Envision watching your brand new porcelain tiles getting installed. Watching them put the finishing touch on the installation, and seeing for the first time your brand new floor in all of its glory. New, pristine, and virtually untouched. Then picture someone coming in out of the rain and tracking mud and grime all over your new floor.
Cleaning your porcelain tile is not like cleaning other surfaces. This is because porcelain tiles fire at a much higher temperature than the average ceramic tile (2,300°F apposed to 1,800°F) which drives out more water, making a stronger structure. Also, because of the unique ingredients used to make porcelain, it will form into a low-order glass, making it extremely water resistant (Read more about it here). Because of this porcelain will absorb less than or equal to 0.5% of moisture, helping the tile become more stain resistant, as well as not allowing dirt to penetrate the surface; however, it is still necessary to remove the dirt and grime from the top of the tiles. Here are five things you should know before cleaning your porcelain tiles.
1) Start with a clean slate
Often overlooked, a great deal of construction dirt and grout haze can be left over from the installation. Having a thorough cleaning after the initial install will ensure the ease of future daily maintenance.
2) (Water) Resistance is few-tile
Because porcelain tile is generally water and stain resistant, the daily upkeep is quite easy. Use warm water to keep your tiles looking neat and eliminate the need for chemicals and cleaners.
3) Brush the dirt off your tile
If there is loose dirt on the tile, consider using a soft, natural bristle broom, or simply vacuum the debris off the floor. If the soil is a little more caked on, try using a nylo-grit brush. You will want to brush and scrub slowly in an overlapping figure eight pattern. If this still doesn’t do the trick, try a 175 rpm rotary scrubber to get the proper results.
4) Stain in the back
If you happen to get a stain, we recommend the use of an ordinary floor cleaning product diluted with warm water (3-4 capfuls per 5 gallon bucket, or per manufacturer). Using oily products can produce an oily layer over your porcelain tiles, which you don’t want.
5) Avoid the Acid Trip
We do not recommend the use of acid washing, especially if you have colored grouts. This is because the use of acids can cause discoloration of the grout joints, and in severe cases the color pigment can actually affix itself to the surface of the tile, in turn making it more difficult to clean.
However, if you do go this route, have several rinse buckets with clean water available before attempting to pick up the scrubbed solution. Use a wet vacuum to pick up the liquid and immediately rinse the surface with clean, cold water. Pick up the rinse water and repeat until the surface is completely free of any foreign substance.
Although there are many ways to properly clean your floor, you can’t be too careful. Knowing these five steps will serve you well as you keep your investment nice and clean.
Having a clean floor will help you achieve the maximum life-cycle of your floor.