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Ceramic Flooring FAQ: Answers to Common Questions

Ceramic Flooring

Because there are many different types of ceramic tile it is always important to consult the warranty guide or manufacturer’s website of your specific product before cleaning. For most common forms of ceramic tile it is recommended that you sweep or vacuum (using only a vacuum with soft wheels) a few times per week to remove dirt and debris before it can scratch or grind into the tile. After removing loose material from on top of the tile the next step is to mop. It is recommended that you use a microfiber rag or chamois mop instead of a sponge mop. Sponge mops can push dirty water into the grout and stain it. You can use warm water mixed with a small amount of dish detergent for your cleaning solution, or a manufacturer recommended product. It is important to change your bucket of cleaning solution often so you won’t leave a film of dirt on the floor. If you do end up with a hazy film on your tile floor, remove with an all-purpose cleaner. Ensure the cleaner is non-abrasive so that it won’t scratch the floor. You can make your own all-purpose cleaner by mixing lemon juice or vinegar with hot water. Apply it to the floor and then buff dry with a clean cloth.

One of the most impactful cleaning tips with tile is ensuring that the grout remains clean and stain free. Because the grout is an important design element in your floor, distinguishing the tiles from one-another, when they are dirty they can really harm the beauty of your floor. Most grout is porous and easily absorbs dirt, grease and other materials. To clean your grout it is recommended that you use commercially available grout cleaner as recommended by the grout manufacturer. The type of grout used will determine the best cleaning product. You can also use a mild bleach solution in many cases. For deep stains, allow the cleaner to sit for 10 minutes then use a small scrub brush or toothbrush to scrub the grout.

Yes, but it must be the right type of ceramic tile and it must be installed properly. One of the most important things to consider when selecting a ceramic tile for exterior application is the water absorption rate of that tile. It is generally recommended that you choose a tile with a water absorption rate of 3% or less, with less than 0.5% (porcelain) being ideal. If your tile absorbs too much water it may damage the tile, especially if the water freezes and expands which will cause the tile to crack. You may also want to consider a through-body unglazed porcelain tile, meaning that the top color runs throughout the tile, which makes chips and damage less noticeable in the event your outdoor tile sees some extra abuse.

If you plan installing your tile outside with grout ensure that if you are sealing your grout (or using sealed grout) and utilizing expansion joints when applicable to account for water and changes in temperature.

When it comes to choosing floor tiles for your home, there’s really no “right” or “wrong” answer. It all depends on what’s best for you, not only from a style and design perspective, but also in terms of your lifestyle and everyday needs. For example, you’ll probably want to choose a product that fits with your home’s paint scheme and doesn’t clash with the room where it’s being installed. You might also want to think about factors like moisture, foot-traffic, and maintenance. No matter what features are on your “must-have” list, we can steer you toward a good fit for your style and budget.

The answer to this question all depends on you: your personal tastes and aesthetic style, your lifestyle, which room you’re re-flooring, and the environment where you live. For example, ceramic tiles might be ideal for a bathroom or humid environment because they are highly resistant to moisture. No matter what you have in mind, the experts at Flooring America can help you find competitive prices on gorgeous products that fit your needs, your budget, and your sense of style.

Most people think of porcelain as a fragile material used to make dolls and fine china. But believe it or not, porcelain is also one of the toughest types of tile and is resistant to damage from water, staining, pet claws, and furniture. If durability is a high priority for you, porcelain tile floors might be a good option. Porcelain tiling is available in both glazed and unglazed varieties, depending on what sort of texture and surface you want to achieve. Porcelain tile also comes in a wide range of colors and patterns, making it both durable and attractive.

Regardless of the type of material your tile flooring is made from, it’s always best to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for care and maintenance. With that in mind, there are some basic tips you can follow to keep your tile floors in good condition. For example, experts usually suggest a quick, daily sweep or vacuum, which will prevent the buildup of grime that could damage or abrade the tile. You should also mop or wipe down the tile about once a week (or as needed, depending on spills).

With their even, easy-to-wipe-down surfaces, tile floors are a snap to keep clean. Daily sweeping or vacuuming, combined with weekly or biweekly mopping, should be enough to keep your tile floors looking shiny and bright. Grout, which is the material between tiles, should be cleaned with a hot, soapy solution to soften any packed-in dirt or grime. Using a stiff brush on the grout will help to dislodge and remove any remaining debris. For best results, always refer to the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions. The manufacturer’s guidelines will explain exactly what to do and which products to use — plus, the products you should avoid using.

Tile is generally stain-resistant, especially porcelain varieties. However, even tile can stain without proper cleaning and care. The good news is that even deep, tough stains can usually be removed. Experts recommend using various cleaning solutions, depending on what caused the stain. For example, staining caused by ink or coffee may be removable with a bleach solution. You should never mix or combine cleaning products, which can be extremely dangerous. Always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations, which will explain how to safely and effectively treat the stain.

The answer to this question depends on the flooring, because there are unique care requirements for different ceramic materials. However, many experts suggest mixing vinegar with water, which creates a gentle yet effective cleaning solution for minor messes. Unfortunately, some “DIY” cleaning remedies can actually create build up of product, leaving streaks or residue on the floor that will attract dirt and grime, so it's always a good idea to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for cleaning products.

You already knew that hardwood floors could be stained or refinished. But did you know you the same techniques could also be used to customize the look of porcelain tile flooring? While the process is different, the end result is the same: a richer color, and a glossier surface. But be warned: staining and refinishing is a complicated, difficult project, especially when working with a material like porcelain. For lasting, quality results without any stress or mess, ask a professional flooring installation team for help.

Tile flooring can be glazed or unglazed. Glazed tile is smooth and highly polished, while unglazed tile has a more natural, textural finish. Though tile is tough and durable, glaze can be damaged by wear-and-tear, or in older homes, lose its sheen over time. Reglazing returns glazed tile to its original, high-gloss appearance, transforming dull floors and restoring their beauty (while boosting the value of your home). Since it can be challenging, the reglazing process should be handled by an experienced professional.

In short: yes! Like hardwood floors, ceramic tile can be stained to change its original color. Staining tile can produce gorgeous results — but the process can also be tricky and time-consuming, especially if you’ve never done it before. For lasting, quality results that will give your outdated tile a fresh new look, ask a professional flooring installation team for help.

With so many styles to choose from, tile flooring can be a highly affordable flooring option. We understand that many homeowners are on tight budgets. We’ll work with you to find quality products, ensuring that you get top value for your dollar — even in a large space. Thanks to innovations in the tile manufacturing process, which have made it faster and easier to produce stunning products at lower cost, today’s homeowners have a wealth of options to mix and match between.

Installing tile can be a time-consuming and labor-intensive process, particularly for homeowners who have never done it before. Not only are they heavy and hard to move, tiles also require painstaking, meticulous alignment, plus extensive treatment with various glazes and adhesives. Even tiny mistakes can add up to less-than-dazzling results — which is the last thing you want from any home makeover. Get the job done right by hiring our experienced flooring installers who take the stress and effort out of the process. With our flooring installation team handling your project, you can feel confident about the results.

First, picture your kitchen. Now visualize the space between your kitchen countertops and the bottom of your kitchen cabinets. That part of the wall is called the “backsplash” — and in many homes, it’s covered in tile. Like any building material, tile backsplash ranges in price depending on factors like brand, materials, and style. Our knowledgeable team will listen to your design preferences and help you find a product that suits your tastes and fits your budget.