When famous designer Gloria Vanderbilt passed away in 2019, many real estate and architectural publications recalled some of the fabulous properties she lived in. One of the most spectacular listings Vanderbilt left behind is located in the Upper East Side of Manhattan. It’s a seven-story townhouse dating back to 1891, and one of its most attractive features is the limestone flooring, which has been kept in immaculate condition for more than a century. Whereas granite and marble are more commonly used for countertop installations, limestone tiles are often used as flooring materials because of their highly attractive look. Preserving the look of limestone floors isn’t difficult. Prevention, a cleaning and sealing routine, and the right products are all you need in this regard.
If the finish of your limestone tiles is textured, you should use a soft bristle broom. If the finish is honed and polished, you should use a clean dust mop. In general, the sweeping frequency can be based on the number of household occupants—one session per week for each person or pet.
Similar to sweeping, the determination of how often you should deep clean your limestone floors can be based on foot traffic. You should only use a limestone & granite squeeze & mop floor cleaner such as Granite Gold Squeeze & Mop Floor Cleaner®. Sweep or vacuum the floors first, then squeeze the floor cleaner on the floor and mop with a string mop, sponge mop, or towels.
Here’s a short video explaining how to use Granite Gold Squeeze & Mop Floor Cleaner®:
When limestone flooring is installed, the contractors seal the tiles before showing the finished project, and you may be instructed to wait one day before placing any furniture. This initial sealing won’t last forever. Depending on how much foot traffic your floors get, you may need to reseal frequently. You can determine if the stone needs to be sealed by performing a simple water test. Pour water about three inches in diameter in several areas on the surface of the stone and let it sit for 30 minutes. If you see a dark mark or ring, this means the water has penetrated the stone and it’s time to reseal. Sealant is intended to protect against staining and etching. Limestone is as porous as marble, which means even water can result in stains if the surface isn’t properly sealed.
As long as your flooring is properly sealed, most limestone stains will be superficial, which means you may be able to scrub them away with a limestone and granite cleaner and a non-scratch scrubbing pad. Stubborn oil stains can be taken care of by mixing baking soda with acetone and forming a paste to the consistency of pancake batter. Spread the mixture over the stain and leave it for 24 hours before rinsing with water. Once the stain is removed, and it may take two to three attempts, you must reseal the stone.
For additional tips on caring for limestone floors, reach out to Granite Gold®. All of our products are safe to use on all types of natural stone, including marble and granite. Call us today at 1-800-475-STONE (7866), and also sign up for our monthly newsletter for additional information on natural-stone and quartz care.
Lenny Sciarrino (aka Lenny S) and Lenny Pellegrino (aka Lenny P) grew up in the family business and are co-founders of Granite Gold®.