Florida Sanitary Supply Association

State Governing and Advocacy Association for Contractors, Distributors and Manufacturers of Cleaning and Maintenance Supplies

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Marble Floor Maintenance 101: A beginners Guide
By: Kevin Ressler

Marble may seem tough as a rock, but the truth is, incorrect marble care can leave your floors looking dirty, dull or even permanently damaged.

If this is your first time taking care of this type of stone, don't despair: a little elbow grease, the right marble care products, and a weekend of your time can make all the difference.

9 Steps to Better Floors

1. Choose your weekend.

Pick a weekend when you have no other commitments so that you won't feel rushed. Opt for a time when minimal traffic will be flowing in and out of your home.

2. Size up the project.

• Clearly identify the size of the area you need to clean.

• Calculate how much product you will require to complete the job.

• Calculate how much time you will require to complete the job, i.e., can it be done in a weekend, or would it be better to break the job in to more manageable sections?

• Decide if you are willing to do the job yourself or if you'd rather hire help.

• If you choose to hire someone, asking the right interview questions can help you find the best person for the job.

3. Identify the finish on your floors.

• Polished marble floor tile has a high shine, with pronounced colors and patterns.

• Honed marble has a matte finish, and is more slip resistant.

• Tumbled marble tile has a more antique appearance with chipped edges and rounded corners.

4. Determine the condition of your floors.

• Optimal - No obvious etching or staining, and the surface wipes clean easily with no filming or streaking.

• Dirty - Residue, build-up or streaks are evident, and the marble may have a tired appearance.

• Grimy - A heavier build-up may be present, and the surface may appear to be dirty, dull or stained.

• Chipped/Stained - Permanent staining may exist, in addition to smaller holes or cracks.

• Dull - Your marble flooring may look dingy or lifeless, with permanent stains and stubborn areas that won't come clean during regular cleaning; professional restoration is recommended.

• Damaged - In this case larger chips or holes may be present, and the finish may be worn down. In this case professional restoration is also recommended.

5. Find the right marble care products.

• Neutral floor cleaner- Perfect for optimal or dirty floors.

• Stone sealer - Dirty and grimy floors can benefit from a coat of sealer.

• Intensive cleaner - Grimy floors require some extra cleaning power.

• Floor stripper - Stripping the finish from dull floors can remove old sealer, epoxy grout haze and wax from the surface.

• Hole repair kit - Perfect for minor chips, holes or cracks.

• Spot removal kit - This marble care product effectively removes dull spots or stains on your polished marble floors.

6. Avoid the wrong marble care products, including the following:

• Cleaners containing alcohol.

• Acid-based cleaners, such as vinegar.

• Abrasive cleaners.

• Products containing wax.

• Products containing bleach.

• Scented products, which can leave streaks.

7. Obtain the right tools.

• A dust mop or vacuum with a soft-bristled attachment.

• A string or sponge mop.

• Soft cloths or terry towels.

• A non-abrasive brush or sponge.

8. Use your marble care products correctly.

• Always read product labels for directions and warnings.

• Wear protective gloves and eye wear when using more intensive cleaners or products.

• Remember, you may need more than one application to achieve the desired results.

• If in doubt, test a small, inconspicuous area first, before tackling the entire floor.

• Match the product to the right finish.

9. Put your efforts to the test.

• For highly polished marble floors, see if they're as clean as they could be by holding a light bulb above the surface. If you can read the letters on the bulb in the reflection, they're good to go.
Maintenance Tips

• Remove shoes at the door; they can track in grit which may scratch or etch your floors.

• Place felt pads beneath furniture legs to protect your marble.

• Sweep or vacuum high traffic areas daily to remove dirt.

• Re-seal your floors every 6 to 12 months, as needed.

• Keep a terry cloth and spray cleaner handy for on the spot clean-ups.

• Place mats in all entryways to stop dirt from going any further.

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