By Meghan Belnap
Natural stone is a stunning material that can accentuate the best features of your home, but there are a few important maintenance tasks that you will need to carry out if you want to keep it beautiful and damage-free. Ignoring your stone tiles and slabs could result in chips, cracks, stains, and a wide variety of other problems that you generally want to avoid. Here are a few ways to keep your natural stone looking good as new.
Regularly cleaning your natural stone is one of the most important steps in this process, and it is going to help you avoid quite a few issues. For most types of stone, you can easily clean the surface with a soft towel and mild soap. If you have had limestone installed, then you must use a neutral pH cleaning product and a completely non-abrasive towel. Soft stones like limestone and marble are more easily scratched, so you want to be careful with the materials you use to wipe them down.
Cleaning the stone is going to be your first line of defense against unnecessary damage, but sealing the material is important as well. A high-quality sealant will make its way into the microscopic pores of the stone and protect the surface from stains. Every material is slightly different, but most types of natural stone must be resealed at least once every six months. Luckily, this maintenance task can often be completed in a matter of minutes with nothing more than high-quality sealant and a soft cloth.
Even though natural stone is very durable, moisture can make its way into small cracks and pores. Over time, that excess moisture could result in discoloration or even cracks in the stone. For natural stone tiles that are in your kitchen, you should make a habit of wiping down the counters and floors as soon as you are done cooking. You must also wipe up spills as quickly as possible so that the debris doesn’t seep into the stone.
Protecting the Stone
While you most likely want to show off the natural stone tiles to everyone who walks into your home, you should still attempt to protect them in high-traffic areas. Putting down rugs and runners in high-traffic areas will reduce your risk of chips and cracks. It is also recommended that you use placemats, coasters, and trivets whenever possible
While some of these steps might seem time-consuming, caring for natural stone is easier than most homeowners realize. Carrying out a few minutes of preventative maintenance every week will keep your natural stone beautiful for many years to come.