Tile Maintenance / Repair
Tile is known for its water resistance and easy cleaning. With the right maintenance routine, your tile floors, walls, and countertops will look great and last for years.
Basic Tile Maintenance
Sweep or vacuum floors to remove any dust or debris before using any cleaning products. Damp-mop your tile floor at least once each week (more frequently for heavy traffic areas) to decrease wear and abrasion from grit and soil.
Maintaining Glazed Tile
Clean regularly with an all-purpose, non-oil-based household cleaner that’s compatible with cleaning grout joints. Use an everyday multipurpose spray cleaner to remove soap scum, hard water deposits, and mildew on wall tiles in your bath or shower.
Maintaining Unglazed Tile
Use concentrated tile cleaners that have a neutral pH for regular cleaning. These will safely remove grease, oils, and normal spills—just check to be sure the cleaner is intended for the application, use and traffic level. Clean glass tile with any nonabrasive cleaner recommended for either glass or tile.
Once the tile has been cleaned and dried (shortly after installation), grout joints should be treated with a silicone sealer. Grout, the material used to fill the spaces between tiles, is porous, and sealing it at this time will simplify maintenance in the future. Note that Epoxy grouts do not require a sealer. We recommend you apply a sealer at least twice a year for maximum stain protection.
Place floor mats at entrances and exits. They collect and trap corrosive substances that can be tracked in, like dirt, sand, oil, grit, asphalt, or even driveway sealer. Placing mats in high-traffic areas — in front of vanities, kitchen sinks, and stoves — is an effective way to reduce tile wear.
Tips for Preventing Damage
- Test scouring powders and sealants on a small area before cleaning the full area.
- Use a sealer on grout joints shortly after installation and use products compatible with cleaning grout joints.
- After cleaning, rinse the entire area with clear water to remove any cleaning solution residue.
- Have any damaged or broken tile removed and replaced only by a qualified tile contractor.
- Avoid any cleaners containing acid or bleach shouldn’t be used for routine maintenance.
- Avoid wax-based cleaners and oil-based detergents, and use sealants on grout joints only.
- Avoid harsh cleaning aids like steel wool pads or any scouring pads containing metal shouldn’t be used on tile.
- Unglazed tile should not be cleaned with an agent that contains color.
With thousands of design possibilities, ceramic tile boasts a variety of looks that endure. And with little more than dusting and damp mopping, it will maintain its original quality for years to come.
Heavy Duty Cleaning
Neglected or heavily trafficked tile may require more intensive cleaning. Clean glazed wall tiles with a scouring powder or all-purpose cleaner applied to a non-metallic pad. Rinse and wipe dry. For glazed floor tiles, use a commercial tile cleaner, or apply a strong solution of an all-purpose, non oil-based cleaner or scouring powder paste. Let stand for five minutes, brush and scrub. Then rinse with clean water and wipe dry.
For heavy-duty cleaning of unglazed wall tiles, make a paste of scouring powder. Apply to surface and let stand for five minutes. Scour with brush, rinse and wipe dry. Unglazed floor tiles can be cleaned in the same manner. Though a small brush is suitable for most floors, you may want to use a scrubbing machine for large areas.
To clean badly soiled countertops, apply a solution of scouring powder and very hot water. Let stand for five minutes, scrub with a stiff brush and rinse. Soap scum, mildew stains and hard-water deposits may be removed from ceramic tile using cleaning products that are commonly available at your local supermarket or home improvement store. With soft water, use an all-purpose, non oil-based cleaner. Allow to stand for five minutes before lightly scrubbing with a sponge. Rinse well.
Purchasing Maintenance Products
Ceramic tile and Natural Stone cleaning products and sealants may be purchased at your local home center or floor covering store. Consult the manufacturer of the cleaner, sealant or wax for usage instructions and more detailed information about how its specific cleaning solution or sealant may impact the safety, maintenance or appearance of your ceramic tile product.
Additional Tips, Tricks, and Notes
If you don’t care for the color of your grout, it has been permanently stained, or appears dingy but you love your tiles, grout can be replaced or use a grout colorant to modify the color.
Removing a sealer or floor wax from a ceramic tile requires the use of a tile sealer and adhesive remover. As always, you should test a small area first and follow the manufacturer’s directions. If you are having difficulties getting it up, lightly scrub the area with a white nylon scrub pad and the cleaner.
We would definitely recommend that you go with a high quality sealant that will generally help protect your grout.
Textured tiles are notorious for holding dirt so be prepared for a little scrubbing with a soft brush occasionally to help keep them clean.
Left over tiles & grout – should not be thrown away! If a tile gets damaged you will never find an exact match as each batch is different. Make sure you write down the tile manufacturer’s name, name of the tile, color & batch number for future reference. The grout should be sealed in an airtight bag in case a tile needs to be replaced or some grout needs to be replaced. You should also save the grout manufacturers name, color and type for later reference.
If we can help with you tile repair or maintenance, please give us a call at (850) 849-7224 or email us using the form below.