Yes – Cleaning Tile Can Be Easy!
We get it – cleaning tiles can make even the squeakiest among us cringe. And no matter how hard we try, dust, dirt, and microbes creep into our homes settling on the floors and in cracks and crevices. Bathrooms are the biggest yuck factories, followed closely by the kitchen, and oh! those floors.
Do you dream of easy to clean tile? Whether you’re thinking of remodeling or just need some cleaning tips for the tile and grout you already have – we’re here to help. Our St. Louis Tile experts have some easy tips and tricks to tackle the biggest design decisions and the most persistent grime – no helmets required.
Less Grout More Tile
If you’re in remodel mode, the trend is to install tiles closer together which requires a miniscule amount of grout to worry about. This includes floor tiles, backsplashes, accent walls, and entire bathrooms and showers. That teeny tiny grout line doesn’t have to be a light color – go for a rich accent color like dark grey or taupe and the occasional drip or splash won’t make you crazy.
Low-Maintenance Floor Tile Trends
The 2018 trend in floor tiles in earthy, organic, and matte. St. Louis Tile carries many choices of matte tiles such as travertine, terra cotta, and slate. They are luxurious and cozy, rustic yet elegant, and happen to camouflage watermarks. They clean with a simple mix of warm soapy water and a little vinegar. They also don’t show dulling from wear and tear like shinier tiles do. Wood grain tiles are also a great choice. They are laid to look like hardwood so the grout lines are slim and the pattern is forgiving.
How to Clean Floor Tiles
Once grout is sealed, keep up with regular vacuuming to remove dust and debris that can dull tile. To mop, we recommend a simple cleaning solution of mild soap and water; you can add a little vinegar as well. Don’t soak the floor as dirty water can run into the grout. Use a spray bottle and a wet (not dripping) towel, sponge, or chamois to mop the area you spray.
Another quick and effective option is a do-it-yourself steamer with the microfiber cleaning pads. Simply spray the floor and steam away.
If you have a stubborn tile stain, gently rub in a baking soda and water paste or Bar Keepers Friend, let it sit for a couple of minutes, then wipe.
The Secret to Removing Grout Stains
For obstinate grout stains, there’s a simple home remedy that works incredibly well – even on grease. Poor some baking soda on the stain and drop some vinegar on it. It creates a chemical reaction that bubbles and smokes (it’s pretty cool). Let it sit for a minute, then wipe clean. Get the bubbled up grime off quickly so it doesn’t absorb back into the grout.
Two or three times a year, steam clean with a do-it-yourself steamer to keep grout fresh or hire a professional annually for a really deep clean.
Germ-Busting Bathroom Tiles
Natural stone tiles are being used more often in bathrooms and showers, revealing a spa-like environment that’s easy to maintain. Earthy matte finishes hide watermarks and soap splashes and clean easily without harsh chemicals.
Glass tiles and patterned tiles are also popular options. Glass tiles do show spots a bit more but simply wipe with glass cleaner and they’re good as new. And pretty patterns are a busy person’s dream come true – they hide all sorts of grime (but we don’t let it get grimy, do we?).
And let’s not forget our beloved subway tile. This year it’s being seen cohabitating with colored and textured subway tiles installed in parquet patterns, with borders, and colored grout. Still just as cleanable and clean looking. Tradition just took a turn toward sassy!
As with all tile mentioned, install bathroom tiles close together for less grout. And go ahead – step out of the ordinary with darker grout to make a creative statement. Bathrooms have never been sexier or looked fresher.
How to Clean Bathroom Tile
The rules don’t vary much from floor tile, except in bathrooms, you have an added bonus of shower steam to help loosen gook. We simply ask that you not use heavy-duty products with bleach or harmful acids on a regular basis. Though tile is tough and can withstand just about anything, over time, those harsh cleaners will dull your finish, wear away the sealer, and eat through the grout, and may bleach the natural color.
For mold and tough water stains, especially on vertical surfaces, there are cleaners with citric acid and other natural ingredients that work without being damaging on most tile surfaces. As previously mentioned, a mixture of vinegar/baking soda left to bubble for a minute or two will also unlock what has penetrated into the grout. Repeat as necessary.
The key to easy cleaning is to let whatever cleaning solution you choose do the work – leave it sit for about 10 minutes and your scrubbing muscles will thank you.
For that sticky hairspray residue – invest in a do-it-yourself steamer. Spray the microfiber cover with vinegar water and steam away. It takes just a few minutes to steam a bathroom floor and the results are instant. Stubborn makeup or other stains on the tile? A paste of baking soda and water or a soft scrub product gently rubbed on the stain should do the trick.
Glass cleaner is a perfect solution for glossy tiles and an easy way to keep up with daily germs and watermarks. Shiny subway or glass tiles will leave you feeling clean all over.
Kitchens Tiled High
Kitchen remodels have never been so much fun – especially with St. Louis Tile! We get to help you choose floor tile, wall tile, backsplash tile, accent tile …. Dare we ask – what about cleaning all that tile? No worries! It’s easier than ever to have lots of kitchen tile that’s squeaky clean.
The trend in kitchen tile is the more tile, the better. It’s not just for backsplashes anymore – it can cover walls from counter to ceiling, around doors and windows, and be as creative as you desire. Patterned tiles for stove and sink backsplashes add color and hide splashes and splatter. Patterns can take you away to Italy or France and help you can feel less stressed about every little spot so you can clean as time allows.
The joy in kitchen design is mixing styles, like earthy tiles with traditional or sassy tiles, and it works. Slate tile floors with white subway tile and grey grout and a pretty French bistro backsplash – c’est magnifique!
Cleaning Tips for Kitchen Tile
There’s a lot more grease, grime, and germs in the kitchen than other rooms in the house. Depending on how much time you spend there, you know half your time is spent cleaning up. With under-cabinet lighting and spotlights highlighting the beauty of your kitchen design, it’s important to choose tile that doesn’t show everything and cleans easily. Our experts at St. Louis Tile can help you put the right combination together.
The same rules apply to cleaning your kitchen tiles as floors and bathrooms:
- Vacuum regularly to pick up dust, dirt, and crumbs.
- Use a damp rag, chamois, or mop and a spray bottle with a 50/50 vinegar/water blend. Spray tiles, let sit a few minutes, then wipe/mop, or use a steamer with a microfiber cover.
- Do not soak floor tiles or the dirty water will run into the grout.
- Clean stubborn stains with a little baking soda topped with vinegar. Let bubble (it will smoke a little too), wipe, repeat, until stain or grease is gone.
- Use a do-it-yourself steamer at least a few times a year or for a really deep clean, hire a professional tile cleaner once a year.
- To clean wall tiles, spray with vinegar mixture, glass cleaner, or non-harsh spray-and-wipe cleaner. Dish soap and water works well too. Since it removes grease on dishes it will remove grease on tile.
- A little baking soda or soft scrub product (bleach free preferably) will help keep wall grout clean. Use as needed so grout doesn’t get a build-up of soil and stains.
If you’re ready to start your remodeling project, let St. Louis Tile be your expert partner. We work with homeowners, interior designers, and contractors to ensure you get the tile you’re looking for.
Our full-service showroom has thousands of tile samples, gorgeous displays, and friendly, experienced staff on hand to help. We are open 7 days a week and located just west of St. Louis in Ellisville. Come see us today or contact us for a free consultation appointment. We look forward to meeting you! 636-220-3550