Thanks to SMDS’ long experience in the execution of projects with heavy pedestrian traffic (shopping centers, airports, department stores, etc.), we can safely affirm that the successful performance of all engineered and natural stone is related to observance of the correct maintenance protective procedures.
Traditional and MicrochipThe main enemy of marble with calcium carbonate base is the dirt that builds up through time that gives rise to deterioration of the natural shine of the material. It is essential that all dirt is removed regularly by sweeping and by implementing a daily washing with a detergent that is completely neutral. When using a neutral detergent, the marble surface must be rinsed with plenty of cold water to ensure a clean, clear surface. In many instances the cause of deterioration of marble surfaces can be traced to the use of harsh and unsuitable commercial cleaning products which contain salts, acids, and alkali, all which attack the marble. The secret is to keep the marble clean.To provide protection from the possibility of contamination, we recommend the use of an acrylic resin-based film that forms a protective barrier between the user’s shoe soles and the floor surface thus proving characteristics of hardness and reliability capable of ensuring total protection.
Aggressive and acid products must be absolutely avoided for marble based products, whether natural or engineered. Detergents used must be neutral; protective and regular waxing may be used. A stone sealer is recommended for light colors.
Do’s & Don’ts
- Alkali cleaners – Avoid with pH level higher than 11 as may affect the tile matrix and cause discoloration
- Methyl Chloride – Never use on polished engineered marble tiles as will destroy the polish
- Abrasive cleaners – To be avoided as may permanently scratch the surface
- Mat appearance – Usually due to remaining grout residue on surface after installation. Clean with grout residue remove
- Food Stains – To remove stubborn food stains use Neutral Cleaner in more concentrated proportions
- Yellowing – Due to oily film build-up from neutral soap. Clean with neutral detergent in more concentrated proportion.
- Urinary Stains – Protect Surface with Acrylic Floor Finish
- Honed Surfaces – Penetrating Stone Sealer to ease maintenance and protect against soil infiltration as honed finished tiles are more porous.
Quartz based engineered stone offers the advantage of less demanding maintenance procedures. Engineered stone has the inert components of either siliceous sands or quartz and are resistant to acids and to intense wear and tear. This type of product can be cleaned either with detergents that have a pH level no higher than 11 (avoid caustic soda) or with acidic detergents for persistent grime (no lower than pH 3).
Quartz requires very little maintenance. Simply wipe the surface with soap and hot water to maintain its beauty and shine.
Stubborn Spills:Use any multipurpose house cleaner or a soft scrub and wipe with hot water and soap. Do not use paint thinners or varnish removers. Adhered material such as gum or paint can be removed by scraping with a sharp blade and then clean with a cleaning agent.
What to avoid:Avoid exposing your Quartz surface to strong chemicals and solvents, especially solvents that contain trichlorethane or methylene chloride. Avoid furniture cleaners and paint strippers, nail polish remover, permanent markers and ink, bleach and oven cleaners. Although Quartz is extremely heat resistant, it may be damaged by sudden extreme heat. Therefore we recommend that you avoid direct contact for a long period with a very hot pot. Quartz is extremely scratch resistant but not indestructible. Avoid use as a cutting board. Oils in the kitchen will enhance the color of this honed and textured surface. To avoid this, the countertop can be sealed.
Jaipur (Thyme, Cream, Anis, Chili, Olive, Pepper, Vanilla, Ginger)
This series is characterized by fold marks, texture and tonality variations. Oils in the kitchen will enhance the color of this honed and textured surface. It is recommended that the countertop be sealed, with a penetrating stone sealer made specifically for Quartz.
Mother of PearlThe mother of Pearl natural product (mostly calcium carbonate) is unpredictable in composition and may react with strong acids. Avoid acids and acidic cleaners. Natural cleaners are best. Rarely smaller pieces of pearl may dislodge from the slab. This does not constitute a defect and the void can be filled with a suitable material.
The whole area of anti-slip is fragmented with various degrees of acceptability by a vast number of governing bodies. The pre-dominant of which is The Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG). This act requires that newly constructed floor surfaces of accessible routes on sites and in buildings and facilities be stable, firm and slip-resistant. However no standards or methods of measurement are specified in scoping or technical provisions. In reviewing this act one must approximate two important factors:
What is Slip-Resistance?In its simplest sense, a slip-resistant surface is one that will permit an individual to walk across it without slipping. Contrary to popular belief however, some slippage is in fact necessary for walking, especially for persons with restricted gaits who may drag their feet slightly. While increasing the slip resistance of a surface is desirable within certain limits, a very high co-efficient of friction may actually hinder safe and comfortable ambulation by persons with disabilities. In fact, a truly non-slip surface could not be negotiated. Leather shoes may perform poorly on smooth, dry surfaces yet provide adequate traction when wet.
The presence of moisture or other contaminants, the characteristics of the shoe or crutch tip making contact, the direction (uphill or downhill – effects will differ) and scope of travel, all will affect the slip-resistance of installed surfaces. It is this interaction of material characteristics and human responses which fully characterize slip-resistance.
How is Slip-Resistance Measured?According to ADAAG, the basic components of slip-resistance are: the minimum tangential force necessary to initiate sliding of a body over the surface and the body’s gravity force. The co-efficient of friction between the two surfaces is the ratio of the horizontal and vertical forces required to move one surface over another to the total force pressing the two surfaces together. Again, according to ADAAG, there are three stages in an individual’s gait:
- Full load
- Push On
In order to avoid slippage while walking, the horizontal and vertical forces applied by the individual must be resisted by the forces acting against the foot as it contacts the walking surface. The definitive component of this resisting force and the variable most subject to manipulation is the co-efficient of friction of the surface material. For example, on an icy surface with a negligible co-efficient of friction, a runner whose forward motion applies a substantial horizontal force will slip and probably fall on such a surface. A more careful pedestrian may be able to limit his or her horizontal force contribution so that it balances the available frictional resistance of the ice and thus cross safely. Adding sand to the icy surface will increase its co-efficient of friction and allow for a more standard gait. Once the ice has melted, the higher co-efficient of friction of the newly exposed surface will offer sufficient resisting force to permit the runner to speed across it without incident.
The co-efficient of friction varies in a complex and non uniform way. Although it can be calculated and modelled in the laboratory using sophisticated computer programs, the straighter measurement of the static co-efficient of friction provides a reasonable approximation of the slip-resistance of most surfaces and is the method most appropriate for evaluating surface materials and finishes.
The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) currently recognizes several standard methods for measuring coefficient of friction depending on the application.
D-2047-93There are a variety of devices available that will produce such measurements. The most common device is the “James Machine” which was developed in the early 1940’s and was the testing device specified by The Underwriters Laboratory (UL). Shortly thereafter from laboratory test data corroborated by field experience, a minimum value of 0.5 for the static co-efficient of friction of floor polish bearing the UL seal was established. Since then, 0.5 has become the commonly accepted threshold for classifying slip-resistance in products.Furthermore, the James Machine is the recognized test method, and 0.5 value when measured by this tester, is the recognized minimum criterion for slip-resistant walking surfaces in the courts of law in the United States.
Measurement by the James Machine, utilizing a leather sensor, is the only method assessing surfaces and products against the 0.5 UL standards for static co-efficient of friction. Using a different sensor material, even if measured by the James Machine, it will give a different reading for the same surface material. This is a significant point. Aninformal comparison of data collected under three different re-search protocols involving four different shoe sensor materials, all applied to the same 8″ x 8″ ceramic tile surface, was reviewed.
This resulted in readings ranging from a low of 0.29 to a high of 0.99. Even limiting values, to those measured by the James Machine but using both leather and neolite sensor, resulted in a range of 0.57 (leather) to 0.79 (neolite) for the same surface being tested. Therefore it is impossible to correctly specify a slip-resistant rating without identifying the testing method, tester and sensor material to be used evaluating the specified surface. The James Machine continues to be a laboratory mainstay but it is not portable and thus cannot be used in the field.
C-1028-96(Standard Test Method for Determining the Static Coefficient of Friction of Ceramic tile and Other like Surfaces by the Horizontal Dynamometer Pull-Meter Method).This is the most common test used to measure slip resistance in the field and uses a portable horizontal pull meter. This test method may be used under both wet and dry conditions and uses Neolite heel assemblies. Because of the environmental variables associated with tests using portable pull meters, the results are inconsistent from surface to surface.
The successful performance of all flooring materials is the observance of the correct maintenance and protective procedures. Correct maintenance procedures not only extend the life of the stone surface but can also contribute to a safe surface.
- Dust mop floors frequently. Surface contamination such as dirt and dust can create slippery conditions.
- Protect floor surfaces with non-slip mats. Such mats should be placed at entranceways, particularly during rainy and snowy periods. Wet surfaces can create a slip hazard.
- Blot up spills immediately. Liquid or food left on stone surfaces can create a slip hazard.
- Thoroughly rinse and dry floors after washing. Ensure areas just wet mopped are allowed to dry before trafficked, by marking these areas off until thoroughly dry.
- Maintenance products used should be the correct products for the type of surface. Ensure that the manufacturer’s recommendations are followed.
Reference: Article by Fred Hueston “Slip Resistance” Source MIA Website www.marble-institute.com