Porcelain and ceramic tile care

Porcelain and ceramic tile care is nearly identical, and quite simple. Whether you have brand new tile or are simply looking for easy ways to maintain an existing floor, proper maintenance can add years to the life and enhance the beauty of your tile. I hope you find these tips helpful!

Regular Maintenance:

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For day to day cleaning and maintenance, use a non-soapy, mild household detergent. No acidic, oil-based, or harsh cleaners, please, as these can damage your finish. Much cleaning can be done with water alone, but a neutral household cleaner is acceptable. For trouble spots or extra dirt, use a solution of chlorine bleach. As always, test cleaners in an out-of-the-way place before using on your entire floor to watch for color changes in the tile or grout.

Before mopping, use a vacuum, soft-bristle broom, or dust mop to collect excess dirt. Mop a small section at a time, being sure the cleaning solution does not dry onto the tiles. An abrasive pad or nylon bristle brush can be used to assist with heavily soiled areas; however, polished or glazed tiles should be more carefully cleaned than unpolished or matte tiles. The finish on a polished tile can be scratched or damaged if too harsh a cleaner or scrubbing pad is used. Polished or glazed tiles should be dried thoroughly to prevent water spots. Textured tile should be swept in two directions, one with the flow of the pattern and one diagonal to it, and when mopping also scrubbed with a brush in two directions to ensure full coverage of the surface.

Special Cleaning:

Sometimes soap scum, mildew, or hard water deposits build up on your tile. When that happens, use a hard-water tile cleaner, being sure to allow the proper saturation time. Most hard-water cleaners are very effective if you let them sit on the site for a few minutes. Routine hand-drying will prevent hard-water build up; avoid leaving bars of soap directly in contact with the tile to help eliminate soap scum. Mildew can be removed with a solution of chlorine bleach or an anti-mildew household cleaner. For severely infected areas, more than one application may be necessary.

Sealing:

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Grout should be sealed with a penetrating sealer when installed; however, this may need to be reapplied after a month or so, if it did not impregnate the grout thoroughly. Waxes and top sealers should be used only in specific circumstances I recommend you speak to a professional before attempting any applications. Top-coating sealers are not absorbed by grout or tile, and thus tend to collect on the surface, causing wear patterns, hazing, or milky and opaque deposits. Sealers can also affect the friction value of floor tiles, and may create a hazard.

As in most cases, prevention can reduce the time you would otherwise spend with aching elbows. Keep your tile dry when not in use and avoid letting sticky residue build up, and you will have sparkling surfaces for years to come!

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Posted in Home Improvement Post Date 01/23/2015


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