Marble tile is a wonderful choice for homeowners because of the varied designs that come naturally with this kind of flooring. The earth-tones make it a breeze to coordinate the rest of the home with the floor, yet the venation is snowflake-like, making no two floors the same. Not only that, marble is generally hypoallergenic, it does not trap bacteria.
Now the catch is how to keep your marble tile floor as beautiful as the day you had it installed. Marble is a natural stone, thus making it pre-disposed to stains. The homeowner should take precautionary steps as well as preventive maintenance to keep their marble floor as it should be.
It would be best not to use marble in high-traffic areas (e.g. foyer, kitchen). When this is unavoidable, using a glazed marble tile is a good idea. It still needs regular cleaning, but is more resistant to staining and damage.
Marble is prone to a number of different kinds of stains. The most common are stains and discoloration caused by acidic substances which are the result of little household accidents. Spilled vinegar and citric juices are common culprits of marble floor stains. Even leaving spilled water on the marble floor may cause spots if not attended to because of the porous quality of this natural stone. The solution is to immediately mop up or wipe away the liquids that come in contact with the floor, not allowing it any time to settle.
Other common stains come from tannic liquids or solutions like tea, beer and wine. Like the way they can stain clothes, or even your teeth, they also create hard-to-remove stains on marble floors, since marble is very reactive to acidic substances. A good remover for these sort of stains is Hydrogen Peroxide with a few drops of Ammonia.
Stains in kitchens with marble floors are generally from oils. Cooking oil, oily foods and grease may leave drops on the marble tile, leaving unsightly discoloration, not to mention the hazard of slippery floors. Applying a mild household detergent and quickly scrubbing and drying the spots will get your floor spic and span.
Rust stains may result when you have metallic items which oxidize because of the damp, leaving a rust stain on your floor. Think metallic flower and ornamental plant pots. A nice little household tip to remove rust stains is to use a mixture of lemon juice and salt. It works especially well on rust stains on colored marble. The homeowner should watch out though and make sure not to let the lemon juice stay on the marble floor overlong.
Seeing a discolored marble floor is certainly disturbing. One good solution is to use Hydrogen Peroxide or bleach to return it to its original color. To maintain a good shine, using polishing powder is very effective. A buffing machine is used to apply the powder to the floor.
Now for those who would like to use a more permanent method of maintenance, diamond sanding is a good choice. This is particularly for those homeowners who would like to restore the shine their marble floor used to have. Make sure to choose a professional sander because if this method is done wrong, it may leave circular sanding marks on your floor from the use of uneven diamond abrasive pads.
Last but not the least, we have the two most important maintenance methods of all, which are the cheapest and most effective too. One, clean your marble floor daily with a neutral pH cleanser and water, making sure to dry quickly after. Two, dirt and grime tracked in from daily traffic should be cleaned or wiped away immediately. Doing these two things will definitely sustain the beauty of your marble floor, letting you and your family enjoy the charm it brings to your home.
Vanessa Arellano Doctor