A natural stone shower is a stunning upgrade in any home that adds great value and can last a lifetime. If you’ve recently remodeled your bathroom with a stone shower or are considering having one put in, you may have questions about how to clean and care for it.
There is a bit of a learning curve involved with properly cleaning a stone shower, but the additional upkeep is well worth it to keep it looking its best and considerably extend its lifespan. In addition to regular cleaning, natural stone requires occasional preventive maintenance, but before long doing this will be second nature.
Types of Natural Stone Available for Showers
Not all stone is created equal, and that’s especially true when it comes to its application in showers. Because a shower is frequently wet, it’s important to choose a less porous stone. Moisture can cause significant damage to porous stone, including discoloration and staining. Aside from being resistant to water, the natural stone you select for a shower also needs to be able to stand up to oils and residue of personal hygiene products.
There are a handful of stones that work well in a shower or bathtub, and a professional natural stone supplier can advise you on the best options for your bathroom.
- Granite – Granite is one of the most popular choices for showers because of its extremely hard, nonporous surface and exceptional durability. It’s resistant not just to chips, scratches, and moisture damage, but to many substances found in bath and body products as well.
- Slate – A popular choice for people who prefer a more earthy look, slate comes in neutral colors and easily fits into any decor scheme. Slate is a hard stone and resistant to moisture, scratches, and stains, so it’s fairly low maintenance. However, you must choose the type carefully, as there are some that are known to gradually break down in a wet environment.
- Travertine – Travertine is a type of limestone and is slightly more porous than some other natural stone, but still works well in showers when properly cared for. It comes in both slabs and tiles of varying sizes, so it’s a popular choice especially for bathrooms with bathtubs or tub-shower combinations.
- Marble – The natural veins of marble make it beautiful in showers, but you have to choose your stone carefully. Those veins are more vulnerable to moisture damage, and light-colored marble is prone to discoloration and rusting because it contains a high amount of iron. Marble is an excellent choice for showers, but you should avoid lighter varieties and those with many veins.
Cleaning a natural stone shower
Regardless of the type of stone in your shower, it’s extremely important to use only non-abrasive, non-acidic cleaners. That means avoiding conventional household products including vinegar, lemon juice, and bleach, all of which can dull and damage natural stone. Look for products designated specifically for natural stone and ones that don’t require scrubbing. When using a product for the first time, it’s recommended that you test it in a small, inconspicuous area to ensure it is safe for your stone.
When cleaning any type of stone shower, use a squeegee, soft microfiber cloth, or “magic” eraser that won’t scratch the surface. It’s actually a good idea to use a squeegee after each shower to remove excess water and prevent mildew from growing.
- Granite – Day to day, a granite shower can simply be wiped down to remove excess water. Once a week, use a granite-safe cleaner to remove any buildup, and use a soft nylon brush to gently scrub the grout as needed.
- Slate – Slate is fairly porous, so it’s important to use a squeegee to remove water from the surface after each use. Doing this will take care of most of the routine cleaning, but you can also use a simple paste of baking soda and water to remove stains.
- Travertine – Like slate, travertine is more porous and will benefit from having excess water removed after showers. In addition, once a week use a travertine-safe cleaner and gently buff it into the tiles with a microfiber cloth.
- Marble – Once a week, use a marble-safe cleaner in a spray bottle and a microfiber cloth to clean a marble shower. Once you wipe the surface, repeat the process with a clean cloth and plain water.
Wholesale Granite Direct in Arlington, TX, specializes in fabricating and installing natural showers, as well as bathroom counters, benches, and shelves. Stop by our showroom, contact us online, or check out our Bathroom Visualizer to see what a difference a natural stone shower can make in your home!