Tile flooring is very versatile. You can experiment with endless design options: minimalistic, light colors, dark colors, and even beautiful geometric patterns. Moreover, tile floors are available in different materials. You can choose ceramic, porcelain, stone, vinyl, or laminate.
Indeed, tiles can give your interior a gorgeous look, but all flooring types require care and maintenance. Seeing your tile floor lose its shine and the grout darken with grime can be frustrating, but there’s no need to panic and replace it immediately. You can still make your floor look new with these simple cleaning tips we'll share with you.
So pick your pens and take notes. Our tricks will breathe new life into your floor tiles on your next scrubbing session.
Porcelain and Ceramic Tiles
Floor tiles use different materials; naturally, there are also different ways to clean them effectively. Ceramic and porcelain tiles, in particular, are sparkly and give a lot of shine. You’ll commonly find these tiles in kitchens, bathrooms, and high-traffic areas.
Here are some foolproof ways to clean them.
Vacuum Your Floors
Dirt does not stick to the surface of these tiles. But even though they are resistant to dirt, we still advise regularly sweeping them.
Removing debris and dust particles is the first part of the cleaning process. If you want to deep-clean your floor, running a vacuum over it will also help.
Choose the Correct Floor Mop
Your mop can make or break your cleaning success. So choose a mop that does not push the dirty water into the grout lines. Dirty water contains particles that stick to grout lines when dried, making them harder to clean. The dirt can also promote tile discoloration.
Be Careful of the Cleaning Soap
Avoid using strong detergent and bleach on your tiles. Strong soaps can cause discoloration and stains, which are mostly irreversible. To avoid color damage, use a mild detergent or cleaning agents specifically made for floor tiles.
Dry Your Floors
Most people let their floor air-dry without knowing that it affects the shine of the tiles. In particular, water residue can form spots, especially when clouded with soap. Thus, we recommend using a dry mop or a lint-free cloth to dry your floor tiles and achieve the perfect shine.
Natural stone tiles have more subtypes that can react differently to cleaning agents. Thus, they demand more thorough and careful cleaning.
If you have stone tile floors, don’t worry! We'll teach you how to clean tile floors and grout on different stone flooring materials.
Take Extra Care of Granite Floor Tiles
Granite floors are probably the most sensitive stone material to clean. So stay away from any chemical-based cleaner if you don't want to damage your floor. Home improvement experts particularly recommend cleaning it with baking soda and warm water.
Moreover, don't let any spillage soak into your granite floors. If left uncleaned, it will leave a permanent stain mark on your tiles.
Be Gentle with Marble Floor Tiles
If you’re big on aesthetics, marble is the perfect stone floor option. Expectedly, this material is high-maintenance, so be careful with homemade cleaning mixtures. Avoid adding lemon or vinegar to your cleaning agent. Also, use a gentle cloth or sponge. Avoid stiff or steel scrubs because they can damage your marble tiles and make them lose their shine.
Shine and Protect Slate Tiles
Slate tiles are easier to clean compared to granite and marble, so it's alright to use mild detergents on them. Soap will roll right off with warm water.
Moreover, you can apply mineral oil to the flooring to keep its shine and avoid scratches, especially in a high-traffic area. We also recommend putting a rug or a carpet on your slate tiles to avoid stains from accidental spills.
Don’t Forget the Grout
You can install stone tile flooring with minimal grout, so cleaning it won't be hard and time-consuming. Also, if you have dark-colored stone tiles, you won't need to worry about keeping them pristine; grout cleaning sprays can help clean them. We also recommend using a nylon brush to scrape all the dirt on the grout.
How to Clean Other Tile Flooring Materials
Tile flooring is not limited to stone, ceramic, and porcelain. Other non-traditional materials for tile flooring include vinyl, rubber, linoleum, and cork.
If you ever come across these flooring types, you can easily clean them. Here are some cleaning tips on how to clean different tile flooring materials.
Cork Floor Tiles
Cleaning may vary depending on the finish of your floor tiles. For example, you can clean cork floors with polyurethane coating using detergent, bleach, or homemade vinegar. On the other hand, uncoated cork tiles absorb the water, naturally rinsing out the dirt on the flooring. Then, you can leave it to dry and wait for the water to evaporate.
Rubber Floor Tiles
Various cleaning agents work on rubber flooring; just be careful when using bleach on colored tiles. If there's a stubborn stain on your flooring, soak it in white vinegar and baking soda to clean. Then, rinse it with warm water and mop it dry.
Most rubber tiles are interlocking or come as a whole sheet, so there's no grout to clean. Just lift the flooring from time to time to clean the accumulated dust underneath.
Vinyl Floor Tiles
Vinyl floor tiles are the most versatile and the easiest to maintain. You don't need to wash and mop your vinyl tiles very often. Instead, you can just sweep and vacuum them to clean all the dirt and debris.
Linoleum flooring is often confused with vinyl flooring. They’re different, but linoleum is just as easy to maintain. Still, take note of linoleum’s specific cleaning requirements.
Like any other flooring, always begin by cleaning all the dust and dirt on your floor. Then, mop your floor with a cleaning solution of borax detergent and water. We also recommend buffing your floor every six months to keep its protective coating and shine.
How to Clean Grout on Tile Floors
Cleaning tile flooring in your home also means cleaning grout from time to time. It can be frustrating to see dirty grout lines, but you don't need to worry; we have effective tips and tricks on how to clean tile grout on floors.
DIY Grout Cleaner
Why waste money on commercial cleaners that don't work when you can just mix baking soda, water, and vinegar to make an effective cleaning paste? Try this out if you're having difficulty cleaning your floor grout.
If the DIY cleaner doesn't work, maybe you need a scrub.
Let your cleaner set onto the grout stain for 24 hours, and scrub it off with a nylon brush. Of course, your old toothbrush works too! Don't use metal brushes, or they will destroy the grout that seals your floor tiles.
If you want to prevent stains on your grout lines, sealing them is the way to go. Use silicone-based sealers to protect your grout lines from stains. If you're feeling a little creative, go for colored grout sealers to improve the appearance of your flooring.
Whatever your flooring is, it will require cleaning and maintenance to last. We hope our simple and foolproof tips on how to clean tile floors will help you clean and maintain your home's flooring. Want more tips on cleaning different flooring materials like solid hardwood and natural stone? Explore our blog!