Natural stone tiles are created by cutting natural stones into various sizes and shapes. The most commonly used types of stone for outdoor tiles are marble, granite, slate, volcanic stone, and limestone. These stones have been used as flooring material for centuries because of their durability and aesthetic appeal. Additionally, natural stone tiles come in a wide range of colors and textures, which gives them an authentic look that is often difficult to replicate with man-made materials.
How to take care of natural stone tiles
Adding natural stones to your home can give it a touch of elegance and style. However, maintaining and cleaning them can be challenging, especially if you don't have the right knowledge and skills. To help you, we have prepared a comprehensive guide on taking care of natural stone tiles. Below are some tips on how to clean, and maintain your stone flooring:
Choose the right cleaning products
It is important always to use cleaning products that are specifically designed for natural stone floors. These products contain less water than general cleaning solutions, which reduces the chances of leaving streaks on the surface of your tiles. If you are unsure about the type of stone your flooring is made of, it is best to consult an expert or a natural stone salesperson.
So, when you go shopping for cleaners, make sure to choose the one that is specifically designed for your type of flooring.
Be careful with acids
It's important to avoid using acids on natural stone tiles as they can cause harm to both the finish and structure. However, if you must use an acid cleaner, it's recommended that you test it first on an inconspicuous area of your flooring to avoid any unexpected results.
Use warm water when cleaning natural stone tiles
The recommended method for cleaning natural stone tiles is using a mixture of warm water and mild soap or detergent. Make sure to avoid using hot water or harsh chemicals, as they can cause damage to the surface of the tiles or leave behind residue that may cause staining in the future. To clean the tiles, use a sponge or a soft-bristled brush and gently scrub the surface until all dirt and grime have been removed. Once the cleaning is complete, rinse the tiles thoroughly with warm water. Apply a sealer
Because natural stone is somewhat porous, it needs to absorb moisture and allow moisture to evaporate. The sealer should be breathable and made to soak into the stone, so it repels water from more than just the surface layer.
Make sure to choose a sealer specifically formulated for natural stone that won't leave a sheen, shine, or surface coating.You want the stone surface to maintain its natural appearance.
When applying the sealer to your stone, follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.
Here are a few guidelines for success:
It's important to test surface color and sealer results in areas that are not easily noticeable. Start by sweeping, vacuuming, or wiping the surface clean and letting it dry completely. Ensure that the stone returns to its original color before applying the sealer.
For applying the sealer, use a wide paintbrush for small areas and a long-handled flat mop for larger areas. Make sure to apply the sealer uniformly for optimal results.
To get the best results, keep the stone surface slightly damp for 5-15 minutes. If the first application absorbs quickly, apply additional sealer. Some porous surfaces may require multiple applications. Wait for 2 hours before testing the surface by adding a few drops of water. If the water penetrates, an additional application is required.
If multiple coats are needed, apply each within 10 minutes of the previous one while it's still wet. After sealing, keep the surface dry for at least 12 hours and monitor the weather forecast. The stone will be completely cured after 24 hours.
By now, you should have a good idea of what to keep in mind when purchasing tiles and how to maintain natural stone tiles after installation in your home. As a homeowner, it would be ideal to make use of this information and ensure that your tiles remain in their best condition throughout your lifetime. Happy tiling!