Porcelain tiles offer a resilient, hard-wearing finish for your floors. They are made with different materials to standard ceramic tiles. Sand and feldspar are added to create a denser tile, which is stronger and absorbs less moisture. This makes the tile more stain resistant and easier to maintain.
When it comes to flooring materials, porcelain tiles are one of the easiest to maintain. Smooth glazed surface tiles are the easiest to clean, but with proper care unglazed and textured porcelain tiles can be maintained without any difficulty.
Pictured: Italian Limestone Vintage
Here are 5 things you should know about cleaning porcelain tiles:
1 - Sweep or Vacuum Dust and Dirt Away
Your first cleaning action should be to get rid of any dust and dirt that has gathered. This can be done daily by using a vacuum cleaner, or it can be swept away. A dry mop is recommended for sweeping, rather than a broom, as this will give better day-to-day protection for the tile surface.
2 - Avoid Chemical Cleaners containing Ammonia, Bleach or Acids for Regular Cleaning
Porcelain tiles are heated to fuse the mixture together, giving it similar water-resistant qualities to glass. Regular use of corrosive chemicals can erode the surface of the tile, and increase its water absorption rate. Corrosive chemicals will also erode the grout, which will loosen the tiles and allow water to get beneath the tiles creating dampness. For everyday cleaning of porcelain tiles, just use warm water and a mop. Every couple of weeks clean with a mild detergent mixed in warm water. Only consider chemicals to remove any stubborn stains.
3 - Completely Wash Away Detergents
When using a detergent, ensure it is of a low concentration. Textured tiles may need a slightly higher concentration than other tiles. Cover an area of the floor with the cleaning solution and let it stand for about 5 minutes. Then use a mop to clean the area. Do not let the cleaning solution dry. Next, mop the area again with clean, warm water. This will get rid of any detergent residue and prevent water spots or powdery marks.
4 - Stain Removal
Not all stains are created equal. We tend to utilise the same cleaning method for all stains, but this is not the correct way to go about things. Stains should be treated in the most effective way to reduce any long-term damage to the tiles or grout. When dealing with stains only clean the affected area; do not use on the whole floor.
5 - Get Rid of Stubborn Stains with Gentle Chemical Use
Following the above guidelines will give your porcelain tiled floor the best protection it can get, and keep it looking its best. Unfortunately, accidents do happen, and major stains to tiles may need to be treated with a more aggressive approach requiring chemicals. Be aware that these chemicals can lead to a change in colour of the grout. First of all, follow the instructions above and find the best method to clean the particular stain. Make sure you are wearing suitable gloves, a mask, and eye protection, and ventilate the area by opening windows and doors that lead outside. Only clean the affected area.
By following these tips you will keep your porcelain floor in tip-top condition, and increase its longevity.
Bonus Tip: Place a door mat near the entrance to the room to catch most of the dirt being carried in, and reduce the amount of cleaning needed and prevent damage to tiles.
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