How to keep a tile floor clean

Regular cleaning and maintenance will help your tile floors stay in top shape.

Regular cleaning and maintenance will help your tile floors stay in top shape.

Many homes feature tile floors because tile is attractive and more durable than other flooring options. In order to maintain the appearance of tile flooring, it's important to keep it clean. Try these cleaning tips to keep your tile looking like new.

Keep dirt off your tile floor

Your tile's first line of defense against dirt is a doormat. According to the World Floor Covering Association (WFCA), dirt that is tracked across tile flooring will wear away the finished surface. By keeping doormats or area rugs inside every door of your house, you can prevent excessive dirt from coming into contact with your tile floor.

Clean regularly

Doormats won't keep all the dirt out, so regular maintenance is the next step in keeping tile floors clean. Sweep or vacuum up debris at least once a week and use a damp paper towel or sponge to wipe up any wet or sticky messes. Cleaning regularly can help to prevent serious dirt buildup and hard-to-remove stains, which are much more difficult and time consuming than day-to-day maintenance tasks.

Deep clean tough spots

In order to deep clean tile floors, you'll need a dirt dissolving solution. Various types of grout and tile cleaners can be found at your local home improvement store. Some are specially formulated for ceramic tile, while others are made for use on natural stone tile. Make sure that the product you use doesn't contain ammonia or anything acidic, such as lemon juice or vinegar because those ingredients can dull the surface of your floors.

Many tile cleaners can be sprayed right onto the floor and mopped up immediately, which is generally enough to remove surface dirt. However, ground-in dirt may require a little more elbow grease. If you have textured tile, you may need to use a soft-bristle brush or scrubber sponge. Avoid highly abrasive tools such as steel wool or scrubbing powders, which can permanently scratch the surface of your tile. Once your tile floor is free of dirt, rinse away any residue with clean, warm water.

If you don't have time to give your tile floors a thorough cleaning yourself, check Angie's List for local consumer reviews on floor cleaning experts. For more information, please visit the Angie's List Guide to Floor Cleaning.

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