We’re in the process of re-writing our tile maintenance brochure and would love to have your input. In addition to what we’ve described here about routine maintenance, sealers and repairs, what else would you like to know?
- Remove soil with a broom, dust mop or vacuum. Damp mop or spot clean as needed, using CLEAN, warm water or water and a pH neutral tile cleaner.
- Avoid all products containing bleach or acids, as they can weaken the grout (opening the pores & causing grout to get dirtier more quickly).
- Always rinse thoroughly with CLEAN, warm water and allow to dry. A second rinsing with clean water may be necessary to completely remove all cleaning solutions. When mopping, change rinse water often, preferably every 50 feet.
- Shower tile will look its best when you remove excess water with a squeegee after each use and when you run the exhaust fan for at least 20 minutes.
- Tile distributors sell cleaning products developed specifically for tile and stone which generally outperform products available in supermarkets.
- Use fiber or nylon scrubbing pads to help remove difficult stains; do not use steel wool pads.
Grout care: For stubborn grout stains, agitate with a fiber or nylon scrubbing pad and a higher concentration of the recommended pH neutral grout cleaning solution. Over time, if the grout appearance becomes unacceptable, your tile distributor offers specialized products, including colored epoxy sealants which help restore grout’s appearance. Contact a tile service company or carefully follow manufacturer’s recommendations.
Sealants: Many newer grouts have stain resistors already built in, so check with your tile installer about the brand used in your project. While not a part of base-level tile installations, sealers can be added to help keep stains from penetrating the grout. Sealers should be applied to cement-based grouts when the installation is thoroughly dry and after the initial grouting has cured for at least two weeks.
Common Concerns: Clean up spills as soon as possible. Material left on your tile can be ground into the tile or grout, making clean-up more difficult. Ask your distributor or installer for specific information on your products because different materials require different cleaning regimens.
Tile Repairs: The joint between the tub and tile wall and the counter-top and tile splash have the potential to separate with seasonal changes. As a house settles or the tub flexes, the grout in these joints may periodically crack. If this happens, remove the old grout with a sharp-pointed tool. (Be careful not to chip tile or tub.) Dry the joint thoroughly, and fill with silicone caulk available in tubes at hardware stores and in matching colors at most tile distributors. Broken or damaged tiles should be removed and replaced only by a reputable tile installer.
Always test products in an inconspicuous area before treating the entire surface and be sure to protect surrounding non-tiled surfaces because some tile cleaning products can adversely affect metals, glass, wood, etc.
Our website: www.NeuseTile.com has links to some of our preferred manufacturers.