Natural Stone Care and Tile Maintenance
Natural stone requires some care and attention in order to maintain its original appearance. Many stone tiles including limestone, granite, marble, travertine etc. are porous in nature, excessive water may cause reactions such as oxidation, staining, deterioration, etc. Special impregnating or penetrating sealers are recommended to avoid these problems. Continue reading for natural stone care and tile maintenance strategies.
When practicing good tile and stone care one should follow the guidelines listed below:
Do take time to seal your stone tile annually. This will help preserve the tile and help protect it from dust and stains.
Do wipe spills immediately. Standing spills damage stone tile, particularly if the spill is acidic in nature, such as wine, juice, or coffee.
Do use a neutral cleaner or stone soap to clean your travertine tile, best applied using a clean mop, sponge, or soft cloth, and quickly followed by a dry mop. Take care not to use too much as this produces streaks on the tile when used in excess.
Do use coasters under glasses and bottles, as the liquids from these may dull the surface of your stone tile counter. Put toiletries and other beauty products in the bathroom on a tray to protect the natural surface from substances that can accidentally spill from these products and damage the tile.
Do put mats in entryways to protect your natural tile floor from scratches that could potentially be caused by dust and sand coming from shoes. Hall runners and area rugs also give additional protection to tile floor.
Do dust mop your natural tile floor regularly to keep it free from dust and debris that may scratch its surface.
Improper Tile Care:
Day to day the rule of thumb is never use anything you would not use on your hands. Never use powdered cleaners or abrasive pads to clean your stone. Even “soft scrub” type cleaners contain pumice, which is powered volcanic stone and might damage your stone countertops or floors. Never use any product that is acidic, this includes substances like ammonia or many common liquid cleaners such as Windex. You should always use sealers and cleaning products designed specifically for natural stone. Improper tile care will scratch damage or ruin your natural stone tile.
Below is a list of things you should never do when cleaning your natural stone tile:
Do not use vinegar or any other acidic cleaners to clean your natural stone tiles. All natural stone tiles including granite, marble, travertine limestone etc. are sensitive to acidic substances and using such cleaners will only serve to damage your tile. Other generic tile cleaners must also be avoided as they are abrasive and may contain acid.
Do not place bathroom products directly on top of stone tile countertop. As previously stated, some of these products may accidentally spill and stain or damage your stone tile. It is best to follow the previously stated instruction and place these bathroom products on a tray.
Do not let spills remain on the natural stone tile. Almost all stone tile is very porous, and any spills left standing for some time will dull the finish and may stain the surface.
Do Not use harsh abrasive sponges and steel wool are not recommended for the same reason abrasive cleansers are not recommended. They may scratch the tile. Further, loose bits of steel left on the grout can cause rust stains