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"Ceramic floor tile can come in virtually any colour and is so tough and durable, it could actually last as long as your home. Ceramic floor tiles can be installed in almost any room, however they are most commonly used in kitchens and bathrooms, main or second floor laundry rooms, and foyers."
Proper maintenance and care for your ceramic floors will keep them looking great for years to come. Proper maintenance will also protect your investment.
- When you install ceramic floor tile there are a few basic do's and don'ts.
- Ceramic tile is very low maintenance. Invest in a good quality broom and sweep your floors regularly.
- Just sweep or mop with the manufacturer’s specified cleaner.
- Clean your ceramic floor tile with a damp sponge or mop
- Ensure the cleaner you use on your ceramic floor tile is non-acidic and non-alkaline
- Do use cleaners made specifically for ceramic floor tile
- Don't use soap on your ceramic floor tile, as it can leave a film and bring on mould and mildew growth
- Don't use ammonia based cleaners or vinegar and water on ceramic floor tile as they may dull the shine
- Don't use abrasive cleaning pads on your ceramic floor tile, as they can scratch and damage the finish
- Use doormats to prevent outside dirt from being tracked onto your new floors
- Keep pets’ claws well groomed
- Stick clean felt pads or wide based castersunder the furniture to prevent scratches
- Be very careful when moving furniture, lift properly when possible— do not drag.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Does the thickness of a tile increase its durability?
A: Technically, the thicker the tile, the greater the breaking strength. However, 5/16-inch thick porcelain tile is pretty durable, and it is suitable for residential or commercial applications.
Q: Can I remove and reuse my ceramic tiles?
A: You can remove and reuse your ceramic tiles only if the tiles were badly installed in the fist place (the adhesive used to install them was of a poor quality and didn’t bond the tiles well). You can try and cut them out deep without breaking them and gently remove the adhesive from behind to get a flat back. It is worth giving it a try only if the existing tiles were precious or rare.
Q: Which grout should I apply – sanded or unsanded? What is recommended for marble tile installation?
A: Deciding on whether to use sanded grout or non-sanded grout depends on the width of the grout joint and whether the tile surface is sensitive to abrasion. Non-sanded grout is designed for grout joints 1/8-inch wide or less. Sanded grout is normally designed for grout joints 1/8-inch wide or larger. Soft polished stones or soft glazed tiles can get scratched when being grouted with a sanded grout, so always test the sanded grout with the tile first to make sure it doesn't scratch it.
Q: What is the recmmended grout joint width?
A: Grout joint width depends on how consistent the size dimensions of the tile are and how flat is the substrate it is being attached to. You should always have at least 1/8-inch wide grout joint. Some precisely sized stone can be 1/16-inch wide under ideal conditions, but Decor Floors doesn’t recommend it. Some installers will use a wider grout joint than necessary so it is easier for them to install the tile and compensate for the irregularities of the tile and the substrate.
Q: How can I change the colour of my grout?
A: There are special products called "Grout Colorants" made for painting over grout joints that are epoxy based.
Q: How do you clean grout residue from tiles that were not washed sufficiently?
A: The type of grout you are using determines what type of cleaner to use to clean the grout residue off the tiles. Also, you have to consider how sensitive your ceramic tile or stone is to chemicals and abrasion. Always test an area out of sight to make sure it works for you. For epoxy grout use a paint stripper or Goof Off or an epoxy stripper. For regular cement grout you can use a sulphamic or phosphoric acid, carefully! You can also try vinegar. For a latex fortified grout there are some special cleaners you can get to help clean it. Be careful not to rub too hard, because you may scratch or chip the tile. If you use anything acidic, be sure to flush it thoroughly after you are done. The acid can etch the surface of soft glazes and polished stones, so test it first.
Q: Can ceramic tiles be installed on the front porch?
A: You can install ceramic tile or stone outside in a freeze thaw climatic condition if you use the appropriate tile. First, the ceramic tile or stone can't have an absorption rate greater than three per cent or it will be subject to damage from the freeze thaw conditions. Next, you need to make sure the ceramic tile or stone is slip resistant enough for wet conditions. It can be very dangerous walking on wet surfaces in terms of the risk of slipping.