How to Maintain Natural Stone
Stone is one of the most luxurious and natural materials you can choose for your home. Whether as a countertop in a kitchen or bathroom, or for flooring in an entranceway, natural stone adds elegance and charm to any room. Its beautiful patterns, colour variations and unique shading have made it popular in art, architecture and design for centuries. While stone is extremely a durable and versatile, it is still vulnerable to damage and requires care to maintain its beauty. Our expert design team at Canadian Home Style have compiled a list of basic care and cleaning instructions to help you maintain your natural stone, ensuring the beauty lasts a lifetime.
1. Avoid Direct Heat
While durable, natural stone is still susceptible to damage from direct heat sources. Never place hot pots, plates or pans directly onto natural stone countertops, as this can cause serious discolouration. Use mats and trivets when necessary. Bathrooms counters are especially vulnerable to forgotten hair curlers or straighteners, which can burn and even crack the some stone due to ‘thermal shock’.
2. Apply a Sealer
Much of the damage done to stone is avoidable by talking small precautionary measures. Applying a professional sealer is one of the most effective measures against damage caused by normal everyday use. The sealer creates a protective layer over the surface of the stone, preventing liquid from being absorbed and causing discolouration, known as ‘etching’. It will also help protect against scratches and nicks, although not completely. Natural stone can be vulnerable to chipping or deep scratches if damaged with enough force. Proper application of a sealer is extremely important, and should be done about once a month. Always consult with a professional to determine what type of sealant can be applied.
3. Keep Clean
This is the golden rule when it comes to natural stone surfaces. As a porous stone, it can be susceptible to stains and discolouration from various liquids, especially the acidic ones. Citrus juice, vinegar and common household cleaning products can cause damage to stone countertops. Wipe spills immediately, and use specially formulated cleaning products designed for natural stone.
Toiletry products also pose a danger, as they contain chemicals that can leak onto natural stone and cause damage. Keep toiletries on a mat, or perhaps in a decorative basket, in order to avoid harming your bathroom countertop. Use coasters on natural stone countertops and rugs on natural stone floors to minimize possible damage from pooling liquid, and prevent dirt or sand from scratching high-traffic floor areas. Being proactive about keeping your natural stone clean will significantly increase its longevity while maintaining its beauty.
4. Cleaning Tips & Tricks
Natural stone cannot be cleaned like any other floor or countertop. The extra care is more than compensated for by the classic elegance and charm natural stone bring to your home. Follow these few instructions, and your natural stone will last generations in beautiful form:
• For best results, steer clear of acid based household cleaners on your natural stone. Neutral cleaners, like specialized stone soaps, are ideal, as they do not damage the surface. Mild phosphate-free, eco-friendly dishwashing liquids or powders, suitable detergents (PH 7 –neither acidic nor alkaline), or vegetable oil based soaps are also fine, as long as you rinse the soap off completely.
• Be sure to dry natural stone sufficiently after washing to prevent etching and other water damage.
• Dust-mop natural stone floors regularly, and wet mop once a month using a clean mop head and warm soapy water.
• Avoid using old vacuums on natural stone flooring, as plastic wheels and metal attachments can cause devastatingly deep scratches.
At Canadian Home Style, we are delighted to help you bring luxury home. For more information about natural stone countertops and other options, please visit our Stone Flooring page, or drop by our North Vancouver showroom today.