Natural stone flooring is highly prized for being as beautiful as it is resilient. Since it comes in so many styles and colors, every homeowner can find a type that is perfect for their decor and color scheme. While this flooring is easier to maintain than many other types, it’s good to know how to keep your stone floors looking great indefinitely.
Daily Care of Natural Stone Floors
Because natural stone flooring is less porous than many other flooring types, dirt and dust tend to accumulate on top of the tiles. The dirt will be obvious on lighter stone tiles, and daily household dust will stand out against darker stone. Fortunately, simple, regular floor cleaning will keep your stone floors looking great without you needing to spend too much time on maintenance.
Sweeping is a quick and easy way to remove the dust, dirt, and debris from stone floors. Virtually any type of broom is compatible with stone flooring due to the durability of natural stone. Vacuums may also be used on some stone. Depending on the texture of your stone, it may be easier to use a static cleaner on the floor such as a dry Swiffer pad. These are quick and easy to use on smoother textures, and they hold a lot of dirt and debris.
Identify the Type of Stone
If you have forgotten the exact type of stone your flooring is made from, call the installer to learn what it is. Each type of stone has a different level of porousness and other characteristics that affect how it must be cleaned. Some cleansers will be too harsh on softer stones such as sandstone. In addition, some commercially available stone cleaners are recommended only for specific types of stone.
Deep Cleaning Stone Flooring
While a broom may be good for daily maintenance, you’ll probably need periodic deep cleans to keep your natural stone floor from getting dull or chipped. There are many different types of stone tiles, and manufacturers have different recommendations for how often and in what way the stone should be cleaned. Many homeowners find that doing a deeper clean of the tiles once or twice a year, in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions, keeps the stone looking more vibrant all year. This may require the use of a steam cleaner or a specialized natural stone cleaner to remove dirt that has lodged itself in the pores of the stone or in the grout itself.
Some homeowners use a mop and a gentle, soapy mixture a few times a year to clean their stone flooring. If this is approved by the manufacturer of your flooring, this allows for an easy and inexpensive way to keep your flooring looking clean and bright. However, there are a few common cleaners that should never be used on stone flooring. Highly acidic cleaners or natural substances, such as vinegar or lemon juice, can damage stone floors.
After using any safe cleaner on your flooring, be sure to rinse it well with clean water to remove any residue that could be damaging over time.
Tile Grout Cleaning
If the grout between your stone tiles is highly visible, it may begin to look dirty long before the stone itself does. If possible, avoid old-looking grout by sealing it soon after it is installed to keep dirt out. If it begins to look dingy, there are a number of commercial grout cleaners that will clean the grout and keep the flooring looking fresh and new. Check the manufacturer’s recommendations to determine whether or not your grout cleaner is safe to use with natural stone floors.
Floor Stain Prevention
One of the best ways to keep your stone looking great is to prevent it from getting stained. Some types of natural stone are highly impervious to staining, but not all. Any time something is spilled, take the time to blot up as much of the liquid as possible to prevent it from seeping into the pores of the stone. After blotting, use plain water to wash away as much of the substance as possible. Finally, thoroughly dry the area and make sure that none of the staining liquid is left behind.