Specialty Floors

Brick Floor Cleaning

One of the most durable floors available today. A protecting sealer should be applied, but only once the floor is completely dried from cleaning.

Pros: Durable. Environmentally friendly. Once sealed easy to clean — can be wet or dry mopped, even vacuumed. Non-slip and fade resistant.

Cons: Can be rough to the touch, unless it has been sealed.  Susceptible to chipping

Cleaning Tips: Vacuum and mop regularly to keep the finish from scratching and to keep dirt out of pours.  Never apply floor finish without professionally cleaning first.

Periodic Maintenance:  Floors should be scrubbed, and sealing to keep from trapping dirt between coats of finish. Stripping should be done when scrubbing and sealing no longer give the desired results.  Avoid solvent sealers because these are very hard and caustic to remove.  Sealers can have a matt, satin, semi-gloss or shiny finish.  The higher gloss on the floor the more evident the scratches will be.  Sanded joints can be filled at the same time sealers are applied.

Ceramic Tile

Clay-fired man made material. Many of the tiles made today are made to look like real stone. It can be very slippery when wet, or have a rough surface to resist slips and falls. The rough surfaces collect dirt easily, and can become difficult to clean conventionally.

Pros: Long lasting if well cared for. Low maintenance — will clean easily with a neutral floor cleaner. Numerous colors and designs to choose from. Stands up well to high traffic areas.

Cons: Can chip or crack. Because of its hardness, it’s unforgiving to breakable objects.

Cleaning tips: Damp mop regularly. Spot clean with a soft sponge and neutral cleaner.

Concrete Flooring

Concrete floors have come a long way from plain old boring gray. With various options for staining, concrete floors can be an impressive flooring option.

Pros: Very durable. Little maintenance required. Keeps allergens to a minimum.

Cons: Cold in winter and hard on feet.

Cleaning tips: Damp mop and sweep regularly.


Flagstone is the term given to almost all stone materials cut into thin, irregular shapes found frequently on sidewalks, foyer entrances, pool decks, etc.  Flagstone is commonly sandstone-type.  Flagstone should not be ground, and should only be cleaned and sealed.

Pros: Durable. Stain-resistant. Many options for sealer from no gloss to high-shiny gloss.

Cons: Hard on legs and feet. Cold in winter.

Cleaning tips: Damp mop using clear water, or an all purpose floor cleaner. Wring out the mop until it does not drip.

Marble Cleaning

Also known as calcium carbonate stone. It reacts to acid and gives a high-gloss appearance. Most marble has veins, swirls, and bands. Marble should be sealed after cleaning.

Pros: Hard — won’t scratch like hardwood.  Not as scratch resistant as granite.

Cons: Does not hold up well in heavy traffic areas, will have to be regularly polished to maintain its sheen. It does not retain heat very well so it can be very cold in winter.  Acids like vinegar, lemon juice, wine can etch the surface.

Cleaning Tips: Clean with a soft cloth or mop with a pH neutral solution. Never clean with vinegar (vinegar and other acids cleaners will etch surface).

Periodic Maintenance:  Turbo cleaning is the preferred cleaning method because it is the only process that removes soil from deep in pores.

Penetrating Sealer: Necessity to help keep pores from absorbing water, oils and dirt.  Turbo cleaning is the preferred cleaning method because it is the only process that removes soil from deep in pores.

Honing:   is necessary to remove etched spots and rough traffic areas.

Polishing:  though time consuming and expensive it is the only way to return the shine to new condition.

Saltillo Cleaning and Sealing

Also known as Terra Cotta Tile or Mexican Tile. Saltillo is available in three different varieties. Traditional clay sun cured, fired clay and concrete. These floors are beautiful and have a very distinct ranch, Mediterranean and southwest style.

Pros:  Saltillos unique look.  Sun-cured Saltillo and concrete Saltillo tile have the most authentic old world look of the three but it is also the hardest to care for.  Fired Saltillo known as Super-Saltillo has the least old world look but the easiest to care for, since the surface is harder and sealing is not mandatory.

Cons:  soft, porous nature of tile makes it easy to scratch, scuff and damage.  Non-fired clay Saltillo and concrete Saltillo have a surface color that can be damaged if not sealed and not maintained properly.  Due to its thin surface color it must be maintained properly.

Periodic Maintenance:  Important to never seal these floors until they have been professionally cleaned.  Use neutral floor cleaner to mop.  Matt and satin sheen sealers appear to last longer because minor scratches are less noticeable.


Limited in color from pure white to charcoal gray.  Its natural state with moderate to heavy amounts of veining, varying from piece to piece. With age, use and the application of mineral oil the stone darkens and the character and beauty become more apparent. Mineral oil should be applied to aid in the oxidation process for soapstone, giving it a deeper color.

Pros:  Great for countertops because it won’t burn or stain. Joints can be made invisible. Has a warmer feel than granite or marble.

Cons: Requires frequent application of mineral oil. Prone to chipping and scratching.

Cleaning tips:  Clean regularly with mild dish soap and warm water. Wipe frequently with mineral oil.  Scratches can be removed with scrub pad and water.


Travertine is limestone that has been formed in hot springs.  Water movement causes the erosion of the stone, creating numerous holes of varying sizes.  A polished Travertine will have its holes filled with color-matched cement filler.  Because the filler does not take a high polish, the polish can sometimes appear blotchy.

Pros:  Diverse style options. Simple installation.  Beauty.

Cons: Unsealed stone is reactive to acidic products.  Holes can become larger over time and need filling as well as cleaning.  Polished Travertine is a soft floor, and will dull in traffic areas over time.

Cleaning tips:  Vacuum regularly.  Use neutral floor cleaners these will not leave streaks on floor and are gentle on the stone.  Stay clear from generic stone cleaners, as they  can be abrasive and etch the floors.

Periodic Cleaning:  Turbo cleaning is the preferred cleaning method because it is the only process that removes soil from deep in pores.  A quality penetrating sealer is advisable to help keep the stone from soaking up oils, water based stains and dirt.  I would never put a clear coat finish on top of this material because it is difficult to remove and it then becomes a maintenance floor. Expensive!!!

VCT Flooring

VCT Floors is known as Vinyl Composition Tile.  Typically found in commercial buildings, this floor has to be stripped and waxed regularly to remove dirt and scratches on the surface of the wax.

Pros: Smooth finish and attractive look.

Cons: Can be slippery when wet. Has to be stripped and waxed regularly for maintenance.

Cleaning tips: Sweep or dust mop daily. Damp mop only when necessary as water can seep between the seams.

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