Hard stone floors have unique challenges that need to be addressed after much research and if necessary, additional training.  It is suggested you read the preceding background article first. Following are some recommendations for caring for stone floors.  

• Did the property manager provide any directions when you took on this contract?  Since they are the owner of the property, request they provide specific written guidelines from the installer (or from their maintenance engineers) as to proper procedures for maintaining this type floor.

• Determine what type floor it is since marble has different properties than granite or concrete matrix such as terrazzo.  

• Consider bringing in a professional floor technician specializing in this type floor.  Get all directions in writing.  Request training be provided to key staff members if work is beyond the standard daily floor care practices.

• Proper matting to catch grit and soils before they enter the building are crucial.

• It is important that you use clean mops, change solution often, etc. but in spite of these efforts marble, granite, slate and other natural stones will begin to show wear after time.  

• Make sure the neutral mop soap does not have a pH over 9 except for extreme cases.  NEVER USE ACIDS (pH under 7) on any marble floor or terrazzo with marble chips.  Unless directed otherwise, always rinse the floor with clean water, clean mop, etc. weekly to remove any residue build up.  

• Promptly mop up (and rinse) any acid spills includes soda, lemonade, etc.  Damage can be done in less than 30 seconds to some stone surfaces, especially marble.

• The only exception to the pH rule is that if there is any water based finish or seal on the floor, a stripper with a pH of 11 or higher may have to be used.  Rinse thoroughly but be careful of using a neutralizer (acid based).  First try a no rinse stripper.

• Based on the square footage involved, the $10,000 quotation may be low or does not include the entire area.  A floor that has not been polished in over 10 years will require extensive refurbishing.

• Is the property manager using a mat service with at least 20 – 30 feet of continuous surface to capture outside and inside soils and moisture? 

• All floor mats should be vacuumed regularly and cleaned underneath (dry) to minimize moisture damage.  

• If the property manager will not allow extensive use of floor matting in key traffic areas, they should be advised that the result will be more rapid wear and shortened frequencies between having to have it professionally re-polished.

We will continue with additional thoughts in the next article.  Your comments and questions are always welcome.  I hope to hear from you soon.  Until then, keep it clean…


Mickey Crowe has been involved in the industry for over 35 years. He is a trainer, speaker and consultant. You can reach Mickey at 678.314.2171 or CTCG50@comcast.net.