Linda D. Dempsey's Blog
In its natural state, specific stone’s strength is legendary while others react to blunt force, chemicals, and even water. In your home, natural stone floors can beautify your décor and last the life of your house when cared for properly. If exposed to sharp objects and harsh substances, however, it can wear, chip, crack, and even dissolve, requiring expensive repair, removal, and replacing.
Many stones have porous surfaces that can hold stains, and they absorb harsh chemicals that can break them down over time.
Follow these care tips to keep your stone surfaces solid and protected.
Caring for your floor
- Sweep or vacuum crumbs, dust, dirt, and grit from the floor’s surface.
- Use protective pads and glides under furniture so that they don’t scrape the finish off the stone tiles. Project the floor from damage made by metal chair legs with chair leg caps.
- Be quick to wipe up spills. Vinegar, salad dressings, pickle juice, wines, and other acidic foods damage the stone. If left to sit on the tiles for any length of time, any vinegar-based products may dissolve certain types of rock, particularly travertine, marble, onyx, and other calcareous natural stones.
- Do not expose your floor to excessive heat.
- Many natural cleaners contain lemon juice, distilled white vinegar, and other acidic products, so don’t trust a product just because the label says “natural.”
- Avoid heavy grout cleaners, or caustic tub and tile cleaners as they can etch the surface of the stone’s finish. And don’t use liquid abrasives or powdered cleansers for the same reason.
- Ammonia can mar the stone’s surface and dull its looks.
- Periodically, clean the stones more deeply with particular products just for stone, or use warm, soapy water or a gentle all-purpose cleaner to lift the dirt and grime from the stone’s surface using a microfiber mop or cloth.
- Go over the floor a second time with just water, and then dry the floor with a clean, microfiber or cotton cloth.
Reseal your floor
At the outset, and at least once a year after that (more often in high-traffic areas), seal a newly cleaned floor with an appropriate sealant that is correct for the stone and also has the finish you want (glossy, matte, polished, or natural).
If you’re concerned about the condition of your floors, seek the advice of a stone flooring professional.