Your kitchen or bathroom is never fully clean until you've scrubbed the floors. While you don't have to tackle this chore every time you wipe down the countertop, it's important to keep an eye on your tile floors for signs of dirt or grime. A hazy film or dirty grout are both indicators that it's time to do more than sweeping. We'll show you the best ways to clean your tile floors no matter what type of tile you have.
You wouldn't wash a stainless-steel refrigerator with a cleaner meant for an enamel surface. The same goes for your tile. While tile floors are incredibly durable, certain kinds of tile need to be cared for in a special way. Ceramic and porcelain floor tiles require very little special care, while coarse tiles such as slate, marble, granite, or limestone do require individualized care and often specific cleaners.
Ceramic tile and porcelain tile floors are incredibly durable but there are a few things that can make keeping them clean and looking good easy. Here's the simple process we follow:
Editor's Tip: Be kind to your knees and dry tiles the easy way—using your foot to slide the cloth over the floor.
Be careful when you're working with natural stone tile like slate, granite or marble; chemicals in traditional cleaners can damage the surface. Instead, clean your stone tiles with cleaners made specifically for natural stone.
Made from materials like linoleum, vinyl, cork and rubber, resilient tile is a great option if you want surface that's easy on the feet and needs minimal maintenance. Here area few tips to keep in mind when cleaning your resilient tile floor.
Editor's Tip: Never use a steam mop on any of these tile types. They are not designed to stand up to the extreme heat or excess moisture.
The real secret to a great-looking tile floor is clean grout. Grout is porous and absorbs grease and other stains. Here's how to get your grout to look like new:
Note: There's a lot of debate about whether you should use a steam cleaner to "deep clean" your tile grout. Some say it's a great way to bring revive dingy tile; other pros say it can do damage to your grout in the long run. Chances are, a steam mop won't harm grout that's in good shape and sealed, but if your floor is older or the grout is damaged in any way, the steam could accelerate the damage and may cause pitting and discoloration over time. Frequent use could also increase your risk of damage.
To keep your tile looking clean and residue free, we recommend a regular cleaning schedule of both dry and wet cleaning.
Related: Kitchen Cleaning Checklist