Stone Tile Cleaning

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Natural stone tiles are a great way to beautify the home yet without proper care they can become dirty and unattractive. Cleaning your stone tiles at least every other year is imperative to keep up the appearance of your stone countertops and stone floors. Homeowners attempt cleaning their stone surfaces at home, but often there’s only more damage than good that occurs. Foot traffic, spills, or even mopping can ruin the look of your natural stone tile. The soapy residue left behind from mopping attracts new dirt and creates new stains.  Natural stone cleaning services are the best way to bring your natural stone surfaces to their original look. In this page we will concentrate on cleaning natural stones.  If you’re looking for information on artificial stones like porcelain or ceramic tile please visit the tile cleaning and sealing page.  

Natural Stone Cleaning

Unlike porcelain and ceramic, natural stones such as marble, travertine, terrazzo, travertine etc. are porous and therefore very sensitive. Weather cleaning travertine, marble and slate chose you soap carefully not to cause additional damage.

Stone tile cleaning for neglected Saltillo tile
Stone tile cleaning for neglected Saltillo tile
If you’re handy and able to work on your knees for long periods of time this article will describe the steps you should take. First you should start with a standard sweep or vacuum to make sure you are not brushing and cleaning with dirt all over.

Second, apply soap designated for the treated stone, one that doesn’t damage the stone or grout. Don’t forget that grout is porous and can be stained just as easy. Third is the crucial part: Using a brush begin scrubbing the floors gently. If you are cleaning soft stones or sensitive stones such as marble, Spanish tiles and travertine use a soft brush. For rough surface stones such as slate and flagstones you may use a stiffer brush. If you wish to focus on a certain type of stain that won’t go easily please review our Stain Removal page. Finally, once the entire floors are scrubbed clean use a water vacuum to clean the floors and give it a nice final touch with a clean swab or mop.

A stone cleaning professional uses a commercial steam machine. After determining the type of stone we scrub your floors gently with a brush just like you would only right after we bring in the heavy guns! Our technicians use a steam machine that not only cleans the area perfectly, but it vacuums the debris and completely disinfects the area.

Using the wrong cleaning product and acids may cause severe damage and we advise you to speak to a professional before you start cleaning.

Stone Cleaning and Sealing

The first step against stains in natural stone is to prevent them from happening which leads us to the second part of the cleaning and restoration process:  the stone sealer and protection. Most of the stains occur on natural stone countertops because those surfaces are in constant contact with acidic foods that damage it. Another enemy of natural stone is certain cleaning agents that aren’t designed specifically for that surface. If you’re mopping your stone floors with regular store bought soap you may be doing more harm than good.  Because the stone floor is porous, you could simply be moving the dirt around and possibly even injecting the dirt deeper into the pores!

After the stone tile cleaning process it’s wise to consider sealing the surface. If you don’t seal the surface you’re leaving your stone completely unprotected and all the cleaning will be for nothing.

The stone sealer protects your natural stone from wear and tear, but the results last longer when the correct sealant is used.  Many tile cleaning companies will use a topical tile sealer; the topical sealer sits on top of the tile and will wear off quite rapidly depending on traffic.  For sensitive stone surfaces such as slate, marble, travertine and Saltillo (Spanish tiles) we often like to use a penetrating or impregnating stone sealers which provides long lasting results because they penetrate into the material rather than just sitting on top. 

For a deeper review on stone sealers visit our Stone Sealers Page

Natural stone sealer – The finishes

Leaving professionalism aside, the finished product is a matter of personal taste.

In sealer family there 3 main type of sealer finishes:

  1. Enhancer – A stone sealer which will ultimately bring back the natural look as it was before.
  2. Wet Look – A stone sealer which will add a “wet look” to your stone. It gives it a permanent shine.
  3. Natural look- A stone sealer basically does not change the look of the stone as it is now.
Stone tile cleaning is no easy task and definitely not a one-time thing.  In order to preserve the beauty of your home and keep a healthy environment you must repeat this process at least every other year.

We have been performing stone cleaning and sealing services throughout the greater Los Angeles area since 1998.  With the right tools and excellent prices let us carry the burden of these tasks.  For service and more information please contact us at: 800.742.3585.