Tile Floor Care: How to Clean Tile Flooring
Tile products, for the most part, require minimal maintenance. By properly caring for your tile floor, you can extend its life and preserve its appearance. Improper maintenance can result in a build-up on the surface, making the tile slippery.
Do’s and Don’ts of Cleaning Tile Floors
- Do sweep or vacuum surface.
- Do mix water with tile and grout cleaner per the manufacturer’s instructions and apply to tile surface — next mop solution and rinse thoroughly with clean water and wipe your floor dry.
- Do not attempt any cleaning until five days after installation to ensure grout is completely dry.
- Do not use any cleaning methods that are not mentioned within the manufacturer label in order to maintain your manufacturer warranty.
Cleaning Different Types of Tile: Ceramic vs. Porcelain
How to Clean Porcelain Tile
To keep your Porcelain Tile clean and looking it’s best, you’ll want to conduct weekly low maintenance cleaning, and a monthly deep clean. We recommend cleaning tile floors weekly by sweeping and vacuuming to remove any dirt and debris. Now, when it comes to conducting your monthly deep cleaning of tile floors, your process may differ depending on whether you have polished or unpolished porcelain tiles.
- Polished Tiles: You can use a vinegar and hot water solution to get out any tough messes that linger after vacuuming and sweeping. We recommend combining 1 gallon of hot water and ¼ cup of white vinegar and either mopping the floor or using a large sponge to apply the cleaning solution. Be sure to rinse with clean water and dry with a towel.
- Unpolished Tiles: Your floors don’t have the same protective coat that polished porcelain does, so you may be better off using a more gentle, commercial-grade cleaner. It’s important to note that you can still use the vinegar solution if you wish, but a gentler cleaner may help to preserve your unpolished tiles. Be sure to also rinse with clean water and dry with a towel, whether you choose a commercial-grade cleaner or the natural water-vinegar solution.
How to Clean Ceramic Tile
Much like their porcelain counterpart, cleaning ceramic tile floors is best as both a weekly and monthly routine. Each week, we recommend doing a sweep, vacuum or both to ensure dirt, sand and grit are not dulling or scratching your ceramic tiles. Each month, we suggest mopping your floors with a mild detergent / hot water solution. Make sure to use a rag or chamois mop for cleaning tile floors, as a sponge mop could push dirty water into the grout and cause stains. To avoid this, change your bucket of cleaning solution often and buff dry with a clean cloth or towel.
Tile Floor Care Tools:
While understanding the fundamentals of cleaning tile floors is essential to the upkeep and longevity of your flooring, the tools that you use to execute these cleaning strategies are equally as important. Below are some tools we recommend to keep your tile floors looking and feeling their best.
- A Vacuum or Broom. These are used on weekly basis to clear debris, dirt and grime that may scratch or dull your floor.
- Bucket & Mop. A bucket and mop make it easy to both create your cleaning solution, and to distribute / scrub it into the tile floors. Be sure to use a chamois mop rather than sponge, which could cause staining or discoloration in grout.
- Gentle, Commercial Grade Cleaner. This is only essential if you don’t want to create your own cleaning solution using vinegar or lemon juice, or if you have unpolished porcelain tiles.
- Vinegar, Lemon Juice, or Other Natural Cleaning Agents. This is helpful for creating cleaning solutions that are perfect for maintaining tile floors.
- Grout Cleaner & Scrub Brush. Grout is extremely porous, which means it easily absorbs dirt, grease, and other materials. Use commercial grade grout cleaner directly on the surface, and scrub with a toothbrush or small, nylon scrub brush. Avoid metal brushes, as the bristles can scratch your tiles.
- Dry Cloth / Towel. This is necessary to dry your tile floors after cleaning.