The first aspect of stone floor and countertop care that you should understand is that all natural stones are porous. For the beauty of your home’s flooring and countertops to last, you must seal the stone material first. Next, you must maintain it properly. Even granite is porous and stains easily.
Ensure Your Stone is Sealed
Polishing the surface of stone brings out its splendor. As the surface is polished more vigorously, the finish is more resilient. If the surface of the stone is dull, it’s liable to be more porous. Whether you are remodeling your home or have already installed stone flooring and countertops, you need to understand the traits and limitations of the stone. To find out whether your stone flooring or countertop has been sealed, just place some water drops on the surface. Wait for a few minutes. If the water leaves a dark spot when you wipe it, it means that the moisture is penetrating the surface. You need to seal the surface.
Sealing Isn’t Optional
Stone tiles are sealed before installation. They are grouted either before sealing or after sealing. An Enhancer/Sealer or Impregnator Sealer is used for sealing the surface of the stone. Both these products safeguard the stone in a similar fashion. They penetrate the surface and provide a sturdy coat of armor that’s invisible. The Impregnator leaves your stone unchanged after sealing. The Enhancer/Sealer accentuates your stone’s natural colors and beauty.
Method and Frequency of Applying the Sealer
Using a soft rag is the most effective method of applying the sealer to stone surfaces. You could use a sponge roller for larger surfaces. Since sealers must be layered on the stone, apply a thin coat. And when you’re sealing an extremely dense stone, one coat will suffice. Most stones require two coats. Some absorbent stones need additional coats. The waiting period between each application is about one hour. Follow the sealing instructions on the label. Exercise patience for superlative results.
Advice to DIY Enthusiasts
Sealing a stone surface after grouting gives an added protection to the grout as well. Before you apply the enhancer or sealer, remove the grout residue using a grout residue remover. Wash the stone surface and ensure that it is clean. Wipe the surface dry with a towel or rag. Lastly, vacuum the stone surface to remove any remaining debris before you apply the enhancer/sealer to the prepared surface.
Best Method of Cleaning Your Stone Flooring and Countertops
Care of your stone countertop necessitates specially formulated products. Never use household cleaning products because they contain acids and alkalis. These products will damage the surface of the stone. Scouring pads and powder cleaners leave fine scratches on the stone’s surface. Even disinfecting wipes will damage the surface if they’re not specially formulated for stone. Use a neutral, pH-balanced cleaner available in stone retail outlets. This cleaner removes the grime, mold, and dirt on the countertop surface without adversely affecting the performance of the sealer.
How to Clean Spills, Stains, and Marks
Normally, a sealed stone surface holds up quite well. Ensure that you clean spills instantaneously. Nevertheless, some household items still leave a stain on the surface of the floor or countertop. You can remove oil and organic stains using a Poultice Powder. Create a thick paste of this powder by mixing it with distilled water. Apply this paste to the stain. Carefully overlap about a quarter inch past the stained area on all sides. Leave the mixture to dry. Later, remove it and clean the surface. This should do the trick. Stubborn stains may need a repeat application. Alternatively, you can use spray cleaners or disinfecting wipes formulated specially for stone surfaces.
Frequency of Sealing Your Stone Flooring and Countertops
Most stone surfaces need a repeat application of enhancer/sealer every two or three years. Everyday use and maintenance determine this interval. If the stone surface is exposed to excessive use or if the enhancer/sealer has been compromised for some reason, you may have to reapply the enhancer/sealer more often. Clean the stone surface properly before you reapply the sealer.
Stone is a striking surface with lasting unique characteristics. Some stones are extremely sturdy, and some are delicate. Likewise, some stones are harder and more impenetrable than others. So you need to understand the nuances of the stone material in your house to take proper care of the surface. Understanding its strengths and vulnerabilities will help you use the appropriate products needed for its care and ensure that your stone flooring and countertops retain their magnificence.