Before we discuss tile cleaning in Melbourne, we understand different types of tiles and how the tile cleaning is not the same for every type of tile. When you are washing a stainless-steel refrigerator obviously, you won’t be using a cleaner prescribed for enamel surfaces. Tiled surfaces are also similar in nature and your tile cleaning approach should be tuned to the particular type of tile that is laid out in different parts of your home. Typically, tiles are very durable and certain types of tiles need special care. Very little special care may be needed for porcelain and ceramic tiles, but the game changes when you are cleaning coarse tiles like marble, slate, limestone or granite which call for specific cleaners and individualized attention.
Let us therefore briefly understand the different variants of tiles and their features.
Hardness of the tiles
The hardness of the tile is among the primary features that you should focus on while choosing tiles for your home. Hardness translates to the ability of the tile to withstand wear due to foot traffic and resist scratches. You can ask your vendor for the hardness rating and choose what suits your needs best. For areas that attract no foot traffic at all, like in the case of walls, you can choose the Class I tiles. When it comes to bedrooms and bathrooms, the foot traffic is generally normal and soft-soled and therefore you can focus on Class II tiles.
Class III tiles are best suited for areas in your home that attract usual foot traffic and can take on small instances of scratches from dirt. This type of tiles is suitable for nearly all rooms in your home, except the entryways, kitchens and other areas that attract high levels of foot traffic.
Class IV tiles are suited for heavy and moderate traffic. You can install this type of tiles all across your home including the entryways, halls, kitchens etc. These are also the best among floor tiles since they can efficiently combine function and beauty.
Class V is for areas that attract very heavy traffic are exposed to dirt and scratches and commercial spaces.
The porosity of tile is another consideration that will impact tile cleaning. The ratio of solid to air holes in the tiles is porosity and impacts how much water the tile can absorb. When you are installing tiles in an area susceptible to moisture like in the kitchen, bathroom, and laundry room etc porosity should be a primary consideration. If the tile has water absorption below 0.5% it is suitable for the kitchen and more particularly the bathroom. Vitreous tiles, on the other hand, can absorb moisture between 0.5 and 3 percent while semi-vitreous tiles can absorb up to 7 percent moisture and non-vitreous tiles absorb in excess of 7 percent moisture and therefore is not suited for flooring.
Porcelain tiles can be your best choice
When you need strength, versatility, and moisture resistance porcelain can be the best choice for you. It is significantly durable compared to ceramic and is available in a wide range of styles, textures and colours. However, you should also know that all porcelain tiles are not made equal and the specification of each variant is important to you. Technological advancements have also ensured that today’s porcelain tiles bring better moisture resistance and hardness that is higher compared to the average hardness you could get in the past. With these improved features, you would also expect to pay higher prices for these tiles.
Generally, tiles are slippery, particularly when water is splashed on the surface. But that is no reason to compromise on the safety of your family. Slip-resistant tiles are important when you have elderly members and children in your family. Bathrooms, in particular, tend to be accident-prone and the shower area is even more susceptible. Therefore, tiles in this area of your home should have excellent slip resistant properties. Tiles with higher COF (coefficient of friction) will be best suited for these applications.
4’x4’ is by far the best size for most parts of your home, except the kitchen walls and bathroom walls. But, in any case, sizes beyond 6’x6’ can be unwieldy. If you have always loved the looks of wooden flooring but dealing with the maintenance has always put you off, look for ceramic tiles with wood finishes. These tiles are very durable, moisture and scratch resistant and you have endless choices in terms of wood species for nearly every application. This type of tiles is perfect for your kitchen floor and bathroom/shower floors where real hardwood is not recommended.
Too cold to touch
If you are concerned about the tiles being too cold to touch, particularly when the external temperature is dipping into a single digit, you can use radiant floor heating making the tile surface more pleasant compared to real wood.
Having examined different types of tiles and their properties, let us now turn to tile cleaning in Melbourne.
Your bathroom or kitchen floor can never be fully clean till you scrub the floors. This exercise may not be essential every single day but it is essential that you always look for signs of grime and dirt on the floor. .Dirty grout and a hazy film can be an early indication that your tiles need a thorough scrubbing. On that note, let us explore tile cleaning methods for different types of tiles.
Cleaning porcelain and ceramic tiles
Porcelain and ceramic tiles are significantly durable and you can follow some simple processes to keep them looking good and clean.
Before you start tile cleaning, the first exercise should be vacuuming or sweeping the tile surfaces regularly so that they remain shiny. Although ceramic tiles are dirt resistant, the glaze on the surface can be impacted by grit and sand.
Choosing your floor mop
Mild detergent and water can be used for tile cleaning with a cotton mop opposed to a sponge mop. Rag type mops constitute a better choice for tile cleaning since sponge mops only push dirty water into grout lines and cleaning the grout gets harder. Frequently changing the water used in mopping in another way to ensure that your effort gives you best results.
Look out for those little stains
If you see discolouration on your tiles, it can be stain and you should use the right cleaner to get rid of it. The stain remover should also be appropriate for the particular type of tile.
Hazy tiles can be a warning of soap residue and this can appear even after tile cleaning. Use an all-purpose cleaner (non-abrasive) to get rid of the soap film. You can also employ home-made cleaner that is mildly acidic such as in the case of fresh lime juice on porcelain or ceramic tiles. However, such a treatment is not suitable for stone tiles.
Dry the surface after tile cleaning
Once you are done with tile cleaning, dry up the surface without leaving it to air dry. Water spots will be formed by the water drops that stay on the tiles. You can use a clean dry cloth to wipe the floor free of all water spots immediately after you have washed the tiles. Simply slide the cloth across the floor using your foot rather than kneeling down and wiping the surface.
Regular cleaning of the tiles and grout is the secret to having sparkling tiles at all times.