FORT WORTH, TX — More facilities are installing marble and granite floors today than years ago. There are two primary reasons for this:
- The cost of marble and granite has come down now that these materials are being quarried in more areas of the world.
- It is very durable. If cared for properly, marble and granite can literally last for centuries.
However, marble and granite are different and will require different cleaning methods, procedures, and products. Marble is a soft stone made of metamorphic rock containing calcium carbonate. This means it will react, and potentially be damaged, if any type of acidic cleaning solution is used to maintain it.
On the other hand, granite, made from igneous rock, is a very hard stone. Stronger abrasives and cleaning chemicals can be used on granite and, if used properly, will not damage its surface.
There are also different terms used to describe the minerals in granite, marble, and other stone floors. Because of this, this month’s Powr-Flite TroubleShooter identifies and defines some of the more common terms cleaning professionals will hear when caring for stone floors:
Scratch test: A “scratch test” helps identify floor hardness. It identifies how resistant a mineral is to abrasion. It is performed just as it sounds. Minerals are rubbed against each other; the one that scratches is softer than the mineral that caused the scratch.
Luster: This does not necessarily refer to how shiny the floor is, but more specifically how it reflects light from its surface. A highly polished stone floor will typically have a very high luster.
Cleavage: This term refers to how the mineral breaks or fractures. Some minerals, when they break, will have only one cleavage. Others may have two, three, or more.
Acid test: This is an important test and can immediately identify whether the floor in question is marble, granite, or some other material. One drop of diluted solution of hydrochloric acid is applied to the floor. If the acid bubbles or fizzles, it’s marble; if there is no reaction, it is likely granite.
The Powr-Flite Troubleshooter addresses some of the most common floor care problems cleaning professionals encounter … and, most importantly, how to tackle them.
Established more than 40 years ago, Powr-Flite manufactures a full line of floor-care equipment and carpet extractors for the professional cleaning industry. Based in Fort Worth, TX, the company has over 20 patented designs and its products are recognized throughout the world for their innovation, durability, quality and performance. Their products are marketed directly to end-use customers as well as through distributors throughout the North America, Europe and the Far East.