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Cleaning Stone, Marble Floors and Tiles!

Marble is a soft, porous natural stone that is usually thinly sliced into tiles when used for flooring.  The marble tiles are then set into the floor with grout between them.  While highly beautiful and decorative, marble flooring is also expensive and can be fragile unless cared for properly. 

Since marble is porous, sealing the floor with a stone sealer is recommended by many experts.  This should be done when the tile is newly laid.  The grout between the floors should also be sealed.  Some people prefer not to seal the marble, as they dislike the periodic stripping required when the sealer becomes discolored or shows uneven wear.  However, the stone sealer can also prolong the look and the life of the tile, help protect it from spills, and add some slippage prevention.

Marble tiling requires some daily care to maintain its beauty.  It scratches very easily, so frequent vacuuming to remove and dirt and grit is necessary.  If the marble tiling is located near a door, such as an entry hallway, a floor mat should be placed at the door to prevent grit from being tracked onto the floor.  The tile should also be mopped frequently with a cotton string mop, barely damp, using only warm water.  Marble is easily stained, so a spray bottle of marble and stone cleaner should be kept handy.  All spills should be immediately blotted and then cleaned with the marble cleaner.

Marble is particularly prone to etching or pitting by anything acidic. This means any soda, juice, wine, or tomato sauce spilled on it will pit the surface.  Vinegar is a particular hazard, so should never be used in a cleaning solution on marble.  Oils in most soaps and cleansers will cause stains on marble.  In fact, most common cleansers will discolor marble, which is why only a marble and stone cleanser should be used on the floor. 

Marble can also be stained by iron, copper, bronze, (watch those plant stands!) oil or grease, ink, or tobacco smoke.  As marble also scratches easily, furniture should never be dragged across it, and all furniture legs should have felt pads placed underneath.  Following these precautions can keep your marble floor shining and beautiful.

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