So you’re thinking about installing tiles in your new home and want to keep them looking their absolute best. Tiled floors bring a touch of elegance to any modern property due to the vast array of patterns, colour, and finishes available. While it’s easy to think that tiles are maintenance-free, they do need a bit of TLC to ensure they look good as new all day, every day.
Let’s take a look at the most common tiling options available and how you can maintain them to give off their best appearance. For more information you can talk to your local tiling contractor near you.
Porcelain tiles are one of the most durable tiling options out there. These tiles are often paired with a glazed protective coating that makes them impervious to scratches, stains, water damage, and discolouration.
But that’s not to say you should completely neglect porcelain tiles as the accumulation of dust, dirt, and debris can act as abrasives and wear down the glass coating prematurely. Here’s the correct way to maintain porcelain tiles.
1. Sweep or vacuum the tiles
The first step is to remove all the loose dust and dirt on the surface of the tiles. You can do this by sweeping the tiles or using a vacuum cleaner. Do this regularly (at least once a day) to prevent the glazed finish from getting scratched or worn down.
2. Mop the surface
You can refresh your glazed porcelain tiles by using a microfibre cleaning mop. We recommend using a mild cleaning solution (preferably with natural ingredients) to protect the finish from getting damaged. Always follow the instructions on how to use tile cleaners for great results.
3. Wipe any spills immediately
While porcelain tiles are stain-resistant, you still need to attend to spills immediately. Liquids like coffee, soft drinks, and other coloured beverages can cause slight discolouration to your tiles if left untreated.
4. Clean stains with a vinegar solution
Sometimes water stains can develop on the surface of porcelain tiles. To remove this, simply dilute equal parts of vinegar and water and spray it directly onto the stained area. Let sit for a few minutes and wipe with a microfibre cloth. Never brush porcelain tiles or use steel wool to clean stains as this will scratch the surface.
While most people think that porcelain and ceramic tiles are the same, they do have a couple of slight differences that are worth pointing out. One is that ceramic tiles are more difficult to clean compared to porcelain tiles. Secondly is that ceramic is more porous, meaning that it absorbs liquids and moisture more than porcelain tiles.
Follow these steps on how to properly maintain ceramic tiling.
1. Remove loose dirt and debris
Like porcelain tiles, the first step is to sweep or vacuum the ceramic tiles. This prepares the surface for mopping which requires a different technique than the previous one.
2. Clean the tiles using hot water
Mix a tile-suited detergent with hot water. Use a chamois mop to loosen tough dirt and stains on the ceramic tiling. Do not use a sponge mop as this will push dirty water into the tile grout. Alternatively, you can use a microfibre mop which is also absorbent like a chamois mop.
3. Wipe dry with a microfibre cloth
Once the tiles have been thoroughly cleaned, use a microfibre cloth to wipe the surface dry. This ensures a nice, shiny surface that look beautiful and appealing.
4. Treat stains as soon as possible
Considering that ceramic tiles are more porous than porcelain tiles, it’s imperative that you address any spills and stains as soon as possible. Mix 25% bleach and 75% baking soda in a cup and use the solution to tackle stubborn stains.
Outdoor tiles are quite different from porcelain and ceramic tiles in a way that they’re built to withstand all sorts of weather conditions. Stone and mosaic tiles are the most common examples of outdoor tiles and these often have a tougher glaze which lends to their incredible durability.
That said, outdoor tiles undergo more wear and tear and require a more aggressive cleaning approach to maintain their condition. Here’s how to clean them properly.
1. Sweep off any leaves and debris
The first thing you should do is sweep off leaves and loose dirt on the surface of the tiles. Outdoor tiles collect plenty of debris which means you should sweep them on a regular basis.
2. Use a pressure washer to remove deep-seated dirt
Pressure washing does wonders to your outdoor tiles by blasting off deep-seated dirt using only water. Ideally, you should pressure wash outdoor tiles at least once every 2-3 months to help maintain its appearance.
3. Treat stains with an environmentally-friendly cleaner
If there are leftover stains and residue on your outdoor tiles, you can remove them using an environmentally-friendly tile cleaner. Let soak for a few minutes and use a scrubbing brush to remove the stains.
4. Give the outdoor tiles a final rinse
Once all the stains have been removed, give the outdoor tiles a final rinse using a pressure washer, only this time with a lower pressure. Let the tiles dry and you’re good to go.