Tile is a popular flooring choice in bathrooms and kitchens mainly due to its resiliency. The list of benefits is long: looks great, fairly easy to install, affordable, water and stain resistant, and scratch resistant. But, like any other type of flooring, tile still needs to be properly maintained and cared for in order to get the most out of it long-term. On that note, this post will take a look at how to properly clean tile and grout to keep it looking great for many years.
Routine cleaning is just as important for tile as occasional, more intensive cleaning. Usually, this routine cleaning consists of a simple wet mopping to remove dirt and debris that has settled on the surface of the tile. Perform this as often as you vacuum. Also, as a part of routine cleaning, spills should be mopped up immediately before they have a chance to seep into, and potentially stain, the grout.
In terms of more intensive cleaning, mopping is still recommended, but with a different solution. Among the most popular is a half-cup of vinegar in a gallon of hot water. Using this cleaning mixture, you can perform a regular mopping to remove dirt from the surface of the tile. For more stubborn stains and dirt, however, you may have to get on your hands and knees and use a little elbow grease. For these kinds of more difficult stains, an ammonia solution is recommended.
Grout is a bit more challenging to clean than tiles because dirt and debris have a tendency to sit down into the grout, and usually grout cannot be reached thoroughly with a routine mopping. This means that grout will require a more intensive deep cleaning on occasion. This is best done with a soft bristled brush and, just as is the case with deep cleaning tile, a mixture of vinegar and hot water. You could also use a specific grout-cleaning product, which can usually be found at your local hardware store.
Apply the cleaning product to the grout lines and let it sit for a few minutes. Then use the brush to agitate the grout lines and remove any dirt or staining. Finally, rinse and dry. This takes a bit of time, but the difference is very noticeable. For more stubborn staining, you may also elect to use a bleach-based cleaning product. But keep in mind that bleach has a tendency to erode grout over time, so any product containing bleach should be used in moderation.
If this all seems a bit overwhelming, take note that you can always hire a professional floor care cleaner to come in and perform this work as well. Such cleaners typically use advanced steam systems to get tiles and grout extra clean. While there’s a cost associated with hiring a professional, the cleanings are usually completed very quickly and correctly.
Tile is a great option for any home, and will look great for many years when properly cared for. If you are interested in learning more about all the tile options, contact our team at Floor Coverings International Spring Branch Houston, TX for a free in-home design consultation.
Photo by kazoka