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FAQs

Q?

What is STAIN STOP?

A.

A specially formulated resin based coating system that is clear and can be applied to many types of natural stones including marble, limestone, sandstone etc.

STAIN STOP utilising CLEARSTONE is a specially formulated coating that is applied using specifically developed techniques to afford the stones surface outstanding stain, etching and chemical resistance.

STAIN STOP is finished in such a manner that it does not look artificial or plastic coated and appears as a natural stone factory finish.

STAIN STOP is the ‘branded’ and registered name of the tried and tested stone coating system developed and manufactured in Australia by Innovative Composites Pty Ltd.

Q?

Why use a coating system on stone?

A.

The standard way of protecting stone is to apply ‘sealers’.

We have not found a sealer that can prevent ‘etching’, or for that matter, fill all the imperfections in the surface of the stone that can harbor bacteria. If you look closely at the natural stone’s surface it is full of open fissures, cavities, cracks and faults that look, from a distance, like dull areas on the surface or a different coloured vein that is a softer material than the main stone. These imperfections add to the stone’s aesthetic appearance and can be the reason for choosing the stone in the first place.

STAIN STOP utilising CLEARSTONE puts a barrier over the entire surface like a layer of thin clear liquid glass filling the imperfections leaving a smooth surface that prevents any materials/chemicals from coming in contact with the natural stone’s surface.

Q?

I have used a stone sealer on my marble bench top, why won’t this stop my top from staining or etching?

A.

Stone sealers are absorbed by the natural stone as most natural stone except for granite is porous. Penetrating or impregnating sealers do not protect the surface of the stone as they sit beneath the surface. They will help protect a stone from staining for a limited time, but they will never protect a stone from etching. No stone sealer will guarantee against been stain proof, they will say that they are stain resistant. The stain resistants is based on time. That is, it will take a varying amount of time for the stone to stain depending on which type of sealer you use. STAIN STOP resin will never stain no matter how long something has been left on it. Sealers in general also need to be re-applied on average every 6 to 12 months.

Q?

How long will my protective coating last?

A.

STAIN STOP utilising CLEARSTONE comes with a 10-year guarantee against stains and etching. We expect the resin coating to outlast the kitchen or bathroom cabinets the stone surface is sitting on. STAIN STOP does not need to be re-applied periodically like a sealer does.

STAIN STOP is the only stone protection system in the world that will guarantee against your precious stone from etching. No stone sealer will guarantee against etching.

Q?

What if my surface becomes scuffed or damaged after several years of use?

A.

A simple light sand and polish will bring the coating back to new again. Should the surface become badly damaged in one spot it can be repaired seamlessly.

Q?

What is the difference between staining and etching?

A.

Surface staining is where a chemical has left a coloured mark on the surface. This stain/mark may be sitting on the surface or have penetrated into the stone depending on how porous the stone is. Sealers will buy you some time to remove the offending chemical before the surface is permanently stained. This will vary depending on the sealer, stone and chemical involved, some chemicals can stain in minutes.

Etching is a totally different problem. A lot of problems that are associated with a majority of stone surfaces are that they are actually etched not stained.

Marble and Limestone are composed of calcite which is highly sensitive to acids spills which corrodes the surface (etching) thus damaging the polished or honed finish. Even acids in water can affect some stones leaving a white ring from a glass left on a bench top.

Etching can appear as a blotch or dull spot, have a lighter coloured (white) bleached appearance, feel rougher, or feel and look as if the surface is pitted. Severe etching can lead to the surface crumbling and flaking.

Some stones like marble and limestone can also be porous and are susceptible to both staining and etching at the same time.

Some stones such as sandstone and basalts are not receptive to a high-honed or polished finish due to their open grains. This can make them more susceptible to staining and etching.

Once the surface is etched how can it be restored?

The only way to fix etched stone is to mechanically grind the surface until you get to unaffected stone below the etching. The depth of the grinding will vary depending on the severity the etching and how long it has been allowed to continue as the pitted surface will continue to collect acids.

Q?

How do you repair damaged Stone in general?

A.

The stone needs to be surface chemically washed and/or ground deep enough to remove all visible signs of anything that was not part of the original stone. Our Licensed applicator can advise you on this. The amount of surface grinding/honing will vary depending on the level of damage and the type of stone. The standard process for rejuvenating stone is to surface grind and hone using water and paste from course through to fine diamond disc, requiring several messy processes depending on the level of shine required. Once this is complete, you are still left with no protection for the stone from etching and staining.

With the STAIN STOP process the stone can be wet ground and vacuum dry ground to 120grit, usually in only two stages. Then the coating is applied. Any fine scratches from the grinding process simply disappear. Once the coating is cured it is vacuum dry sanded to the finish desired. Then either hand or machine buffed to a gloss if required.

Note: The cost of rejuvenating the stone is built into the STAIN STOP process. And the stone is now fully protected.

Q?

Does stone coated with STAIN STOP feel different?

A.

One of the biggest challenges when developing the STAIN STOP process was to maintain the natural appearance of the stone. We went to great lengths to ensure that the finishing process gave a natural stone look on all levels of finish from honed through to full gloss to the point where most stone manufacturers cannot tell the difference.

Q?

Does stone coated with STAIN STOP look any different?

A.

In most cases it does not look any different, but the coating does tend to enhance some stone and bring out the natural characteristics of the stone. We recommend you have a sample piece of your stone coated first. You will be amazed at the depth it can give to stone.

Q?

Where can STAIN STOP be used?

A.

The STAIN STOP coating is ideal for both commercial and domestic application.

STAIN STOP coating can be used for bar tops, kitchen tops, vanity tops, furniture, etc.

STAIN STOP can be either applied prior to, or following, installation of a new surface or can be applied after rejuvenating existing stone tops in just about any application that natural stone is used. At the moment the STAIN STOP coating is mainly used on bench tops.

Q?

What about joins in the stone?

A.

The STAIN STOP coating being around 1-2 mm thick and is put on as a ‘flow coat/s’ will cover any recesses and step in the on-site joins including grouted joins.

How impact resistance is STAIN STOP?

As the STAIN STOP coating is 1-2mm thick, and also having extra additives mixed in it to improve the coating performance, it gives protection from both impact and thermal shock. (The stone its self does not come contact at all.)

Q?

Is STAIN STOP scratch resistant?

A.

Following the initial curing of the stone coating, the surface attains a hardness of approximately 2 [similar to that of limestone] on a MOH scale [used for stone] of 1 to 10 with the maximum hardness of approximately 4-5 [similar to that of marble] being reached by three months, depending on the local temperatures. Scratches may occur prior to full surface hardening but these can be easily removed.

Can hot containers be placed on stone coated with STAIN STOP?

It is not recommended to place hot pans or hot dishes directly on the surface – always use a protective mat.

Q?

Can STAIN STOP be resurfaced?

A.

Yes! The surface can be re-polished at any time.

If you wish to change the level of gloss it is just a matter of re sanding the surface and polishing to the level required.

If in extraordinary circumstances the surface has become heavily scratched it can be re-coated with the STAIN STOP.

Note: If the STAIN STOP coating is damaged in a small area it can be locally repaired without visible trace.

Q?

Can STAIN STOP be repaired if chipped?

A.

Yes! Chips can be repaired locally and when repaired you will not see the join in the resin clear coating.

Q?

Can STAIN STOP be used to repair chips prior to coating?

A.

Yes, the STAIN STOP coating can be coloured, tinted or filled with stone granules and used as filler for repairs before being applied. It also adds strength to brittle stones that have fault lines and cracks.

Q?

How is STAIN STOP coating maintained?

A.

The stone coating is a hard-wearing durable surface that is easy to maintain using soapy water or standard cleaning materials - spills simply wipe off. Refer to our ‘Product Care’ details.

Note: Do not use sharp knives or blades directly on the bench top’s surface – always use a chopping board.

Q?

Is STAIN STOP stain/chemical resistance?

A.

Yes, the STAIN STOP coating has been tested to Australian Standards 2924.2 -1998 and this report is available on request.

Q?

Who can apply STAIN STOP?

A.

STAIN STOP should only be applied by an authorised applicator. It is important that we use these applicators to ensure you get a professional result.

The STAIN STOP coating comes with a warranty when applied by our applicators.

Q?

Can STAIN STOP be applied to granite?

A.

The stone coating has been developed specifically for marble, limestone and sandstone. However, it may be possible to coat some granites but it is recommended that a sample be subjected for trial with our coating. Please contact us for further information.

Q?

Can STAIN STOP be used to high light a stone

A.

Stones such as unfilled ‘Travertine’ have natural cavities which can be filled with clear composite to highlight the features in the stone.

Our applicators can, on request, also inlay other materials like timber veneer, art work, etc.

Q?

Why did we develop STAIN STOP?

A.

We firmly believe that coating the natural stone with a resin composite is the only way to fix 100 per cent the problems associated with stone. This gives the customer a long term solution, without compromising the appearance of the stone and the freedom to enjoy having a natural stone product. See our ‘Chemistry and Stone’ document.

Natural stone being a product of Mother Nature means that each piece has its own individual characteristics and is composed of different composites with varying performances, STAIN STOP give the stone a high performance even surface. As marble and most natural stones are opulent and bring value to a property they need to be easy maintained while still being livable. STAIN STOP is the complete commercial solution for stone.

STAIN STOP has been developed to turn marble, limestone and sandstone into an elegant WORKING worry free surface.

STAIN STOP... the ultimate in stone protection.