- THE MAGAZINE
More facilities are installing marble and granite floors today than years ago, largely because the cost of marble and granite has come down now that these materials are being quarried in more areas of the world, and for its durability.
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.
Via the Powr-Flite TroubleShooter, here’s a look at some common terms 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.