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Simple Stone Floor Cleaning Tips

stone floor

A quality stone floor can transform the look of a home.  It can add a lot of color, texture, and warmth to an interior space and will look great for many decades if well-maintained.  A quality stone floor can also increase the resale value of your home.

Stone floors are most commonly made from marble, slate, limestone, travertine, or granite.  While these materials are very durable, care must be taken when cleaning them.  If the wrong approach is used, the floors may become stained or scratched.  Here are some simple tips to ensure your stone floor remains clean, hygienic and looking good!

Sweep flat floors instead of vacuuming

If you have a very flat stone floor made from marble, there is no need to vacuum at all.  Simply use a broom to remove dust and debris.  A vacuum is only required for textured stone floors with divots.

Remember that stone floors are not impervious to marks!

Many homeowners mistakenly believe that because their floor is made from stone, it can’t be damaged.  Unfortunately, if you use a harsh or incorrect cleaning technique on the floor it can be scratched and permanently marked.  If it is a new stone floor, follow the manufacturer’s directions or ask for advice from a professional cleaner.

One of the ways that stone floors can be marked is by using a vacuum cleaner with a beater bar.  Beater bars are the rotating bristles found in power or turbo vacuum brushes.  They can be quite abrasive and are capable of marking certain types of stone floors.

The other way that stone floors are often damaged is through the use of harsh cleaning chemicals or acidic cleaning solutions.  Stone floors can be stained or made dull by using the wrong cleaning solutions.

Mop regularly and use the appropriate cleaners

Regularly mopping your stone floor will keep it looking fantastic.  If the manufacturer has recommended a specific cleaner for the floor, stick with that.  However, most stone floors can be cleaned with plain soap.  Use a small amount of soap and rinse the mop well to avoid streaks.  Consider using two buckets — one with the cleaning solution and one with clean water.  Change your rinse water regularly.

Avoid using any abrasive chemical cleaners on your floor.  It isn’t necessary and may damage your floor.  If you have a marble, travertine or limestone floor, avoid using any products with acidic components like lemon juice or vinegar.  These kinds of products may negative impact the floor’s appearance and make it look dull.

Do not use any commercial bathroom tile cleaners on your stone floor.  These products are usually very harsh and abrasive.

Be careful with grout cleaner

If the grout between your stone tiles has become dirty, be very careful when applying grout cleaner.  It has the potential to damage certain types of stone floors.

Understand the kind of finish that your stone floor has

stone floor type

Stone floor tiles typically have one of three different floor finishes applied to them — natural, honed or polished.  Natural stone floors are not polished and have a rustic, dull appearance.  They look similar to a rock in its natural environment.  Honed floors have been rough-polished but not buffed.  They have a lovely matte appearance.  Polished floors have been polished and buffed, giving the stone a highly reflective appearance.

Each finish has certain advantages and disadvantages.  For example, a polished floor is more slippery than a natural floor when wet, however, a polished floor is not very porous.  If you have a natural or honed floor, you will have to be more careful about the substances that you apply to it.  It is more likely to be marked or stained by caustic solutions.

Wipe up spills quickly

Treat your stone floor like carpet — if there is a spill, wipe it up immediately.  Don’t put it off!  A spill can stain your floor or it might seep through the caulk or grout between stones.  Wiping up spills quickly is particularly important if your floor is made from stone that is very porous.

Prevent debris from entering the home

Be proactive and stop dirt, dust, and debris from entering the home in the first place.  Use rugs in the entrance ways to your home and enforce a “no shoes in the home” policy.

Hire a professional with experience cleaning stone floors

If you are unsure about the appropriate cleaning method or cleaning product to use on your stone floor, you can always employ a professional to perform the work.  They will understand how to clean and maintain your floor so it looks its best.

 

Sources

Vacuum Any Surface. (2011). Martha Stewart. Retrieved 3 August 2016, from http://www.marthastewart.com/275312/vacuum-any-surface#227375

Calcamuggio, J. & Calcamuggio, J. (2011). Tile Flooring 101: Types of Tile Flooring - Buildipedia. Buildipedia.com. Retrieved 3 August 2016, from http://buildipedia.com/at-home/floors/tile-flooring-101-types-of-tile-flooring