Flooring | Main Topic |
Recognized state of the art
For cleaning natural and artificial stone, the generally accepted technology is stated in the FRT
guide to mineral floorings. Why is this important? According to the German Civil Code, all
service providers must comply with these standards unless another agreement has been made.
The guide was developed by the European Cleaning Hygiene
and Research Association (FRT) in Krefeld, Germany, led by
Dr. Patrick Casper, and signed by the National Trade Guild of
Cleaners, the National Association of German Stone
Masons and the national trade associations for concrete-based
stone. Deutsche Steinzeug AG, the renowned German ceramics
manufacturer, collaborated in developing standards for its field.
Apart from wood, natural stone is one of the oldest flooring
used by man. The varieties of stone and their highly
diverse characteristics and surfaces are almost inexhaustible.
Furthermore, there are also many cleaning recommendations
for mineral floorings. Unfortunately, these often depend on the
and are not always useful for service providers (e.g.
“Use warm water and soap.”). Slip resistance is also a requirement.
One typical property of natural stone is its capillarity. This means
that between the crystals, there are interconnected cavities. This
is important to know because basic cleaning only removes those
close to the surface. Classical basic cleaning can never lead to a
“like new” condition.
Categories of artificial stone
Artificial stone is classified according to type.
Agglomerate marble and quartz: As a rule, polyester resins are
Nero Assoluto – cement residue still containing dirt.
Photos: Herbert Fahrenkrog (Magna Naturstein)
mixed with the natural stone. Agglomerate marbles consist of
and pieces of marble mixed with synthetic binders and
cast in blocks. After hardening, it is used to manufacture panels
or floor tiles.
This product was formerly a low-budget material. It has lost
since the 1980s – at least those types that resemble
artificial stone. Newer varieties are very fine-grained and colorful.
Their use is limited by the B1 fire classification for escape
The situation is different for quartz agglomerates,
which have been on the market for about ten years. Quartz, a
very hard mineral, is cast in sheets and processed. Its high
has popularized it and led to frequent use.
Visually, there is barely a discernible difference.
Artificial stone: The classic scrap utilization material. Pieces of
rock, usually marble and limestone, are mixed with the binding
element – cement – plus dyes and then laid. Unfortunately, they
are usually “treated” afterwards with various substances that
hinder proper cleaning. This group of materials includes cement
boards, which are now back in fashion.
Ceramics: The first artificial substance used by humans was
ceramics. Applying heat to natural materials such as clay
granite remnants) creates a new material with the
Lime-sand bricks from Anröchte with scratch traces need gentle
GLOBAL CLEANING | ISSUE 2017 15