Cleaning Tile Floors

If cleaned properly, tile floors will look like new for many years. These simple tips will help you keep your tile floor shiny and beautiful.

Nothing smartens up a kitchen or bathroom more than brand new ceramic floor tiles. Tiles come in an abundance of styles, patterns and colors to match any home décor, whether cozy and comfortable or fine and elegant. Tile floors are much easier to keep clean than carpet or soft floors, and they are more durable than hardwood floors or linoleum. Tiles are usually sealed with glaze, much like a potter's glaze, giving them their beautiful shine and making them virtually unbreakable. If protected, cared for, and cleaned properly, tiles can stay looking like new for many years. These simple tips will help you keep your tile floor shiny and beautiful.

After the tiles have been laid, see to it that they are sealed with the correct sealant. The manufacturer will recommend the one to use. To protect your new tiles, encourage family members and guests to remove their shoes when they walk into your home. Not only will this protect the tiles from scuffs, scratches and stains, but it will also keep your home cleaner as a whole. If any furniture will be sitting directly on the tile floor, put some soft, adhesive, protective pads on the bottoms of table and chair legs, and under china cabinets, sofas, or any other furniture.

Clean the tile floor regularly. Sweep and dust your tiles to keep abrasive sand, dirt, and grit from building up, causing scrapes and scratches on the tile surface. If you want to vacuum, use only the hose with the soft bristled end, to avoid scratches. After removing dust and dirt from the tiles with a broom, either mop or wash by hand with warm water and a sponge. Liquid floor cleaners are fine, but avoid abrasive scouring powders that might scratch. After using a liquid cleaner, rinse the tiles thoroughly and mop up any extra water, so they will dry quickly.

If the tiles in your home are light in color, the only other cleaning issue might be stains. Coffee, grape juice, mustard, ink, or blood can cause nasty stains, but don't despair. Simply use a mixture of 1 part bleach and 1 part water, and gently scrub the stained area with a soft sponge. Once the stain is gone, be sure to rinse away all remnants of the bleach with warm water. Grease stains can be cleaned with a mixture of 1 cup water, 1 tablespoon baking soda, and 1 tablespoon club soda. Rub this mixture into the grease stain and allow it to sit for up to an hour; then scrub with a soft sponge and rinse thoroughly. More serious blemishes such as wax or tar may be tackled by using a small amount of kerosene on the affected area. This will loosen the offending substance so that it can be gently scraped away, and then again, rinse the area completely with warm water. If you find a rust or hard water stain on your tile floor, check with the manufacturer before removing. Rust stains can be removed with a mixture of water and hydrochloric acid, but acid should not be used on glazed tile.

Many homeowners want to polish their tiles or put treatment oils on them to make them shine. Do this only if you don't ever intend to walk on the tiles. Oils and polishes make the floor dangerously slick, even for someone with rubber soled shoes. Oils also cause the tiles to attract dirt, thus making them more difficult to keep clean.

Tile floors are a handsome way to brighten the décor of your home, and provide a sturdy floor covering at the same time. Simply clean them regularly, avoid dust and grit, and your tiles will look like new for years to come!

© High Speed Ventures 2011