As so many modern houses are built of fragile, impermanent materials, learning to live with the durability and strength of stone can be a challenge. We’ve noticed that some people are very protective of their stone floors or marble kitchen worktops, treating them like fragile porcelain. Others are a little too cavalier, risking damage which can easily be avoided. At Surrey Marble and Granite, we’ve been working with stone for many years, so we’ve rounded up the best tips and boiled them down to five New Year’s Resolutions for your stone home.
I will relax and enjoy it
We firmly believe that your home should be a pleasure to live in. A beautiful, practical home should be a joy to use. Stone is an incredibly durable material and stone floors in old churches and stately homes have often lasted decades or centuries under constant use. We can’t promise your marble kitchen worktops will stand as long as Westminster Abbey, though!
I will remember that almost anything can be repaired
It can be hard to relax when you’ve bought something new and beautiful, as you’re waiting for the first damage to mar its smooth surface. Stone, as we mentioned, is hard to chip or stain and in most cases the damage can be repaired by a professional. Tiles can be the hardest to match, so it’s a good idea to order a few extra when you lay a stone floor in case of damage in later years.
I will mop up spills straight away
Acidic foods, like lemons, can dull the polish of marble kitchen worktops. Highly coloured foods, like red wine or tea, can stain stone, so it’s important to mop spills up straight away. Don’t panic if you don’t spot a spill straight away, and don’t attempt to counterbalance the spill by using a strong cleaning agent, as these can damage the surface, too.
I will use gentle cleaners
Harsh cleaning agents, such as bleach, can dull the surface of a polished stone or even create pitting over time. We strongly recommend switching to a gentle cleaner. Wiping with warm water and a cloth will remove most spills and mess. Adding a bit of soap, perhaps washing up liquid for counter-tops or a gentle floor cleaner for tiles, can help with stubborn marks. Gentle cleaners tend to be better for your family, your skin and the environment, too.
I will put pads under metal items
Metal can scratch or chip stone, so if you’ve got metal-footed chairs for your stone-floored dining room or a lovely wrought iron ornament for your marble kitchen worktops then make sure you put something underneath it. Small sticky felt or foam pads are sold in most department and hardware stores, and these are ideal as they can be easily cut to fit the feet of your metal treasures.