Cleaning Ceramic Tile Floors

Basically there are two basic types of ceramic tiles: Glazed and Unglazed.

Glazed tile is most often used on traditional walls, counter tops and floors. It has a tough, glasslike surface.

Unglazed tile is composed of natural clays, which are sometimes mixed with pigments. It can be used on floors, walls, counter tops. It may require more careful attention than glazed tile.

For glazed-tile floors, vacuum regularly to remove dirt and gritty particles. Follow with a mop or sponge dampened with an approved nonabrasive household cleaner. Clean unglazed-tile walls and floors in a similar manner. However, dampen mop or sponge with a solution of water and soap less detergent.

There are many excellent household cleaners on the market today. They should all do a good job for you, so use your favourite. Remember, read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions and recommended usage. Good ones are Soft Scrub, Scrub Free and Ajax liquid.

Monthly or as necessary use your preferred general household cleaner (Lysol, etc.) diluted in water, paying special attention to grout.

Tile grout is the material used to fill the spaces between tiles. It gives the installation its finished look. It may present a special cleaning problem because it is susceptible to many staining agents.

It should be cleaned immediately if in contact with the following with the appropriate solutions:

  • Grease and fats — Soda and water or commercial spot lifter.
  • Inks and coloured dyes — Household bleach.
  • Mercurochrome — Ammonia.
  • Blood — Hydrogen peroxide or household bleach.
  • Coffee, tea, food, fruit, juices, lipstick — Neutral cleaner in hot water, followed by hydrogen peroxide or household bleach.

Apply silicon sealer several times a year for maximum protection.

If you break or damage a tile, it can be replaced. You can either tackle the project yourself by cutting away grout and re-grouting, or you can hire a professional (recommended).

If your grout is not sealed, you should seal it to reduce disintegration, discolouring, and possible mold in the grout.

Do’s and Don’t of Ceramic Tile Care:

  • Do not combine ammonia and household beaches.
  • Do not use harsh cleaning agents (such as steel wool pads), which can scratch or damage the surface of your tile.
  • Do not use a cleaning agent that contains colour on unglazed tile. It has a relatively porous body and may absorb the colour.
  • Do test scouring powders in a small area before using on tile.
  • Do use silicone sealer on grout joints if continuous staining is a problem.
  • Do read and follow label directions for all cleaners.