Tiles are a wonderfully low-maintenance, easy-to-clean choice for flooring.  

However, certain types of dirt such as dust and sand increase the abrasive effect of foot traffic, so it is important to keep the floor as clean as possible to protect the tiles.  

Keep tiled surfaces looking their best with these quick tips on maintenance and cleaning: 

Entrance matting 

The first line of defence in any space is to use a doormat at the entrance to prevent dirt from being carried in from outside on shoes. Commercial applications will require more technical walk-off matting systems, appropriate to the anticipated traffic flow.  

Domestic tiling 

In domestic and low-traffic areas, tiled floors generally need a daily sweep, with mopping only required for stubborn dirt or spills. Use clean water when mopping, and a low-pH tile cleaner designed for tiles. Detergents such as dishwashing liquid should be avoided, as over time they leave a thin film on the tiles that is dulling the shine and leaving a slightly greasy layer on the surface which attracts more dirt. 

Top tip: Natural stone tiles are more prone to staining due to their porous nature, so sealing of these is recommended once installed. 

Commercial tiling  

Tiled areas in commercial spaces with heavier footfall will require more than a daily sweep. Most commercial areas have porcelain tiles installed due to their more robust and durable nature. Cleaning with products such as commercially available tile detergents is recommended, avoiding very strong and aggressive acids. 

Highly abrasive cleaning agents such as wire wool, especially in the case of glossy or polished porcelain tiles, which are more likely to show up the visible effects of scratching and loss of shine, are not recommended. Many industrial cleaners will recommend the use of a soft cleaning mop, avoiding spaghetti mops which tend to move dirt around and not clean as effectively. 

Top tip: Some commercial tiling contractors offer professional cleaning, both post-installation and after regular maintenance. 

Grungy grout 

The tiled surface consists of tiles and joints, so it is important to look after both these aspects. In new installations, modifying the grout mix with an additive will improve water and therefore stain resistance of the grout, or choose a stain-resistant formulation. 

For existing grout, cleaning the tiles with a reputable cleaning detergent should suffice. If over time the staining is noticeable and unattractive, it is possible to remove the old grout and reapply new fresh grout. However, this is not practical for large areas. 

Top tip: Using a darker colour grout for tiled floors will hide the dirt and staining for longer. 

Full acknowledgement and thanks go to https://www.ceramica.info/ for the information in this editorial. 

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