Patrick O'Keefe
Home Tiles
25 Oct 2021

Tile Aftercare – How to Keep Them Looking Brand New

Tiles look their best when they are fresh out of the box, it’s almost a shame having to cover them in adhesive and grout as any overspill will cover the design of the tiles, but thankfully tiles are easy to clean and you can get your tiles gleaming again. But over time tiles can deteriorate for a range of different factors, leaving them a shell of their former glory. In this post, we’re going to explain what you can do to keep your tiles looking fresh and prevent them from losing that shine.

Ensuring you’ve got the right tiles for the job

Tiles are flexible and can be lain on most flat surfaces, but just because they can lie somewhere doesn’t mean that they belong there. Porcelain tiles are fundamentally much stronger than ceramic tiles, they are much better at handling footfall and environmental stress than ceramic tiles. Therefore they are much more suited to be on the floor, especially in high traffic areas such as the kitchen. In contrast, ceramic tiles are much weaker but it’s easier to create designs for them in the manufacturing process compared to porcelain, therefore typically it’s better to have ceramic on the walls so its designs can be seen and it doesn’t need to handle the stress of high traffic.

 

If you were to lay ceramic tiles in a high traffic area they will most likely crack, leaving gaps and making the surrounding tiles more vulnerable to cracking as well. It can end up quite a costly mistake if you have to replace multiple tiles and relay them.

 

Protection from staining

As ceramic and porcelain tiles are non-porous (don’t absorb water) they are strong against water-based staining, as whatever liquid is dropped on them can’t sink into the tile. However, everyday traffic over time will eventually wear down the surface layer that stops the tile from absorbing liquid. Once this starts you risk your tiles being stained, or even worse the adhesive corroding and your tiles coming loose. To remedy this we recommend getting tile sealant, this recreates that protective surface layer tiles have to make your tiles resistant to water, food oils, and grease. This will make your tiles non-porous again protecting it from water seeping through and damaging or staining your tiles.

Protection from Sunlight

As nice as it is seeing your rooms glowing with natural light, if your tiles are a few years old and are continuously exposed to the sun you will find that their colour or designs will fade. Once tiles are faded there’s no real way to correctly restore them to how they were when you first got them, so it’s important to shield your tiles from the sun, especially if they’ve been fixed for a long period of time. The best preventative measure for this situation is to close curtains in rooms you aren’t in, this way the sun cant get to the tiles and you aren’t inconvenienced by dark rooms.

What to avoid when cleaning

Like all flooring tiles will need to be cleaned every once in awhile, if there’s a firm layer of dirt and people may be inclined to use strong chemicals to power through, but this will do more harm than good. The chemicals will slowly wear away at the surface layer that stops the tile from absorbing water, when your tile starts taking in water it will damage the adhesive bound to the tile which eventually leads to your tiles coming loose. So it’s important to be mindful of what products you use, we find that mixing lemon or white vinegar with water is great for powering through tough stains. If this doesn’t work there are chemical cleaners that you can use that are designed for tiles to reduce damage and will slice through any tough dirt stains on the tile.



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