From Ancient Egyptian stone masonry to the checkerboard tiles of Versailles, just about every civilization has found a way to create beautiful art with stone tiles. Whether you’re interested in large, smooth tiles that allow the unique swirls and textures of marble or travertine to shine through, or you want the visual interest of tiny, mosaic-style tile patterning, there’s a tile layout that will shine in your home.
However, once you’ve installed (or inherited) your tile layouts, you do need a way to keep them clean. Tiles often bring numerous cracks and crevices with them that can hide a lot of dirt, dust and grime. The grout between tiles can also become stained through long-term use. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of misinformation out there about stone care, too — from TikTok cleaning hacks involving toxic bathroom cleaners to the abundance of DIY “natural” solutions for making stonework gleam.
We’re here to help you cut through that noise. Let’s talk about the best way to keep your floor tile looking beautiful without any risk of long-term damage.
Tilework Patterns, From Traditional to Timeless
The layout patterns you can achieve will depend on the shape of the tile you use and the shape of the surface you’re tiling. Consider these gorgeous options:
Gridded or Square-Set Patterns: This checkerboard arrangement is an excellent choice for veined or otherwise aesthetic natural stone.
Diagonal or On-Point Patterns: Emphasizing more of a diamond shape, this layout will draw the eye to the corners of your room.
Offset or Brick Patterns: This strong, traditional layout takes advantage of every little piece of tile, leaving you with few scraps.
Herringbone Patterns: With cascading L-shapes, you can create a movement-inspired tile that adds a dynamic aesthetic to any room.
French, Roman, or Versailles Patterns: Featuring a mix of large and small squares, this carefully random pattern is an excellent way to show off different shades of natural stone in close proximity.
Specialty Shape Patterns: Whether you prefer hexagonal, semicircular, leaf-inspired, scalloped or asymmetrical geometric shapes, there’s a specialty tile for you! These tiles and tessellating patterns create unforgettable floors and incredible visual statements.
Your Go-To Tile Care Plan
Keep these tips in mind when you’re curating your stone-care maintenance plan, and your beautiful tilework will look like new for years to come.
Vacuum and dust regularly. Dirt and grit that get stuck between tiles can grind their way into the grout and get embedded in your tile. Removing tiny pieces of sediment regularly can resolve this issue before it happens.
Avoid DIY solutions. Unfortunately, even though they’re buzz-worthy, using vinegar, bleach, lemon juice or other easy ad-hoc cleaners, even common cleaners that are not formulated for natural stone, will do far more harm than good. Using these types of solutions can dull the professional finish and strip the protective seal, leading to stains, etches and costly repair or replacement. You’ll find that it’s much more cost-effective in the long run to purchase a gentle cleaner that’s specifically made for stone care.
Seal your tile often. Sealing stone floors is especially crucial because sealing can reduce liquid damage. From spills to tracked-in moisture, our floors tend to have a high risk for this type of damage. Regularly applying a floor sealant to your tiles (and even your grout) will add an extra layer of protection against stains and etches for your peace of mind. (Remember, stone can never be over-sealed! Frequently sealing granite countertops and all other natural stone surfaces maintains maximum surface protection, penetrating stone surfaces to provide superior, long-lasting resistance to staining, etching and soil build-up. Regularly check the integrity of the seal with an at-home water test. Pour water (about 3 inches in diameter) on the surface in several locations and let it sit for 30 minutes. If you see a dark mark or ring, the water is penetrating the stone and it’s time to reseal.
Let your tile layout be the focal point in your home! The way we see it, a beautiful tile layout is decor in itself! Especially if you’re using statement border tile or a smaller, more intricate tile layout, know that your floor alone will provide a lot of visual interest. In order to achieve a balanced look in your living spaces, it might be a good idea to refrain from including lots of busy decor right next to detailed tile.
Reveal and Restore the Beauty of Timeless Tile with These Stone Care Tips
From terracotta to travertine, beautiful stone and detailed tile layouts have remained a traditional way to add instant beauty to homes throughout time. To keep these floors looking good, use products specially formulated to bring out the specific beauty of your stone.
Interested in learning more about the best ways to nurture your stone tile’s natural beauty? Give our stone-care experts with three-generations of stone-care expertise a call today at 1.800.475.7866 to receive personalized advice about the care and keeping of your tile.