Although stone can appear almost indestructible as a building material, it needs to be maintained to keep its looking its best. Let’s starts with some basic checks.
- Is the stone floor sealed?
- Check the stone’s softness
- Decide on what furniture rests upon the floor
It’s a good idea to ensure it is properly sealed particularly floors which will take a lot of wear and can easily become stained.
A simple test can be carried out to check if a stone floor is sealed by dropping a small pool of water onto its surface, and leaving it to stand for up to 30 minutes. If the stone is not sealed, the water will vanish and the stone will darken showing it has absorbed it.
Even when sealed Marble floors still need to be cleaned to look their best. There’s a variety of stone commercial cleaning products available, never use abrasive detergents as they will damage the surface. Ideally distilled water and a soft cloth should be used for rinsing and polishing. Sometimes marble floors are also wax polished to bring out their natural colours and shine.
The great thing about stone flooring is the natural variation, no two floors will be the same. But you also need to check the softness of the stone. If it’s too soft the floor will show scratches and chips. Even slate floors have been known to “peel” over time. However compared to wooden and laminate flooring, stone needs a lot less work and lasts much longer.
And finally, check what furniture will be used in the room with stone flooring. Using casters with your tables and chairs will help minimise scrapes and scratches. You can also add mats or rugs in doorways and entrances to help move the excess mud and dirt from shoes and prevent damage that way.
Stone flooring isn’t indestructible but with smart planning and a little care it will last a very long time.