Tiles Care & Maintence
TILE CARE INSTRUCTIONS
Tiles are a popular choice for floors and walls, and with good reason. They're durable, easy to care for, and come in a wide variety of colors and styles. But like all surfaces, tiles need a little TLC from time to time to keep them looking their best.
Here are a few tips for caring for your tile surfaces:
-Sweep or vacuum regularly to remove dirt and dust.
-Mop with a mild, pH-neutral cleaner. Avoid harsh cleaners or scrubbers, which can damage the tile surface.
-For tougher stains, use a diluted vinegar solution or a commercial tile cleaner.
-Seal porous tile surfaces, such as natural stone or unglazed ceramic, to prevent stains.
-Wipe up spills immediately.
-Polish glossy tile surfaces periodically to maintain their shine.
With a little care, your tile surfaces will stay looking beautiful for years to come.
Glazed tiles should be routinely cleaned with a low pH all-purpose cleaner VOC or a commercial cleaner. The product chosen should also be suitable for cleaning grout. The type of product may vary depending on the application and use of the tiles. A multi-purpose spray cleaner that removes soap scum, hard water deposits and mould and is suitable for daily use can be used for wall tiles in residential bathrooms and showers. Use a cotton mop, cloth, sponge or non-metallic brush to apply and spread the cleaner. Rinse the area with clean water and dry thoroughly. Routine cleaners should never contain harsh chemicals as these can damage tiles. Acids can damage grout lines and the glazed surface of the tiles. Ammonia can discolour the joints.
Regular dusting, sweeping or vacuuming is recommended before cleaning with liquid products.
Unglazed tiles should be routinely cleaned with concentrated tile cleaners with a neutral pH to ensure safe regular use. These cleaners are better suited to removing grease, oils and normal soiling from unglazed products. These products also vary depending on the application, traffic and use. The product chosen should also be compatible with the grout.
REMOVAL OF SEALERS, WAXES, FLOOR FINISHES
Glazed ceramic tile should not be sealed. It is recommended that grout be sealed.
If you need to remove a topical sealer or floor wax from a ceramic tile you should use a tile sealer and adhesive remover. Always test a small area first. Apply a liberal amount of undiluted sealer & adhesive remover to a manageable area. Allow it to set without drying until coating or residue softens. Reapply if necessary until sealer softens and can be removed. If necessary, agitate with white nylon scrub pad. Wipe up the residue with a cotton towel or sponge. Rinse thoroughly with clean water. Do not use ceramic sealer removers on natural stone products.
Grout is the material used to fill the spaces between the individual tiles. Grout comes in many colors. While color is important to the final finished look of the tile installation, it has little effect on the functionality of the grout. The purpose of grout is, simply, to fill the joint between the tiles and becomes a permanent, integral component of the finished installation. Grout darkens over time so we recommend that it be sealed regularly to preserve and protect it. Grout can be stained to normalize the color of older grout.
Immediately after tile has been installed and grouted, the new installation should be covered with brown paper to protect it from debris during the remaining construction process. The grout joints should be dampened daily with water using a clean sponge or mop during the first seven days. This procedure facilitates the grout cure and color lock. The paper will allow for two important things: (1) to protect the newly installed tile grout and (2) to allow moisture to escape from the grout as it cures, further protecting the look and utility of the floor. This is an important step in achieving color consistency. Never use plastic or non-absorbent materials to protect freshly installed tile. These types of non-absorbent products will trap moisture, causing the grout to discolor during the curing period. The protective brown paper should remain until construction is complete and the floor is opened for intended (post-construction) use.
Following a curing period of at least 24 hours, grout haze can be removed with plain water or a grout haze remover, which usually contains Sulfamic acid. Sulfamic acid can also be purchased in powder form and mixed with water to different strengths by qualified professionals. Similarly, epoxy grout haze can be removed with an epoxy haze remover. These removers are formulated to safely and quickly remove cured epoxy haze from new tile installations. Their unique formulation will soften most epoxy hazes for easy removal without damaging the grout or tile, usually in one application. Sulfamic acid or grout removers should never be used on natural stone products.
Most tile installations use cementitious grouts. This type of grout should be sealed after installation to prevent it from staining. The grout should be sealed with a penetrating/impregnating sealer (often called grout sealers), which does not contain silicone, as silicone can shorten the useful life of the sealer. Epoxy grouts, conversely, are chemically cured and acid resistant, and as a result, do not require a sealer. The application of a good quality penetrating/impregnating sealer into the grout joints of a cementitious grout will not change the natural color of the grout, but will prevent the penetration of moisture, simplify maintenance, and help prevent staining or discoloration. Only the grout needs to be sealed, it is not required for glazed tiles to be sealed. Grout can be sealed 72 hours after installation.
There are different grades of penetrating/impregnating sealers. Be sure you are aware of the life-span of your sealer. You may need to reapply the sealer on an annual basis depending on the sealer quality, traffic patterns, and maintenance routine. Some sealers have multiple year warranties. Refer to the manufacturer warranty, technical & product information for specific details on product installation, useful life, and product applications (including any warnings) before use.
Neither sealing the grout nor using an epoxy grout will guarantee against surface buildup or discoloration of the grout. Grout needs to be cleaned on a periodic basis to remove any surface buildup. Routine grout cleaning can be done with a daily concentrated household or commercial cleaner depending on the application. When heavy-duty grout cleaning is required, you will need to use a professional strength tile and grout cleaner that is capable of removing grease, soap scum, body oil, mildew stains, algae, and synthetic or acrylic waxes from the grout joints. However, such a product should contain non-polluting chemicals and low VOC levels. This type of product can be purchased from most home centers, or through your local professional floor covering dealer.
GROUT COLOR RESTORATION
When grout has been stained to the point that it cannot be maintained or returned to its natural color, you can return the grout back to its original color or any other color through the use of a grout stain. Grout stains are epoxy-based products that are specifically designed to penetrate into the grout and seal the surface with a permanent color. Once the grout has been stained there is no need to seal it any further with a penetrating/impregnating sealer. Prior to staining, the grout joint should be cleaned thoroughly to remove any dirt, oils, grease, or sealers with a professional strength tile and grout cleaner.
CARE AND MAINTENANCE GUIDE
We does not manufacture installation products or countertop cleaning/maintenance products. We are sharing the information on this page to our customers as an information source only. Please contact an installation product manufacturer directly, prior to usage, to obtain proper handling instructions, application instruction and warnings concerning potential health hazards for any product contemplated for use.
To ensure your products will provide you with a lifetime of beauty and utility, proper maintenance is crucial. Natural stone products are porous by nature and require a different maintenance program than traditional ceramic tile. Dal-Tile also strongly recommends testing a small area PRIOR to usage of any installation/cleaning/maintenance product to determine whether the product serves its intended purpose.
SAFETY PRECAUTION TO CUSTOMERS
The products described in this document may have chemicals that cause reactions in certain individuals. We strongly recommends the use of safety glasses, respirators (masks) and gloves in handling any materials that contain chemicals. We also recommend the proper disposal of any scrap tile/stone, installation and/or maintenance products discussed herein.