Home Check Advice: How to Properly Maintain Tile

home check

Installing tile can be a significant investment! You want it to look beautiful and last for many years—however, many new homeowners don’t know that tile needs help to hold up for the long haul. Whether it’s shower tile or flooring tiles, regular upkeep can help your tiles look nice and last longer. Avoiding common mistakes can also help your tiles stay in excellent condition. You can trust most tile floors or shower walls to hold up to splashes and showers, but flooding or excessive water can cause damage to your home. Follow this home check advice to maintain your tile!

Seal It

Tile can only protect your home from water seepage when you apply a sealant to your completed tile project. Whether you have a tile backsplash, countertop, floors, or bathroom walls, an effective sealant is critical to protect your home.

Water can leak between tiles when cracks form in the grout. However, without a sealant over the tiles and grout, you also risk water seeping underneath your tiles. When water traps behind or under tiles, mold and mildew can grow.

If you’re not sure that your tiles have proper sealing, an expert can inspect and seal your tiles. The time and effort to seal a tile floor or wall can help you avoid expensive repairs or replacement due to water damage.

Clean It Properly

Stubborn mildew or rust stains can be challenging to remove while cleaning tiles. However, sometimes scrubbing a stain with a harsh piece of steel wool or another abrasive tool can cause damage to your tile.

Avoid harsh cleaners and stiff scrubbing tools. These cleaning techniques can remove the finish and sealant from your tiles. You can also cause cracks or pits in the tile, which harms the integrity of your shower wall or tile floor.

Use mild cleaners like diluted hydrogen peroxide and a sponge to remove stains from tile. A professional can also use a pressure cleaning system to clean tough stains and bring your tiles back to life!

For everyday cleaning, avoid using too much water on your tile floor. An overly-soaked mop can put too much water. When water can’t dry quickly, your tile floor can develop mildew or mold in the grout between tiles.

Use a damp mop and a mild cleaner, then dry the floor with a dry cloth.

Dry Spills

Tile floors are so common and reliable that we can forget that they aren’t indestructible. A spill that sits on your tile floor can cause a stain and weaken the tile and grout around the spill.

Liquids like red wine, sodas, and cleaning chemicals can leave stains or ruin the finish of your tiles if left unattended. Melting ice cubes can also form a puddle that damages your tile.

As soon as water or other substances hit the floor, mop or dry it quickly. Pooling water or liquids can drain through grout or tile sealant that begins to break down. With clear liquids, a spill can be hard to see and cause someone to slip and fall.

Check the Caulking

Grout helps seal the spaces in between tiles as you create a wall, install flooring, or create a tile backsplash. Reserve grout for filling tile-to-tile gaps. What about caulking?

Caulking helps seals the joints between the wall, backsplash, or flooring and the surrounding fixtures. It’s critical to help provide a waterproof seal between different materials, like the bathtub water faucet and the tile surrounding it.

Over time, caulking gets old and forms cracks and gaps. To help protect your tile shower walls, flooring, and backsplashes, it’s critical to keep an eye on the caulking. Cracked caulking can grow mold and mildew.

When you see cracks, it’s time to pull out the old caulking and replace it with a fresh layer. Applying caulk is one of the most straightforward DIY home repairs, although many people don’t want to deal with the sticky mess. Caulking a straight line can be challenging, too.

A professional can quickly remove damaged grout and replace it with fresh caulking!

Know Your Type of Tile

While many of these tips apply to most types of tile, sometimes different tiles require different care. Do you know your tile? If not, a tile expert can help you identify your tile and provide proper care for your wall, floor, or backsplash.

Porcelain Tile

Use a mild soap and water to clean porcelain tile. Avoid cleaners with ammonia or acids that can eat away the surface of your tiles.

This kind of tile doesn’t require sealing. However, the grout between tiles does need a grout sealer.

Ceramic Tile

Keep your ceramic tile floors looking like new! Before using a cleanser, sweep or vacuum your ceramic tile floor to remove dust and debris. For glazed ceramic tile surfaces, use an all-purpose, low VOC cleanser. For unglazed tiles, stick to tile cleaners with a neutral pH.

As with porcelain tile, seal the grout but avoid sealants on the tiles.

Natural Stone Tile

For granite, marble, granite, travertine, soapstone, or limestone tiles, clean surfaces with a neutral cleaner made especially for stone. Never use products with acid or bleach when cleaning stone tile surfaces.

Acidic cleaners can etch patterns into your tile that require repair or replacement.

Metal or Glass Tile

Treat metal and glass tile surfaces with care! Avoid abrasive tools like scrubbers, scouring pads, or steel wool. These tools can cause scratches in the tiles.

Use non-abrasive cleaning products and a soft sponge to clean the metal or glass tiles.

Develop a Home Check Routine for Tile Surfaces

Prolong the life of your tile bathroom walls, kitchen floors, or backsplash with the right maintenance and cleaning practices. Develop a home check routine to inspect tiles for cracks or mildew stains. Keep an eye out for gaps in the grout or caulking.

If DIY home maintenance isn’t your favorite hobby, get professional help from Towers Restoration and Cleaning! We help homeowners keep their homes clean, healthy, clean, and looking its best. Contact us for an estimate!

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