Tile is an elegant way to create a distinctive look that enhances the beauty of your home inside and out. Functional uses include as flooring in an interior entryway, on the wall of a shower, as the backsplash on a kitchen countertop or for an outdoor walkway. However, tile is also a versatile way to complement your décor through whimsical and decorative accents such as a birdbath, garden bench or staircase risers. Regardless of how you incorporate the tile into your design, proper care ensures your will provide a lifetime of beauty.
Remove Tile and Grout Stains
If not cleaned up immediately, common household products such as mustard, fruit juices, coffee, oil and grease can leave a permanent stain on your tile and grout. Commercial tile cleaners or all-purpose cleaners will do the trick for most stains, but be careful about using cleaners that contain acid because they will scratch polished marble and limestone. For tough stains, mix up a paste of scouring powder and water. Leave it on the stain for at least five minutes, and then scrub the stain with a soft brush or synthetic scouring pad and rinse with clean water.
Sealing tile and grout is the best way to prevent moisture damage and unsightly staining. There are two kinds of sealers: topical and penetrating. Topical sealers seal only the surface and can be worn away. Penetrating sealers, or impregnators, penetrate the tile and grout and can never be completely worn away. A general rule of thumb is to reapply a penetrating sealer every two years; you may need to apply topical sealers more often. A good indication that your tile needs resealing is when water no longer beads on the surface.
Frequently grout is the weak link in tiling projects. It is susceptible to cracking as your home settles over time, discolors easier than tile and can attract mildew. Water can penetrate chipped or cracked grout and damage the infrastructure behind the tile. Remove the old grout, wash out the joints and let them dry at least 24 hours. Apply the new grout; when the grout is set, clean the tile to remove the grout haze. When the grout has completely cured, apply a sealer.
Remove Efflorescence From Tile
Over time, you may notice a powdery white haze on your tile. This deposit, called efflorescence, is made up of salts and minerals left behind when water wicks up through the grout or tile and then evaporates. An acidic solution removes efflorescence; however, as already noted, acids can mar the appearance of some tiles and grout. Check with a tile supplier to find out what solution is best for your tile.
Apply the solution to the area to be cleaned and scrub with a nylon toothbrush, scrub brush or pad. Let it sit for 10 minutes and scrub again. Wipe up the excess solution and rinse with clean water; be careful not to over apply the rinse water. Let the tile or grout dry for 24 hours, and then seal it with a penetrating sealer.
Tile adds appeal and value to your home and is a long-lasting building material. With a little TLC, you can keep your tile looking like new even in the most heavily used areas of your home.
Ready to have the experts help? Call NC Tile LLC to see what we can do for you! Telephone: (866) 973-4653