What’s the difference between staining and etching?

Surface staining is where a chemical or substance has left a coloured mark on the surface. This stain/mark may be sitting on the surface or may have penetrated the stone – depending upon how porous the stone is. Sealers will buy you some time to protect against 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. In many cases, stone surfaces are actually etched not stained.

Marble and limestone are composed of calcite, which is highly sensitive to the acids in everyday food items, which corrodes the surface (etching) 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 and bacterial infestation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Australia - NSW

Stain Stop
M: 0414543854
E: info@stainstop.com.au

StoneWiz Australia
M: 0415 353 999
E: enquiry@stonewiz.com.au
W: www.stonewiz.com.au

Marble Renewal
Unit 10 / 75 Corish Circle, Banksmeadow NSW 2019
P: 02-9695 7444 Fax: 02-9695 7144
E: info@marblerenewal.com.au

Australia - VIC

Resin 8 Coating
Malvern East
M: 0414 987 542
E: heath@resin8coatings.com.au

Mirror Image Marble Pty Ltd
PO Box 1208,
Moorabbin, VIC 3189
P: 03 9532 1758

StoneWiz Australia
M: 0415 353 999
E: enquiry@stonewiz.com.au

Australia - WA

Marble Seal
M: 0402 274 361
E: info@marbleseal.com.au

Sealwerx WA
15 Ruse St Osbourne Park WA 6017
M: 0400 362 360
E: garry@sealwerx.com.au

Australia - QLD

Stoneseal Australia
26 Boongala Road
Broadbeach Waters, QLD 4128
Contact: David Townley
M: 0407 968 178
E: david@stonesealaustralia.com.au
E: www.stonesealaustralia.com.au

Australia - SA

Best Marble & Tile Care
Servicing all of S.A.
M: 0418 844 415
E: bestmarble@gmail.com
E: www.bestmarble.com.au

Australia - TAS

KAM Joinery
P: 03 6245 0599
M: 0407 872 782
E: adam@kamjoinery.com.au


Distributor – Opal  LLC – Luxury Surfaces
Shawn McNinch
P: 801 652 9187
E: shawn@opalluxurysurfaces.com


Distributor – Opal  LLC – Luxury Surfaces
Shawn McNinch
P: 801 652 9187
E: shawn@opalluxurysurfaces.com


Distributor – TCM Asia Co., Ltd.
P: +66 869 439 834
E: stonecare@tcm-asia.com
W: www.tcm-asia.com