How To: Care for Tile

Image Copyright Keller Homes Inc.

Image Copyright Keller Homes Inc.

 

Tile floors, countertops and walls are popular for many reasons - they're attractive, available in a hundreds of styles, and provide a level of durability found with few other materials.  They're also easy to care for and maintain.  Here's how to keep yours looking great for years to come.

DAILY CARE

Regularly vacuum or sweep (a microfiber mop works well) the floors to clear debris and dust, which may scratch or stick to the surface.  Promptly wipe up any spills to avoid water damage and staining of the tile and grout.

CLEANING

  • On a weekly basis (or as needed), we recommend damp mopping with warm water.  If you feel a cleaning agent is required, a mild non-colored, non-abrasive detergent or tile/grout cleaner may be used.  
  • Grout stains and yellowing may be addressed with a fiber brush, cleanser and water.  Grout cleaners and whiteners are available at home improvement stores.  Avoid products with bleach as they may discolor the tile and/or grout.
  • Tile countertops and walls may be cleaned using the same method as described above.

 

SEALING & REPAIRING GROUT

Sealing grout will reduce the potential of staining. However, depending on what is spilled and the length of time it is left on the grout or tile, staining may still occur. 

Before you seal your grout, ensure it is free of stains (see tips above) and completely dry. Sealants are readily available at home improvement stores.  It's a tedious job, but not difficult; simply follow the directions on the container.  Test your seal by pouring a little water on the grout.  If the water beads up, your seal is in tact.  If it seeps into the grout, add another coat.  We recommend checking your seal at least annually and re-sealing as needed.

The grout or caulk lines around bathtubs or countertops may dry-out, shrink and crack over time. This is a normal occurrence, especially in a dry climate like Colorado's.  If this occurs, the best remedy is to use a tub and tile caulk or grout caulk which can be purchased from most home improvement centers or tile supply retailers. Follow the directions on the container. This maintenance protects the underlying components from water damage.