500 years of well kept ” wear and tear “!!!

Lobbies and facades are often a part of the restorations – with marble, limestone, granite, slate and other
natural stone being the most common, durable and beauty-enhancing parts to the entry areas – designed to ” knock your socks off” upon entering.

The Narutis Hotel – rated an 8.9 of best 10 on www.booking.com – is one of those restorations in historic and
beautiful Vilnius, Lithuania – long a ” lost gem” of the tourist marketplace, but recently being discovered.

Closer to home the Wrigley Bldg., the Somerset Apartments and the former Golblatt’s Store on Chicago’s South Side have all been part of some Sungloss Marble Company work in assisting making these historic structures retain and/or augment their beauty through safe and sound procedures of restoration.

When confronted with a historic building. or structure – research on the internet the various rules and regulations from the local, state and/or federal groups.

Tread lightly – as sometimes the bureaucracy can be overwhelming.

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Professional Caring for your Stone Floors in Winter Weather

Monday, January 19th, 2015

Sand, salt and dirt are big problems for your Marble, Limestone, Travertine, Terrazzo and Granite floors. Here are some things you should and should not do.

Good mats with a vinyl or rubber underside at entrances will help to minimize sand, salt and dirt from tracking on to stone floors. Asking a guest to remove their shoes and boots  before they enter your home is a definite do! (Don’t have to Buddhist to encourage that!)

Blot up water and spills with a paper towel or clean non treated towel or cloth and then go over again with a clean non treated rag or towel to make sure the stone is dry. Don’t wipe up water or spills. It can spread further on the stone.

Use a dry, clean non-oil treated mop to remove salt, sand and dirt from your Marble, Limestone, Travertine, Granite and Terrazzo.  Use a soft push broom to sweep.  Sand and salt are abrasive and can scratch your floors.  Mop frequently to rid your stone floors of sand, salt, water and dirt.  Use a pail of  warm water and a ph7 neutral soap to lift the dirt.  Don’t use the same pail of water for the entire floor.  Change your water a few times.  Would you shower with just water or would you use a good soap?  Same for all natural stone!

Stay warm this winter.  Keep your Marble, Limestone, Travertine, Terrazzo and Granite floors in good shape.

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Winter in the Midwest

Friday, January 16th, 2015

WINTER in the Midwest, the East and elsewhere plays havoc with the surfaces and even sometimes the virtual integrity of natural stone itself!  Freezing water, sand from spreaders, ” rock salts” from urban street plows that spread large granules of salt onto the streets and sidewalks – soon to be tracked from the shoes of millions of pedestrians onto natural stone floors.  Marble, Limestone, Granite, Terrazzo, and to a lesser degree Slate all eventually succumb to the perils of winter.  Sungloss Marble’s Leslie Olsen will very soon be compiling a list of do’s and don’ts and the logic of keeping freezing water, salts and sand off your lobby, entryway and reception area floors – even if you are on the 99th floor!!

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Replace or Restore – That is The Question

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

Historic Terrazzo Lobby Floor

Historic Terrazzo Lobby Floor

Your “once- attractive, shiny, high-gloss polished,” terrazzo lobby floor has lost its life. The residents in your building are no longer impressed and you’re beginning to look at this dull, life-less floor with the hopes of getting rid of it. Possibly even considering having it covered with a brand-spanking new expensive carpet! But before you do, you should know that there is hope.

Sungloss Marble Co. specializes in “complete stone restoration” – the green, environmentally-friendly, care for natural stone. Refinishing, cleaning, polishing, and sealing are only a number of ways Sungloss Marble brings new life to both commercial buildings and residential properties alike. Meaning you no longer have to replace or cover that old flooring. With proper care, your stone should last a lifetime!

The basic tips for maintaining your stone in a tip-top shape are to: 1. Use mats or area rugs, especially at entry and exit areas, to help minimize the dirt, grit and salt from scratching the stone. 2. Blot spills immediately. Don’t wipe. 3. Dust mop floors frequently. 4. Seal those floors. Although this step doesn’t guarantee you won’t get a stain, but will make the stone more stain resistant.

Marble, granite, terrazzo and limestone can last for thousands of years. With a little TLC, you can ensure the stones longevity and preserve it for a lifetime giving you, the residents and their visitors a scene to admire for many, many years to come.

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Sungloss Marble – Complete Stone Restoration

Monday, September 29th, 2014

Sungloss Marble Company is the ” complete stone restoration”
company, in that, we are able, willing and set to work on just
about any natural stone: marble, granite, quartzite, quartz,
limestone, slate, gneiss, Belgian Black stone, terrazzo – both
cement base and epoxy ….and even some situations of concrete..

Look for that COMPLETE stone restoration process with the
skills and quality attitude of Sungloss Marble Company…

Active with the Marble institute of America ( MIA )….
at www.marble-institute.com – we will use the resources of
the Institute and our long standing membership to solve
just about any problem with natural stone with our
complete stone restoration processes.

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Granite Refinishing & Restoration

Monday, September 8th, 2014

Granite material used as a floor or countertop continues to hold a top place for desirability due to its durability, beauty, and low maintenance. Its hardness and scuff and scratch resistance make this genre of material easy to take care of – and it is generally quite resistance to dulling.

 

What happens when you find your granite appearing lackluster or dull? Showing what looks like acid etching?   Your restoration professionals, such as the Sungloss Marble Co. team, are here to help.

 

After 5 or more years, even the most hardy granite material will start to show its wear and age. Professional polishing of your granite will get it back to its original luster. It’s the responsibility of stone care professionals to provide the correct advice on frequency of sealing, etc.  (See also www.marble-institute.com)

 

Here are some general rules to determine how frequent your granite may need professional maintenance and restoration:

 

White Granite (like Kashmir) may show oil or water staining early on – we suggest sealing these types regularly.

 

Black Granites vary wildly in durability – true Black Absolute is generally quite low maintenance, but due to the dark even tone should be cleaned and sealed at least every 2 years in most settings to maintain uniformity. Popularity of the black color has led to a wide range of black material, including many black granite sold as “black” that have been enhanced with black dyes or pigments. These tend to show their “true color” by etching, and having ring marks, splotches, and spills show up on the material. Some natural black granite can also etch due to a varied natural range of composition.

 

Speckled Brown/Yellow/Tan/Gray/Salt and Pepper colors tend to be the easiest to upkeep and don’t show wear much. Seal or polish this granite professionally once every 2-5 years.

 

Don’t wax your granite.

 

Location of your granite may also dictate maintenance. Wet areas, such as showers, countertops, bathroom floors tend to show wear sooner than dry areas.

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