Now that you have that new tile shower, how do you maintain it so that it continues to looks fresh and clean?
Now that we just wrapped up the six week renovation challenge with Jeffrey Court, I thought it would be the perfect time to share some tips on how to maintain tile and grout.
Lets start at the beginning.
When considering tile for your project, it is important to read the manufacturers instructions for installation and care prior to selecting a tile.
Manufacturers will list specifics for your tile selection with information about using sealers prior to grouting and which type of grout to use or not to use.
One very important factor to consider is the type of tile you will be installing in your shower.
Let’s look at natural stone tiles first.
Marble and stone tile
If you are installing the tile the manufacturer suggest sealing stone and marble tiles and give instructions to use non-sanded grout for these types of tile.
That is because they generally will have smaller grout lines and sanded grout can scratch the surface of these types of tiles.
Once the marble or stone tile is installed, before grout, the tile should be sealed with a high quality sealer .
This particular sealer was purchased for us from a friend who works in the construction industry from a supplier, so I am not sure you can get this one at your local hardware store, but feel they have some good ones at Lowe’s or Home Depot.
Sealing your tile with a high quality sealer will keep it from absorbing stains to keep your tile looking fresh and new.
Be sure to read the directions on the sealer for reapplication instructions.
Reapplication is an important part of the maintenance. Manufacturers state how often to reapply, either once per year or every few years based on your tile selections.
Our particular honed natural stone have some texture and will have to be resealed once per year, while the floor tile only needs reapplication once per 4-5 years.
Keeping up with resealing of your tile will ensure that your tile have a long life span.
What to do if you have a home that the tile was installed prior to you purchasing the home?
Here are a few steps to revive your tile.
Steps for maintaining older stone or marble tile
- Clean the tile and grout using a mixture of vinegar and water for use with non-sanded grout.
- Use a soft cloth to clean as you do not want to scratch the tile.
- Once the tile is clean of any stains or discolorations you can seal your tile and grout.
- Maintain the tile and grout using the same cleaning method.
Ceramic or porcelain tile
When installing ceramic or porcelain tile the manufacturers may only recommend sealing the tile if it is non-glazed.
After the porcelain or ceramic tile and sanded grout are installed , seal the grout and tile.
When doing this be sure to concentrate on the grout with a sealer made for the type of tile and grout you installed.
To maintain the tile and grout you can use the following recipe with a stiff scrub brush. (for sanded grout only)
1/3 c. ammonia
1/2 c. baking soda
1/4 c. white vinegar
If you are in a home with porcelain or ceramic tile that was installed prior to you living there, try the above recipe to clean the tile and grout of any hard water stains it may have.
If this cleaning method does not get the grout clean, it may be necessary to remove the grout and re-grout or contact a professional to clean and/or change the grout color.
We had to have this done to our master bathroom floor due to a broken pipe flood that stained our floors horribly and it made the floor look brand new.
You can research “grout doctor” in your specific area to see if there are any in your location.
Once you have cleaned and sealed your tile it is important to stay on top of the weekly cleaning, especially if you live in an area that has hard water.
Always use your bathroom exhaust fan running while in the shower and for at least 15 minutes after your shower to pull moisture out of the air.
Another great tip, when you step out of the shower open the shower doors to the center, leaving it open on both ends to allow the air to flow through the shower.
This will help the tile to dry quicker, while keeping it from soaking in the water and causing dark spots or hard water stains.
These tips may sound very basic, but they are of the upmost importance in the maintenance of your beautiful tile shower.
Till next time