Hardwood or stone flooring? It’s a question that most homeowners contemplate when acquiring or renovating their homes. Both have their merits, so it’s hard to choose. Fortunately, there is an alternative that will marry the old world charm of hardwood and the long-lasting qualities of stone flooring – the limestone floor tiles. It will of course, require some degree of maintenance, but if you follow these simple steps, you will enjoy your new flooring for years to come:
The downside to using limestone is that the level care is a bit higher than other types. That’s because they are made of softer and porous materials, and can easily be scratched and damaged. Regular cleaning is therefore important. Here’s how to do it:
- It’s best to sweep the floor with a broom first to remove grits and dirt that can scratch the surface. A vacuum cleaner is fine, as long as you don’t use the spinner brush.
- After a dry cleaning, mop the floor tiles dipped in soap and water. You can use commercial products, but why spend for one when you can just raid your pantry?
- Rinse off the soap residue so that it will not attract dirt.
- Limestone tiles can trap dirt easily. Use a steamer every now and then to loosen dirt and stains easily.
Its a good idea to coat the floor tiles with a sealer upon its installation. Do not scrimp on the sealant you will use. Aside from protecting from dirt, grit and acid damage, a good sealant will guard against regular wear and tear. You will have to reapply the sealant every 2-3 years or if you find that water left on the tile is absorbed readily.
Stains and Spills
This is probably the biggest problem with limestone. Spills are a given in a normal household. Liquids that spill are absorbed faster by the porous material, and blotting it can take work. Sometimes, it can stain the floor and leave an unsightly mark. A sealant will help prevent this, but what if you come across a particularly obstinate stain? Act quickly and clean up spills as soon as they happen. If you cannot get to it at once, look for a product dedicated to deal with stains on limestone. Apply it and wait for the stain to disappear. This can take time, so be patient.
Additional Tips and Tricks
You will have to treat your floor like your baby to preserve its beauty. Follow these tips:
- Be mindful of the tools that you use to clean. Make sure they are not abrasive.
- Use old towels to clean up when possible.
- If you do decide to buy commercial products, read the ingredients. Avoid anything with acids.
- If possible, make it a no-shoes room so as to prevent dirt and grit from coming into contact with the limestone.
- Put rugs in the entryways and encourage people to thoroughly wipe dirt off their shoes.
Don’t be discouraged by the amount of work to be done just to maintain a limestone flooring. Once you see how they transform a room, you will forget about the hard work needed. Plus, if you are conscientious about cleaning, it will become second nature to you.