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  • November 26, 2018

How to Make Your Tile Floors Sparkle Again

A popular flooring choice in high-traffic areas that frequently experience water exposure, tile features nearly limitless design possibilities and excellent durability. Those with tile floors love having a hard surface that’s relatively easy to clean and resistant to staining.

 

Keeping Your Tile Floors Sparkling

Tile isn’t without maintenance concerns, however, and after a few years, you may notice that your tile is looking less than spotless.

Here are some quick do’s and don’ts to keep your tile looking fabulous.

how to clean a tile floor

Grout

The most frequent concern we hear when it comes to cleaning tile is about grout. While this has been eliminated in some aspects with the advent of colored grout, all grout – due to being slightly lower than the tile surface – becomes a stopping point for dirt, dus, and grime. Over time, this can cause extensive staining and discoloration.

The most important thing you can do to prevent staining and discoloration on grout is to have your tile professionally sealed. This should be done at installation, after your grout has cured. Repeat the sealing process every year or two, or as often as needed. Areas of your floor that receive a lot of water exposure may require more frequent sealing than others.

If you notice that your grout is beginning to trap more dust and debris than normal, it’s probably time to have your floors professionally cleaned and resealed.

Do This to Keep Your Grout Spotless

  • Regularly sweep your floor to remove debris and dust, both of which are surprisingly abrasive to grout compound.
  • Quickly clean spills, especially materials that stain or have a high acid content, such as red wine and tomato sauce.
  • Use a commercially available cleanser that’s formulated for use on tile and grout.

Don’t Do This to Your Grout

  • Don’t use bleach. While you may have read about it online, using bleach carries a dirty little secret: the chemical compounds in bleach can weaken your grout, making it more porous. This means that all your work will just leave you with dirtier looking grout than before.
  • Don’t scratch, sand, or use abrasive cleansers in your grout lines. Grout is a compound of polymers and a sand-like material and, while it’s durable, it’s not indestructible. Over time, abrasive measures can wear down your grout, leaving a steeper connection point between tiles. This will also make it difficult to clean your floors.

 

Cleaning Your Tiles

Keeping your tiles spic-and-span isn’t just about the grout. Most tiles aren’t flat on their surface and exhibit nooks, crannies and raised spots that collect dirt over time. Before you tackle this problem, it’s important to know what type of tile you have. Ceramic tiles may react poorly to abrasive cleaners, which can remove color from the surface; always test a small area before proceeding.

Stone or natural tiles are almost always either polished to a high shine or sealed. For this reason, you should never use steel wool or scrub pads on these tiles, as you may damage the surface.

Vinyl or linoleum tiles often have a thin overlay in order to enhance their shine. Harsh chemicals can cause this to peel and crack, ruining your floor.

Do This to Maintain Your Tiles

  • Sweep or vacuum your floor daily to remove dust and dirt.
  • Follow sweeping or vacuuming with a dry duster or dust mop to ensure all loose debris has been removed.
  • If your floor doesn’t have heavy staining, warm water is all you need to clean.
  • Dry your floor when you’re done by going back over the wet areas with a dry mop.
  • If you have stains or heavier dirt, use a commercially available cleanser developed to clean tiles. Gently clean the areas with a floor brush to deep clean.

Don’t Do This to Your Tiles

  • Avoid using harsh detergents, cleansers or vinegar based products. These cleansers can discolor your tiles or damage the surface.
  • Don’t use floor wax without a professional application. Store-brand waxes tend to be very difficult to remove and can build up on your floor, causing yellowing, staining, or sticky surfaces that attract dirt.

 

When to Call the Professionals

Regardless of how well you maintain your tiles, you’re going to need professional help eventually. Inspect your tiles regularly, as damage to one tile can affect the entire structure of your flooring and lead to damage to the adjacent tiles.

If you notice any of the following, it’s time to call in professional help:

  • Grout that is stained, crumbling, or cracked.
  • Tiles that exhibit signs of wear such as cracks, missing pieces, or chips.
  • Stone or ceramic tiles that show extensive surface wear. This will be exhibited in loss of color in specific areas, or an area that doesn’t reflect a shine. In some instances, you may be able to see scratches along the surface of the tile.
  • Vinyl or linoleum tiles that are peeling, shifting, or buckling.

With proper care, tile can provide your home with beautiful, functional flooring. We hope that these tips will help extend the life of your floor and hopefully even restore older tile to its former state.

Contact Carpet to Go today to learn more about new tile and other flooring options.

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