Marblecleaning.org is a private consumer information and advocacy organization founded and run by a small group of stone experts and industry leaders. It is dedicated to safe-guarding the interests of the consumers of stone and stone care products. Through education, regulation and the establishment of credible industry standards, marblecleaning.org is committed to giving the consumer a voice in the stone industry and to providing them with a forum to seek free expert counsel and unbiased guidance.
The prevailing thought in the natural stone industry has always been that it doesn’t take a stone expert to buy and sell stone or install cuts of stone (tiles or slabs) that have been finished in some mysterious way in some far off factory. But when it comes to treating those rocks, everyone acknowledges that you’d better know stone, because there is nothing standard about it and its maintenance requirements.
Care and maintenance considerations should never be deferred until after stone has been specified or installed because wrong decisions made, and/or wrong mechanical techniques implemented before the cutting of the ribbon will lead to situations that are poorly serviceable or not serviceable at all. The fact is, however, the vast majority of people in the stone industry know just about as much about stone as the typical consumer.
The limited standards and lack of regulations have left consumers taken advantage of and virtually unprotected, because—with only a precious few exceptions—there are no significant and enforceable industry standards they can relate to.
Erroneous classification of the various stones is disgraceful—not to mention fraudulent. There is no credible and comprehensive grading for slabs and tiles of natural stone. Unlike most any other trade or profession, anyone can become an overnight “Michelangelo” without the slightest qualification. The maintenance instructions for natural stone is left to an army of “marketers” who never even looked at the cover of a petrology book, and are only there to peddle products most often without having the slightest notion of what people can expect from them.
So, Maurizio Bertoli, a man unmatched in his passion about natural stone, decided to take the bull by the horns. He founded the International Training Centers for the Stone Industry ( ITCSI) to provide training and certification programs to the industry at large, from the stone fabricator to the stone restoration contractors—the M.D.s of the industry.
Power to the People!
Maurizio then, along with a small group of people in the industry dedicated to the cause formed Marblecleaning.org as a much needed consumer resource serving two distinct purposes: one, to to provide a resource for solid, credible information for the consumer and would-be consumer of natural stone products, and two, to provide a channel of communication as a means to both listen to what the consumer has to say and to bring their collective voice to the industry—a powerful tool to demand and effect the change that is so needed.