Resources

Tile Care

While tile floors are one of the easiest to maintain – they still do need some care to retain their original beauty over time. The following tips will ensure floors that will continue to be admired year after year.

  • Sweep or vacuum your glazed tile regularly.
  • Wash or mop your floors often to remove any dirt or grit. Use a mild, diluted detergent solution when cleaning.
  • Avoid ammonia-based cleaners as they may discolor some types of coloured grout.
  • After washing your floors with a mild detergent you should thoroughly rinse the tiles with clean, warm water.
  • Never wax a tile as it could affect the glazed ceramic finish.
  • Wipe spills immediately with an all-purpose cleaner and then mop. This will also prevent the grout joints from becoming discoloured.

Maintenance of Ceramic and Porcelain Tiles

Ceramic and Porcelain tiles are easy to clean using water and normal commercially available detergents. They do not require any polishing treatments or waxing, and do not easily retain dirt which, will most probably lead to the growth of bacteria.


Initial Washing

On completion of laying, the first cleaning job is carried out to eliminate the residues of mortar, adhesives, and grout from the ceramic surface. Usually, an acid base solution is used which is left to act for a short time in contact with the tiled surface. It is very important to follow the manufacture’s instructions carefully, keeping in mind the level of resistance to acids of the particular tile laid. It is advisable, therefore to make an initial test on a small area of the tile surface.


Maintenance

For routine cleaning, it is usually sufficient to pass over the tiled surface with a damp rag or mop to obtain the tile’s natural sheen. Special cleaning is crequired for a floor that have been neglected for some time or one that has traces of stains on the tiles or the joints. For neglected floors, it is sufficient to clean the surface thoroughly with a suitable detergent used for stained floors. A special stain removal procedure must be carried out. This can be done by using physical or chemical means: in the first case, very fine abrasives are used to detach and remove stains or dirt from the tiles or joints: in the second case, there is a chemical reaction between the stain and the product, which dissolves it.

General maintenance and cleaning of porcelain tile varies depending on the surface texture and soil load. General cleaning should be performed with a neutral cleaner diluted to the manufacturer's recommendations. Non-oil, non-acidic and non-soap based cleaners should be used. General household cleaners that meet this specification include: Mr. Clean, Windex, Lysol and Spic 'N Span.

  • Once a suitable ceramic tile is properly installed, it is very difficult to damage. Tiles may be chipped or broken if a heavy object dropped on the floor. Structural deficiencies may lead to cracking or breaking, most commonly caused by substrate movement.
  • Do not combine ammonia and household bleaches.
  • Do not use harsh cleaning agents such as steel wool pads, which can scratch or damage the surface of the tile.
  • Use a test scouring pads in a small area first.
  • Use a silicone sealer on grout joints if continuous staining is a problem.
  • Read and follow label directions for all cleaners.
  • The sooner the cleaning is carried out, the easier the stain can be removed.
  • Protect the floor if decorating, construction or overhead work is taking place.
  • Locations which are permanently wet such as swimming pools and showers, may attract build up of blubber, oils, soap residue, hard water deposits and in humid conditions, organic growth (algae). To remove this, a more acidic cleaning material is regularly preferable. A plastic scouring pad is the most useful device for this kind of cleaning.
  • Powder cleansers should not be used as they leave stain particles which may later rust leaving brown stains.
  • Unglazed tiles should not be regularly cleaned with alkaline detergent of greater than pH9. These should be only used occasionally and then the residue should be thoroughly rinsed away with clean water, otherwise reactions can cause a glossy and potentially slippery surface.
  • The pH of a material is the measure of acidity or alkalinity. It is a logarithmic scale and pH7 is the neutral point. Below pH7 the material is more progressively more acidic, and above pH7 more alkaline (i.e. pH is ten times more alkaline than pH7).
  • The regular use of detergents and other cleaning agents which are excessively acidic or alkaline can cause irreversible damage to the tile surface.
  • Many degreasing agents which contain wax, solidum silicates or other additives which leave a sticky deposit on the floor and thus retain dirt on the surface, must also be avoided.


Initial Washing

On completion of laying, the first cleaning job is carried out to eliminate the residues of mortar, adhesives, and grout from the ceramic surface. Usually, an acid base solution is used which is left to act for a short time in contact with the tiled surface. It is very important to follow the manufacture’s instructions carefully, keeping in mind the level of resistance to acids of the particular tile laid. It is advisable, therefore to make an initial test on a small area of the tile surface.



Maintenance

For routine cleaning, it is usually sufficient to pass over the tiled surface with a damp rag or mop to obtain the tile’s natural sheen. Special cleaning is crequired for a floor that have been neglected for some time or one that has traces of stains on the tiles or the joints. For neglected floors, it is sufficient to clean the surface thoroughly with a suitable detergent used for stained floors. A special stain removal procedure must be carried out. This can be done by using physical or chemical means: in the first case, very fine abrasives are used to detach and remove stains or dirt from the tiles or joints: in the second case, there is a chemical reaction between the stain and the product, which dissolves it.

General maintenance and cleaning of porcelain tile varies depending on the surface texture and soil load. General cleaning should be performed with a neutral cleaner diluted to the manufacturer's recommendations. Non-oil, non-acidic and non-soap based cleaners should be used. General household cleaners that meet this specification include: Mr. Clean, Windex, Lysol and Spic 'N Span.

  • Once a suitable ceramic tile is properly installed, it is very difficult to damage. Tiles may be chipped or broken if a heavy object dropped on the floor. Structural deficiencies may lead to cracking or breaking, most commonly caused by substrate movement.
  • Do not combine ammonia and household bleaches.
  • Do not use harsh cleaning agents such as steel wool pads, which can scratch or damage the surface of the tile.
  • Use a test scouring pads in a small area first.
  • Use a silicone sealer on grout joints if continuous staining is a problem.
  • Read and follow label directions for all cleaners.
  • The sooner the cleaning is carried out, the easier the stain can be removed.
  • Protect the floor if decorating, construction or overhead work is taking place.
  • Locations which are permanently wet such as swimming pools and showers, may attract build up of blubber, oils, soap residue, hard water deposits and in humid conditions, organic growth (algae). To remove this, a more acidic cleaning material is regularly preferable. A plastic scouring pad is the most useful device for this kind of cleaning.
  • Powder cleansers should not be used as they leave stain particles which may later rust leaving brown stains.
  • Unglazed tiles should not be regularly cleaned with alkaline detergent of greater than pH9. These should be only used occasionally and then the residue should be thoroughly rinsed away with clean water, otherwise reactions can cause a glossy and potentially slippery surface.
  • The pH of a material is the measure of acidity or alkalinity. It is a logarithmic scale and pH7 is the neutral point. Below pH7 the material is more progressively more acidic, and above pH7 more alkaline (i.e. pH is ten times more alkaline than pH7).
  • The regular use of detergents and other cleaning agents which are excessively acidic or alkaline can cause irreversible damage to the tile surface.
  • Many degreasing agents which contain wax, solidum silicates or other additives which leave a sticky deposit on the floor and thus retain dirt on the surface, must also be avoided.


Maintenance of Unpolished and Polished Tiles

Unpolished:

No sealing is required, use natural ingredients when cleaning.


Polished:

Polishing of natural stones provides a high gloss to the surfaces of the material, which already grants a protection to an extent.

In order to maintain the finish, regular cleaning is needed. Mopping with warm water regularly will help the product from being opaque. After many years, the floor can be repolished.


Polished:

Polishing of natural stones provides a high gloss to the surfaces of the material, which already grants a protection to an extent.



Cleaning Recommendations

Commercial Areas

Public areas such as lobbies, malls, shopping centers and corridors can be easily cleaned by a daily mopping with warm water and all purpose liquid cleaner.


Showers and Toilets

Where hygiene is of paramount importance, such as in commercial showers and toilets, a commercial cleaner is the best application where cleaning should be performed daily.


Kitchens

For commercial kitchens where the grease build up is constant, approximately ½ cup (0.12 litres) of industrial cleaner up to 15 litres maybe used to clean grease and oil spills. This method of cleaning is appropriate also for dining areas in fast food cafeterias and for food and beverage spills.


Exterior Areas

Although exterior tile surfaces do not often require cleaning, they can be washed with a soapless detergent and rinsed with fresh water. Where harder grime occurs, a soft bristle brush can remove build-up.


Hygiene

Due to the nature of ceramic tiles, their surfaces , glazed or unglazed are perfectly hygienic. In this way, they are excellent for domestic applications where hygiene is essential and where dirt and hard water are inevitable and thus are an easy floor surface to clean. In commercial applications, this hygiene is imperative for bathrooms, kitchens, hospitals, schools, toilets and their ease of maintenance essential for lobbies, shopping malls, eating areas, and industrial areas.