Stone Floors

March 19, 2013

Care, and cleaning of stone surfaces in the home.

Congratulations if you have stone surfaces in your home. Stone has been used to beautify homes for thousands of years. Properly cared for it’ll last for many generation. Your first line of defense should consist of high quality entrance mats to remove the dirt from your shoes before it gets tracked into the house. The best mats I’ve found are made by the Anderson Company in Dalton, Georgia.

The next purchase you make should be a good quality commercial dust mop in 12 to 24 inches. The dust mop should be nylon, or micro fiber. Clean your floors using the dust mop to remove loose soils. Never use a dust mop treatment as most of them are oil based, and will leave an oil residue on your stone floor. Treated dust clothes sold in the big box stores are not recommended for use on stone floors. They are treated with a silicone to enhance dirt attraction, but it will leave a chemical residue on your floor. Abrasive gritty dirt left on your stone floor will work like sand paper with foot traffic. It’ll slowly sand the surface of your floor until one day you notice a wear pattern on your floor. A good stone floor cleaner will remove soils from  your floor while conditioning the stone. They should be PH neutral, and require only a couple ounces per gallon of water. There are a couple of good stone floor chemical companies in America, and the one I’ve had the best luck with is Stone Care International. They make commercial products available to consumers, and have great customer support. Never clean your stone floor with vinegar or any chemical on the acidic side of the PH scale. Acids will etch stone immediately taking the shine off the floor. Be especially careful using toilet bowl cleaning chemicals around any stone floor.

If you have a stone floor that has lost it’s shine you can bring it back. The easiest way for the home owner is to rent a 17″ to 20″commercial polisher. You will also need marble polishing powder, a white floor pad, and a natural fiber pad. Carefully read, and follow all directions on the polishing powder. The key is to only use the amount of powder recommended. More is not better when you’re polishing stone. If you find you have a stain in your floor due to liquids being spilled on it you can remove it using a poultice. Stone care chemical companies have specific powders you mix with water to create a poultice to remove stains in your stone floor. You apply the poultice on the stain and cover it with saran wrap. Allow to sit on the stain overnight. As the poultice dries it’ll draw the stain out of the stone. You may have to repeat this process a couple of times to get it all out.

Having a granite countertop is sure to add beauty to your kitchen.The number one recommendation I’ll make is to make sure it’s been sealed. You can find out if your granite has been sealed by flicking a couple of drops of water on the surface of the stone. If the water soaks in, your granite is not sealed. If it beads up, and remains on the surface your granite is sealed. This is important because even though stone is hard, it’s also porous. You don’t want red wine, olive oil, grape juice, or anything soaking into the stone creating a stain.  Caring for it is a breeze if you exercise a little common sense. Immediately wipe up all spills on your granite countertop. Only clean the surface with a product designed to clean granite/marble countertops. It’ll clean the surface of soils, and bring out the natural beauty of the stone. If you get a stain in your stone use a poultice to remove it as you would for a stain in your stone floor. Glass rings can be removed by using a cream designed to remove glass rings and following directions. Dull countertops can be re-polished using countertop polish designed for stone. Stone Care International has a complete line of high quality stone products that are home owner friendly. Care for you stone properly, and it’ll last many life times.

I’ve listed a few video’s that will demonstrate, and elaborate on some of the tips above.