Tile and Stone ~ Easy to Clean?

As discussed in the previous article, tile and stone flooring is a popular option for homeowners and is available in a variety of materials and designs. However, it is important to know the proper cleaning and maintenance techniques for these floors.

As with any other type of flooring, be sure to wipe up spills immediately. This helps to offset any permanent staining or damage which may occur. We advise using pH balanced cleaners and mild detergents for daily use. Be sure to thoroughly rinse and wipe off residual detergent from tile and grout. Do not use acidic cleaners of any type; the acidity will eventually erode the grout in the joints making cleaning and maintenance more difficult moving forward. Additionally, Acidic cleaners will scratch and remove polished surfaces from marble, travertine, and sandstone.

If daily cleaning and maintenance is not sufficient, you may need to resort to a heavy duty cleaner; be sure to use a cleaner recommended from a reputable manufacturer specifically for tile and stone floors. If a non-acidic cleaner does not resolve the cleaning issue, sulfuric and phosphoric acids are the safest and most used acids for resolving tile and grout cleaning problems. These two acids possess specific mixing and application recommendations that must be followed in order to avoid damaging your floor. Thoroughly rinse and dry the area after a thorough cleaning.

Stone floors require occasional scrubbing to remove surface build-up of dirt and grime. On honed or slate finish stones; a good scrubbing is required more often due to the texture of the product holding the dirt to the surface. A sealer cuts down on the frequency of this task. Most stones will be easy enough to maintain with a high quality sealer and regular maintenance.

With all stones, work within Manufacturer’s guidelines to set up a regular maintenance schedule. For stains on marble or stone, poultice should be used. Poultice is typically utilized in paste form and is applied to the surface, covering the entire area of the stain.

Some poultice products push the stain down into the stone away from the surface of the stone and allow you to seal the stone keeping the stain away from the surface. Each product has the ability to save your floor from staining. Some stains may require multiple applications or can only be partially removed.

If you have a large area that is damaged or if you want to establish a regular maintenance schedule, contact a company that specializes in this type of work.