Follow these easy steps to keep your tile floor looking new for years to come.
Tile flooring is highly durable, water resistant, and comes in a wide variety of styles and colors. This makes tile an incredibly popular choice for most Colorado homeowners. In fact, throughout the Southwest, tile flooring laid through the whole house is extremely common. Here in Colorado Springs, we straddle the fence. Alpine Contracting has tiled entire homes, or we’ve reserved this durable flooring material for duty use – only tiling high traffic and wet areas. No matter how your home is fitted, maintaining your tile is an important, but pretty easy task.
“Sweep” First and Regularly
We actually don't recommend sweeping your tile with a typical broom. Dust mops are much more efficient at trapping dust and debris than a broom, which basically just pushes and blows dirt around. More importantly, dust mops do a much better job at collecting debris trapped in grout lines. Most of the dirt and dust should be collected within the dust mop itself, rather than piles being pushed around with a broom and then waiting for the dustpan.
The leading cause of worn tile is infrequent sweeping. Dirt collects on the surface of the tile, then people walk over it, and that continued grinding of footsteps causes abrasions. Loose dirt and dust acts like sandpaper under feet, and that quickly ruins the finish of your tile.
A Good Ol’ Mop
Once you’ve dry cleaned your tile with a dust mop, next, mop it. Manufactures generally recommend mopping daily – yikes. We’ve found that’s only necessary in commercial applications or extremely high traffic areas. Mopping once a week is generally fine. Prolonged gaps without mopping may cause your tile or grout to discolor. Dirt and dust settles into tile and grout making it almost impossible to remove.
Each manufacturer will offer recommended cleaning solutions. Warm soapy water is usually the best way to go. Avoid any cleaners with harsh chemicals such as acids, alkaline, ammonia or bleach – these solutions can damage and discolor your grout if used frequently.
Allow your tile to try dry completely before walking on it. There's nothing more discouraging than footprints across a freshly cleaned floor!
Don’t Use Abrasive Cleaning Pads
If you do find some stains on your tile or stuck-on grit, do not use abrasive cleaning pads or scrubbers. These objects can easily scratch the shiny finish of your tile and irreversibly damage them. Instead, allow the stain to soak in soap or mild cleaning solution and then return to wipe in a few minutes. Also, be mindful of using abrasive cleaners such as Comet, Ajax, or Bon Ami.
Give Extra Attention To The Grout
Most dirt, dust, and mildew will collect in the grout lines. Makes sure to give these areas extra attention when sweeping and mopping. Any debris left behind can cause discoloration and premature damage your floor. Also, grout should sealed upon installation and several times throughout the life of your tile. This waterproof sealant prevents water and dirt from settling when cleaning.
Re-Sealing Your Tile
As with any floor, maintenance above and beyond typical cleaning will eventually be required. Depending the traffic and use of the floor, sealing your tile floors will be required from time to time. This is highly dependent on the style and manufacturer of your tile. Signs that your tile floors are ready for re-sealing are stains and a dulled appearance – especially contrasted against edge tiles that don’t see as much use. Resealing should be performed by a professional and according to manufacturer specifications, so reach out and we’ll evaluate your needs.
Tile flooring is truly a great option for many families. Tiles are highly durable, resistant to pets and spills, and attractive and easily suit any home with their wide ranges of colors and styles. However, tile does need to be cleaned regularly. These cleanings typically don’t have to be intensive, but rather, consistent. Caring for your tile will keep it sparkling for years to come. If you’re considering installing tile within your home or need some professional help with re-sealing – be sure to give us a call.