Different Types of Stone Flooring and How to Clean Them

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There are two types of stones that are available to utilize, natural and engineered stone. Natural stone contains elements that are extracted from the Earth’s surface through mining and quarrying. On the other hand, engineered stones are artificially created to enhance properties with increased durability and are often made to tailor specific architectural requirements.  

Both of these stone types are best used for many decorative purposes, especially flooring material. But natural stone varieties may exhibit more qualities, thus making them a much more popular and expensive choice for residential and commercial setting applications. 

Natural Stones vs. Engineered Stones for Flooring Material

Natural Stones Engineered Stones
Composition As the name implies, natural stone is quarried naturally and directly from the earth. These stones are formed over millions of years through geological purposes. Engineered stone is a man-made product created by combining crushed natural stone with resins, polymers, and pigments.
Appearance Due to its natural formation, natural stone exhibits more unique and varied patterns, colors, and textures. Each piece is one-of-a-kind. When natural stone is utilized as flooring material, it can help to infuse a timeless appearance in any space. Engineered stone might mimic the look of natural stone, but because it was man-made, engineered stone tends to have a more consistent appearance. Thus based on request, manufacturers can control the colors or the patterns to provide a uniform look for the flooring area.
Durability Natural stone indeed is durable and can withstand the test of time. However, some types of natural stone have porous surfaces, thus they are more susceptible to staining. Engineered stone, on the other hand, is engineered to be highly durable and less prone to staining than natural stones.
Maintenance Due to its porous surfaces, natural stone will need regular sealing to protect it from staining and moisture damage. Utilizing natural stone as flooring material can require time-consuming and costly maintenance. Generally, engineered stone is non-porous, so it is resistant to stains and moisture. This means floor area with engineered stone will require less maintenance and sealing.
Cost To get natural stone, it will require extra energy to quarry it based on its source. Not to mention, some natural stone is limited and rare, making it much more expensive to purchase. The cost of engineered stone is much lower than natural stone. They offer a budget-friendly option for many.

Natural Stones

Cleaning & Maintenance for Natural Stone

Maintaining natural stone flooring requires specific care to ensure its long-lasting beauty and durability. Regular cleaning with pH-neutral cleaners, and proper sealing are essential steps to help preserve the elegance of natural stone. By following these cleaning and maintenance guidelines, you can enjoy the timeless appeal of natural stone flooring. 

Know Your Stone

Begin by understanding the type of stone you use first. Whether you are installing a new floor or have an existing one, understanding the stone’s characteristics is crucial to give it proper maintenance.

Choose The Right Cleaner

Each stone might require different cleaning products. Failure to choose the right one might result in damage to your natural stone. Thus, ensure you have the right cleaner for your specific stone type. 

Generally for natural stone, it is best to stick to neutral pH cleaners. Avoid anything below pH-7 (acidic) or above pH-7 (alkaline), because they can harm the stone’s sealant and cause etching. A specific cleaner with pH-neutral is the safest option to clean your natural stone.

Dry Sweep Regularly

Dry sweeping your natural stone floor is important because most household dirt contains dust, dirt, and grit. These can scratch and damage the surface of the natural stone. When sweeping it is best to utilize microfiber sweeping mops for effective and frequent cleaning.

Use a Microfiber Damp Mop

Modern microfiber mops are more efficient than traditional cotton mops. They pick up damp soil from the stone and trap it in their fibers, preventing dirt from settling into grout lines.

Protect Your Natural Stone with a Sealer

Sealing is especially essential for all types of natural stone. It can help to protect natural floors by filling the porous holes in the stone’s surface, effectively preventing spills and grime from penetrating and causing stains. Incorporating these practices into your floor maintenance routine will help to ensure the floors remain beautiful and resilient for years to come. 

Type of Natural Stone Best for Flooring Material

Granite

Granite forms from cooled liquid magma and contains high levels of silica and alkali iron oxide, resulting in its characteristic grain-like patterns. Granite is highly durable and resistant to wear and tear, making it suitable for high-traffic areas. It's a popular choice for kitchens, hallways, and commercial spaces due to its strength and low maintenance requirements.

Limestone

Limestone is a sedimentary rock formed from the accumulation of sediments deposited by natural elements. The sedimentary fragments break off from natural elements and eventually solidify into limestone. Limestone often displays a soft and matte finish. Its natural and rustic appearance makes it popular for interior and exterior flooring in areas with low to moderate foot traffic.

Marble

Marble is a metamorphic rock which is known for its elegance and timeless beauty. It features a wide range of colors and intricate veining patterns. Marble is widely utilized as a flooring material as it can impart a natural and sophisticated appearance to spaces. Marble is often chosen for its luxurious appearance, making it ideal for high-end spaces. It's relatively durable and can withstand moderate to high foot traffic. However, it may require regular sealing to protect against staining.

Onyx

Onyx is renowned for its jet-black coloration, although it can be found in other hues. Designers favor its elegant black luster, using it in jewelry settings, as well as for flooring, walls, and designer countertops. Onyx's stunning visual effects make it an attractive choice for statement floors in well-lit areas. However, it's best suited for areas with low to moderate foot traffic due to its relative softness compared to other stones.

Quartzite

Quartzite is a metamorphic rock primarily composed of quartz crystals. It often has a glossy finish and unique veining. Quartzite is prized for its durability and resistance to stains, making it suitable for high-traffic areas. It's often used in kitchens and bathrooms where a combination of beauty and strength is desired.

Soapstone

Soapstone is relatively soft compared to other stones due to its talc-rich composition. It is primarily used for carving, sculpting, and decorative pieces. Soapstone's softness makes it less ideal for high-traffic areas like hallways but suitable for less-used spaces like bathroom floors.

Slate

Slate originates from sedimentary rock and volcanic ash. Slate's natural slip resistance and durability make it an excellent choice for flooring in areas with moderate to heavy foot traffic. It's commonly used in kitchens, bathrooms, and outdoor spaces due to its rugged yet elegant appearance.

Travertine

Travertine is a type of limestone formed from mineral-rich water sources. It features unique, fibrous patterns and a porous surface. It is commonly used for outdoor patios, pool decks, and indoor areas like kitchens and bathrooms. However, it is important to note that its porous nature makes travertine require regular sealing to protect against moisture and stains.

Engineered Stone 

Cleaning & Maintenance for Engineered Stone

Sweep the Floor

To start cleaning an engineered stone floor, begin by getting rid of loose dust, sand, or grit. You can do this by gently sweeping the surface with a soft brush or by using a vacuum cleaner with the right attachment. 

It's important to vacuum and sweep your stone floors frequently because tiny particles like dust and dirt can get stuck in the stone, potentially causing scratches. Once you've removed the dust and grit, you can move on to the next step of cleaning your floor.

Mop the Floor

The engineered stone typically doesn't have the tiny pores that natural stone does. This means that it’s much more resistant to stains, and is also less sensitive to acidic substances. However, it is still best to avoid contact with acidic materials and use a pH-balanced cleaner or mild dish soap for cleaning.

You can lightly spray the cleaning solution using a spray bottle or dip your microfiber mop pad in a bucket with the solution. Spraying the floor helps prevent excess liquid from going into grout lines or other gaps in the floor. If you're using a bucket, make sure to wring out the mop thoroughly before using it on the floor.

Rinse and Dry

After mopping, rinse the surface thoroughly to remove any remaining cleaning solution. Finish by utilizing another clean and dry cloth to thoroughly dry the engineered stone surface to prevent water spots from forming.

Type of Engineered Stone Best for Flooring Material

Crystalline

Crystalline stone is a type of natural rock that's a bit like crystals you might find in jewelry or decor. These rocks often have a neat geometric shape with flat surfaces. Crystalline rocks can be hard or soft, come in various colors, and look different depending on the type of crystal used.

Concrete

Concrete is a well-known material used for things like roads, sidewalks, and the foundations of buildings. It's made by mixing cement with other stuff, and when it dries, it becomes hard like rock. Concrete is a popular choice for flooring due to its strength, durability, and adaptability.

Glass

Glass is a transparent material known for its clear appearance. Glass is widely used for many things, from practical items to decorative pieces. It's clear, transparent, and has a unique look that you can't find in any other natural or engineered stone. Glass is primarily utilized for decorative purposes and is infrequently chosen as the primary flooring material as it is susceptible to breakage. But, it usually is used in specific areas where a transparent effect is desired.

Neolith

Neolith is a special type of stone made from different minerals. Neolith's durability and resistance to scratches and moisture make it an excellent choice for flooring, especially in high-traffic areas like kitchens and bathrooms. 

SM Quartz

Santa Margherita Quartz also widely known as SM Quarts is a contemporary stone variety that emerged in recent years as a viable substitute for marble. It is known for its durability, wide array of colors and patterns, and cost-effective price. SM Quartz is a resilient and low-maintenance flooring choice that can withstand heavy foot traffic. As a flooring material, it is renowned for its elegance, durability, and low maintenance. 

Vadara Quartz

Vadara Quartz is an engineered quartz surface made from natural quartz crystals combined with resins and pigments. It offers a wide range of colors and patterns and is durable and low-maintenance. Vadara Quartz flooring is highly resistant to stains, scratches, and moisture, making it a practical and best choice for both residential and commercial flooring applications.

Final Thoughts: Which One is the Best Flooring Material?

The choice between natural stone and engineered stone depends on your specific needs, budget, and maintenance preferences. Both have their benefits and drawbacks, so it's essential to carefully consider all factors when selecting the right material for your project.

But do keep in mind that each stone might need specific cleaning requirements to follow to maintain its look and durability. Be sure to know the specifications to ensure you can provide the best care and maintenance for your floor material.

Don't have time to do it? Contact us today to book a cleaning session.

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