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5 Everyday Habits Harming Your Home's Stone

Stone is a beautiful and durable addition to any home, be it in the form of granite countertops, marble floors, or sandstone tile.  While some stones are softer than others, all of them require care and cleaning to keep them looking their best. Here are some everyday practices that you may not realize are harming your home's stone.

Dirt and Grit on Shoes

Mud is not the only reason to leave your shoes at the door. Dirt, sand, and grit tracked inside from shoes can scratch softer stone surfaces. While it may not be noticeable at first, entryways and other heavy foot traffic areas will start to look dull and worn over time.

Small pieces of debris on shoe soles act as abrasives and can essentially cause the same effect as sandpaper.  If you don't want to leave your shoes at the door, consider placing area rugs or welcome mats at entryways and foyers to help catch shoe debris and protect stone floors from further damage.

Pets and Kids on Floors

Even bare feet or paws can still bring damaging dirt across stone floors. While most stones are hard enough to resist a pet's nails, paws will still bring pebbles, sand, and other small abrasives into your home on a regular basis. Active kids also drag sports equipment, toys, or backpacks with metal fasteners across stone floors, leaving a trail of scratches and abrasions behind.

It's a good idea to wipe off your pet's paws with a small towel or on a mat before they run inside. Give kids a special place to store equipment that comes home, like a closet or cubby for school supplies, coats, and shoes. Stone is one of the most durable materials available for flooring, but it also needs care to keep it looking its best.

Keys and Metal Objects on Counters

After a long day, many people come in the door and toss their keys across the counter on their way into the kitchen. Purses and bags with metal fasteners or decorations can also scratch stone countertops when slid across them. Because you're likely to leave these items in the same place each day, those tiny scratches and scuffs can soon add up, creating a noticeable dull spot.

Neglecting to use a cutting board during prep work in the kitchen can also hurt the smooth countertop, along with other metal kitchen gadgets that are used in the same place.  

To keep it looking smooth and shiny, find another place to rest your keys or purse, or lay a decorative placemat over the counter where you normally place them. Always use a cutting board or pot holders when cooking, and try to be conscious of what is being used directly on the counter.

Furniture and Moving Across Rooms

Moving comes with its own perils, but the last thing anyone needs is their new stone floors being scratched by furniture coming in or out. Because of its weight, as well as any stone pieces or particles that might be attached to the bottom, furniture poses a threat to stone floors when it is moved.

If possible, have someone help lift the item instead of dragging it across the floor. When rearranging a room, create a plan detailing where each piece should go before you begin moving. This should reduce any unnecessary movements that could damage the stone floor.

Sanded Grouts and Stone on Stone

Sand particles and other stones can also scratch and damage softer stone countertops and flooring. Even sanded grouts between tiles pose a threat when sand particles become dislodged and scratch the tiles next to them.

During any home improvement project where multiple stone pieces are present, try not to store them with rougher edges against smoother ones. While soapstone is not going to harm granite or marble, granite and marble can easily scratch tiles made of softer stone.

To restore your damaged stone, contact OC Marble Restoration.