Caring For A Masonry Floor

Products of the earth, natural masonry materials come in an array of textures, subtle shades of color, and a variety of shapes that can be used to create a striking interior floor. Masonry is made from stone or clay. Whether used in it’s original form – marble or slate, for example – or in manmade versions, like brick or terrazzo, masonry makes an exceptionally tough, durable floor.

Stone masonry flooring- marble, slate, limestone, granite, and flagstone- is usually installed only in entryways, kitchens, and bathrooms, or used as decorative flooring around fireplaces.

Brick, a relatively inexpensive type of masonry, is becoming an increasingly popular choice for interior floors. Its mass and its heat retaining property make it ideal for passive solar home designs.

The porous surface of most masonry flooring must be sealed after the flooring is installed. Special sealers are available for specific types of masonry. Most are penetrating sealers that soak into the porous surface; depending on the flooring material, you may need to apply several coats to produce a hard surface.

Your masonry supplier can recommend the right product for the type of masonry floor you’ve installed. To apply the sealer, follow the manufacturer’s directions.

Once the surface has been sealed, masonry floors are very easy to maintain. The materials are rugged and durable and need only an occasional sweeping and washing with a damp sponge mop and mild detergent.

You may have to apply a light coat of wax now and then to bring out the character and texture of the flooring material. Check the label of the wax container to make sure the wax you’ve selected is compatible with the masonry material. Generally, you’ll be looking for a water-base emulsion wax.