You may think that the only major differences in floor maintenance relate to the categorically different floor types, like hardwood, stone, and tile. Unfortunately, this isn’t true for hardwood floors, stone floors, and especially not for tile flooring, and this is because there are so many different types of each flooring these days that floor maintenance can differ drastically within each category.
There are many things to know about floor tile maintenance, from the type of floor tile to the location. Once you see the bigger picture, you’ll be able to determine what tools you need, and how often you need to perform maintenance. That said, here are the major floor tile types and details on how to maintain them:
Ceramic floor tiles are usually made from combining clay, sand, and other natural products and heating the mixture in a kiln, and can be glazed or unglazed. Given the durability and design flexibility of ceramic floor tile, it’s very common, but is a bit more high maintenance. For maintenance, mop your floors 1 to 2 times a week with a water and dish soap mixture, but make sure to use a flat mop or cloth to apply the solution, because traditional or sponge mops often push dirt into grout lines.
Porcelain is made using materials and a process very similar to ceramic, but is much stronger, harder, and less porous. This makes it more suitable for laundry rooms and bathrooms. Also like ceramic, porcelain can be glazed or unglazed. For glazed porcelain maintenance, first wipe the floor using hot water, then scrub any stains with a bristle brush, and finish maintenance by washing it with a commercial tile cleaner. For unglazed, apply a warm water and vinegar mixture and scrub your floors with a soft bristle brush, before rinsing with hot water.
The stain resistance of glass tiles makes them popular, while the fragility of glass makes for use in low traffic areas. Regardless of location, glass floor tiles can be easily maintained daily using Windex or any other glass cleaner, and non-abrasive wiping material.
Marble & Granite
Natural stone tile floors, like marble and granite, have mostly the same essential steps as do ceramic and porcelain tile floors. One major difference is that you should NOT use vinegar or chemicals when performing maintenance, as this will likely damage your tiles. Mild, pH-neutral solutions are recommended, so as not to discolor or streak the tile surface, and it’s recommended that you sweep your tile floors first with a soft brush broom to clear loose dirt and debris.
Mosaic tiles are usually made from ceramic and/or glass, therefore making their maintenance a combination of the above mentioned processes for ceramic and glass. Given the decorative nature of mosaic tiles, make sure to use soft rags or towels when cleaning, and perform an extra rinse to make sure there’s no water spotting on your mosaic floor tiles.