Are Your Color Charts Up To Date? Discontinued Color Blow-Out

Save big on discontinued colors: With a few of the major grout manufacturers updating their color charts this year Modern Stone has updated our charts as well. We are blowing out the discontinued colors at 50% off! Please note that the following manufacturers are the only colors we will stock: Custom Polyblend, Laticrete, C-Cure, TEC, Mapai, and Hydroment. For a full list of current & discontinued colors click here (colors will be removed from the list when they are gone). Special lasts while supplies last. To place your order for our discontinued blow out colors call 866-868-0810.

Indroducing: Evolution Polishing Pads

Evolution Polishing Pads

Stone restoration has evolved. From the leader in the natural stone restoration industry, Modern Stone brings another innovative solution to stone restoration with the Evolution pad. Unlike other pads that were made to lightly buff or clean, the Evolution pads offer today’s professional full restoration capabilities from scratches to polish in one simple system.

The longest lasting pad in the industry. The Evolution pad contains the highest levels of true diamond abrasives, therefore providing up to three times the wear of other competitive products while delivering a higher quality result.

One pad that can be used WET or DRY. The Evolution pad is the only pad on the market which can be used with little or no water when restoring a natural stone, terrazzo or concrete surfaces.

Available in five different grits. Whether it’s a one step polish, or a full restoration project, the Evolution pads offer a full range of options for the flooring professional.

A flexible design. The Evolution pad can follow a floor’s contours better in order to reach high and low spots on uneven floors. Simple rinse when done and it’s ready for the next job.

See all Modern Stone abrasive products

Acid vs. Alkaline: What, Why and When?

Acid vs. Alkaline: What, Why and When? By Jasen Santiago

As we all know, cleaning the floor is an essential step in the tile and grout restoration process. In most cases, however, this important first step acts only as a prepping stage in bringing the floor to our customer’s desired result. Whether we are looking to revive an old, dingy floor back to its original lustrous finish, provide a customer with a sealant to protect their investment, or completely change the appearance of an existing tiled floor, the cleaning process is going to be the determining factor as to how well our jobs turn out. So what is the best way to prep our floors? Using an alkaline cleaner? Using an acid cleaner? Or maybe the most effective solution is to use both. These are common questions often debated by many tile and grout professionals. While there are too many factors involved to determine the right answer, with proper education it is possible to determine the right answer for you.

To answer the “acid vs. alkaline” debate we must first discuss the purpose of both of these cleaners. Alkaline cleaners or cleaners with a pH level higher than 7, are often used as the sole cleaning agent in the tile and grout restoration process. Alkaline cleaners are formulated to loosen the bond between simple waxes, vegetable oils and animal fats from the surface we are cleaning. The primary advantage of high-pH cleaners is that they are effective cleaners, even on the most tenacious soils. Alkaline cleaners are also recommended when there is a large amount of soil to be cleaned. Additionally, alkaline cleaners can be used in almost any operation, but will not do anything to remove mineral deposits, rust or hard water stains. Also, when you’re prepping old surfaces for topical or penetrating sealers, alkaline cleaners will do little more than remove the soil from the substrate. This is where acid cleaners come into play.

Sometimes, when prepping old surfaces for sealing, etching the substrate may be beneficial. While alkaline cleaners do a great job of removing surface debris, acid cleaners, or cleaners with a lower pH level than 7, will directly work with the bonding agent in calcium carbonate based surfaces. Etching the surface is going to expose new pores providing some extra “tooth” making the product-to-surface bond as strong as possible. This will make any sealer more effective and in most cases, will make color sealing more efficient. Acid cleaners may also be used to remove tarnish, alkaline discoloration and corrosion, remove hard water deposits from many surfaces, and will neutralize alkalis. Being that acid cleaners are used to remove calcium build-up, they should not be used on calcium based stones such as marble, travertine, and limestone as they will also damage those surfaces.

So what is the bottom line? When do we use alkaline, when do we use acids, or when is it appropriate to use both? The answer to this question is going to be job specific and will depend on a variety of things. What type of surface are you restoring? Which kind of stains are you trying to remove? Or what final result are you looking to provide your customer? On many jobs, using an acid cleaner won’t be necessary. Cementitious surfaces, such as grout or concrete, harden (or become less porous) overtime with the addition of moisture. It’s in these situations where etching the surface is going to make a significant difference. However, on newer surfaces, cleaning with an acid may be overkill and unnecessary. On that same note, using an alkaline cleaner may also be an unnecessary step. Many times grout will become discolored due to years of mopping improperly, but will not have a considerable amount of dirt and debris on the surface. In these situations, a test patch should be conducted to determine whether or not the grout is exposed enough to react with the acid, possibly saving yourself a cleaning step. If the cleaner immediately “fizzles” when applied to the surface, continue the cleaning process using only an acid to start the restoration process. However, if you get little or no reaction with the acid, this is an indicator that you must first remove the soil with an alkaline cleaner to expose the grout, making it a two step cleaning process.

While the great dispute of “Acid vs. Alkaline” will continue on, I hope this article will at least shed some light on the subject. If nothing else, just to provide you with some ammo for the next time you find yourself in the middle of this classic debate.

The Benefits Of An Outdoor Sealer

Often times, I will have a contractor or homeowner ask me which is the best penetrating sealer to use outdoors. My first response is always, “what are you trying to protect against”? Both types of sealers serve a purpose and should be used when applicable. But when we’re talking about outdoor surfaces, topical intrusion is the least of our concerns.

Sure, a good penetrating sealer is going to protect against topical staining; spill a glass of red wine and you’ll be able to wipe it right up without it discoloring the stone’s surface at all. Even neglected grout lines and tumbled surfaces are going to clean-up almost perfectly during restoration when a high quality penetrating sealer is applied properly. To better understand the need for two types of sealers you must understand what each of the sealers is protecting against and what type of protection that each sealer is providing. As we all know, a penetrating sealer does not completely seal off the surface of the stone or grout. In essence, what we’re doing by applying a penetrating sealer is giving us an opportunity to wipe of a spill before it becomes a stain. Providing stain resistance to our stone surfaces certainly has its benefits. And for the most part, sealing the stone or grout will keep the interior floors looking clean and vibrant as long as they are being maintained properly. However, when we’re sealing outdoors there are a whole new set of challenges that must be dealt with. High alkaline soils, UV damage, Efflorescence, and high acid rain are just a few of the issues that we run into while dealing with exterior surfaces. So what, if anything, can be done about sealing your stone surfaces outside? Penetrating sealers like, Clear Guard, Rapid Seal, or Select Seal are going to have limited benefits as the chances of dropping a plate of food or spilling a beverage are very unlikely.

In order to protect stone surfaces against the outdoor elements the right type of chemistry is going to be required. Modern Stone’s Preserve is the only sealer currently on the market that protects against the damage caused by Mother Nature. This is the same technology used to protect the stone monuments across the country and the marble Pillars built on the white house. Not only does sealing your exterior surfaces with the proper chemistry keep the stones looking vibrant and new, but it will also slow down the effects of efflorescence and other mineral damages. Having the ability to offer your clients this type of service and talk knowledgeably about the different types of protection and challenges when dealing outdoor installations will certainly make a good impression and might just land you the job.

Revive – Success Story

I have used Revive a few times now when cleaning a large gym’s locker rooms and spa areas. Not only does it give me peace of mind to know it won’t affect stainless, but it does a fantastic job cleaning the grout and tile. I have used several different products in the same place and Revive, by far, gives me the best cleaning results.

All the best in 2011.

Steven DeBiase

Introducing Revive!

Modern Stone debuts a new technology in the stone and tile industry with the launch of Revive – an aggressive acid replacement technology cleaner that is safe when used around metals. Revive’s unique formula attacks dirt and hard water stains, while being safe is splashed on stainless steel, chrome or brass. Just simply rinse off any cleaner residue, and continue to work. Now contractors can clean with confidence when working around their customers expensive appliances and fixtures.

Modern Stone creates Select Seal

Select Seal has become the newest addition to the Modern Stone line of sealers. Select Seal offers strong oil & water resistance to many types of porous surfaces at a moderate price point. It’s highly effective and economical design should make it the product of choice for contractors when compared to other offerings within this category.