Disher Cabinets Inc.

Facts about Natural Stone




Natural stone is an investment that will give you many years of beautiful service. Stone is a natural product and simple care and maintenance will keep it looking beautiful.


Granite, marble and other natural stone are natural occurring materials. Each type of stone is unique and will vary in color, texture, and marking. Color, vein, and shade variances, fissure cracks, and pits are normal characteristics of natural stone.




Color Cleaning
Seams Spills
Cutouts Stain Removal
Stone Finishes Making a Poultice
Care & Precautions Applying a Poultice
Text Box: Color
Stain Removal
Stone Finishes
Making a Poultice
Care & Precautions
Applying a Poultice










It is important you are aware of the following facts about natural stone.



No two slabs of granite or marble or other natural stone will be the same; therefore variation in color and texture are normal and expected. Some colors are more uniform than others; however, even in a uniform color large black spots, a vein, or an off color mark are still possible. These naturally occurring variances can not be avoided when cutting. Top of page.



Granite and marble have seams where two slabs are joined together. Seams are visible to the eye and noticeable to the touch. There may be a noticeable difference in color and texture where two slabs are seamed. Seams on veined or patterned materials will not match. The fabricator has absolute design decision on the number and location of seams. The number and location of seams is based on the amount of material available, size of material, cutouts, manageability of pieces, room layout and installation considerations.

Top of page.



When using under mount sinks and cook tops the fabricator will not deviate from the factory specifications for the cutout. Each under mount sink has a different reveal and you should be aware of how the reveal will look before selecting your sink. All items needed for cutouts or drillings must be selected prior to fabrication. Cook tops and sinks must be on the job site the day of installation. Top of page.


Stone Finishes

A polished finish on the stone has a glossy surface that reflects light and emphasizes the color and marking of the material.

A honed finish is a satin smooth surface with relatively little light reflection. Top of page.


Information From the

Marble Institute of America:


Care & Precautions

Many common foods and drinks contain acids that will etch, stain or dull the surface of many stones. It is recommended you use coasters under all glasses. You should not place hot items directly on the stone surface. Use trivets or mats under hot dishes and placemats under china, ceramics, silver or other objects that can scratch the surface. Top of page.


Cleaning Procedures and Recommendations

Natural stone can be classified into two categories according to its composition: a siliceous stone or calcareous stone. Knowing the difference is critical when selecting cleaning products.


Know Your Stone
Siliceous stone is composed mainly of silica or quartz-like particles. It tends to be very durable and relatively easy to clean with mild acidic cleaning solutions. Types of siliceous stone include granite, slate, sandstone, quartzite, brownstone and bluestone.
Calcareous stone is composed mainly of calcium carbonate. It is sensitive to acidic cleaning products and frequently requires different cleaning procedures than siliceous stone. Types of calcareous stone include marble, travertine, limestone and onyx.


Clean stone surfaces with stone soap (available at hardware stores) or mild liquid dishwashing detergent and warm water. Use a soft cloth for best results. Do not use products that contain lemon, vinegar, or other acids on marble or other calcareous stones. Rinse the surface thoroughly after washing with the soap solution and dry with a soft cloth. Do not use scouring powders or creams; these products contain abrasives that may scratch the stone. Top of page.



Certain products can stain natural stone, especially light colored material and porous stone like marble. Blot the spill with a paper towel immediately. Do not wipe the area, this could spread the spill. Flush the area with plain water and mild soap and rinse several times. Dry the area thoroughly with a soft cloth. Repeat as necessary. Top of page.


Stain Removal

Surface stains can often be removed by cleaning with an appropriate cleaning product or household chemical. Deep-seated or stubborn stains may require using a poultice.



Oil-based (grease, tar, cooking oil, milk, cosmetics)

An oil-based stain will darken the stone and normally must be chemically dissolved so the source of the stain can be flushed or rinsed away. Clean gently with a soft, liquid cleanser that contains bleach OR ammonia OR mineral spirits OR acetone. DO NOT MIX AMMONIA AND BLEACH. THIS COMBINATION CREATES A TOXIC AND LETHAL GAS. KR2 upholstery cleaner can also be used (found at Eckerd's).



 Organic (coffee, tea, fruit, tobacco, paper, food, leaves, bark)

May cause a pinkish-brown stain and may disappear after the source of the stain has been removed from the surface. Clean with 12% hydrogen peroxide (hair bleaching strength) and a few drops of ammonia.



Metal (iron, rust, copper, bronze)

Metal stains must be removed using a poultice. (See section on making a poultice) Deep-seated, rusty stains are extremely difficult to remove and the stone may be permanently stained.



Ink (magic markers, pen ink)

Clean with bleach or hydrogen peroxide (light colored stone only) or lacquer thinner or acetone (dark stones only). Top of page.


Making and Using a Poultice

A poultice is a liquid cleaner or chemical mixed with a white absorbent material to form a paste about the consistency of peanut butter. The poultice is spread over the stained area to a thickness of about ¼” to ½” with a wood or plastic spatula, covered with plastic and left to work for 24 to 48 hours. The liquid cleaner or chemical will draw out the stain into the absorbent material. Poultice procedures may have to be repeated to thoroughly remove a stain, but some stains may never be completely removed.


Poultice Materials

Poultice materials include kaolin, fuller’s earth, whiting, diatomaceous earth, powdered chalk, white molding plaster or talc. Approximately one pound of prepared poultice material will cover one square foot. Do not use whiting or iron-type clays such as fuller’s earth with acid chemicals. The reaction will cancel the effect of the poultice. A poultice can also be prepared using white cotton balls, white paper towels, or gauze pads.


Cleaning Agents or Chemicals



Oil-based Stains: Poultice with baking soda and water OR one of the powdered poultice materials and mineral spirits.



Organic Stains: Poultice with one of the powdered poultice materials and 12% hydrogen peroxide solution OR use acetone instead of the hydrogen peroxide.



Iron Stains: Poultice with diatomaceous earth and a commercially available rust remover. Rust stains are particularly difficult to remove.



Copper Stains: Poultice with one of the powdered poultice materials and ammonia. Copper stains are particularly difficult to remove.



Biological Stains: Poultice with one of the poultice materials and dilute ammonia OR bleach OR hydrogen peroxide. DO NOT MIX AMMONIA AND BLEACH. THIS COMBINATION CREATES A TOXIC AND LETHAL GAS. Top of page.


Applying the Poultice

1.    Prepare the poultice. If using powder mix the cleaning agent or chemical to a thick paste the consistency of peanut butter. If using paper, soak in the chemical and let drain. Do not let the   liquid drip.

2.    Wet the stained area with distilled water.

3.    Apply the poultice to the stained are about ¼” to ½” thick and extend the poultice beyond the stained area by about one inch.

4.    Cover the poultice with plastic and tape the edges to seal shut.

5.    Allow the poultice to dry thoroughly, usually 24-48 hours. The drying process is what pulls the stain out of the stone and into the poultice material. After about 24 hours remove the plastic and allow the poultice to dry.

6.    Remove the poultice from the stain; rinse with distilled water and buff dry with a soft cloth.

7.    Repeat the poultice application if the stain is not removed. It may take up to five applications for difficult stains. Top of page.



























































































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Granites and marbles are quarried throughout the world in a variety of colors with varying mineral compositions.  In most cases, marbles and granites can be identified by visible particles at the surface of the stone.

Marble will normally show "veins" or high concentrations of minerals.

The minerals in Granite will typically appear as small flecks distributed uniformly in the stone.

Each type of stone is unique and will vary in color, texture and marking. 

Sandstones vary widely in color due to different minerals and clays found in the stone. Sandstone is light gray to yellow or red.  A dark reddish brown sandstone, called Brownstone, has commonly been used in the northeastern United States and eastern Canada. Bluestone is a dense, hard, time-grained sandstone of greenish-gray or bluish gray color and is quarried in the eastern United States. 

Limestone is a widely used building stone with colors typically light gray, tan or buff.  A distinguishing characteristic of many limestones is the presence of fossils that are frequently visible in the stone surface. 

Slate is a dark green, black, gray, dark red or multi-colored.  It is most commonly used as a flooring material and for roof tiles and is often distinguished by its distinct by its distinct cleft texture. Top of page.