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updated: 18/01/2023

No other floor covering can surpass the beauty of stone flooring whether it is made from granite, limestone, slate or the artificially made terrazzo. They all have a natural beauty that exudes richness. The alternatives; carpets, linoleum, laminates, wood and ceramic tiles are often cheaper and most people know how to care for them and maintain them. However they eventually wear out or otherwise become damaged and have to be replaced. Natural stone flooring should last for several lifetimes if properly cared for and maintained and provides you with that luxury feeling.

However few people know how to care for their natural stone surfaces in order to get the best out of them. The stone seller will give advice and the builder or tiler who lays your flooring will quite often know very little about the product. Some natural stone wholesalers will also lay the stones for you and if you can get one of these firms then you are in a better position, as these know how to treat the product they are installing for you.

Never use a chemical product to produce a shine on the stone. If you want to cover your stone in a polish then you are better of getting a man made product. Stone produces its own shine by being ground down until it is perfectly flat. Once the crystals in the stone are flat they reflect the maximum amount of light uniformly producing the high gloss finish associated with marble and granites. It is not an artificially applied polish that can periodically be buffed to restore the shine.

What removes the shine from the stone? Most stones except granite are relatively soft and can be easily scratched by small particles of dirt. The more the dirt builds up the more they scratch as they are walked over. These scratches disturb the flat surface of the stone and light reflection ceases to be uniform so the shine gradually disappears. The only way of restoring it is to have the stone reground flat a straightforward but time-consuming process.

By following a good care and maintenance programme this situation can be delayed for many years. Dust mopping the floor regularly rather than vacuuming it. How regular this is done depends on the no of people going over the floor. In high usage entrances to buildings, it should be done two or three times a day. In a domestic lounge once per week may be sufficient. It should also be wet mopped every so often using a neutral soap solution, stone soap is the best. Never use detergents or other chemical cleaners on the stone. The stone soap will help to maintain and enhance the natural colours of the stone. Every two or three years, again depending upon usage have the stones repolished. If this is done as the shine just begins to fade then regrinding becomes unnecessary. The repolishing can be done quite quickly and relatively cheaply.

If the flooring has spillage marks or deep scratches then get these attended to as quickly as possible. regular maintenance using the correct techniques and products will ultimately preserve your flooring and reduce the need for very costly refurbishment.

About the author 

Nick Vassilev

Nick blogs about cleaning. He is a cleaning expert with more than 25 years of experience. He is also an NCCA-certified carpet cleaner. Founder and CEO of Anyclean.