There are many types of tile, including porcelain, ceramic, and stone, which can be found in use on both floors and walls. When properly installed and cared for, tile can last a lifetime. How well tile ages depends, as most things do, on how well it is cared for. Do you know how to take care of your tile so it makes you proud for many years? See below for some care and cleaning tips to keep your tile floors or walls in tip-top shape.
Basic Tile Care
As an important first step, all tile floors should be swept or vacuumed at least weekly to remove crumbs, dirt, or grit that could potentially scratch or damage your tile. Wall tiles can be wiped with plain water to quickly remove any surface dirt.
How to Clean Tile
Then it’s time to really clean! How you go about this will depend on the type of tile that you have. In the case of porcelain or ceramic tiles, both of which are glazed, you can use almost any household cleaner, or a commercial cleaner specifically made for tile. Use a microfiber mop or cloth – not a sponge – and change your water frequently. Pay attention to whether the cleaner you chose leaves streaks; if so, rinse them away using a fresh cloth or mop and plain water or a mild vinegar solution. To avoid rinsing, spot test cleaners first, and avoid those that streak.
If you have natural stone tiles, choose a cleaner specially designed for use on them. Natural stone is porous and responds poorly to anything acidic, so avoid vinegar! Instead, gently clean them with a pH-neutral cleaner.
How To Clean Grout
Most tiles are installed with grout lines. Keep them looking new by periodically scrubbing them with a grout brush, or an old toothbrush, and a mild bleach solution. For stubborn stains, allow the bleach water to set, or try one of the many commercial cleaners available. Make sure to choose one that won’t damage your tiles. As an added level of protection, consider sealing your grout periodically, once it is clean, to prevent stains.
Dry Your Tiles
As a final step, you can dry your tiles with a clean, soft cloth. Microfiber works particularly well for this task. Drying the tiles will prevent water spots from forming and help them shine!
If you need additional tile advice for existing flooring or walls, or if you are ready to take steps to upgrade your space and tile is part of your plans, contact the knowledgeable design staff at DeHaan Tile & Floor Covering. We can review options, recommend products, and help you make your tile dreams come true!