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I get a lot of questions on the basic care and maintenance of natural stone tiles. I have the same response for most people. Yes, you should seal your stone tiles after installation. With sealers, I always suggest taking a look through your local big box store or tile outlet. There are several types and finishes of sealers out there and you want to make sure you get the right sealer for the look you are after. If at all possible, I recommend keeping a few pieces of scrap cuts and testing out the various sealers as this will give you the best idea of what to expect once applied to your floor.  Each product is different so I cannot stress this point enough: always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

As for cleaning the tiles once installed make sure to find a cleaner designed for your particular type of tile. Travertine, for example, is a calcium carbonate which is an alkali. DO NOT use an acidic cleaner on your travertine. It can etch and discolor your floor. Always use an alkali based sealer and test in an inconspicuous place or scrap pieces prior to full application. In cases like these, where a substantial investment is involved, I always think safe is better than sorry. Again, be sure and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

The Marble Institute of America can also be a valuable tool and has a handy VIDEO on care and maintenance.

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Marc McPherson