Caring for Beautiful Ceramic Tile- By: Fiona Creech
Ceramic tile is a beautiful, durable flooring option that can last for decades when properly cared for. Caring for ceramic tile flooring or wall tile is not difficult; in fact it’s one of the easiest types of flooring that you can choose in terms of maintenance. However, it has its own requirements that are different from carpet, vinyl or hardwood. Here are a few tips for keeping your ceramic tile floors clean and beautiful.
Installation Tips: Starting out on the Right Foot
When ceramic tile flooring is installed, you should avoid walking on the tile and grout until it has dried completely. Grout that is still damp can become stained by foot traffic, or debris can become embedded in the soft grout. Once the grout has dried 24 hours, apply a recommended grout sealer. This will protect the grout from potential stains, like tomato sauce in the kitchen or a wayward tube of lipstick in the bath. Sealer should be reapplied two to three years to maintain stain resistant effectiveness.
Daily Cleaning and Maintenance
The best way to keep ceramic tile looking great is to clean it on a regular basis. On shower walls and backsplashes, daily wiping after showers or cooking is the best way to avoid permanent stains. Shower sprays that prevent mildew are also helpful, just be sure that the cleaner you choose is approved for use of ceramic tile. Any cleaners used on ceramic tile should be acid free as acid can pit and rot tile. Always check the label or the manufacturer’s website to be sure it approved for use on ceramic tile.
Area rugs, especially near exterior entry areas, can be a great help in trapping dirt and debris. Shake them out or vacuum them frequently. A tile floor can be swept daily with a broom or use a vacuum sweeper attachment with soft bristle brush. Do not use a plastic head attachment that can mar the floor. Damp mopping is effective for floor tile surfaces, as are floor mopping systems like the Swiffer Wet Jet™. Just be aware that this type of cleaning does not get into the grout and grout needs to be cleaned every two to four weeks depending on foot traffic. You can clean grout with a scrub brush and mild detergent solution or take the easy way out and purchase a good quality hard floor steamer that includes a grout attachment. This is the best way to not only clean the floor, but also remove any invisible bacteria and germs.
Dealing with Mold and Mildew
Tile in bathrooms, particularly in the shower, can become stained with unsightly, unhealthy mildew. The best approach here is to prevent it in the first place by keeping the shower clean. A quick wipe down of damp walls and a spray of anti-mildew cleaner is generally enough to prevent formation of mold and mildew. Good ventilation also helps, as does leaving the shower door or curtain open for ten or fifteen minutes after showering to allow the area to air dry. Also use mildew-resistant caulk to keep mildew from forming in corners and crevices.
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Fiona Creech writes for Metal-Wall-Art.com and is a specialist in creating unique interiors with Kokopelli metal wall decor and rustic metal wall art.