Flagstone: Slate, Quarzite, and Sandstone
Flagstone is a generic term applied to stone comprised of various materials like clay, sand, and shale that is easily split into layers. Yet, flagstone's like quartzite, slate and sandstone are quite different. For a few months, newer floors can feel slightly gritty. It is normal for clay-enriched slate and some sandstones to delaminate (separate in layers). Flagstone is more susceptible to mineral build-up and weathering where exposed regularly to water and the elements. A more viscous enhancer-sealer is best for most flagstones. They repel liquids and provide better protection, and also enrich the stone’s natural colors.
Quartzite, slate and sandstone can be used either inside or outside a home. Depending on the sealing process, Flagstone needs maintenance every 1 - 3 years depending on wear, location, type, and care. Some maintenance tips follow:
- Most flagstones should be sealed.
- Neutral pH stone soap is best for regular cleaning.
- Other more aggressive cleaners like bleach, strippers, and acids can be used.
- Always test cleaners in an inconspicuous area and ensure to follow directions.
- A deck brush can be used to remove more soiled or mineral affected exterior areas.
- Care must be taken not to scrub too hard, as some slates are softer and particles can loosen.
- Standing water should be squeegeed, as mineral build-up and more rapid weathering can occur.
- If additional treatment is needed, more aggressive, homeowner friendly cleaners and processes can be used.