This morning I received a call from a frustrated caller from Colorado…
I have gray flamed granite on my floors as well as my kitchen countertops. The trouble is that even though the floor had been sealed by the contractor, they used a water base sealer and it is still staining. What do you recommend to first clean the floor of stains and then seal the granite to prevent stains in the future. By the way, I have used acetone and a poultice from the hardware store with limited success on the stains.
One last thing, I would like to have the floor color enhanced, but the enhancer I tried made the floor black. It is too dark.
It sounds like you are experiencing several problems. First off, it sounds like the water base sealer is not doing the job of protecting your granite in general. Secondly, you have used several products on the exiting stains without complete success, and lastly, you would like a subtle color enhancement.
Let’s talk first about the general nature of ‘flamed’ granite. The technical term is “Thermal Finish”. This is the process where slabs of ‘certain types’ of granite go through a machine (it can also be done by hand) where high temperature torch heads heat up the crystals until they pop, leaving the granite with a heavy textured surface. Granite with large crystals are more coarse than granite with very fine crystals.
This ‘flamed finish’ is VERY porous. This technique is most often used for commercial sidewalks to provide a slip resistant sidewalk or courtyard finish. This type of finish requires additional treatment with sealers to prevent stains.
Let’s start with the best product to remove stains. I suggest using HMK R54 Stripper/Stain Remover on those tough stained area. You will then need to neutralize these areas with HMK R55 Intensive Cleaner in a suggested dilution rate of 1:4, 1-part R55 to 4-parts clean water. Rinse repeatedly until clean.
Next, prepare floor and counters for sealers with a general cleaning of the same HMK R55 Intensive Cleaner product in a 1:10 ratio. Mix 1-part R55 with 10-parts water, scrub and rinse.
Now you are ready to Protect your Granite. And since you also want color enhancing and ease of maintenance (he indicated that mops were shredded by the course texture), I suggest the following Two-Step process.
First, Impregnate the pores of the flamed granite with HMK S34 Silicone Impregnator. This solvent based product penetrates deeply into the pores of the stone to provide protection from grease, oils, and food stains. Allow to dry for 24 hours.
Secondly, apply an Acrylic topical sealer like HMK S35 Matte Finish Sealer. This product will fill the large open pores caused by the ‘thermal finish’ and also lay on the surface to help make cleaning much easier as dirt does not get trapped in the pores. This product also provides a subtle color enhancing effect that you desire.
Finally, for weekly cleaning and mopping, we suggest using HMK P24 Stone Soap. This is a pH neutral, No-Rinse cleaner that is highly concentrated that supports the HMK sealers and does not break down the sealer protection. With regular use, P24 Stone Soap lays down even more conditioners to protect the stone and to enhance the beauty of your granite floor.