Maintaining and Cleaning Your Stone Field Tiles for Longevity

Longevity isn’t just about living longer; it’s about living healthier and better into your later years. This requires routine care and preventive medicine.

Sweeping stone tile regularly is one of the best ways to minimize sand, dirt, and grit, which are abrasive and can damage natural stone surfaces. Using mats or area rugs inside and outside doors helps reduce the amount of dust tracked onto your natural stone.

Sweep Regularly

Keeping your natural stone tiles dust-free is a good preventative measure to extend the life of your flooring and minimize the need for sealing. Sweeping regularly with a non-treated dust mop will remove most dirt particles and debris. Sweeping also eliminates abrasive materials that can scratch the surface of your tile.

Vacuuming is another great way to remove dirt from your natural stone surfaces. It is more thorough than sweeping and can get to areas that are harder to reach with a dust mop. It is recommended to vacuum your tile floors a few times a week.

Always use a cleaning product that is suitable for your natural stone. Acidic cleaners may damage your sealant, while overly alkaline products may etch (permanently dull) the calcareous stones used in natural stone surfaces. If you are still determining whether a cleaner will be safe for your surface, do a spot test with a small amount of cleaner on a corner of the stone.

Spills must be cleaned up as soon as they occur to reduce the chance of staining. If you need help cleaning a spill, contact a professional who can recommend the proper stone-specific cleaner for your surface.

Vacuum Regularly

While sweeping is a great start, removing all the dirt and grit accumulating on stone tiles can be hard. It is important to vacuum regularly, ideally after sweeping. This helps to remove a large amount of dirt and grit that causes scratches on the surface of stone tiles, creating dullness. It also helps to prevent the onset of mold and mildew stains.

It is also recommended to mop regularly. The frequency depends on how much foot traffic your home has, but at least once a week is good. Use a non-acidic soap or pH-neutral stone cleaner designed specifically for your tile type. Rinse the tile and use a soft cloth when applying the cleaning solution to your floor.

Avoid using acidic cleansers on natural stone surfaces, such as vinegar, lemon juice, or other acidic products, as they can etch and dull most stones and degrade protective sealers. Additionally, don’t use abrasive cleaners, such as scouring powders or creams, on your stones, as they can scratch and wear down the surface.

If you have high foot traffic in your home, it’s a good idea to use mats or area rugs inside and outside entrances to minimize the amount of sand, dirt, and grit on your natural stone surfaces. 

Use Mats or Area Rugs Inside and Outside Entrances

If you have stone tiles inside or outside your home, use mats and area rugs to trap debris that would otherwise scratch the surface. Ensure that the mats are made of a soft material so they do not damage the stones. Encourage staff to clean underneath the mats and shake them out frequently in high traffic.

Regularly washing the stone surface and grout helps keep it in great condition. Using a neutral, non-acidic cleaner or stone soap with warm water is best. You can also use a mild liquid detergent or “All-Purpose-Cleaner” that is safe for stone surfaces. Be sure to change the cleaning solution when it becomes dirty.

Be sure to wipe up spills promptly as well. Acidic substances, especially cooking oils and cosmetics, can etch or degrade most stone surfaces. It is also important to take special care with citrus drinks, vinegar, and other household products that could damage the sheen of your natural stone tile.

Many people need clarification about what cleaning solution is safe for natural stone. Unless your installer specifically recommends an acid-based product, using a non-acidic or neutral cleaner is the best option. Always test any cleaning product on a small area before using it over an entire surface.

Clean Grout Regularly

Natural stone is a byproduct of nature, requiring special care to preserve its unique beauty. To prevent stains and maintain your natural stone tiles, it’s important to establish a cleaning routine that includes frequent sweeping, vacuuming, and mowing (with a broom made for hard floors). Additionally, it’s crucial to clean the grout regularly. A non-abrasive cleaner formulated specifically for stone is best, but general household cleaners are fine if you don’t have that on hand. However, avoid using scouring pads or steel wool—they can wear away your grout and damage the surface of your natural stone.

Grout is naturally porous, making it prone to quickly absorbing liquid spills. It’s imperative to blot any spills as soon as they occur to minimize the time the liquid takes to soak in and cause discoloration.

Regular mopping with a non-treated dry dust mop and water will help prevent the build-up of dirt, sand, and other contaminants. This also helps protect the stone surface from etching or scratching.

If your natural stone tile floors have become soiled, it may be time to call the pros. A professional restoration team can remove etch marks and restore your natural stone floors so they look like new. They can also recommend a sealer to keep your flooring looking great for years.

Featured Photo by Max Rahubovskiy: