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How to Keep Your Ceramic Tile Looking New

Well done! You chose a tile that’s lovely, durable and…easy to clean! Here’s how to keep it looking great.

Photo: Ellen Silverman / The Nest

1. As a preventative measure, keep a doormat outside your nest to contain as much dirt as possible to your entryway so it doesn’t get inside on your tile. Remember to shake out your doormat regularly.

2. Dirt can adhere to the tile’s surface if it sits there for too long, so sweep your floor regularly -- especially if the surface is textured. You can also use a vacuum cleaner and its attachments for sweeping -- it’s great for along the edges or in between tiles -- but make sure it doesn’t have a beater bar, which can dull and scratch your tile. And don’t use a stiff brush attachment, which can also scratch. (Unglazed tiles are not as effective at repelling water and dirt, so they’ll need more frequent mopping and sweeping.)

3. On a regular basis, you should be mopping your tile with a warm, damp mop and tile cleaner. If there’s a major stain or heavier soil, use a sponge to spot-clean.

4. Grout may be barely noticeable, but when it’s dirty it stands out in a very bad way. At least twice a year, you should seal the grout. Between sealings, if it looks dirty, clean it with a toothbrush and a 1:1 mixture of water and hydrogen peroxide.

5. Stay away from any abrasive scouring pads, which can scratch your tile. And don’t use plain soap -- it will leave a scummy surface on your tile. One more thing to avoid: any cleaners that contain vinegar -- they can dull your tile.

-- Paula Kashtan