Natural stone adds a luxurious vibe to a bathroom, giving it a unique and classy aesthetic. Because of the popularity of using natural stone to create an elegant and functional shower, it’s important to know how to care for natural stone tiling.
While maintaining a natural stone shower can be intimidating at first glance, it’s actually as simple as a quick clean once a week.
Types of Natural Stone Used in Showers
Various natural stones have been quarried and shaped for thousands of years for their appearance and lasting nature. Slate, limestone, granite, marble, and more have been used in abundance.
The most popular choices for natural stone shower tiling are soapstone, travertine, and granite due to their more dense, less porous nature. Other stones can undoubtedly be used but must be sealed to resist absorbing water.
Types of natural stone used in showers can include:
- Granite: Granite is prized for its hardness and durability. It is easier to care for than marble and other stones because of its resistance to ingredients found in hygiene products.
- Travertine: Travertine is a type of limestone found in sedimentary rocks. It is popular for bathrooms with a shower and tub configuration.
- Onyx: A banded stone similar to agate, polished onyx is conspicuously stunning—usually in a sleek, black color. However, it is very absorbent and needs to be sealed. It isn’t quite as durable as marble or granite and requires routine maintenance, but homeowners still choose it due to its natural beauty.
- Slate: Considered a low-maintenance stone, slate has a variety of colors, including deep shades of brown, grays, and vibrant warm stones. Slate is made of layers of sediment that were crushed and pressured into stone.
- Marble: Known for soft, light coloring and fascinating veining, marble has been famous for years. While it is porous and requires regular sealing and cleaning, it remains popular.
- Soapstone: This versatile stone comes in shades of gray with distinctive white veining similar to marble. Soapstone is very durable and dense, making it ostensibly ideal for use in the bathroom. It doesn’t get slippery when wet, making it suitable for shower floors. However, soapstone is very soft, can be easily scratched, and resists sealers due to its density.
Best Natural Stone Shower Cleaner
Using the right cleaner to clean your natural stone bathroom is important to avoid stains, mishaps, and damage to your stone. It’s best practice to seal dense stone to avoid holding on to water and inviting stains or mold; unfortunately, acidic cleaners will break down the sealant that is protecting your stone. For this reason, you should not use distilled white vinegar or any other harsh chemical cleaner containing bleach, vinegar, and ammonia.
The key to cleaning natural stone tiles is using a natural, non-acidic, or pH-neutral cleaner (pH level 7 is neutral).
Rock Doctor’s Tile and Grout Cleaner is the best natural stone shower cleaner because it removes grease, dirt, oil, and soap scum from grout and tile without damaging the stone or its sealant. It contains a blend of surfactants, organic salts, and water conditioning agents to create an acid-replacement cleaner that is environmentally friendly and biodegradable. With no unpleasant fumes, the Tile and Grout cleaner is perfect for those small, confined spaces like showers.
Rock Doctor’s Tile and Grout Cleaner is safe for use on grout, porcelain, ceramic, and most natural stone surfaces. Do not use it on marble, limestone, and other calcium-based stone. Use Rock Doctor’s Natural Granite & Quartz Cleaner instead for marble, limestone, and other calcium-based stone.
Steps For Cleaning Natural Stone Showers & Grout
Cleaning natural stone tiles is easy. Every day, use a microfiber cloth or rubber squeegee to remove water from the stone after your shower. Then, once a week, use Rock Doctor’s Tile and Grout Cleaner to clean your shower.
Using Rock Doctor’s Tile and Grout Cleaner is simple and easy:
- Test the cleaner in an inconspicuous area.
- Spray onto the surface and let it sit for one to three minutes.
- Scrub with a brush, damp sponge, or cloth for heavily soiled areas.
- Rinse thoroughly with water or wipe away with a clean, damp cloth or sponge.
Natural Stone Shower Cleaning FAQs
Here are some questions we frequently get asked about when cleaning natural stone showers:
- How do I clean porous stone that hasn’t been properly sealed?
For both organic and oil-based stains, use Rock Doctor’s Cleaner. Rinse, then scrub with a damp cloth or sponge. Rinse more, and finally, re-seal the stone.
- How do I clean a stubborn stain on my natural stone?
Using one of our natural cleaners, the first thing to try is scrubbing with a wet brush or sponge with hot water. Never underestimate the power of steam. If the stain is still resistant even with heat and more aggressive scrubbing, the next step is to slowly increase the abrasion of your scrubbing tool.
After a soft cloth, sponge, and then a brush, try a green scrubby pad. The softer your stone, the more likely your stone will scratch, such as soapstone. Some stones can adequately withstand even a soft wire brush, which can sometimes be the only saving grace when soap scum is caked on. A wire brush will ruin softer stones like soapstone, so be careful and always test somewhere inconspicuous beforehand.
Other Natural Stone Shower Maintenance Tips
One of the best natural stone maintenance tips for stone shower tiles is to wipe down your tiles after each use with a rubber squeegee. Removing most of the water will help prevent the buildup of soap scum and mineral deposits and reduce or eliminate mold growth.
Additionally, it is essential to seal your natural stone regularly—usually every six to twelve months for best results. To test if you need to seal your stone, simply determine if water on the stone beads up or if it gets absorbed into the stone. Use Rock Doctor’s Granite & Stone Sealer to ensure your stone resists water.
Routinely sealing your stone will allow your shower tiles to shed water and, as a result, resist soap scum and mold.
Shop online to find Rock Doctor’s great stone care products to clean and seal your natural stone shower tile.