How to Care for Natural Stone Tile

Natural Tile (slate, marble, travertine, etc.)

Care: Wipe up spills, especially acidic or oil based ones immediately. Prolonged exposure can cause staining. Natural stones are strongly recommended to be sealed. How often is highly based on use, but every 2-3 years is recommended. If used in a shower, you may need to seal as often as once every year. Tile can be sealed by a professional or use a “natural stone” sealer purchased from the manufacturer or home improvement store. This process takes about 5-10 minutes. Clean surface before sealing

Cleaning: Avoid cleaners with ammonia or vinegar. Use a soft damp cloth for routine cleaning. While a mild, soapy water can occasionally be used, overexposed will cause buildup and can dull the finish. It is recommended to use a specialized cleaner formulated for “natural stone” if you want to use more than water. To minimize build-up in a shower, do not use bar soap, but liquid body wash.

Special Note on Slate: A nature characteristic of slate is to slough off thin layers of itself-this is NORMAL and does not mean the tile has been damaged.  Slate also will have natural height variations that will produce a textured surface.

How to Care for Wood Flooring

Care: Due to the fact that wood is a natural, soft material, a wood floor will eventually scratch-there is no way around this! However preventative care can minimize this. Use throw and area rugs. Remove shoes before entering the area. Avoid wearing high heels, which can leave divets. Use furniture pads.  Daily sweeping  to remove dirt is one of the best ways to keep your floor looking its best. A humidifier in the winter can help prevent shrinkage.

Cleaning: Wipe up spills as soon as possible. Avoid wet mopping your floors or exposing it to large amounts of water. The best way to clean a wood floor is to first thoroughly sweep the area. Then use a specially formulated wood floor cleaner and a microfiber cloth type mop. Spray cleaner directly on the floor and mop. Bona and Armstrong cleaner and mop heads are recommended brands. Never use products for a waxed floor, it can dull the finish.

How to Care for Laminate Counter Tops

Care: Laminate is not heat or stain resistant. It is recommended to clean up spills as soon as possible. Always use a cutting board and trivets for hot items.

Cleaning: Use a damp cloth or sponge with a mild soap or detergent. Difficult stains can be removed with a water-baking soda paste. Use a stiff nylon brush and scrub (15-20 strokes) on the area. Sit for 5-10 minutes and remove with a damp cloth. Stubborn stains can be removed with undiluted bleach and rinse with warm water. You must immediately and thoroughly clean with warm water. Prolonged exposure or failure to rinse can cause permanent discoloration.

Recommended Cleaners: Clorox, Formula 409, Windex, Lestoi, Mr. Clean, Lysol

How to Care for Solid Surface Counter Tops

Care: Solid Surfaces are not heat resistant; always use a hot pad or trivet. Always use a cutting board to avoid seeing scratch marks. While stain resistant, wipe up spills as soon as possible.

Cleaning: Use a damp cloth and a mild household detergent for routine cleaning. To remove most stains, hard water deposits, and minor scratching: use soapy water and an abrasive pad such as 3M Scotch Brite brand gray “kitchen scrub” pad. Don’t use a window cleaner. To remove deep stains and scratches; use fine sand paper and finish as above. Special care is needed to restore finish if damaged-consult fabricator for this. Avoid strong chemicals and solvents.

How to Care for Granite Counter Tops

Care: While heat resistant and scratch resistant, always use a cutting board with knives. Be cautious with hot objects-trivets are not necessary but recommended.

Your granite is sealed upon installation. It is recommended to seal tops within two years (or less for a marble or very porous granite). You can purchase sealer from the manufacturer or home improvement store. It must be specific for “natural stone.” It is about a 5-10 process you can do yourself. Or, the manufacturer can come out for a charge and seal it.

Cleaning: For routine cleaning, use a damp cloth. You can use a very mild soapy water; but this may cause a film if used often. Rinse with clean water and dry immediately to avoid spots. You may also use a glass cleaner such as Windex (no ammonia) or a specialized Granite cleaner. Avoid any acid based or abrasive cleaner.

Staining may occur from citrus fruits, wine, or oil-based substances, so clean spills as soon as possible.