“Foot selfies” are the latest Instagram and Pinterest trends, and they have a strong focus on flooring aesthetics. Interior designers are loving this digital photography trend, and they’ve noticed that natural-stone tiles are taking the lead, particularly marble, slate, limestone, and granite.
You can never go wrong with natural-stone tiles for your living spaces. They’re both gorgeous and durable, but it’s up to you to keep them in a condition worthy of an Instagram foot selfie.
Here are five natural-stone flooring mistakes you don’t want to make.
1. Installing Less Than a Batch at a Time
With natural stone, each floor tile is bound to look different, but there’s a certain pattern that prevails within the blocks from which the tiles are cut. If you want to achieve flooring uniformity across your living spaces, the best way to do so is to purchase an entire batch at once instead of returning to the store a couple of months later to find batches that have a slightly different chromatic tone and veining.
2. Cleaning Infrequently
Want to know how to clean granite and natural-stone floor? The rule of thumb when deciding how often you should sweep stone floors is to do it once a week per every household member, including pets. For a family of three plus a cat, this means dust mopping every other day. As for mopping, it should be done at least once a week, but you should increase the frequency according to foot traffic. In the kitchen, for example, mopping twice a week is a must if meals are prepared daily.
Here’s a quick yet informative video explaining how to properly mop natural-stone flooring:
3. Cleaning with Vinegar
The organic cleaning properties of vinegar are never recommended for natural-stone surfaces. Vinegar is a naturally acidic substance with a pH level around 2 or 3, which makes it likely to cause a chemical reaction when it seeps through the pores of stone tiles, which can result in a chemical reaction known as etching.
4. Failing to Seal Frequently
The key to protecting your stone flooring is to keep a fresh seal on your tiles, including grout lines. Some types of stone may need to be sealed more than others. For example, sandstone is extremely porous and will require more frequent applications. White marble tiles are notoriously sensitive to water stains, but these stains will only appear when the seal has weakened to the point of absorption.
5. Using Common Household Cleaners
Many of the products commonly used to clean floors contain chemicals that will dull the professional finish and weaken the protective seal of natural-stone tiles, putting them at risk of staining and etching. With a granite squeeze and mop floor cleaner such as Granite Gold Squeeze & Mop Floor Cleaner®, you get a pH-neutral solution formulated specifically to clean natural-stone floors that you can squeeze directly on the tiles and mop without any need for buckets or rinsing.
One other thing to avoid when caring for natural-stone flooring: don’t polish your floors yourself, as they can become dangerously slippery. Instead, seek a professional stone restoration specialist with the proper tools and training.
Have additional questions about the proper way to maintain flooring made of granite, marble, travertine, and other types of natural stone? Call the Stone Care Experts at Granite Gold® at 1-800-475-STONE (7866). You can find stores near you carrying Granite Gold® brand stone care products in our Store Locator.
Lenny Sciarrino (aka Lenny S) and Lenny Pellegrino (aka Lenny P) grew up in the family business and are co-founders of Granite Gold®.