Marble is a beautiful natural stone that many homeowners choose to use in bathrooms, entryways, and other areas of the home. Unfortunately, when marble is used in certain areas of the home, you may begin to notice that the shine or polish on the stone seems to be wearing off unevenly, giving you dull spots. While this can be corrected either temporarily with a shine-enhancing sealer or more permanently with grinding and polishing of the entire floor, the best thing to do is to try to prevent this from happening in the first place. Learn the most common causes of dulling on a marble floor so you can help prevent it from occurring.
What Is Dulling?
The dulling that you see on your floor is known as etching. Etching occurs when some of the weaker particles of the stone are removed, usually because your stone came into contact with another material. Etching can happen to any stone, but is most common with calcium based stones like marble and limestone, because the calcite in the stones is so reactive with other substances.
Acid and Alkaline Contact
One of the causes of etching is the contact of your stone with something highly acidic or highly alkaline in content. Vinegar, urine, wine, lemon juice, and rock salt can all cause etching on a marble floor, which is why marble used in kitchens, entry ways, and bathrooms tends to have the most etching.
Another way that etching can occur is when abrasives continuously come in contact with the stone, wearing down the weaker particles until they are removed. Shoes that have grit on the bottoms from being worn outside, for example, can eventually etch an entry way floor. Scrubbing your floor with abrasive cleaners or cleaning implements can also eventually lead to etching and dulling of the finish on your floor.
To help protect your stone, always use door mats and encourage guests to remove their shoes. Wipe up spills as soon as you notice them, and use an impregnating sealer to help impede the absorption of materials that could etch the stone’s surface.