Ensuring Your Marble Floors Get Quality Care

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Ensuring Your Marble Floors Get Quality Care

Ensuring Your Marble Floors Get Quality Care

Marble floors are known for their elegance. They accentuate the decor of the interior space, adding a touch of royalty, and styling up the residence to match the homeowner’s personality – especially since there are so many designs to choose from. The strength of these installations makes them capable of bearing the load that comes with busy households. However, while they are durable, the floor cleaning here isn’t as direct as other installation types. From the susceptibility of the stone to scratches, to the high porosity of the structure, there are different factors that affect the kind of cleaning process that will be used. 

This all boils down to the very nature of the natural stone. It’s a metamorphic rock, formed from carbonate rocks like limestone. Over the aeons, heating and recrystallisation processes on the mineral crystals cause it to develop a strong unique structure – so unique that no two marble slabs are ever alike. There are generally two kinds of marble floors: pure marble and cultured marble. The pure one is all-natural, and highly porous – making it necessary to ensure that the stones have been treated with a good quality sealant to protect from absorbing loads of moisture. Cultured marble is made using crushed marble dust that has been mixed with polyester resins, giving it distinct colour and vein patterns, and also reducing the porosity of the structure. Cultured marble is actually finished using a gel cat to seal it, which also makes it more glossy. This is typically the kind of marble that you will find in luxury bathrooms, since it has less sensitivity to wear. However, just like with natural marble, you should avoid working on it with abrasive floor cleaning tools. 

Getting rid of the dust and loose dirt

The sweeping or vacuuming should be done regularly, as part of the routine floor cleaning program. To avoid scratches being formed, be particularly keen on the kind of tools that are used. It is recommended that you work with a dry mop or a dust mop. These include the likes of those with microfibre attachments, where the material is effective in attracting and collecting the dirt particles, while being gentle on the surface. You can also use flared brooms, whose softer structure compared to the unflared brooms makes them more suitable for the marble floor cleaning, where the ends of the bristles also have a high efficiency of picking up the dirt particles. 

With regards to the vacuums, note that rough brushes – the likes of beater rolls, can do extensive damage to the marble surface. Here, work with a vacuum that has a distinct setting for hard floors, and avoid applying excessive pressure as you manoeuvre it over the floor. Also, go for a vacuum that has rubberised wheels, to further cut down the risks that are posed. 

Washing Your Marble Floors

When it comes to floor cleaning solutions, note that marble is sensitive to the pH of the agents that are used. The formulation should be mild or pH-neutral. The pH-neutral products are gentle to the surface- but they are weaker when it comes to removing the stubborn dirt. The mild agents pack more of a punch when dealing with the tougher dirt situations. In fact, it is recommended that you stick to products that have been particularly formulated for marble floor cleaning. That way, you won’t have to worry about chemicals eating away at the marble structure and ruining your floor. 

Stay away from popular surface cleaning agents like vinegar. It falls under the category of ‘harsh cleaners for marble floors’, together with citrus products like lemon-based cleaners and ammonia. These formulations will wreak havoc on your elegant floor, from dulling the surface to weakening its structural integrity. 

After the floor cleaning, it should be rinsed and dried. This is to remove any residue of the cleaning solution and to prevent water damage. Allowing the floor to dry when there is detergent on it can result in discolouration or staining, since the stone will absorb the detergent used. 

Long-term Protection 

Maintenance of these installations goes beyond the routine floor cleaning. Extra protection is needed, which is where a marble sealant comes in. It provides a barrier between the floor and potential contaminants, and also reduces the risks of liquids being absorbed into the structure. The role of these agents is to ward off moisture and chemicals from being absorbed by the marble slabs, giving you time to clear up spills. There are 3 main kinds of sealers that you can work with. These include

  • Topical sealers

The urethane or acrylic formulations are applied on the marble tile surface. They deliver a polished effect – though note that since they are a layer on the surface itself, they will be exposed to faster levels of wear, so the resealing will need to be done more frequently. 

  • Penetrating sealers

Here, the sealants seep into the stone itself – delivering the desired protection without altering the aesthetics of the stone. Their mode of functioning makes them also highly effective in repelling the oils and liquids that wind up on it. Take particular note of the manufacturer’s instructions, especially with regards to how often the sealer will need to be reapplied., as well as the recommended floor cleaning solutions that will be compatible with the treatment. 

  • Impregnating sealers

Here the sealer bonds with the marble stone at a molecular level. The surface aesthetics are retained, as this treatment features high water and oil repellent properties. 

Usually, the marble floors need to be sealed once or twice a year. You can do a quick test to ascertain if it is time for you to apply a sealant on the floor. Simply pour some drops of water on the floor. If they pool together and just stand there, then the surface is still fine. However, if the stone readily absorbs the water, then it is time to have the sealing carried out. 

There are plenty of marble sealers available from reputable brands like Bona. The longevity of the sealer will depend on the particular product used. Typically, the resealing can be carried out after every three years. 

Ensuring Your Marble Floors Get Quality Care

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