When you set out to purchase tile for your floors
, you may only have
aesthetics in mind. The beauty and luster of natural stone floors in
undeniable! All the more reason why you should be considering maintaining the
beauty of your tiles before you purchase. Thinking about cleaning your new
natural stone floors before you buy them might seem like putting the cart
before the horse, but that couldn't be further from the truth. Tile flooring
can be a substantial investment and therefore you will want to make sure you
are getting the right tile for your application. Knowing how much effort you
will have to put in to cleaning, maintaining and preventative measures may help
you decide which tile is appropriate.
The first step in every cleaning regime should start with
prevention. When it comes to natural stone flooring tiles, your prevention will
come from the placement of absorbent floor mats at the front door of your home.
An outdoor mat for footwear to be wiped on will stop larger dirt particles and
moisture first. An indoor floor mat is your next line of defence. You want to
make sure that this mat has a non-slip backing and will not allow moisture to
seep through on to your floor. It should also be made of a material that will
trap fine dirt particles such as sand, as these abrasives can do unsightly
damage to the luster of your floors.
Second stage of cleaning and maintaining the beauty of your tile flooring
is to make sure that your
take care of spills as soon as they occur. All natural stone is porous to some
degree. Tiles such as limestone, slate and marble are non-vitreous meaning they
have a higher absorbency rating than other natural stone. These tiles can
damage and stain more easily with spills, particularly if left unattended. If
your heart is set on marble flooring in your entryway, you will want to make
sure that your preventative measures are in place, as sand can scratch the
surface of the tile, and allow for more moisture absorption than it would
normally have. Take care of spills as soon as they occur, and ensure that the
area is completely dried with an absorbent non-abrasive cloth such as
The third stage of maintaining the beauty of your stunning floors
is to clean them regularly with the right materials. The first thing you will
want to do is rid the surface of any dust, sand, or other debris. You can do
this with a soft dusting cloth, microfiber dusting broom, or bare floor
attachment of your vacuum cleaner. Ensure that if you are using the vacuum
attachment that it doesn't have any rough edges that will scratch your tile.
Once you have rid the tiles of dust and debris, your next step is to wash the
tiles. To do this you will need to ensure that you have a cleaning solution
that is approved for the type of stone you are cleaning. Most often the best
cleaner is just a microfiber mop that is just slightly dampened with plain tap
water. For a more thorough cleaning or sticky messes, you will need to add an
approved cleaning solution.
Finally, if after careful cleaning and prevention of major
damage, you still end up with an unsightly stain, all is not lost. You can
remove most stains from most stone with an application called a poultice. A
poultice is basically a mixture of an absorbent talcum powder and hydrogen
peroxide. This is applied to the stain and covered with plastic wrap and left
over night or for a couple of days in some instances. Before using a poultice
to rid your flooring of stains, you should consult a flooring specialist as
they will guide you in the right direction with this application.
After careful consideration of all of the maintenance of
your flooring, the only thing left to do is install and enjoy the everlasting
beauty of natural stone tile.