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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is Onyx made of?How do you clean Onyx?Gloss or Matte Finish?

Where can I see a display or get a quote?How do you remove excess silicone?

What is ONYX made of?

Here is a little information on our chemistry:

63% of our products is a hydrate crystal--Al2O3+3H2O. Alumina is also the main ingredient in Corian and all "solid surface" products. The main ingredient in our product (alumina trihydrate) is in roofing materials and the plastics inside automobiles to slow flame spread and as a smoke retardant. It is in the plastic coating on the wiring in your home (in a much smaller percentage).

Our other 37% is a special polyester resin we developed over the last 30 plus years (and continue to improve) to get the properties which allow us to say "Yes, Guaranteed Forever".

Our resin does not contain any urea formaldehyde.

All manufacturers try to get properties which make products work best for their applications. Our application is the bathroom. We believe our resin serves this purpose well. Corian uses acrylic resin, others use various blends of polyesters and acrylics. We prefer our resin for our products and it serves us well.

We use cultured marble type molds to cast our products. The solid surface industry casts sheet goods and fabricates their products. The cultured marble industry uses calcium carbonate as their main ingredient.

Our product does have a gelcoat on the surface (about 15 mils) similar to cultured marble. Our Gelcoat is ISO-NPG polymer. ISO-NPG gelcoat is a tight molecule--very resistant to water penetration.

Be glad to answer any other questions.
Thanks, Bob

How do you clean ONYX?

GLOSSY Finish: The Glossy surface is a tough clear layer of stain-resistant resin, that is polished using high-speed buffers. For regular cleaning, use a cloth or sponge with your favorite non-abrasive household cleaner. Most cleaners will work very well with your Onyx product. The two most important aspects of cleaning are the hardness of the water and the frequency of cleaning. We recommend applying a protective / polishing product like Gel-Gloss™ after each cleaning. These products will continually make cleaning the shower easier because of the protective polish they leave on the Onyx product. Once again, avoid using abrasive household cleaners - if a cleaning product feels "gritty," please do not use it. For MATTE Finish: The surface of your product is lightly abraded to achieve a uniform matte finish and then sealed with our Matte Surface Sealer. For regular cleaning, use a cloth or sponge with your favorite non-abrasive household cleaner.
- Eliminate® is a shower cleaner that works well on everyday soap spots, calcium, and hard water spots.

- The 25 oz. size bottle comes with a foaming sprayer.

- Works well for Onyx showers and lavatories, shower door glass, tile, and bathtubs.
Material Safety Data Sheet
Same as - Repel/Ultra Glass are Surface Sealers and Protectors which work well on Onyx showers, lavatories, and shower doors (they also have some cleaning properties, but are mainly surface protectors.)

- Repel/Ultra Glass helps water bead off surfaces quickly, reducing water spots and making cleaning easier.
- 25 ounce bottles with spray nozzles.
Tip: To break up hard water/soap film deposits on your Onyx products, we also recommend a 50/50 white vinegar/water mix solution. Non-abrasive kitchen dish washing soap can also break up these deposits. more about cleaning...

Here are my thoughts on the cleaning problems we face in the Midwest. Probably far more than you really want to know.

I'll cover several topics including mildew, hard water and soap buildup. Also making some suggestions on waxes to reduce these problems and make general cleaning easier.

1) White vinegar works great for all three problems. Vinegar is a natural safe product. The acid will dissolve limestone, removes soap scum, and kill mildew. Vinegar can't harm the metal products in your bath. White vinegar also works well on shower doors. They really shine.

2) Water without soap will also fairly quickly dissolve limestone. Limestone is soluble in water--that's how it got there.
The water evaporated leaving the limestone. Water will dissolve and reabsorb the limestone.

3) Water also dissolves soap fairly well.

4) Exhaust fans change the air allowing water to evaporate faster. Unfortunately, limestone and soap remain whether water evaporates fast or slow.

5) Eliminating moisture faster may slow the growth of mildew--but not much.

6) Mildew is a parasite fungi needing a little moisture, but mainly something to "eat". Soap (basically a salt of fat acids) is "food"
for mildew. The acid in vinegar dissolves soap salt. Water also dissolves soap salts. This is why we do a final, water only, rinse
on clothing.

7) Mildew can't grow on our product or our 100% silicones. Mildew can only grow on products which absorb moisture and provide "food".

8) Latex caulk and soap residue both hold moisture and provide "food" for mildew. (People who label and sell latex caulk as a product for moist areas do a real disservice.) Never use latex caulk for anything is my recommendation.

9) A brief clean water rinse will take care of most soap, mildew and water penetration problems.

10) Pledge®, Gel-Gloss™ and other products with a good wax base cause water to flow more quickly and thoroughly to the drain and make cleaning easier. This is like hitting the wax button ever so often at the car wash. Getting some good reports from customers using Rain-X®. We tried it with good success in our shop. But, don't spray it on too thick.

11) Both a clean water rinse and a wipe down--neither of which is practical--are the only way to completely eliminate all problems.

Cleaning products are a very big industry. Most bath cleaners are 2.5% to 6% citric acid (essentially expensive diluted vinegar).
Dilute white vinegar 50-50 with water and you have as good a bath cleaner as any on the market.

A few are even dangerous to use in my opinion. Read the label on a new cleaner recently. I believe the active ingredients actually produced hydrochloric acid! Fortunately the active ingredients were only 0.22%. The remaining 99.78% actually did nothing.
A higher percentage could tarnish the metal shower fixtures.

Any non abrasive cleaner will work on our products and on the 100% silicone we sent. Colors are suspended in the product and in the silicone--so colors won't be affected. It is virtually impossible to stain the gloss finish. If you have our matte finish, I'd use one of
the wax products mentioned above a little more frequently.

Hope this helps. Please let me know your results. Appreciate all feedback.
Be glad to answer any other questions.

Thanks, Bob

Gloss or Matte Finish?

Aesthetics is the main reason for choosing between Matte and Gloss. It is the only reason for all practical purposes.

For many years "shiny" denoted cleanliness. Tubs and stools were shiny and bathrooms were small.
Gloss finish was the proper surface for showers and lavatories.

Then huge bathrooms with floor tile became popular. Appliances were a small percentage of these big bathrooms. Matte finish frequently look best due to the large amount of matte floor tile.

ISO-NPG gelcoat is a tight molecule--resistant to water penetration. This is on the surface of our gloss products.
It is virtually impossible to stain the gloss finish.

We use a blend of resins for matte--about 30% ISO-NPG. This increases the ability of matte products to resist moisture penetration. Use Gel-Gloss™ Counter Gloss, Pledge®, Rain-X® or other good wax product a little more frequently with a matte finish. Both matte and gloss finishes have our "Yes, Guaranteed Forever".

More expensive resin and additional labor make matte finish products higher priced.
Be glad to answer any other questions.
Thanks, Bob

Where can I see a display or get a quote?

In 1985 we decided that we would concentrate on making the products and let someone else sell and install. We still believe it is best to focus on the manufacturing and delivery of the products, and referring local dealers as the best means to see the products and get pricing.

We really aren't set up to sell direct.
No salesmen or rep firm and a zero advertising budget.
No sign on our building and we don't even have signs on our delivery trucks!
This lets us concentrate on trying to cast and finish better products more efficiently.

In most areas, we can refer homeowners to someone who sells, or who does both sales and installation--depending on their needs.

We have many dealers in most areas of the United States.
Some have displays and some do not.
For Display locations, please use the ''Display location'' link to find an Onyx dealer with a display:

If you would like a more complete list of Onyx dealers in your area, we will be happy to supply you with this.
Please contact us for this information or any questions you may have.
Thank you for your interest in our products.

The locations shown are only those with shower displays.
For other Onyx dealers in your area, please contact us at 1-800-669-9867.

How do you remove excess silicone?

The best way to remove excessive silicone is friction. You could use your thumb, credit card, or even a flattened Popsicle stick. If you prefer, you can purchase a mini plastic scraper, (available at stores like Ace Hardware, etc.) There is also a product called Goo Gone (available almost anywhere) that will help remove the adhesives qualities of the silicone. You will need to apply it and then use your thumb, credit card, flattened Popsicle stick or mini scraper to work the edge to get underneath. For a more industrial strength product, you could try a product called DSR-5.