How to Clean Limestone Tiles
Once you’ve decided to renovate your space with limestone tile, your next step is learning how to maintain its stunning beauty. As with other types of natural stone, limestone flooring requires a little more care and maintenance on your end to ensure it continues to look its best. Understanding which types of products to use and avoid, as well as what to do when an accident occurs, will provide you with the knowledge to preserve the condition of your limestone tile. Take a look at the below care and cleaning tips for limestone tile flooring.
“Sealing your limestone tile floor is essential.”
Properly sealing limestone is one of best ways to protect this stone from stains caused by spilled liquids and tracked in dirt. Since it’s a naturally porous material, it’s best to seal newly installed limestone before applying grout to avoid stains from the grout. If done correctly, you shouldn’t have to re-seal your limestone floor for two or more years after installation. If water no longer beads on limestone, it’s a sign the stone needs to be re-sealed.
When it’s time to apply sealer to your limestone tile, follow these steps:
Dry off the surface with a microfiber cloth. Make sure the floor is completely dry before proceeding. This may take 24 to 72 hours.
Double check that the sealer you’ve picked is specifically designed for limestone. This could be an impregnating sealer, which absorbs below the surface of the tile, or a surface sealer, which is more topical.
Apply sealant to the surface using a soft cloth, and evenly spread the product out, as leaving too much sealant in one area could potentially leave a stain.
Give the sealant about 30 minutes to fully absorb into the floor, and once the product has settled into the pores of the surface, wipe away any excess residue.
If your limestone is quite porous, you may need to apply another coat of sealer. Wait at least 3 hours before you apply a second coat. Let the sealer sit as before, and then wipe away any residue.
Neutral cleaning products
The biggest factor to remember when it comes to cleaning your limestone tile flooring is to only use products that are pH neutral based. This means that the substance you’re using is neither acidic nor basic, and doesn’t contain any potentially harmful ingredients that could counteract with the natural compositions of the limestone. Because limestone is derived from a calcium carbonate rock, the material is very sensitive to a variety of acids, so always make sure the cleaning products you’re using say that they’re compatible with limestone or other types of natural stone on the label. Never use generic household detergents, which have been known to diminish the shine and glossiness of a limestone floor.
Vacuuming is one of the trickier aspects of caring for limestone tile, as you want to be careful to avoid scratching the surface. It’s encouraged to try and vacuum a few times a week to ensure debris doesn’t get caught within the pores of the natural stone surface or cause scratches. However, you want make sure to use a vacuum that doesn’t have worn wheels, which could leave subtle scratches. It’s best to go with a handheld vacuum, so you’ll have more control. You can also clean with a dry mop or broom, but be careful as any dirt or debris left on the limestone before wet mopping can cause scratches.
Addressing spills and stains
The occasional accident is inevitable, but when it comes to addressing spills or stains on your limestone tile floor, acting quickly is crucial. The longer you leave a spill unattended, the longer it has to seep into the pores and potentially leave a stain, which could require professional cleaning to remove.
This is where having sealant over your floor is essential, as the substance will allow the spill to repel above the tiles, so you can safely blot the liquid out with a soft cloth. However, if you don’t notice a spill right away, which ultimately results in a stain, you’ll need to tackle the problem by using specialized natural stone and grout cleaning products. Make sure they’re compatible with limestone floors, and gently brush the stained area using the cleaner. It may take a day or two for the solution to effectively remove the stain, and if not, you may need to hire a professional to get rid of the stain.
To keep your limestone tile floor looking good as new for many years ahead, regular maintenance is key. Whether you’re sealing, vacuuming, or removing stains, the steps are fairly straightforward. What’s more, the results will leave you with a floor to be proud of.
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