Top Tips – Caring For Your Stone Floor
A question we get asked daily is how to clean and maintain a natural stone floor. With so many misconceptions surrounding this topic, we hope to shed some light and share our expertise to ensure you keep your floor looking its best over the years.
1. Choose the right stone and finish for the area
For ground floor areas with high traffic, it is important to choose a dense limestone or marble that can withstand the footfall. For practicality we also recommend either a Tumbled, Brushed or Softly Worn finish as these tend to be the most forgiving.
2. Use a top-quality sealant and ensure it is applied correctly
Over the years we have tried and tested many sealants, but we always come back to the Lithofin Stain Stop. This sealant does exactly what we want it to do – provides a long-lasting seal, only has a slight colour alteration and provides a matt finish. When applying sealant, ensure the floor is fully dry and make sure to work the sealant in to the stone to avoid ‘pooling’ on the surface.
3. Use an epoxy resin grout
A huge bugbear for some is grout discolouration. Over time, a traditional cement-based grout can discolour in well-trodden areas, it is possible to clean the grout, but can be a little time consuming! Nowadays most of our customers opt for a Stain Proof grout, the epoxy resin formulation provides a non-porous surface and is simply wipe clean.
4. Avoid using harsh chemicals or bleach on the floor
Whilst the sealant does a fantastic job at protecting the stone, it cannot protect against anything acidic. Therefore, when mopping your floor please refrain from using any harsh chemicals or bleach that can eat away at the sealant. Instead we recommend using a pH neutral floor cleaner, diluted in some warm water.
5. Sweep or Vacuum the floor with the soft attachment
Sweeping and vacuuming your natural stone floor is a great way of picking up dust and dirt off the surface, for a deeper and more occasional clean we recommend mopping using the instructions above. Following this advice, helps to prolong the life of the sealant. *For those of you who love to steam clean, you may need to re-seal sooner as the steam/heat can affect the longevity of the sealant.
6. Have a bottle of Powerclean handy in case of any staining
The majority of natural stone is fairly resilient to staining when sealed and cared for properly. On the odd occasion that a stain occurs it is handy to have a stone-friendly cleaning product to hand. The quicker the stain is cleaned, the higher the chance of removal. We love this product by Lithofin which can be used neat on stains or can be diluted in warm water to clean the entire floor.
7. Re-seal the floor when necessary
Finally, it is important to re-seal the floor when necessary to ensure your tiles are protected. On average our stones need re-sealing every 4-5 years. To test if you need to re-seal, simply drop some water on the floor – if it repels and forms beads on the surface it is sealed. If you find the water being absorbed by the stone, it is time to give the floor a deep clean and re-seal! This is a simple job that you can do yourself – make sure to keep the space well ventilated when applying.