If you love the look of stone floors, granite is often a natural choice because of both its beauty and its durability. Although durable, it isn't impervious to dirt or damage. You will need to know how to properly maintain it to ensure it remains looking its best for many years. The following tips can help you achieve this goal.
Tip #1: Get it sealed
Granite can stain exceptionally easily if left unsealed, so make sure to have a granite sealer applied professionally. The sealer is clear, so it doesn't affect the color, although it will add some shine or luster to the flooring. Sealer will need to be reapplied about once every year or two. How often depends specifically on the amount of traffic and wear the floor receives. Generally, if water soaks into the floor instead of beading up, then it needs resealed since this means stains can also soak in.
Tip #2: Skip acidic or alkaline cleaners
This means that many DIY staples, like acidic vinegar or alkaline baking soda, aren't a good option on granite. It also means that you can't substitute cleaners for other materials, like ceramic. This is because granite needs a pH-neutral – neither alkaline or acidic – cleaner. Acidic cleaners can etch the floor, while alkaline cleaners react with the stone and make it appear dull or discolored. Granite floor cleaners are best, although you can substitute with a marble cleaner with no issues.
Tip #3: Avoid abrasive items
A sponge mop is probably the best choice for cleaning granite because it is soft and non-abrasive. A string mop can also be used if it doesn't have an abrasive pad. Skip scrub pads or bristle brushes since these can etch the flooring or wear down the sealant prematurely.
Tip #4: Tackle stains ASAP
A spill or a stain can become permanent, even on a sealed floor, if you don't act quickly. You can generally rub out minor stains with a clean cloth and a bit of granite cleaner – just rub in a straight line following the grain of the stone. For a deep or dark colored stain, create a poultice. Purchase stone cleaning poultice powder from your local flooring store. Mix the powdered poultice with water to create a thick paste, following package instructions, then spread it over the stain. Lay a clean rag over the top and wait 24 hours for the poultice to pull the stain out of the granite.
For more information, contact Tile Outlet or a similar company.