Tile And Grout Cleaning
Tile cleaning can be a chore and the techniques you would use to clean it can vary depending on the type of tile you have. I will list several types of tiles here and discuss some basic tips for tile cleaning of the various types of tiles. With many colors, textures, tiles sizes, and materials of excellent durability qualities available, in most cases tiles are easy to maintain and clean. The bigger challenge in most cases is the cleaning of the grout.
Example of Tile Cleaning at a Local Car Dealership
Smooth, hard, cool to the touch and beautifully patterned, marble flooring, travertine and limestone offer the classic look of elegance and create a very luxurious effect.
Most problems are simple to solve, however, sealing may be necessary to protect against staining. Using the proper cleaning products requires a little more care and work, but it is a must… the results is a terrific looking floor.
Etching in marble may be a concern, and when it comes to cleaning, using the proper product for marble is a MUST! Taking care of marble requires a bit more work than other types of tile flooring, but the beauty it adds to your building or home will be worth it… Bear in mind that counter tops are more susceptible to etching than flooring. These types of tiles are cleaned using neutral pH cleaners; no acidic cleaners should be used. Also quickly remove spills like orange or tomato juice for example since they are acidic. Using soft cleaning cloths and or mops are best when cleaning marble and abrasive cleaning equipment is not recommended when cleaning marble.
Granite tile is basically indestructible if you choose the right variety. Unlike marble, limestone and travertine, this type of tile does not etch the same way and rarely is staining a problem. Like most floor tile, granite has maintenance requirements… Depending on the degree of use and wear, polished granite may require periodic re-polishing just like any polished stone floor will.
Rugged and rustic looking, this tile is definitely unique and loved by many. The distinctive characteristics are easy to spot and adds to its allure, but the up-keep can be over-whelming and is therefore not for everyone.
Cleaning Natural Stone Flooring
The main factor in cleaning natural stone is the initial treatment of the floor, for easy tile cleaning using a stone sealer is best and if you desire a unfinished look that is not sealed then frequent tile cleaning is necessary. you can use a combination of water detergent and by vacuuming with a wet vac will help keep the tiles cleaner. Use as little detergent as possible; remember excess soap will attract dirt faster. Always use a Ph balanced soap or detergent.
Porcelain is steadily gaining in status as an alternative to stone or ceramic tile. Its characteristics are equal to natural stone tile without the price. Also, it is more durable, longer wearing and more damage resistant than ceramic Nearly maintenance free and cleaning is a breeze with just soap and water and is highly resistant to stains.
Popularity has greatly increased for ceramic flooring as an alternative to natural stone tile. It wears well in light to moderate traffic areas, but is more prone to chipping and wear than is porcelain tile.
It provides better traction than most stone tiles and is resistant to water and stains. No special cleaning agents are needed; diluted household detergent will work just fine.
Saltillo tile captures the rich yellow-orange colors of the South-western desert clay it is made of. In a class by itself, each tile is made by hand and no two tiles are the same…Lack of uniform tiles makes them difficult and consequently expensive to install. Saltillo tile should be sealed before, immediately after and every six months thereafter once installed.
Made from synthetic materials rubber tiles are square and available in many sizes, thickness, colors, simulated stones, patterns, textures and finish. They are hard-wearing and resistant to most flooring issues, but can mark easily. These tiles are better suited for wet areas like the kitchen, bathroom, utility room or garage, but work well in a child’s bedroom or play room too. They are affordable, practical and very contemporary, with minor drawbacks compared to other types of tile.
Dirt can accumulate in raised or dimpled textures and light colors show the dirt more easily. Special products are needed for polishing the surface and sealing.
Rubber tiles are not difficult to install, but are heavier and harder to handle than cork, vinyl or linoleum tiles.
To summarize there are some consistent things you should be looking for and doing when performing your tile cleaning. Look at the best way to seal both the tiles and the grout after the tiles have been installed. Maintain that sealer based on the recommendations of the manufacture, but the basic rule of thumb is when the finish is looking dull you need to re-seal. This alone is the largest factor in keeping your tiles clean.
Always use a neutral pH cleaner, avoid acidic or alkaline cleaners both will remove floor finishes. Acidic cleaners will damage some natural stone like marble etc. Some examples of acidic cleaners are CLR, vinegar while bleach is highly alkaline etc. The pH of orange juice is 3.0, while baking soda has a pH of 9.0
The speed of cleaning up spills and stains are also important when cleaning tiles. Don’t let that grape juice take hold and soak into the tile and or likely the grout, clean up as soon as the spill occurs. Take the time to cleaning your tile really well before attempting to seal, you may have to go as far as using a poultice for removing stains when cleaning natural stone tile. Going the extra mile before sealing will go a long way to make tile cleaning an easy maintenance task for the life of your tiles.
In this post, we’re going to talk a little about grout cleaning, but before we do, I thought it might be helpful to provide a little background.
Grout used between tiles and is a mixture of cement, color, and sand.
If not properly maintained by sealing and cleaning grout will become discolored and full of mold and mildew. So when possible apply a grout sealer whenever installing tiles and grouting plan to apply grout sealer which will make the grout cleaning much easier.
Dirt will collect porous holes on the grout surface and if it is not sealed, the grout will discolor because there is no protective sealer which covers, fills and permeates the porous surface. If not sealed, even mopping the floor will cause discoloration to the unsealed grout. All the dirt-filled holes will hold on tightly to the dirt and the mop will just move the dirt from one little hole to the other
Bottom line, if your grout is not sealed, it will become nasty, dingy and covered in dirt; thereby increasing the amount of grout cleaning you are going to have to do! Mold and mildew that is lurking in your damp shower will turn your grout to a nasty shade, too — all the way from a delicate pink to mottled brown, speckled or even solid black.
Example of Grout Cleaning
The best way to clean it is to use water and general purpose cleaner to loosen the dirt from the grout and use a wet/dry vacuum to pull the dirt back up and out of the holes. Look for a stiff brush or a brush designed for grout, which are usually narrow and have tapered brushes. Scrubbing using a general purpose cleaner is fine, you can use a dilution of chlorine bleach and water mixed at 1 part bleach and 5 parts water. The bleach dilution is particularly effective in cases where you have mold or mildew.
Once you have cleaned the grout take the time to seal the grout with a very good sealer remember you get what you pay for, grout sealer. If you elect not to seal the grout, you will have a very nasty mess in a short amount of time – which will cause you to again go out and search the Internet for this page. If you don’t protect your grout with a sealer, it will become dirty and very difficult to maintain – period. Also use floor mats in your door ways to help keep the floors clean. In cleaning prevention is the key, using an entrance mat, or doing the extra work to seal the grout will go a long way to make ongoing grout cleaning much less work.