Tile floors are an excellent flooring option. One of the best things about tile floors is that they are so durable. Tile is unlike many other flooring options in that it can be used in every room of the house. However, do you know how to maintain tile floors?
If you plan to install tile floors in your home, you need to know how to care for them. If you care for your tile floors properly, they will look great and last longer.
How To Maintain Porcelain Tile?
Many homeowners love porcelain tile. It is one of the most popular tiles for flooring, walls, and countertops. If you want your porcelain tile floors to last decades, you need to care for them properly. Check this video out!
You need to maintain your tile floors daily if you want them to look their best. There are a few essential parts in the necessary daily maintenance:
- Sweep the floors daily.
- Wash the floors with warm water and soap or a mild cleanser designed for porcelain tile.
- Use a multi-purpose cleaner to remove stains or spills.
- Avoid using products that contain ammonia, acids, or harsh chemicals.
- After washing the floors, allow them to dry thoroughly before walking on them.
- If you have unglazed tile, they need to be cleaned regularly with a tile cleaner with a natural PH.
While daily maintenance is essential for the health of your porcelain tile, long-term maintenance is also necessary. If you protect and care for your porcelain tile floors long-term, they will look great and last longer.
- Prevent scratches and stains.
If your porcelain tile floors are going to look great, you need to protect them from scratches and stains. If you don’t sweep or vacuum the floor prior to washing, the debris can scratch the floors.
It is essential that you remove all dirt and debris from the floors before washing them.
- Prevent stains.
It is best to keep permanent ink and dye away from your tile floors. These can both create stains on the tile that can be difficult and even impossible to remove.
Porcelain tile is resistant to stains caused by juice, coffee, wine, and food; however, these can cause minor discoloration.
It is best to wipe up the spill as soon as it occurs. This is the best way to keep the floors from staining.
- Clean the grout.
Grout care is essential to the lifespan and the appearance of your tiles. The grout is essential in filling the space between the tiles and also to give the tiles space to flex, which will keep them from cracking.
The grout can capture dirt over time, and it can darken. Cleaning the grout is much more challenging than cleaning the tile, and it is best to leave the job to a professional.
If you plan to clean the grout yourself, make sure that you do adequate research first. You need to use a heavy-duty grout cleaner that can remove any dirt and debris that has built up in the grout.
Also, choose a product that doesn’t contain harsh chemicals and is low VOC.
- Restore the grout.
If you have had your porcelain floors for a long time, the grout can be stained to the point where it cannot be returned to its natural color, despite how hard you scrub.
When this happens, you will need to restore the grout using a grout stain. These are epoxy-based products that will penetrate the grout, sealing the surface with permanent color.
How To Maintain Travertine Tile?
Travertine floors have become more and more popular over the years. People love travertine because it has a slick surface when it is polished, and it is shinier than other types of tile.
The polished appearance of travertine is similar to that of marble. If you want your travertine tile floors always to look their best, daily and long-term maintenance is essential.
It is essential that you sweep your floors daily. Sweeping will allow the natural beauty of the tile to shine through. Also, daily sweeping will prevent dirt and debris from scratching the floors.
- Regular mopping
If you want to be sure that your travertine floors are always looking great, you need to mop them regularly.
Areas of the floor that don’t get much use, such as in the guest bathroom, you don’t need to mop as often. High traffic areas should be mopped regularly.
You should avoid using acidic cleaners such as ammonia, bleach, and vinegar because these products can etch the surface, which can cause lasting damage to the tile. It is best to use a mild cleaner that is pH neutral, mixed with water.
- Cleaning spills
It is essential that you clean up spills right away. If the liquid spilled is acidic, such as orange juice, wine, or soda, it can damage the tiles and cause stains.
If you clean the mess right away, there is less chance that the liquid will stain the tile.
Although daily maintenance is essential in keeping your travertine floors looking great, long-term maintenance is equally important.
- Using small rugs or area rugs
The best way to protect your travertine tile from scratches is to use rugs. You don’t have to cover the entire floor with rugs, but you should put them in high traffic areas.
For example, put down mats in front of doors so people can wipe their feet or remove their shoes. You can also use an area rug in the living room or other high traffic areas to protect the floors.
- Sealing floor every few years
It is essential that you have your floor sealed. There are two types of sealers.
The first will seep deep down into the stone, clogging the pores. This will make it impossible for moisture or spills to penetrate the tile.
The second type is a surface barrier. This will create a clear coating over the tile, and it will keep liquid and stain from getting into the tile causing permanent damage.
For maximum protection, you should have the floors sealed every three to five years. If you go with a glossy finish seal, you will need to do it more frequently.
- Checking for stains
It is a good idea to check for stains on the floors every few months. Some stains are large and very noticeable and can be treated right away.
However, smaller stains can be less visible, and you should go over the floors closely looking for them. If you find a stain, you can use a paste that contains an absorbing agent and chemicals called a poultice.
- Clean the grout
The grout on travertine floors allows the tile to expand and contract when the temperature and seasons change. It also keeps the tiles from rubbing against each other, which can cause the tile to crack.
The grout can start to look dirty over time. It can also develop water damage and mold. It is essential that you clean the grout lines when they start looking dirty.
The best way to do this is with equal parts of baking soda and water. This will form a paste that is easy to apply to the lines. It is important that you keep the mixture off of the tile and only on the grout.
If you get too much of the paste on the tile, it can cause permanent damage. You should avoid using commercial grout on your travertine floors. These products contain bleach, which can etch the natural stone.
- Regrouting when necessary
If your grout is such a mess that cleaning isn’t working, you can regrout. This is where you would remove the existing grout and replace it.
This may seem like a big project, but it is better to replace the tile that has been damaged due to the failing grout. This is also something that you can hire a professional flooring company to handle.
Does the Sealed Floor Make Tiles Maintenance Easier?
- Should you seal your tile floor?
Many homeowners who have porcelain or travertine tile floors wonder if sealing the floor is really necessary. The answer to this question is yes. And it makes tiles maintenance easier to some extent.
There are a few reasons why you should have your tile floors sealed and then re-sealed when necessary to make the maintenance better in the future.
- Sealed floor is easier to clean.
One of the best reasons to have your tiles sealed is for the protection that it provides. Even though you may not be able to see them, porcelain and travertine tiles are porous.
If someone spills on an unsealed floor, the liquid can leak into the tile, causing permanent stains. The seal will create a barrier over the tile, which will prevent liquid from getting into the pores, creating permanent stains.
- Sealed floor makes your tiles safer.
If you have small children in the home or elderly adults, you should consider having your tiles sealed with a non-slip sealer.
Standard tile sealer can make the floors glossy and a bit slippery, which can be dangerous for children who have recently learned to walk or older people with mobility issues.
A non-slip sealant will still give your floors a nice shiny look, and they will be less dangerous.
- Sealed floor prevents damage.
Chances are, you spent a lot of money on your porcelain or travertine tile floors. Because you invested so much money, you are going to want to protect your floors.
Fortunately, this can be done easily by having the floor sealed. If someone drops something heavy on the floor, the sealant will protect the tile.
The sealant creates one whole floor: If you don’t have your tiles sealed, each tile will be like one little floor on its own. When you have your floor sealed, the sealant will create one large floor.
- Sealed floor protects the grout.
When you have your floor sealed, it will protect the grout. Grout is basically a mixture of cement and sand, which can easily absorb water, stains, and bacteria.
When you seal the floors, it will protect the grout and repel moisture and germs. It will also extend the lifespan of the grout.
When you consider all of the benefits associated with sealing your travertine or porcelain tile floor, you would be crazy not to. When you consider the money you invested, sealing the floors will protect your investment.
Things To Avoid When Maintaining Tile Flooring
While it is essential to maintain your travertine or porcelain floors to keep them looking great, it is essential that you know what to avoid to protect the tile. If you know what to avoid, your tile flooring will look fabulous for years to come.
- Don’t use floor cleaners that contain alkalis, acid, or other harsh chemicals.
These products can cause etching and other damage to your flooring. If your floors are sealed, these products will degrade the seal. When this happens, the tile would need to be resealed.
- Avoid using vinegar, ammonia, orange, or lemon to clean the tile.
These will all cause lasting damage to the tile.
- Don’t allow spills to remain on the floor long.
The longer the liquid is on the floor, the more damage it will do.
- Don’t overlook the grout.
If you notice that the grout is starting to crack, ignoring it will eventually cause damage to the tiles.
Travertine and porcelain tile can make your house look amazing. If you are going to install travertine or tile flooring, you need to know how to care for the floors, what you should do, and what you didn’t do.
The last thing that you want is for your gorgeous tiles to be damaged. Considering the amount of money you may have invested in your tile flooring, it is worth taking the time to do some research on floor care.