With proper care and maintenance tile floors and walls can look as good as they did when first laid. We take a look at some of the popular types of tiles and the cleaning methods for keeping them looking their best. It is important to remember to talk to us about the best and safest products to use to clean your tiles.
Porcelain is a popular tile for the home because it is highly durable and stain resistant, and requires little effort to maintain. Porcelain tiles come in a wide variety of colours, shapes and textures and can come in natural, polished or glazed finishes.
In general, regular sweeping of floor tiles is required to keep dirt from the grout and wiping down of bathroom walls after showers to keep grout dry. Sealed porcelain tiles have a barrier that keeps stains on the surface so washing with soapy water and a cloth is usually enough. As porcelain is quite hard, dirty tiles can be cleaned at high pressures if the grout is sealed.
Marble tiles have a very smooth surface and a lustrous shine when highly polished. The beautiful natural colours and features of a marble floor is a very appealing addition to a home. As marble is a relative of limestone, it is a porous material and requires special care as it is prone to staining and scratching in high traffic areas. Acidic substances such as fruit juice, soft drinks and sauces can be difficult to remove if left, some cleaning products are also acidic and will stain marble.
Regularly maintain your marble tiles by cleaning up spills immediately and only using warm water and a mild detergent. Always dry marble floors with a towel or mop as they spot easily. To protect marble’s original shine and lustre, a deep penetrating sealer is recommended to create a barrier and prevent stains from being absorbed.
Ceramic tiles look good and are very durable as they are produced from clays that are baked at extremely high temperatures. They tend to be easy to care for because they are highly resistant to staining and moisture. Ceramic tiles can be glazed or unglazed, but of the two, the glazed kind are easier to clean. Unglazed ceramic tiles tend to be porous and dirt can get into small cracks, you’ll need to be on top of any spills. So most people prefer to have glazed tiles for cleaning and maintenance.
Vacuum or sweep the ceramic floor to remove loose dirt and grime. Wash the floor with a mild detergent and water using a soft cloth or mop. Don’t use sponges as they push the dirty water into grout lines. If the floor is very dirty, change the water often. If they tiles still look cloudy use a non-abrasive all-purpose cleaner to remove dirt and residue from the tiles. Buff with a soft, dry cloth for best results.
Slate tiles are made from natural stone and are popular for flooring both indoors and outdoors. They are a durable and affordable choice. Slate is a dense material that can easily be scratched so they are usually sealed with a penetrating sealer to prevent marking and staining.
Regular cleaning of slate floors is necessary to avoid buildup of dirt and to keep the finish looking glossy. Wipe up spills immediately with a paper towel. For general maintenance don’t use any type of acid based cleaner as they can wear away the slate. Warm water and a mild detergent or a cleaner specifically designed for slate floors is best. Allow the floor to air dry after mopping.
Glass & Metallic Tiles
Glass and metallic tiles have a gloss finish, so it is important not to use abrasive products and applicators, like a scourer. These tiles should also always be swept before they are mopped. This is because mopping with dirt will just move the sand around causing scratches on the tiles.
As much as it might sound like a good idea, daily mopping isn’t the best way to keep your tiles clean. Not being able to fully clean the dirty water and soap out of the mop means the dirt, contaminates and soap are spread across the floor. The use of soap detergents can cause a buildup of soap scum over your floors. A weekly wet mop is the better way to go.
We recommend using a cleaning product called O So Kleen Multi-Surface Cleaner. With a lemongrass scent this cleaner is perfect for ceramic, porcelain, glazed and unglazed tiles. O So Kleen will help to remove grease, grime, stains and scuff marks from your tiles. It will also help to restore grout and leave your tiles sparkling. Contact us or come into our showroom to pick up some for your tiles.
With so many different types of tiles, materials and finishes, it is really important to talk to your tile supplier about the best way to care and maintain your particular choice. It is a good idea to have this discussion during the purchasing process to make sure you choose the right tile for your lifestyle.