Tile flooring can be a wise investment for any homeowner. It’s relatively cheap, easy to install, simple to maintain and it looks great. But it can get damaged if you’re not careful. Tile flooring can last you a long time, so long as you treat it right and protect it from wear and tear.
At Dr. Chem-Dry, we’ve seen what can happen when people neglect their tile flooring. The truth is that protecting your tile flooring isn’t difficult or very time-consuming. Follow these simple steps and you should have strong and clean looking tiles for years to come. And in case you get some stains you can’t get out, give us a call and we’d be glad to help you make your tiles shine again.
An easy way to keep your tiles clean and safe from wear is to have doormats. Place one in front of the entrance and another mat right inside your home. Use them thoroughly each time you come in. The less dust and dirt you have on you, the less likely you are to track in natural elements that can damage your tile.
Pets can also have a damaging effect on your tile flooring. Clip their nails to keep them from scratching up the tile. Vacuum regularly to keep shed hair and dander from accumulating on your tile. Whenever they make a mess, it’s imperative that you clean it quickly before any acids or chemicals in their waste eat away at the tile. Urine in particular can have a corrosive effect on tile so you don’t want to give stains like that a chance to make themselves at home.
It’s extremely important that you don’t just focus on the tiles: Pay attention to what’s in between them! The grout lines between tiles can be become stained and damaged rather easily because they’re a porous material. It doesn’t matter how well you take care of your tiles if your grout is a trainwreck.
Unless a special stain-proof grout was placed on your floor when it got installed, you’ll need to seal the grout lines after they’ve been fully cured. This usually takes 30 days or more. Sealing the grout will prevent future staining. Once you apply the sealer and it dries, mop and rinse the floor with clean water to remove any lingering residue.
Grout sealer isn’t permanent. The lifetime of your sealer depends on the traffic your floor gets and how often you clean the floor. The more regularly you use certain parts of your floor the quicker that grout sealer will get worn down. In high traffic areas you may have to reapply the sealer a couple of times a year. This is especially true with light coloured grouts! Make sure you let the sealer fully dry and settle before cleaning your flooring. You can usually walk on the floor two to four hours after sealing but it’ll take about 24-48 hours before the sealer is fully cured.
Not all grout sealers are created equal, however. Various sealer manufacturers have different wait times and instructions for their products. Always read the directions carefully before applying your sealer.
Try to sweep or vacuum your tile at least twice a week. It may not look like much but a thin layer of dust left unattended can dull the luster of your tile and slowly wear it down. Mop your tile once a week with a non-abrasive sponge mop, using a solution of ¼ cup white vinegar and two gallons of water. Rinse the floor afterwards with cool water.
You can dry your floors with a microfiber cloth. This extra step helps cut down the risk of water stains. If you’re going to use any cleaners other than water and vinegar, steer clear of oil-based, ammonia, bleach or abrasive cleaners. These all have the potential to damage your tiles.
For more information about what you can do to protect your tiles or to find out more about our cleaning services, give Dr. Chem-Dry a call at 602-243-6379.