Q. How do I care for my newly installed floors?
A. The best thing to have done to a brand-new polished stone floor is a detailing job by a properly trained janitor, or a professional stone refinisher. Detailing means deep-cleaning every square inch of the floor, removing all possible grout residue or film and adhesive, taking care of possible small damages left behind by installers, or any minor factory flaws, as well as, opening the pores of the stone by using some special cleaning agents, such as a heavy-duty stone, tile and grout cleaner. In extreme instances, if a grout film is still present over the surface of the tiles, a stone safe soap film remover should be used. The presence of chelates in this formula is excellent at removing mineral deposits. (Grout film could be equated to mineral deposit.) In that way, the stone can "breathe" and dry properly. For porous stones like hone-finished limestone or certain mercantile granites, the application of a good-quality stone impregnating sealer is recommended.
Should you decide not to have your floor detailed, don't damp-mop your floor immediately after installation and grouting. While you would not cause any real damage, the fine powder most likely left on the floor will be trapped in the water and may leave ugly and hard-to-remove streaks all over its surface. For the first week or so, just vacuum (being careful not to use vacuum cleaners that are worn as the metal or plastic attachments or the wheels may scratch surfaces). Upright vacuum cleaners are not recommended. Instead use canister vacuum cleaners and central vacuum systems and a dust mop (with a non-treated dust mop or a clean, dry micro-fiber mop) to clean your floor often. You will know it is ready to be washed when your hand remains clean (no whitish powder) after rubbing it on the floor. Use a neutral cleaner and a microfiber mop to routinely clean the floors.
Sand and grit will cause damage to the surface of stone, so if the stone floor is near an entryway, make sure a good quality mat is placed just outside for people to wipe their feet.
For more information, see our Stone and Tile Care Guide
or contact your professional stone and tile restoration contractor. If you do not already have a professional stone and tile restoration contractor and need a PRO, contact us