Tile Comes in Several Types
Ceramic is most commonly used in kitchens for floors and backsplashes and in bathrooms for floors, counters, tub and shower surrounds. Because the tile is glazed, it is almost completely waterproof. There is no need to seal ceramic tile, but the grout used around it is porous and must be sealed. This will keep both water and stains out of the grout. Porcelain is harder than ceramic tile but that is the biggest difference between the two. Quarry tile is another choice, but because it is natural clay that has been baked at very high temperatures, it must be sealed. Terra cotta surfaces are made of natural clay which has been dried or fired. Though terra cotta is lovely, it is not nearly as durable as ceramic or porcelain.
Care and Cleaning of Tile
Tiled floors should be vacuumed first to remove any loose debris. Then mop using a microfiber mop with a neutral pH cleaner. Be careful not to leave the floor wet as dirt will collect in the low areas of the floor (grout lines) and they will get darker and darker over time. So mop with as little moisture as possible and make a final pass with a dry mop to keep dirt from settling in the grout lines.
When your grout needs to be resealed, it must first be pressure washed, then sealed. These days, many carpet cleaning companies are equipped to do that task for you at a reasonable cost. When hiring a carpet cleaning company look for one that is certified by the IICRC (www.iicrc.org) Check their website for a certified firm near you.
Keep your tile well maintained and it will last you a lifetime. A better idea might be to hire a professional cleaning company like Custom Maid to do your weekly cleaning tasks. Call us at 499-8568 for details.
Editor’s Note: We originally published this article in May 2014. We have edited it for freshness, accuracy and comprehensiveness.