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Hello and welcome to the third installment of our Stone in Your Home Series, in which we go through your house room by room and discuss what to expect when installing or managing natural stone in your home.

So far, we have covered the kitchen and the living room

Today, we hit the bathroom.

The Bathroom

Perhaps more than with any other room in the house, diligent maintenance is going to be key. Next to the kitchen, your bathroom probably experiences the most activity of any other room in the house.

The constant bathing, grooming, tooth-brushing, and “potty time” means that the stone will be constantly exposed to moisture, hair, soaps, beauty products, and waste.

Allowing the bathroom to fall to neglect will guarantee that whatever stone you have will stain, etch, and even warp given enough time.

So when considering natural stone for your bathroom, be especially mindful about how much work you are willing to put in to keep it ship-shape.

Where to put your Natural Stone 

If you are uninterested in committing a high level of maintenance to your bathroom, then consider natural stone for the sink and floors, but maybe not the shower.

Don’t get me wrong – a shower with natural stone tiling is gorgeous, and if it important to the vision of your bathroom that the tiles are natural stone, then don’t let me dissuade you.

But I want to ensure you have all of the information you need to make an informed decision, and too often have I gone in on a job where the homeowner didn’t know what they were in for when they committed to a natural stone for their shower.

Here’s the thing

Showers of any kind, stone or no, require constant attention to keep from showing wear; that is doubly true for ones which use natural stone walls and floors.

  • You’ll want to squeegee after every use to keep sediment from hard water from building up and tarnishing.
  • You’ll need to invest in stone-safe shower cleaners to deal with the grime that naturally accumulates from the soaps, shampoos, conditioners, and filth that it faces every day, and you will want to clean the shower weekly.
  • But wait, there’s more!
  • If the bathroom has inadequate ventilation, you may begin to see mildew, which besides being unattractive can also be bad for your health, and requires special cleaners to properly deal with.
  • You’ll want to make sure that the grout between tiles isn’t neglected either, which demands a high level of attention to detail.

Furthermore, because natural stone and grout is porous, it needs to be properly sealed when installed; because it sees so much action, you’ll also want to reseal your shower often to keep it from wearing down.

And that’s just the shower!

The sink surfaces and bathroom floors will also require lots of love, but to a much lesser degree than the shower.

Basic Maintenance

Here are a few tips for diligently maintaining the rest of your restroom:

  • When you’re done with your business for the day, make a habit of wiping your stone surfaces down with a neutral cleaner. This will cleanse your floors and counters of gunk such as toothpaste spatter, soap, hair product, mouthwash, and even hard water deposits.
  • Use the fan when showering to keep humidity down, and wipe down floors when you finish so that water doesn’t pool up.
  • Be especially diligent around the toilet – nothing subtracts from the elegance that natural stone brings like urine stains.
  • If done every day, maintaining your bathroom doesn’t need to take more than 20 minutes, with maybe a deeper clean once a month to really get after the bits that fall through the cracks. It will go a long way in preserving the life of the stone in your bathroom, which will save you the expense of needing to call in a professional to bring it back to its glory days.

That said, if you do have a bathroom that needs a professional, and you’re in the Santa Barbara area, give us a call today, and we will be happy to see what we can do for you!

Skip Jankoski

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