New flagstone flooring is a fabulous home investment and, just like original flags, it truly is a ‘last longer than a lifetime’ and flooring option. We’re often asked how best to look after flagstones and we always stress that any good care regime should start before the installation has been completed.
New flagstone flooring should be sealed before being grouted into place, and then afterwards, to protect the surfaces. In each case, it’s really important to ensure that the surface of the flagstone flooring is thoroughly clean first. If it isn’t, then any dirt and residue will become sandwiched between the stone’s surface and the sealant applied. As a result, the sealant won’t be able to penetrate into the stone and do its job. An additional coat of wax will give further protection and often brings out the colour of the stone, be it a mellow vanilla, warm honey or inky black limestone.
Renovating flagstone flooring
If you’re renovating historic flagstone flooring, you’ll need to establish if there is a damp proof membrane or ‘DPM’ in place underneath. If there isn’t one, you shouldn’t seal the floor with a traditional ‘film forming’ solvent sealant as this will trap in moisture, which may then come up through the walls. Flagstones can be lifted and a DPM laid but this is no mean feat; you might prefer to just accept the odd blemish or two and give the surface a thorough deep clean every few months.
Cleaning your flagstones isn’t difficult
Both old and new flagstone flooring is really easy to keep clean, as long as you ensure that any solution used is ‘pH-neutral’. General householder cleaners can be quite harsh and acidic and could eat into the sealant, grout joint and stone! We recommend Lithofin Easycare for daily cleaning , and Lithofin Wexa for a deep clean, every 6-12 months or so. Then, a reapplication of wax once a year and of sealant every 3-5 years.
Not much can go wrong with flagstone flooring but sometimes pitting can occur with some materials. Slurry grout will rectify this or a filling of epoxy resin. You may also encounter some very specific stains, like rust on a pale limestone floor. If you do, there are some great ‘trouble shooters’ out there, much like fabric stain removers for clothes. Be very careful that any product used is suitable though. Once again, acid-based removers can cause all sorts of problems, etching into the flagstone flooring and also potentially damaging adjacent materials, like stainless steel taps and trims. Look out for a specialist, pH-neutral treatment, that’s recommended for stone, and any issues should be very easy to rectify.
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