Tile floors are easily the most common modern floor.
Hardwood floors take far too much time to maintain and can often warp, deteriorate, or experience some other kind of negative effects not only on the surface of the floor, but in other areas as well.
Nobody has the time to waste on cleaning and maintaining hardwood floors. That is one thing that makes tile floors preferable.
What about luxury vinyl plank, linoleum, or any other type of floor that resembles wood?
It turns out that even though there is less maintenance involved in those types of floors, it is only a few ounces less.
This means that it is still a stressful task to maintain vinyl plank and linoleum floors, making tile floors that much more preferable to them.
The thing with tile floors is that cleaning them is maintaining them. You don’t need to see how many times you can sand them, you don’t need to see if a corner of the floor has warped or otherwise been negatively affected, or anything of the sort.
Tile floors hold up, and they hold up very well. All you need to do to maintain a tile floor is clean it.
This is what makes tile floors the most common type of flooring, as well as the most popular.
However, there is much more to cleaning tile floors than simply mopping them or going over them with a floor cleaner.
While cleaning tile floors is not at all complicated, it is not as simple as many want it to be.
There is an optimal way to clean tile floors, and if you clean them effectively, the only long term issue you will have with them is if some of the tiles crack.
Take very good care of your tile floors, and they will take care of your overall peace of mind as well as your budget.
The wrong way to clean tile floors
Before exploring what it takes to clean a tile floor to perfection, it is a good idea to understand what the wrong way to clean tile floors is.
If you know what goes into improperly cleaning tile floors and remove them from your routine, you’ll be able to familiarize yourself with what goes into cleaning tile floors perfectly much faster.
Cleaning tile floors improperly usually just means that you possess a couple of bad habits that are preventing you from cleaning them perfectly
Replace these habits, and you will be on your way to cleaning your tile floors perfectly.
The first mistake revolves around how often you clean your tile floors.
Cleaning a tile floor too frequently is just as bad as ignoring them for significant amounts of time, and both habits need to be addressed by determining a timeframe that results in tile floors that are very clean but also are not prone to water damage.
Something that is not really known about tile floors is that they are not completely waterproof. If they encounter too many fluids or solutions at rates that are too rapid, the tiles will be more prone to cracking and even warping. If you have seen part of a tile floor that dips down or something, it probably means that it has encountered water damage.
Ignoring your tile floors is also a bad idea for obvious reasons. Dirt can build up and work its way into a tile floor to where it can alter the floor’s surface – permanently. It is the same with standing water, as illustrated previously.
You need to develop a perfect “rhythm” of sorts to cleaning your tile floor to where you do not clean it too frequently or too little.
The second mistake made when cleaning tile floors is not being detailed enough.
While some form of cleaning is better than not cleaning at all, but if you are not detailed enough, you will overlook a lot of vital things about your tile floors that need attention.
Doing nothing more than mopping your tile floors with whatever mop or solution you happen to possess at the time does not lend itself to optimal tile floor cleaning.
Now that you know what not to do to clean tile floors, it is time to answer the burning question of how tile floors can be cleaned in the best way.
Timing is critical
The best way to clean tile floors begins with knowing when you should clean the floors.
If you let weeks or even months go by without cleaning your tile floor, you will allow buildup from dirt and especially water to work its way into the floor, creating permanent stains on the surface and could possibly cause permanent damage.
Clean your tile floor every time any kind of dirt encounters it, and you won’t let it “breathe.” Tile flooring is similar to other kinds of floors in that it is very difficult for them to absorb water without the water damaging it.
This is why cleaning your tile floor too frequently is a bad idea, especially if you are mopping or scrubbing it with a lot of cleaning solution.
However, the frequency at which you clean your tile floor is also dictated by how much traffic your floor encounters.
If your tile floor does not encounter a lot of traffic, you should probably clean it once every ten days or so. This allows you to keep the floor clean as well as let it stay dry for a decent amount of time, which micromanages the potential water damage from cleaning it.
Clean your tile floor every five days if it encounters a lot of traffic. When you do this, resist the temptation to use too much cleaning solution or water when mopping and scrubbing. Although you do not want dirt or scuffs to work their way into the tile, you also do not want the tiles to get too wet when cleaning them either.
No matter what kind of timeframe you want to use when cleaning your tile floors, make sure that you are being consistent.
Now that you know about the proper time frames that allow for your tile floor to be cleaned perfectly, it is time to learn about what physically must be done to ensure that your tile floor is cleaned perfectly.
Sweep and vacuum before mopping or scrubbing
The first thing you need to do to clean tile floors perfectly is to sweep or vacuum them before mopping or scrubbing them.
Fail to do this, and your tile floor will still be dirty after you have mopped or scrubbed.
As far as how to sweep or vacuum, feel free to use whatever you are comfortable with.
Something that makes tile floors better than other kinds of floors is that they do not get scratched or anything when a sweeping or vacuum device is used on it. And because of that, it is possible to use whatever you want to sweep or vacuum tile floors.
Make sure you are as detailed as you can when you are sweeping and vacuuming your floor. You do not want any particles on the floor when you begin mopping or scrubbing.
What to use when mopping or scrubbing, and how to do it
You have two options when cleaning your tile floor after sweeping and vacuuming it.
The first thing you can do is mop the floor. This is far and wide the most common practice, as you do not need to get down on your hands and knees to physically clean anything.
There is nothing wrong with mopping, but if you use too much cleaning solution, you will run the risk of getting the floor too wet after cleaning. The tile will absorb the water and if this happens too much, your floor will encounter water damage.
Sometimes you don’t need to clean an entire tile floor, opting instead to clean only certain parts of it. This is where scrubbing comes in.
There are two problems with scrubbing: First, it requires one to get on their hands and knees to wipe down the part of the floor that needs to be cleaned. Second, you can cause some serious water damage if you do not dry the spot your scrubbed afterwards. Most who scrub floors tend to use too much cleaning solution and do not dry the spot that they scrubbed afterwards.
You need to keep two things in mind whether you mop or scrub.
First, you must use cleaning solution that is suitable for tile floors. Use solution that does not streak, even if you need to spend a little more money.
Even more important than that, you need to make sure that your tile floors are not too wet after mopping or scrubbing. They can be a little bit wet, but if they are too wet, it will lead to water damage over time.
To prevent this, keep something on hand that you can use on floors right after mopping or scrubbing them to make sure they are not too wet. Something like a dry mop or sponge (if you are scrubbing) will really help with this.
Another thing you will need to be aware of are the spaces in between the tiles. While these are not usually problematic, dirt can work its way into these spaces, affecting how the floor looks and functions.
Cleaning these spaces can only really be done by scrubbing. If you see something in between the tiles that looks questionable, scrub it with a sponge that has a rough surface. Check for something like this every other cleaning session.
There is a lot more to cleaning tile floors than choosing a time at random and scrubbing or mopping indiscriminately.
However, cleaning tile floors perfectly is not complicated, and all you really need to clean tile floors is to come up with an efficient system based on scheduled cleaning times, and preventing water damage by not using too much cleaning solution and drying off whatever you clean.
If you make the decision to clean your tile floor perfectly, you will not need to get it replaced and it will last a lot longer than if you did not clean the floor perfectly.