As beautiful and stylish as tile can be, owning it can come with a little more responsibility. First of all, tile is harder to clean because of the grout lines and edges. It just isn't as flat and level as most linoleum or vinyl floors. So, it can be harder to sweep and vacuum. Also, all tile floors will have grout lines. The grout lines are bound to be the weakest point in any tile floor because this is where soap scum and mold can build up. Worst of all, if the grout lines are not properly sealed, water can seep through them and cause structural issues with the tile. The mortar that holds the tile to the subfloor can become weakened over time if the grout lines are not maintained. This article looks at the best tools and techniques for avoiding these problems on your tile floor.
Keeping It Clean
As with just about anything, the first step in good tile maintenance is basic preventative care. That is, cleaning and keeping your grout lines free of build-up is the best way to stop serious damage. Soap scum can turn into mold, and both soap scum and mold can permanently stain the grout lines. So, before you even consider resealing your grout lines, you want to make sure that your tile (and especially the grout) is as clean as possible.
Sealing the Surface
Any tile surface will need to be sealed and resealed over the years. There are no set rules, but it is a good idea to reseal your tile once every five years. If you have tile in a bathroom, kitchen or any other high traffic area where there is also a lot of moisture, it might be advisable to reseal it every 2 years. Resealing tile is easy work, but the sealant can be a little expensive. Also, the job is quite inconvenient because it takes at least 24 hours and you can't walk on or use the surface while it is drying. So, you have to plan accordingly. The beauty of a sealed tile floor is that it will resist moisture damage and protect the vulnerable grout lines.
In the end, the increased maintenance needed to take care of a tile floor is not much. When you consider how tile can add so much style and value to any home, it is an investment that is well worth it.
If you have any questions about residential tile, reach out to a contractor in your area.