Beautiful, functional, durable; ceramic tile is a popular building product found throughout the modern home. But as with anything else, special products require special care. Despite the rugged construction, ceramic tile can become dirty and as such require specific care and handling. Here are a few tips to keep your tile looking bright and new for years to come.
When it comes to cleaning, ceramic tile is considered low maintenance. Vacuuming or sweeping a floor tile is all that’s required for normal cleaning. An occasional wet mop with warm water will also keep your tile looking new. Depending on the finish of the tile surface it is recommended homeowners avoid adding detergent to the water. The ceramic tile installed on walls, countertops, or backsplashes in your home may be cleaned with any approved non-abrasive soap, detergent or tile cleaner. Some high gloss or unfinished tile may become damaged if abrasive cleaners are used.
Grout, the filler found between the tiles, can over time become yellowed or stained. This discoloration can be removed by using a fiber brush, cleanser and water. Specialized products specifically created for cleaning grout are also available at most local home hardware stores.
To avoid the grout from becoming stained or yellowed, some homeowners choose to seal the grout with a special coating. Many tile installers feel the sealing of grout is a homeowner’s decision and responsibility. The industry standard does not require builders to seal grout. Once grout has been sealed, it will require regular re-application of sealant. Ongoing maintenance of the seal then becomes necessary.
Occasionally, slight separations between tiles and the grout might occur and is a process that builders consider to be normal. The use of grout is intended to provide the tile surface with a finished look but is not used to hold the tile in place or to affect the performance of the tile in any way. Gaps or cracks in the grouting can be filled using premixed grout available at building supply stores, but only if the homeowner elects to.
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