The most important factor in keeping stone tiles looking great is to make sure they are sealed properly and as often as necessary. Discuss the sealing process with the tile retailer and the installer to make sure that correct sealing occurs. The retailer will also advise you on how often the stone needs to be sealed.
With proper stone flooring care and maintenance, these distinctive floors will last indefinitely.
Daily Care of Stone Flooring Tiles
Maintaining the seal in good condition is very important, and dirt, sand and other gritty debris can wear down the sealer and dull the shine on polished stone. With that in mind, these tips for cleaning stone flooring will keep it looking great.
- Consider removing shoes in the house and wearing clean slippers or socks instead
- If you’re going to wear shoes on the stone flooring, place a mat near the entrance for wiping your feet as you enter
- Keep the mat and area under and around it free of debris since grit under the floor mat will act like sandpaper to damage the stones seal and finish
- Vacuum or sweep the flooring frequently
- Use a vacuum without a rotating brush or one with a Hard Floor Mode that disables the brush so it won’t damage the seal
- A mop and warm water is all that is typically needed to loosen and remove additional dirt.
- Clean up spills as soon as they occur – even plain water spills since water can seep into the stone with a long exposure and cause staining
- If needed, use a floor cleaner formulated for natural stone, change the water often and rinse the stone thoroughly to prevent a soap residue that will cloud the shine
- Avoid cleaners with ammonia, scrubbing ingredients and acidic ingredients such as lemon juice or vinegar since they can mar the floor’s luster
- Don’t drag heavy items such as furniture directly across the stone – lift the item or place a thick blanket beneath it first
- Occasional application of a spray designed to maintain the luster of natural stone will keep it looking its best, just be sure to follow the directions carefully
Removing Stains with a Poultice
Poultice products made for removing stains from natural stone can be quite effective. Tenax is a leading brand, and there are others too. Follow the instructions carefully for best results. The product might dull the shine, but it can be restored either with a luster-enhancing spray or by polishing the area.
Polishing Stone Flooring
Products for both hand polishing and polishing the tile with a floor machine are available. Unless you have experience with floor machines and this type of work, it makes sense to hire a professional to polish your natural stone.
Seal Before Grout
The type of grout used in the narrow spaces between natural stone tiles can seep into the tile and stain it. Therefore, it is important to seal the stone with a high-quality penetrating sealer before the grout is installed.
Natural Stone Tile Maintenance and Care FAQ
This brief Q&A covers additional important information that use can use to keep your stone floors looking amazing.
How can I protect my stone flooring while the rest of the kitchen remodeling is going on?
Well, flooring is often installed last to keep it from being damaged during the remodeling project, so if that can be arranged, it’s a good idea to delay the installation. If it’s already installed, cover it completely with the thick brown paper that comes in rolls and is used in construction area.
Can I sanitize my natural stone floors?
Yes, but avoid cleaners with citrus, vinegar or other acidic ingredients. Avoid ammonia products and bleach too. The best choice is a non-acidic, ammonia-free disinfectant. Be sure to rinse the floor very well to remove residue that could cloud the surface.
Should I wax my stone floor?
No. Wax is not formulated to stone and will dull its gleam. Instead, use an enhancer made for natural stone flooring.
Will mats with rubber backing harm my natural stone flooring?
In general, they shouldn’t. However, if the mats trap water or dirt between the mat and the floor, you’ll have problems. The water may cause staining. The debris will scratch and dull the floor.
How often should my stone flooring be sealed?
Ask your stone retailer for specifics, but most natural stone floors should be resealed every one to three years.
How often do stone floors need to be polished?
As often as needed, and that varies with traffic and how consistently dirt is swept from the floor. In general, natural stone floors need to be polished every five to ten years.
Related Content in this Series
View other guides in this series which you may find useful.