Stone flooring is beautiful! It’s an investment with a good return. In most cases, adding stone floors is guaranteed to add value to your home. Taking care of it isn’t hard, but knowing how is super important.
Stone Floor’s Worst Enemy
Many things can harm and even permanently damage stone floors. Sand, grit, and dirt can damage natural stone surfaces because they are abrasive. It is okay to use a vacuum cleaner on your floor if it’s textured. However, avoid the beater bar. Those bristles are tough and might scratch your flooring.
An old-fashioned dust mop works well, as does a broom. Wet mop as needed. Yet, make sure and use a flat mop instead of a string mop. String mops have a tendency to move the dirt from the top of the tile to the grout joints. This can cause your grout to eventually turn dark – sometimes even black.
When It Comes to Stone Floors, Be Proactive
Walk-off mats or area rugs on either side of entrances from the outside will help collect dirt before it reaches your beautiful new floor. Choose a rug or mat with a non-slip surface. Local home centers are good sources for this type of rug. Spending a few dollars on a rug could potentially keep those beautiful stone floors from getting as dirty (and it might even keep them from being seriously damaged).
There’s Clean And There’s Cleaner
Damp mopping your natural stone floor will help keep it looking beautiful. But your retailer or manufacturer can suggest special cleaners meant specifically for stone floors. We recommend a Neutral Floor Cleaner. “Neutral” refers to the Ph balance of the chemicals. A cleaner that is either too acidic or too alkaline can do damage to your stone floors and the grout, so be careful when choosing a cleaner.
Remember to wipe up spills immediately. Use soap, not detergent, for good-old fashioned mopping. Liquid Ivory or a castile soap product work well. Too much cleaner or soap may leave a film and cause streaks, so rinse well. Change your rinse water frequently. Don’t use products that contain lemon juice, vinegar or other acids on marble, limestone, or travertine. Avoid abrasive cleaners or any ammonia-based cleaners. These products will dull the floor’s luster. And although they are great for the toilet and other bathroom fixtures, retail grout cleaners, scouring powders or bathroom tub and tile cleaners can mar the finish on your stone.
We advise you to never mix bleach and ammonia. This combination creates a toxic gas. And toxic gases aren’t good – especially when one has the potential to breathe them in: not good!
Many of our customers ask s about removing certain “nuisances” from their stone. Here are a few tips:
# 1 – If you want to remove algae or moss from outdoor pool, patio or hot tub areas, flush with clear water and use a mild bleach solution.
# 2 – Removing dirt build up is best left to the professionals. Companies like ours have powerful green cleaning systems (can you say “steam”?) that blast away dirt, grime and just about anything else that stands in its way. Residential type steamers are no comparison to a professional steam-cleaning unit. A home steam cleaning unit might be 50-bucks, while a professional steam cleaning unit can run upwards of $50,000. Big difference: not just in price but in performance as well.
And Finally, Last But Not Least
Hire a professional company like Cross Cleaning Company to clean your stone floors. Then, have a floor warming party! Ask your strongest friends to help you move your furniture back on to your new floor to avoid chipping, scratching, or cursing. It’s best to pad the feet of your furniture with felt pads or some other kind of protector to guard against damage. We see many floors that were beautiful and flawless once they were professionally cleaned, only to become ugly and scratched when the furniture was brought back into the home. What a shame!
As with all new floors, it’s important to maintain the caulking in areas that are susceptible to water. You don’t want water seeping under your flooring.
Remember that each stone has its own level of porosity. The more porous the stone, the more likely it will stain. Sealing your stone floor may be a really good idea. Use a reliable professional company that uses quality, professional products. Cross Cleaning is available to help when your stone floors need a good cleaning, honing, polishing and/or sealing.
Now go enjoy the beauty of your stone floors!