How to Maintain Porcelain & Ceramic Tile
Ceramic and porcelain tiles are considered some of the most reliable surfaces for residential and commercial spaces. While they are easy to care for and do not have many sensitive properties, regular maintenance will help them to retain their original strength and beauty. Check out these tips to add to your regular maintenance regimen:
Use a pH-balanced cleaner to keep surfaces clean from everyday dirt and to protect against stains. An acidic cleaner can be used intermittently to deal with deeper dirt stains.
If you have heavy grease and oil stains such as those from food products, clean using an alkaline cleaner formulated for ceramic and porcelain tile. Remember, household cleaners with dyes or those containing bleach, ammonia, or abrasives are not recommended for ceramic, porcelain tile, and grout, as they may discolor the tile or etch it permanently.
Vacuum or dust at least once per week using a clean and dry dust mop. If you do not, it’s possible that sand, dirt, and grit may scratch your tile or discolor your grout. Use mats or area rugs near entrances to decrease the potential damage from foot traffic. At least every two weeks, damp mop your tile floor with a diluted solution of a mild cleanser.
For regular cleaning, use a neutral, pH-balanced cleaner to manage everyday dirt and stains. In the bathroom, you can also use a squeegee to minimize build-up from cleaning products and keep your tiles shiny.
Fixing broken or scratched tile is an important part of regular maintenance. Although sealants are not always helpful on tile floors, they can help to protect your counters and high traffic areas from grout stains. When a tile breaks, repair it quickly to prevent further damage, and ensure that grout is added where and when it breaks down.
Essential Dos and Don’ts
Here’s a breakdown of important dos and don’ts to consider when taking care of your tile floors before, during, and after installation:
- Use a protective cover for the tile surface while applying grout to avoid construction cleaning problems. Items such as kraft paper, cardboard, and plywood can be used as a cover.
- Seal on all grouted joints.
- Test scouring powders on a small area or a sample tile first.
- Install tiles until all heavy construction is complete. Most are finished materials and heavy objects and construction materials can cause damage to their finish.
- Use top sealers that can become a coating over the tile and grout joints.
- Allow cleaning solutions to dry
- Use steel wool pads, scouring pads, or any item containing harsh aids like metal. Apart from the possibility of damaging the glaze or surface, small steel particles can cause grout to rust.
- Use any oil-based detergents or wax cleaners for the maintenance of your tiles.
- Use agents that contain dye/color on unglazed ceramic tile.
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