The Dos and Don’ts of Maintaining Tile Floors

Tile flooring offers a variety of benefits, particularly in the warm weather climate for which South Florida is well-known. Tile is elegant, highly durable, and each floor is unique. The tiles are available in satin, semi-gloss, matte, and glazed finishes.

With proper care and maintenance, a tile floor can last for 20 years or more. Ceramic and porcelain tile helps keep structures cool and are highly fire resistant. However, they do have some specific care requirements and there are things that individuals should know to keep their floors in good condition and looking great.

The Dos

Using a dust mop or microfiber “broom” and mop are all excellent solutions for tile flooring. Sweep before mopping to remove surface dirt and debris. Ceramic and porcelain tile can be cleaned with a commercially prepared tile floor cleaner or one can be made at home with warm water and a dab of dish soap. The mop should be damp, not wet. Don’t saturate the floor with liquid.

Over time, dirt and grime will build up in the grout and defy regular cleaning routines. A solution of water and baking soda is effective for removing dirt, stains and brightening.

The Don’ts

Never use abrasive cleaners or products on ceramic or porcelain tile, such as steel wool or scouring powder. It scratches the surface and can damage any glazing or coatings that have been applied.

Avoid using bleach or ammonia-based cleaners. They can create staining, discolor tiles, and damage grout. If the tiles have been glazed, oil-based cleaners should also be avoided. The oil will create a slippery surface that can cause slip and fall accidents. Oil cleaners aren’t effective for cleaning purposes and can actually contribute to making the floor dirtier.

Ceramic and porcelain tiles are resistant to staining, but they’re not impervious. Spills should be wiped up as soon as possible. Individuals also need to know that the tiles are strong and durable, but they can crack and break under high pressure, force, and damaged underflooring.