Tile and grout, whether floors, counters or showers are exposed to dirt that can build up, liquids that can stain, and elements that may harm them. These are our top recommendations for caring for tile and grout.
1. Mop with a rinse bucket. Always use a bucket to keep mop heads clean. It reduces the amount of dirty water the floor is exposed to and helps prevent residual films that attract dirt from forming.
2. Squeegee showers and flooring. Keeping water off your tile surfaces prevents waterspotting and hard waterstain buildup.
3. Redirect irrigation away from exterior flooring. In Hawaii, standing water will leave behind a heavy brown or reddish layer anywhere water has puddled and dried repeatedly. Reducing the amount of standing water by redirecting irrigation and sweeping standing water away reduces the staining effect on the tiles.
4. Apply a suitable mildewcide in showers at servicing. Tile professionals may treat shower grout with a product like MicroBan or the green version, Benefect is a good way to prevent and reduce, or at best stop, mold growth.
5. Service Level Cleanings Have regular professional maintenance done regularly, especially on exterior and shower tile. Know the difference between a maintenance cleaning (extraction style which may or may not remove all the deposits) and a service level cleaning which deeply cleans to prepare for resealing.
6. Regular sealing of grout - On a porcelain or ceramic tile, the glaze protects the tile itself, so sealing is really to protect the grout from water or oil based staining. We recommend impregnating sealers or penetrating sealers.
Sealing does not prevent dirt from accumulating in the grout joints, but it does prevent water from dissolving the dirt and penetrating it deep into the grout. It prevents the deep stains that permanently discolor grout.
7. Consult a Professional - Preventing damage to tile glaze is also important. The older the tile is, the more fragile the glaze or protective finish on the tile becomes. Once the glaze is compromised, the tile is on its way to being in need of replacement. Be sure to advise your professional about the age of tile and any patches that seem rough or don’t match the original finish of the tile. This damage may not be apparent prior to cleaning if deposits are heavy.