Natural stone surfaces, if cared for correctly, can last as long as your building. Marble and all natural stone surfaces are a popular flooring solution in both the commercial and residential environment. They have been a functional and elegant addition to buildings since Roman times.
Why you need to care for marble and stone surfaces
Like all precious objects, marble and natural stone floors need to be cared for correctly. All natural stone will lose its original lustre over time. The main culprit is a build up of dust and grime. Grit, brought in on people’s shoes will scratch the surface of your stone and cause the crystals to erode. It is these crystals found in natural stone that give your stone surfaces the ability to reflect light. A perfectly polished stone floor will reflect the light from your ceiling like a mirror with no fuzzy bits.
Never use acidic products on marble or natural stone
Another big no no when caring for marble and stone floors is the use of acidic cleaners. Many’s the marble floor needing rescue from destruction by Cillit Bang, amongst other ammonia/acid-based cleaners. Cillit Bang is possibly a wonderful cleaner that can return the lustre to copper coins, but it is disastrous for natural stone surfaces. Acid will rip through your stone, breaking down any seals and etching the stone. This leaves dull stains that no amount of cleaning will remove. These stains need to be polished out of the stone by a professional.
BEFORE: the marble floor in the Merrion Hotel had lost its lustre
The cost of restoring marble and stone floors and surfaces
The good news is that almost all stone surfaces can be restored to new. It may seem like a costly operation to restore a floor, however it’s a fraction of the cost of replacement; and you will be maintaining the value of your asset .
Once your stone floor is restored to new and sealed with the correct sealer, you can lengthen the time before it will require treatment again.
AFTER: the marble floor – stripped, cleaned, polished and sealed.
How to maintain your marble and stone floors
Of all the procedures used to maintain stone floors, dust mopping is probably the most important
- Dust mop your floor daily, three to four times a day in a commercial setting, once a day should suffice for residential.
- Use different dust mops for different floor surfaces.
- Move the dust mop in one direction only, not back and forth. So basically, just push the dust to a point and gather up.
A good-quality mat will capture dirt before someone walks on the floor. Place one outside and inside your door. Be careful about using rubber- or jute-backed mats, these backings can bleed into the stone, causing stains that are difficult to remove
- Clean the mats daily. Lift the internal mats daily also and dust underneath.
- Do not put mats down on a damp or wet floor.
Damp or wet mopping
All marble and stone floors needs to be cleaned.
- Use only a very diluted solution of stone soap when mopping your marble and stone floors.
- How often you will need to damp or wet mop will depend on the amount of traffic and the finish of stone.
A guideline for mopping
Residential: Once a week, or less in low-traffic areas
Light traffic Commercial: Twice a week
Heavy traffic Commercial: Daily
To really finish off your regular maintenance of your marble and stone floor, buff dry with a clean white cloth.
If you follow this routine you should maintain that sparkle in you marble floors for as long as possible – until the seal wears down, of course, but that’s another story altogether!