When it’s first laid, natural stone and stone tiles look beautiful. However, while stone is relatively low maintenance and generally easy to look after, over time its porous surface will attract all kinds of dust, grime, dirt and moss (if it’s been laid outdoors).

The grout in between stone tiles can also become very discoloured and, in some cases, you may find that fungus starts to develop. This fungus may give rise to potential health problems.

Sounds gross, right?

However, all this can be easily rectified and controlled by having a regular maintenance routine in place for tile and grout cleaning.

How to Clean and Maintain Stone Tiles

If your stone floor tiles have lost their sparkle, it’s easy to bring them back to their former glory with a little bit of elbow grease.

However, before you do start to deep clean your stone tiles, you may want to double check with your manufacturer’s recommendations as the cleaning process may be slightly different depending on whether your stone tiles are made from travertine, or whether they’re made from limestone, terracotta or marble.

You’ll also find that some cleaning products aren’t suitable for certain types of stone as the acid contained within that solution may etch the surface of some tiles.

To efficiently clean your tiles, follow our simple guidelines:

  1. Before you start cleaning your stone tiles, you should always test any cleaning product you’re going to use on an inconspicuous area first. Follow all directions carefully and wait a few days to ensure that there’s no adverse reaction before tackling the rest of your floor.
  2. Once you do get started, use a firm bristled brush to scrub away any ingrained dirt, and leave your chosen product on the floor for whatever length of time is recommended.
  3. The dirty cleaning solution should then be wiped and rinsed with clean water. Using an old towel to wipe up any excess water will reduce drying time. If you find that water soaks into your tiles once they’re dry, you’ll need to reseal your floor.

While all this seems labour intensive, regularly cleaning your stone floor tiles will ensure that they stay looking good and that they stay waterproof too.

If you don’t want to get your hands dirty, think about getting your stone tiles professionally. Professional cleaning companies usually use a combination of specialised cleaning solutions together with state-of-the-art suction equipment to ensure that your tiles get a thorough deep cleaning and are left touch dry after the process.

Once your tiles are vibrant and shining once more, a coat of durable sealant is usually applied to give your tiled surfaces the best chance of resisting grime, dust and mould.

Not just floors, but walls and work surfaces too

Stone tiled walls and work surfaces will also benefit from regular deep cleaning. Once again you can use the manual method yourself, or you can employ professionals to do it for you.

You may also want to consider investing in a hand-held steamer to ensure that there is no nasty bacteria lurking on your tiled work surfaces, particularly within the grout.

Put a date in your diary to deep clean your stone tiles

It’s recommended that stone and stone tiles get a deep clean every 12-18 months, so put a date in your diary now for you to either do the job yourself, or call some professionals to do it for you.