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FAQ

Cleaning, maintenance, and care tips for porcelain stoneware floors and coverings.

TECHNICAL SUGGESTIONS

Cleaning & Maintenance

The complete success of an ARIOSTEA floor is due not only to the technical and aesthetic qualities of the material but also to a combination of elements (substrate, bonding layer, expansion joints, etc.) that constitute a real flooring system.

A correct execution of the installation operations is therefore essential to ensure a perfect final result. The installation can be done using either adhesives or cement mortar. When choosing the most suitable adhesive and the application methods, it is recommended to follow the instructions provided by the adhesive manufacturer. In areas subject to high traffic or heavy loads, installation using the adhesive system is advisable.

ARIOSTEA materials are natural, both in terms of the raw materials used and the special production technologies aimed at simulating the randomness of nature; therefore, chromatic variations are a distinguishing feature that the skill of the installer can enhance, allowing for unique and unrepeatable creations.

To fully enhance the characteristics of the material, it is recommended to follow the following instructions during installation:

  • Lay out several pieces on the floor (at least 3 square meters) to check the overall effect.
  • Install the material by drawing from multiple boxes. Do not immerse the material in water before installation.
  • Especially on polished surfaces, do not mark the top part to be installed with pencils or markers for cutting.
  • Wait 48-72 hours before subjecting the floor to normal foot traffic.
1. Grouting the floor

In the case of installation using standard-setting adhesives, grout the floor after 24/48 hours; if rapid-setting adhesives are used, grout after 4 hours.

Especially on polished surfaces, use cementitious grouts with tone-on-tone colors, avoiding dark-colored grouts on light materials, and vice versa. For grouting these surfaces, do not use epoxy grouts or flexible mortars based on synthetic materials (Flexfugues), especially if they contrast with the color of the material, and do not add additives/latex to the grout. These additives make it extremely difficult to remove residues with normal cleaning products. If you still decide to use this type of grout, always test them first on the material.

Spread the grout over the entire surface of the material using a rubber float.

Grout small surfaces one at a time removing excess quantities with a sponge or a damp cloth (with clean water only) or use a special machine to remove the excess grout when the layer of grout is still damp.

2. Jointing and Final Cleaning

When the floor has been laid using normal setting adhesives, joint the slabs after 24/48 hours, in the case of quick setting adhesives, after 4 hours. – Especially with honed and polished materials, use cement-based grout with tone on tone colours (if possible avoid dark coloured grouts like black,blue, red with light coloured materials and vice-versa).

For jointing these surfaces, do not use epoxy grouts or flexible mortar with a synthetic base (Flexfughe) especially if the colour contrasts with the material and do not add additives/ latex to the grout. These products in fact make it extremely difficult to eliminate the residues with normal cleaning products. Should this kind of grout be used anyway, take care of testing it on the material beforehand.

  • Spread the grout with a rubber spatula all over the material surface.
  • Joint small areas at a time, removing the excess with damp sponges or rags (using only clean water) or with special machines for removing the excess grout while this is still damp.
  • Proper initial cleaning is fundamental both for enhancing its aesthetic and shine characteristics and for restoring its original characteristics of easy cleaning and ease of ordinary maintenance. It is therefore very important that initial cleaning is carried out immediately after installation, rubbing hard with acidbased products, followed by abundant rinsing with water. In this way it will be possible to eliminate the residues of grout, adhesive, cement, etc. It is possible to use any of the detergents available on the market, with the exclusion only of products containing hydrofluoric acids (composites and derivates) according to EN standard 14411.
  • The floor must be carefully protected. Should it be necessary to carry out other operations such as decorating, plumbing or any other kind of work, once the floor has been installed it is advisable to cover it with PVC or AIRBALLS sheets or cloths.
3. After Cleaning

We recommend proper protection of the installed floor. Should it be necessary to carry out other operations such as distempering, plumbing work or any other type of work, we recommend, after the installation is completed, to cover the floor with PVC sheets, AIRBALLS or fabrics. It is also necessary to wait 48/72 hours before subjecting the floor to normal traffic.

The site installation service is a global offer of products and guaranteed services in which each phase is integrated with the following ones to achieve the best aesthetic and functional final result. In particular, all products are designed by the companies being part of the group to obtain greater performances in association with Ariostea products. The site installation of Ariostea wall and floor coverings is available for all users (designers, companies, buyers) who want to be sure of having a high quality result. Our squared rectified products supplied in single work size and, in particular, those with a polished surface are characterised by high precision dimensions.

Therefore, technically speaking, the products can be installed using either a jointless or open joint method even though the latter is considered more reliable and safe (in some countries it is the only one that can be adopted). In fact, using the open joint method it is possible to reduce the elasticity modulus of the covering layer thus reducing the risk of the product lifting or coming loose. The open joint method makes any installation imperfections less noticeable and makes it easier to check that the joints are correctly filled and will last in time. When jointing, the use of flexible mortars or synthetic based mortars, especially contrasting ones, are not recommended in particular for products with a polished surface.

FAQ

How do you clean high-tech marble and stone floors?

To clean high-tech marble and stone floors use water which is kept constantly clean especially for light coloured products.

For large surfaces or high traffic areas (very dirty) such as shopping centres, airports, stations and public areas we suggest the use of floor washing machines that suck up the liquids and residues of detergent.

Pre-Polished or Natural Surface

The surface is practically non-porous therefore we do not recommend any surface waterproofing treatment which in this case is not at all necessary.

For every day cleaning simply use neutral or alkaline detergents diluted in water in the proportions recommended by the manufacturer of the detergent.

Textured or Non-Slip Surface

Cleaning operations and products are the same as those mentioned above, with the addition of a few simple suggestions:

  • rub energically, if necessary with a brush with suitable bristles;
  • if possible follow the movement of the texture;
  • rinse abundantly with water.
Polished Surface

For daily maintenance use neutral or alkaline detergents and if necessary use microfibre cloths.

Rinse with water making sure you dry any excess water to avoid marks caused by residues of detergent or particularly calcareous water.

What are high-tech high-tech marbles and high-tech natural stones?

High-tech marble is not merely a superficial imitation of quarried marble; it is the result of the re-elaboration of materials which have always been at the heart of architectural creations. A modern and complex industrial process reproduces with natural raw materials the timeless beauty of stones enriching it with optimal technical qualities in terms of resistance and durability over time.

Technology is able to offer us environment-friendly materials that represent, on the one side, a continuity of the culture and taste shaped over the centuries and, on the other, innovation through the new performances that broaden the range of possible applications. In other words, Ariostea high-tech marbles and stones represent:

  • an opportunity for everyone to appreciate the advantages of a high quality, functional and lasting material;
  • an alternative to quarried materials also from a bio-ecological point of view.

Floors: tips and general warnings

The success of a floor manufactured by Ariostea is not only given by the technical and aesthetic characteristics of the material but also by a combination of elements that represent a true flooring system, such as the adhesive layer, expansion joints and bed. Correct laying operations are also necessary to guarantee the best result.

For the best result always follow the following floor laying operations:

  • to check the overall effect, lay a few pieces on the floor first, (at least 3 square meters);
  • use products from different boxes;
  • do not soak the material in water before laying;
  • tap the material to eliminate all hollow spaces if a traditional laying system is used, until all the liquid cement comes out of the joints;
  • when cutting, do not mark the top part of the product to be laid with a pencil, especially on polished surfaces.
  • finally, wait 48-72 hours before walking on the floor.

Does the surface need to be cleaned after laying?

The floor should be thoroughly cleaned straight after laying to completely eliminate all cement-based residues deriving from mortar, adhesives and epoxy residues that may be come out of the joints. Specific products suitable for the different surfaces must be used. See the technical data sheets for the right detergents to be used. Once you have chosen the most suitable detergent, scrub hard and rinse abundantly with water to eliminate any traces leftover.

Thanks to the production process used, the surface of materials manufactured by Ariostea is practically waterproof. For this reason, dirt is unable to penetrate and merely needs to be removed from the surface of the material. By cleaning the floor adequately you will enhance the aesthetic features of the material used.

What are traces of cement-based mortar?

Traces of cement-based mortar are grouting residues that may be left on the slab surface after it has been laid.

This grout must be removed correctly, otherwise it could attract dirt and require greater maintenance interventions later.

Do the products manufactured by Ariostea require special installations?

Laying operations can be carried out either using adhesives or cement-based mortar.

When choosing the type of adhesive and the methods of application, it is important to follow the technical specifications of the adhesive manufacturer. In areas subject to heavy traffic or heavy loads, it is advisable to use adhesive to lay the floor.

Does Ariostea offer a research and design service?

Yes, Ariostea offers its customers a whole team of designers, that develop customised installation projects according to specific requirements. Complex designs are created and/or re-elaborated so that they can later be accomplished with extreme precision, using the new water-jet cutting technique.

Skilled personnel assist the designers and illustrate the technical-functional characteristics of the products manufactured by Ariostea in order to solve specific project problems in the shortest possible time.

Does Ariostea provide a site installation service?

Yes, Ariostea has a team of highly qualified technicians for the installation of floors; they use utilise top quality laying material to obtain a perfect aesthetic and function result that meets customer expectations.

Can Ariostea marbles and stones be polished once they have been installed? And what about a few years later?

Ariostea does not recommend this solution because the materials are not easy to polish once they have been laid due to their waterproof and resistance characteristics.

Furthermore, by polishing the slabs, you could bring out defects, or cause damages or imperfections that would lead to an expensive replacement.

Do the polished products manufactured by Ariostea need to be treated after they have been installed?

Ariostea does not consider necessary the treatment of products once they have been installed as they are non-absorbent and have a high coefficient against stain absorption; in addition they are easy to clean.

I have purchased Ariostea products and have noticed chromatic differences from one piece to another.

The chromatic variations of the various slabs are a special qualitative feature that a skilled installer can enhance to obtain unique and unrepeatable works. The raw materials and technologies used by Ariostea are natural and tend to reproduce as faithfully as possible the random characteristics offered by nature.

To lay the material, we recommend you contact skilled and qualified installers who will enhance and highlight the chromatic features of the products in the best possible way.

What are the advantages of Ariostea marbles and stones?

Compared to quarried stones and marbles, the Ariostea high-tech marbles and stones offer constant quality and superior technical characteristics. Materials originated from natural geological processes are characterised by important variations in terms of structural imperfections and chromatic variations.

The electronic management of the production process of Ariostea products guarantees constant structural quality and innovative technical solutions creating random chromatic variations, avoiding repetitive products; in this way each slab of high-tech marble or stone is unique, different from all others. Furthermore, the technical characteristics of Ariostea products make them superior compared to quarried products, consequently they are ideal for any use or application (interior and exterior floors, floating floors, internal and external walls, ventilated walls, decorations and mosaics), remain unchanged over time.

Do Ariostea marbles and stones contain solvents or adhesives?

Ariostea marbles and stones do not present in their structure solvents nor adhesives since they are the result of a patented production cycle that guarantees totally natural raw materials.

Can Ariostea high-tech products be used over floor heating?

Yes, you can use Ariostea high-tech products even with floor heating, because they are resistant to high temperatures, keeping their performances unaltered.

Can I use Ariostea products outdoors?

Yes, thanks to their superior technical characteristics in terms of resistance to atmospheric agents, such as frost and rain, the products manufactured by Ariostea are also ideal for exteriors (outdoor floors, exterior coverings, ventilated walls), and they remain perfectly bright and easy to clean in time.

Ariostea products have no application limits, thanks to their hardness, resistance to absorption, fire, frost and chemical agents.

Is it true that the materials manufactured by Ariostea are more expensive than quarried materials?

No, it isn’t! Ariostea offers high-tech marbles and stones with high aesthetic and technical characteristics at extremely competitive prices. Nowadays a top quality porcelain product can be quite competitive compared to a glazed ceramic slab.

When comparing the two products, you must take into account the advantages of the Ariostea products, such as the minimum thickness, making them lighter, their high resistance to abrasion, frost, stains and chemical agents.

What is porcelain stoneware?

It is a special mix of inorganic and non-metallic raw materials that are processed with a specific technology to obtain a completely vitrified product with high technical performances, that guarantees resistance to wear and tear in time.

Porcelain stoneware is particularly interesting for slip proof applications. It also presents a considerable density that is obtained through firing at high temperatures making the product resistant to scratching and cracking. Ariostea stones and marbles combine the supreme technical characteristics of porcelain stoneware with the unchanged beauty of quarried stone.

What are Ariostea marble and stone materials?

Ariostea high-tech marble and stone products are slabs produced in the factory using state-of-the-art technologies that offer an effective alternative to quarried marble. Nowadays technology can offer us materials that allows us to follow the tastes and culture shaped over the centuries and innovation allows us to improve technical characteristics in terms of durability and resistance.

Ariostea high-tech marble and stone products offer the possibility of recreating rare stones with the same aesthetic features of quarried materials but with superior technical characteristics that resist over time.

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