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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:

Tile countertops

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.

tile countertop kitchen backsplash flooring

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.

Tile floors

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.


Regular repairs

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.
 What steps do you usually take to maintain your tiled surfaces?

Still searching for the right ceramic or porcelain tile? Click here to take a look at our stunning online selection of ceramic and porcelain tile.

(10) Comments

  1. I am having porcelain tile installed in my bathroom. I need to know if I need to seal the grout or tile after installation? There seems to be a power that is on the grout. Is there anything else I should know about care or need to do after the tile is installed? Thank you for any advise you can give me regarding this matter.

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Linda,

      You will not need to seal the porcelain tile but you will need to seal the grout. Porcelain tile already has a finish incorporated into the product so any sealant will just sit on the surface and collect dirt and dust. After the tile is installed you can clean as regular. Please let us know if there is anything else we can help with!

  2. I recently had my entire house tiled. I went to several stores searching for tile and overheard a salesman talking about the differences between porcelain and ceramic. After listening to what he had to say I decided to purchase porcelain and I am so glad that I did. The porcelain that I purchased are the 24 x 24 tiles with a matte finish. I wanted the matte finish due to the safety factor of less slippage from water drops. I brought about six samples home and tested each by making them wet and actually tried to slide on them. The sliding factor was far less than what I originally had on my floors.
    This porcelain tile is so easy to keep clean with simple non-toxic cleaners like water and vinegar. I would not buy anything else after having such a great experience with porcelain.

  3. i have porcelain tile in my den, kitchen, breakfast area and 3 bathrooms. Is there a product I can use to make it look a little more shiney? The tile in the master bath is a different tile; more matte finish than the rest which is the same pattern. Thank you. P.s. Tile is only 3/4 years old.

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Joanne,

      Thank you for your inquiry! Unfortunately there isn’t too much you can do to change the finish of a porcelain tile other than changing the tile completely. Porcelain already has a built in sealer so adding another product on top to try to change the finish would just leave a layer of film that would collect dirt and grime. Please let us know if there is anything else we can help out with or if you need recommendations on other products with a polished finish!

  4. Pingback: Advantages Of Porcelain Tile Flooring

  5. To Whom It may Concern:
    We recently installed porcelain mahogany tile throughout our home. I am having trouble with the floors streaking when I mop them with vinegar and water. Also, we used black grout and I think there still may be some glaze left on the floors. Do you have any suggestions what type of cleaner I can use to clean the tile without streaking? Also, is there a product which would make the tile more shiny?

    Thank you
    Nancy Ferguson

  6. I am in the processing of buying a beach front condo that currently has large ceramic or porcelain tiles placed on the diagonal through the common areas in the center of the home. For ease of maintanence and resistance to mold, I want to replace carpet in the bedrooms with tile. I am considering the wood look tile as I have heard it is impossible to match existing tile. Will this kind of tile look OK butting up to existing tile and is it a suitable choice for bedrooms? Should I be consistent with glaze, going with whatever the glaze in the bathroom, hallways, and living area is?



  7. I am looking for a ceramic or porcelain “wood looking” floor product which will withstand freezing temperatures (property will be winterized for approx 5 months), beach sand and pets—-we would like to re-floor our whole cabin with one color–which product would you recommend?

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