Natural stone offers a number of benefits. It’s exceptionally attractive and comes in a variety of colors than can suit any decor. It’s very durable, and most varieties of stone resist damage in ways that wood or carpet cannot. Stone also maintains a cool temperature, which feels delightful under your feet during the summer.
Stone flooring, however, has different needs than carpet or hardwood. Many types of stone should be sealed regularly, and it can take some special efforts to keep it clean. If you’ve decided that natural stone flooring is the best choice for your home, consider some of the different varieties of stone, and learn the best ways to keep your floor looking its best.
Travertine is a form of limestone that occurs naturally in various parts of the world. It is formed from mineral deposits, typically in or near hot springs. It’s a beautiful form of stone, and it looks wonderful in kitchens, bathrooms or patios.
Travertine is softer than marble and may be more susceptible to spills and stains. It’s mandatory that travertine be sealed after it is installed. An experienced company like COIT cleaning can professionally seal your travertine floor to keep it looking immaculate.
Vacuum cleaners are not recommended for travertine floors as the machine can cause chips. Instead, use a dry, untreated dust mop or a broom. Weekly mopping with warm water and a specialized stone cleaner is perfect for moderate cleaning. As always, wipe up any spills immediately.
Marble is another one of the most commonly used stone flooring options. Its beautiful colors and patterns suit a variety of styles and aesthetics. However, marble tends to stain much more easily than other types of stone, so it’s best to choose the location in the home very carefully.
Because marble stains so easily, the proper sealing techniques are mandatory. Marble can stain even after it’s been sealed, so this type of stone is best used in places where it won’t be subjected to a significant amount of water or other liquids. Marble is wonderful for fireplace mantles, as shelving in bathrooms, and as flooring in living rooms. It’s best not to use marble in dining rooms or in kitchens for either flooring or as countertops.
It’s no secret that granite is gorgeous. This sturdy, durable stone comes in a seemingly endless variety of colors and patterns and is the most popular stone for countertops. It functions exceptionally well as flooring too, and it is heat and drop resistant.
Granite needs to be sealed once per year, and the grout between the tiles should be inspected often for chips and signs of wear. Granite floors should be dry or dust mopped regularly, and cleaned weekly with a granite-safe floor cleaner, or a simple solution of mild soap and water works well but requires extra rinsing.
Never use an abrasive cleanser on granite, and avoid bleach- and ammonia-based cleaners as well. As with any type of stone flooring, spills need to be cleaned immediately.
While sandstone is undeniably beautiful, with its natural red, brown and yellow colorations, it’s not always the best choice for home flooring. Sandstone is a softer substance than marble or granite and is more porous, so it’s rarely used in kitchens or other areas where water is present.
However, it’s still a wonderful stone to work with, if appropriate precautions are taken. Because sandstone is often polished to protect the surface and enhance the natural look, it becomes very slippery when wet. It is also susceptible to scratches and chips. Sandstone wears and weathers more than other types of stone flooring. While this natural process can add to the beauty of the stone, if you hope for a consistent look to your stone over time, sandstone may not be right for you.
Sandstone sealants should be used, and the sealant should be reapplied regularly. The best way to clean sandstone is with a mop and plain water, taking care to dry the stone immediately after.
Natural stone flooring definitely requires more care and upkeep than traditional flooring material, but the value that the floor adds to your home can be significant. Always use the right cleaner for your type of stone, and don’t hesitate to call in a professional when needed. With the proper care your stone floor will remain beautiful and durable for years to come.