If you look at some of the oldest, most long-lasting buildings in the world, you’ll see they have one thing in common. They’re all made from stone.
From the stone and concrete of the Colosseum in Rome to the sandstone Temple of Luxor in Egypt, the ancients knew about beauty and durability. Natural stone is still a durable, beautiful option.
If you’ve got gorgeous natural stone floors, keeping them polished is fun and easy. Good maintenance is the key to keeping natural stone floors looking like new.
How do you polish stone floors like a pro? Check out these tips to keep your stone looking great for years to come.
Types of Stone
Natural stone falls into two categories:
You should not clean calcareous stone with acidic cleaning products, since it’s sensitive to these cleaners. Limestone, travertine, marble, and onyx are calcareous stones.
Siliceous stone is durable and easy to clean. Mild acidic cleaning solutions are okay for siliceous stone. Granite, sandstone, slate, brownstone, and quartzite are siliceous stones.
If you’re not sure, you can test your stone. Find a corner or closet area away from any mortar joints. Put a few drops of household vinegar on the spot.
If the vinegar bubbles and fizzes, the stone is calcareous, so avoid using acidic products on it.
If there is little to no reaction, the stone is siliceous, so mild acidic cleaners won’t hurt it, though neutral cleaners are the safest option.
If there are surface sealers on the stone, the test may not work. If so, chip a tiny piece of stone away from an inconspicuous spot and apply the vinegar there.
Polishing Natural Stone Floors
If you’re worried about polishing the floors yourself, call in a professional. Professionals use a two-step process including diamonds and special machinery. Things you probably won’t be able to get for a DIY project.
Heavy machinery with diamond pads removes deep scratches from some natural stone, like marble. If your floors are in good shape, you might not need professional polishing.
If you want to polish yourself, rent a polishing machine and use diamond pads with the machine set at slow speed.
If the floors don’t need polishing, sweep first to remove any debris. Put your neutral cleaner in a bucket with water according to the cleaner directions. Mop using a microfiber mop pad.
A neutral cleaner is one with a pH of 7. Look for stone floor cleaner products that say “residue-free” and “neutral” on the label.
Work in small areas. Wring your mop out often and change the mop pad if it gets too dirty.
Let the floor air dry before placing any area rugs back down.
Keeping Natural Stone Floors Clean
Natural stone floors last a lifetime, especially if you maintain them well. Don’t use any harsh cleaners such as bleach or lemon juice.
Use only neutral stone floor cleaners made for stone floors. Sweep the debris and then wet mop the floors.
Are you ready for clean floors but you’re not sure you want to tackle the job yourself? Give us a call.