Limestone Tile Care and Maintenance
Limestone tiles have a unique look to them that works well in bathrooms, kitchens, mudrooms, and other spaces throughout the home. However, in order to keep your flooring in the best possible condition, you need to properly maintain those tiles. Thankfully, limestone tile maintenance isn’t complicated and only requires a few standard supplies that you more than likely already have in your home.
Ready to do whatever it takes to ensure that your limestone tiles stay as beautiful as possible for as long as possible? Here are some useful tips and tricks.
What is Limestone?
Limestone is a unique type of rock that is formed over millions of years. It consists of the tiny, microscopic remains of sea creatures whose bodies have essentially been crushed under pressure and petrified alongside other remains, morphing into rock over time. This means that not only has the limestone tile used to create your flooring been around for some time, but it also will last for years if it’s properly maintained.
Unlike other types of tiles, such as marble, limestone has a slightly textured surface. You wouldn’t notice it if you walk on it, but if you stoop and run your hands over your tiles, you’ll feel the small bumps that are characteristic of the stone. Not only is the stone naturally textured, but it’s also fairly porous, which means that water and other liquids can seep into it, harming the tiles.
Sealing Your Limestone Tiles
Since your limestone tiles are porous, you’ll need to have them sealed regularly. They should be sealed once they are installed, and then on a regular basis, depending on use and the type of sealer chosen, as needed. The sealer will cover the pores in the stone, preventing water and other liquids from penetrating the surface. Also, the sealer will help the grout maintain its bond and overall look, and keep the tiles from getting discolored. Once your limestone tile is properly sealed, you may still be able to feel the texture of the stone, but it won’t be as pronounced as it was before the sealer was applied.
General Limestone Tile Care
Even though your limestone tiles are sealed, you still need to take care of your flooring. Some liquids can still seep through, as the sealer helps prevent this as much as possible, but isn’t completely waterproof. You also need to clean your tile floor regularly. Here are some tips:
- Wipe Up Spills Immediately – Unlike other types of flooring where a minor spill isn’t a huge deal because the ceramic tiles aren’t as porous, limestone tends to soak up liquids quickly. This means that you’ll need to wipe up any spills seconds after they take place to prevent any damage.
- Watch Out for Stains – If you see any stains on your floor, do your best to remove them without scratching the tiles. Limestone is easily scratched and scuffed, meaning that all it takes is one swipe with a harsh sponge or other cleaning tool, and you’ll have damaged the surface. Instead, remove stains as gently as possible.
- Use a Special Limestone Tile Cleaner – There are special cleaning products on the market that have been designed for limestone tiles. Make sure to use them instead of standard floor cleaner. Otherwise, you could end up damaging the floor while cleaning it.
- Sweep Your Floor Regularly – Since limestone, even when sealed, is porous, small, microscopic bits of dust and debris can sink into the tile. You’ll need to vacuum the floor on a regular basis in order to collect this debris. However, you should use a vacuum with an attachment or setting for tile so that you avoid scratching the limestone in the process. You can also use a broom and dustpan once you’re done vacuuming to ensure that you sweep up every speck.
- Don’t Soak the Floor When Mopping – Obviously, you’ll need to mop your tile floor after sweeping it. This makes sure that it’s clean and as free of microscopic particles as possible. However, not only do you need to use a cleaner designed for limestone tiles, but you also need to make sure that you don’t soak the floor. The soapy water might sink into the limestone, damaging it. Instead, only use just enough water to get the job done and take the time to dry the floor in sections as you wash it.
Other Maintenance Tips
In addition to sealing your limestone tile and making sure that it’s kept clean and stain free, there are other forms that maintenance that you may need to do to ensure that your floors’ lifespan is as long as possible.
For example, any chips or cracks that appear on the surface will need to be repaired. If the damage is too bad, the tile may need to be replaced with another one, although minor issues can be fixed by a professional.
On top of keeping an eye out for chips and cracks in the tile itself, you also need to ensure that the grout is in good condition. This is the layer of adhesive material that appears in between the tiles. It not only helps them stick to the adhesive that holds the tiles to the subflooring, but it also creates a seal around the tiles themselves. Without grout, you’d have small gaps in between the tiles that would look unsightly.
Over time, through regular use, grout can chip and crack, leaving the edges of those tiles exposed. When that happens, it’s possible to damage the tiles themselves even when cleaning them. For example, the brush head of your vacuum may end up getting stuck on the edge of a tile, cracking it. If you see any damage form in your grout, it will need to be repaired as soon as possible.
Caring For Your Limestone Tile
As you can see, limestone tiles are beautiful and will last for years if they are properly maintained. Keeping them clean, applying sealant on a regular maintenance schedule, and wiping up any stains right after they happen are all things that can be done in order to keep your limestone flooring looking its best.
If you live in South Florida and need help with your limestone maintenance, contact Just Call Classic, Inc., a family-owned, licensed, and insured natural stone restoration and polishing company. In business since 1997, we service Broward, Palm Beach, and Miami-Dade counties.
Get a free quote today.