Stone flooring is a good and popular choice of flooring in many types of settings, both domestic and commercial, and it comes in a wide range of colors, designs, and shapes. It is, in general, an extremely durable type of floor especially compared to most other types. Maintenance of this type of floor is not the most difficult, but routine maintenance is important if you wish to keep the floor looking like new.
Two factors that need to be considered are the grout and protecting the surface from abrasions and surface scratches which allows staining and bacteria to build up over time, and hinder your cleaning efforts.
Grout is the material you can see between the tiles or slabs in the flooring – and it is a highly porous material consisting of sand and cement mixed with water. When dealing with a natural stone floor tiles the most important factor is having the grout professionally applied as it can be difficult for someone attempting it for the first time. Grout is usually also recessed slightly lower than the surface level of the stone tiles so any spillages will naturally flow there, and the porosity leads to a propensity to staining.
The application of a good sealer is one step that can aid your cleaning efforts with regard to both the tiles and the grout. For the grout, you can consider a clear or color grout sealer, and either will offer additional protection and make it less permeable – essentially waterproofing the grout. It is also possible to apply a sealer to the surface of the stone, however, you should be careful to avoid waxy sealers which will nullify some of the slip-resistant quality that natural stone finishes offer. A company that specializes in stone floor cleaning will be able to advise you and recommend an appropriate sealer in both cases.
Maintaining the surface of the floor is important and all care should be taken to protect the surface so that simple cleaning with a mop and warm water with a little detergent is all that is required to keep it looking clean. This means avoiding scratches that can occur through grit and dirt walked in on the soles of shoes. Placing doormats at entrances and regular sweeping and vacuuming should help reduce the risk. It is also prudent to be careful with regards to heavy objects and furniture – which can cause scratching. Lift instead of dragging and adding padded tips where appropriate should help reduce the risk of surface marking.
Surface marking damages the surface and allows bacteria and staining to build – by the time it is noticeable it is likely that layers of marking will have built up to the point where general cleaning will no longer be effective.