How to Care for Tile & Keep Them Looking Like New
Many homeowners love tile because it’s a durable and low-maintenance material. It also comes in various looks and styles that are perfect for any home aesthetic. However, just because it is low maintenance doesn’t mean it’s maintenance-free. Follow these simple at-home tips to care for tiles and keep them looking new.
How to Care for Tile Floors
It is always best to clean your floor first with a broom, Swiffer dry duster, or vacuum cleaner (porcelain tile) to get the loose debris up before anything else is done. In some cases, this may be enough for regular maintenance, but when you need to deep clean your tile floor, the type of tile you have on your floors will determine the best course of action when it comes to maintaining them.
Natural Stone Care
Natural stone floors will need to be sealed and kept sealed periodically. After removing dust or debris, it is best to clean the tile with a mild detergent or cleanser. Choose products in the middle of the alkaline scale, and avoid acidic cleaners. Allow the stone to dry entirely before resealing. You will know it is time to reseal if water does not bead up like on a newly waxed car.
The nice thing about resealing natural stone is that you also reseal your grout every time. So it’s never a bad idea to reseal grout periodically, no matter what kind of tile you have. We stock a heavy-duty natural stone cleaner, Stonetech Klenzall, and a maintenance spray cleaner, Stonetech revitalizer. In addition, Stonetech impregnating sealer or enhancing sealer will work great to reseal your stone after it has dried thoroughly.
Porcelain & Ceramic Tile Care
Porcelain and ceramic tile will require similar maintenance, with the exception of resealing the tile. Only unsealed ceramic tiles and some highly polished porcelain tiles will need sealant. Regular porcelain tile will not receive a sealer. However, you may choose to reseal your grout over time.
If you have polished porcelain or ceramic tile on the floor, you may want to limit wearing shoes in the home to limit scratches. It is more difficult to buff out scratches in a polished porcelain tile than it would be to buff out scratches in a polished natural stone, so consider that if you choose polished floors. Certain glass is floor rated and would have similar maintenance to porcelain tiles. Check with your Atlas rep if it is a suitable product to put on your floor.
How to Care for Shower Tiles
Soap scum, mildew, hard water, and stains can leave your shower looking worse for wear. Tackle these problems head-on to keep your shower tile looking new. First, make wiping down your tiles part of your routine after every use.
It may sound silly to wipe down your shower every time since water will dry on its own. However, this is the best way to get out ahead of soap scum and mineral deposits that build up over time. In addition, wiping down the tile takes only a few seconds and has a big impact on the appearance and longevity of your shower tile.
Like above, when maintaining your tiled floors, it is advised to use as mild a cleaner as possible, keeping neutral in the alkaline scale. Avoid using bleach if possible. Over time it may cause your grout to fade. Bleach will not harm most porcelain tiles but should be avoided with natural stone if possible.
What Kind of Products Should You Avoid on Tile?
Dozens of so-called “tile cleaners” can strip your tile of its protective finish and leave it more susceptible to cracking and staining in the future. If you want to keep your tile looking new for as long as possible, steer clear of the following:
- Abrasive cleaners and cleaning tools
- Ammonia or bleach-based cleaners
- Oil-based cleaners
Although these products may make your tile shine, they can do more damage than good in the long run.
When Should You Replace Tiles?
Nobody looks forward to replacing tile, but if your tile has become cracked, chipped, or loose, it’s important to replace it as soon as possible. Additionally, if your tile is severely stained or you simply don’t like it, why not upgrade to something that better suits your personal style?
At Atlas Marble & Tile, we are proud to be your go-to resource for all of your tile needs. Whether you want to replace a few cracked tiles in your bathroom or install tile throughout your home, we encourage you to explore our expansive tile catalog to find the perfect tile for your next project.