Stone floor care is often broken down into three categories, says Griffin.

“We’re either cleaning it, maintaining it, or we’re restoring it,” he says. “What we want to do is stay in the cleaning and the maintenance stages. And the way we do that is by training our people properly and setting up schedules to do the work. Then make sure it gets done. A lot of prevention is critical.”

Sand, grit and dirt being tracked into facilities do the most damage to natural stone floors, due to their abrasiveness.

“On a stone floor, you have no sacrificial coating,” says Griffin. “So, you don’t want grit being tracked in.”

That is where an adequate walk-off matting program comes into play. Because the majority of people entering a facility do not stop to wipe their feet, it is important to have walk-off mats that are long enough to trap soil and grit before shoes hit the uncovered flooring, says Poole.

According to the Carpet and Rug Institute, mats that extend six to 15 feet inside the entrance will trap 80 percent of soil and moisture from the first five or six steps.

In addition to mats at all of the entrances and exits, walk-off matting is also necessary in facilities where there is foot traffic from dirty areas to clean areas — a factory or warehouse going into an office area, for example.

It is imperative that mats are also kept clean. Poole says that mats should be cleaned once a week in order to maintain maximum effectiveness and keep soil off of stone floors.

“Mats need to be clean in order to grab dirt,” he says.

Poole also adds that facilities should vacuum mats daily, launder them once a week, and swap them out at various times with an extra set when the other set is being cleaned.