There’s nothing quite like having natural stone flooring in your home. It looks elegant, it’s durable, it brings a bit of the outdoors inside, and with proper care, it’s no more difficult to maintain than other types of flooring.
Plus, like other natural hard surfaces, such as wood, you don’t have to fret so much about dust mites breeding and getting everywhere, like you have to worry about with carpet. And because dust mites are kept to a minimum, you don’t have to worry about steam-cleaning, which isn’t always very eco-friendly.
If this is your first time having stone flooring, though, you might not know precisely how to look after it. Here are some tips to help you become acquainted with the process.
1) Well-laid is well-looked-after. The best way to start looking after your stone flooring well is to make sure it’s laid down by an expert. When laid properly, stone is less likely to split, crack or shift.
2) Seal your stone. After your stone is laid, it’s time to seal it. Natural stone is porous, so you want to do what you can to seal and protect it. You can pick from a wide variety of sealants, based on the type of natural stone you have, the quality and the texture of the stone. It’s best to reapply the sealant annually for best overall prevention of stains.
Keep in mind your needs when choosing stone. Marble or limestone, for example, is the most porous, followed by slate, and then the most resistant stone is granite, which is the least porous of all. That said, you will still want to seal granite, just to have that extra layer of protection.
This said, no sealant, however effective, is completely infallible, so if you spill something on the floor that stains heavily, such as dark wine or juice, it’s best to wipe it up quickly to prevent or lessen staining.
3) Dry and wet mopping. Keen on keeping your stone floor clean? Dry mop your floor more than wet mopping. Dry mopping gently removes abrasive particles that could do damage to your floor. If you wish to use a wet mop, use string-style mops, wring them out well, and don’t use cleaners with a lot of acid in them. Believe it or not, the acid will stain your floor, even with sealant on it.
4) Polishing requires a professional. It’s tempting to try and save a few pounds by doing your own stone floor polishing in high-traffic areas, but this is unwise. As long as you are investing in a stone floor, it’s best to invest a little further and make sure to call a pro in to ensure no damage is done to the floor while polishing. Besides, if you’re a busy person with a tight schedule, it pays to delegate certain chores to those who specialise in those particular chores.
5) Use mats to keep out damaging dirt. If you don’t fancy the idea of constantly dry-mopping or calling in a pro for polishing floors more than absolutely necessary, you can mitigate the time and money expense by placing mats at each entrance, both inside and out, so that excess dirt and water stay on the mats and off your floor.
Between the potential for durability, eco-friendliness and, of course, the sheer elegance of stone in a front door area, bathroom or kitchen, or anywhere else, stone is a fantastic option for flooring. Making sure your stone floor is looked after, however, will ensure that durability and elegance.