Pierre de Bourgogne
Treatment of the stone after fixing

Treatment of the stone after fixing

  • Remove any deposits of mortar remaining on the surface of the limestone tiles after fixing.   Wait several days after the floor is completed so that it thoroughly dries out.   Stop any floor heating (low temperature, electric, geothermic,…) and wait for the temperature of the floor to return to ambient temperature.   Do not apply in rooms where the ambient temperature could descend below 5°C.  Forbid access to the rooms that have been treated until the product has been thoroughly absorbed by the tiles 
  • All natural stone floors must be treated with a water and oil repellent product, either chemically based or entirely natural (see below for Savon de Marseille) adapted to the type of stone employed.   Some trials should be made by the applier before any definitive application.   Check carefully with the manufacturer (for chemical products) the compatibility and efficacy of the product or products recommended.   Certain stone, particularly dark or very light coloured, can discolour or react with stains or rings, crystallisation or alteration of the surface (particularly grey stone).
  • Only time will tell the long term effects of modern chemical treatments on stone.   They have definite advantages when natural limestone is used for wet rooms and kitchens.   For other areas the debate is open.
  • Water and oil repellents or inhibitors protect porous stone from the penetration of water and oil by changing the surface tension, while allowing the stone to breath.    Please note that they do not protect against acids such as lemon juice and cola based drinks, which should be wiped off immediately before they react with the limestone or marble.   The inhibitors must be colourless and stable under ultraviolet radiation.   Outside they also help prevent moss, lichens, bacteria and mould growth.   The inhibitor covers the individual grains of the stone with a minute film without blocking the pores.  The active compound is released by the solvent and hardens on the grain structure of the stone.   The new range of inhibitors uses water based solvents, far more ecological than the previous chemical solvents.    Efficiency varies with the type of stone and depth of penetration and tests should be made prior to application. 
  • N.B. Inhibitors should not be confused with sealers, a chemically resistant coating, generally a urethane or acrylic resin.   These can create a major undesirable change in appearance and prevent stone from breathing.  We strongly advise against their use.  
  • Some well known manufacturers of inhibitors include Lithofin, HMK, Akemi, Industria Chimica Reggiana (ICR anti-drop L10), Federchemicals, Fila Industria Chimica, General Industria Chimica and Massimo Piraccini Treatment.   The manufacturer’s instructions should be strictly followed.    Repeat applications may be necessary at intervals indicated by the manufacturer.   The use of these products does not replace tanking for wet rooms.   These products should not be used without expert advice on stone that has been in place for years, or when water penetration from underneath the stone is a possibility, 
  • Treatment of the surface after fixing such as grinding, filling or polishing destroy the formation of a natural patina on the surface of the stone composed of a skin of calcium carbonate, a natural self defensive chemical reaction which will safeguard the stone from staining and enhance the natural beauty of the stone.   These treatments should never be applied to recently fixed floors. 
  • For an exterior floor, washing with a high pressure hose (type Karcher) is not recommended.   It will open the pores of the stone and permanently deteriorate the material.   The stone will collect dirt more and more quickly, become more and more rough and collect small organisms such as algae, lichens and moss.   If the floor becomes green, grey or black because of the surrounding vegetation (trees, shrubs, lawn, pot plants, north facing or shaded area), or after a prolonged period of rain, you can use provided you rinse thoroughly bleach diluted at 5% in clean water.   Apply with a spray at a maximum temperature of 20° and out of the sun, brush obstinate areas if necessary, leave to act for 20 minutes and then rinse abundantly with clean water without pressure.   A bi-annual treatment at the end of winter and of autumn by spraying anti-moss for roofs (after first sweeping the floor and hosing without pressure to eliminate dust, dead leaves and other accumulated dirt) will help preserve the colours and appearance of natural stone.
  • An excellent commercial product specifically for outside stone is Lithofin Algex.   One to two treatments per year will be sufficient keep the stone in good condition as it cleans and preserves.  
  • Vacuum thoroughly to remove any dust, especially cement powder.  Then wash the floor with a damp floor cloth (water only) to remove as much as possible of the fine dust still present 
  • For the maintenance of natural limestone tiles you have two choices, using a water & oil repellent (see above) or the traditional method:
  • Initial treatment using the traditional method :
  • Many old buildings have beautiful limestone floors that have developed their patina over hundreds of years.   To obtain this effect :
  • Take a bucket of very hot water (just off the boil) and add 500 grams Marius Fabre Savon de Marseille soap flakes.   Pour the resulting mixture into a watering can and water the clean floor abundantly and evenly.   The hot water will help the soap penetrate into the pores of the stone.   Renew the operation several times always following the same procedure, waiting 8 to 24 hours between each application.   Once the floor is saturated with soap (approximately 2 to 3 applications according to the type of stone and finish) the tiles will have a whitish appearance due to the presence of soap on the surface of the stone.   Do not attempt to remove.   The soap will nourish the stone and the whitish aspect will disappear after a few weeks.
  • Weekly upkeep :
  • Use only water with some Marius Fabre liquid Savon Noir or Savon de Marseille in flakes following the manufacturer’s instructions (roughly 2 soupspoons per 5L of hot water).   The formation of a skin of calcium carbonate, a self defensive chemical reaction of the material, will over time safeguard the stone from staining and enhance the natural beauty of the stone. 
  • Note that savon noir should be olive oil based; most are either linseed oil based (to be avoided) or palm oil based which may contribute to destroying tropical forests.   
  • Do not use multipurpose floor cleaning products or any products containing free alkali (sodium, potassium, ammonia, bleach, synthetic detergents etc), acid products even diluted, abrasives, waxes or encaustics with linseed oil and all maintenance products of any kind which block the pores of the stone and prevent the contact of water with the material. . 
  • Remember that sweeping or vacuum cleaning before washing is strongly recommended.   Do not forget that it is only after many months of washing with pure water and Marius Fabre savon noir that the stone will reveal all its beauty.
  • Outside grease stains, for example after a barbecue, will usually disappear over time through the actions of sun and rain.   In the case of heavy stains, throw a bucket of water containing 2 tablespoons of ammonia on the floor to find its original aspect.