Financial Considerations and Stone Care in Today’s Economy

In the current atmosphere of financial uncertainty, homeowners may find themselves putting off all but the most critical contractor work. There are a few things to think about when deciding to postpone stone restoration. We’ve seen a whole range of stone wear, and some circumstances warrant more concern than others. High traffic or what I call ‘high abuse’ areas, particularly where water is present (bathroom vanities, bathroom floors, showers, and kitchen floors or countertops), tend to require more maintenance and upkeep. These areas will almost always have a dirty, mottled, or etched appearance after a cycle of regular use, which will only get worse in time. They would be my first priority. That being said, with proper home care and cleaning, the intervals between professional visits can be lengthened. Proper home care is another blog entry in itself, but the Marble Institute of America’s page on cleaning is a starting point (http://www.marble-institute.com/consumerresources/care.cfm). Some areas in the house that see less use might only need “well-care” (i.e. periodic re-sealing), which would be a lower priority, one to come back to during the next cycle of maintenance.

Also, costs of restoration may not always be as high as you think. There are different options of restoration available, enough to work within many budgets. It still is worth getting a quote to see ‘how bad’ the wear is, and what we can do to help maintain your stone within your budget.

Anther thing to think about in the long term: our basic service – restoration and refinishing – is usually a significantly less expensive alternative to installing new stone. If scratch damage or water saturation continues unchecked, expensive tile replacement might have to be considered. Almost all the time, stone can be refinished to look new or almost new, at a fraction of the cost of a new installation. We find that in the current economic climate, homeowners looking to enhance the stone in their home are pleasantly surprised by what is possible within their price range, and the results enhance the value of their stone-installed homes for a relatively small cost.

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