Porcelain Tile Care and Maintenance

Porcelain tile is designed to provide a lifetime of worry-free beauty and functionality, and with a minimum amount of routine care and cleaning, it will maintain its appearance for years to come.

All Wonder Porcelain tile products are certified by the Porcelain Tile Certification Agency, which means they will provide the exceptional performance, durability and ease of maintenance that makes porcelain tile the superior choice for floors, walls, and countertops.

Follow the cleaning and maintenance guidelines below to keep your tile looking like new now and well into the future.

Download Care and Maintenance Guide

A Fresh Start—Installation Cleanup

The most important step of your tile care and maintenance routine is the first one. By removing installation debris and grout residue immediately following installation, you will the prevent the formation of a dull ‘haze’ and other buildup< on the tile’s surface that will become increasingly difficult to clean as time passes.

Grout residue can be removed following the setting materials manufacturer’s instructions. If residue remains after this initial cleaning, further consultation with the manufacturer may be required; it is extremely rare for acidic cleaners or other more aggressive treatments to be necessary and these instances should be treated with care following this consultation.

Once the grout residue is successfully removed, porcelain tile can be scrubbed clean with a neutral detergent and hot water solution and then rinsed with clean water and immediately towel dried.

Excess water can be removed with a wet vacuum or squeegee. Neutral cleaning detergents are readily available at any retail outlet that sells tile cleaning products and will be identified on the label

The Next Step—Daily Care

Porcelain tile is the easiest to care for among all floor covering materials. It doesn’t allow accumulation of dust mites, mold, germs or bacteria and is hypoallergenic and safe for people with allergies and asthma.

Day-to-day care of porcelain tile requires minimal time and there is rarely a need for chemical cleaners to be used on a regular basis. Sanitary conditions and a clean appearance can be accomplished through the following steps:

  • Sweep or vacuum the surface of file floors; for walls and counters, wipe down with a soft dry cloth to remove dust, soil, and or other debris.
  • Damp mop floors with clean, warm water, rinsing the mop and changing water frequently for large areas.
  • Daily grout cleaning is generally not required, but if necessary follow manufacturer’s guidelines
  • Always wipe up spills immediately to avoid staining and future cleaning difficulties, using a mild neutral cleaner if necessary
  • For walls and countertops, use a soft cloth with warm water to gently wipe down tile surfaces.

Polished tile, while remaining a low-maintenance flooring option, may require a slight variation in the regular maintenance routine, as well as the use of penetrating sealers during the installation process. Your professional contractor will be able to apply these sealers, which generally do not require additional applications after installation.

To clean polished tile:

  • Sweep or vacuum loose dirt and debris.
  • Use a dry mop over the area to further remove any dust or light soil from the surface.
  • Reduce the amount of cleaner used on unpolished tile to avoid difficulty rinsing and dulling residue, staring with 50% less solution and reducing further if needed.
  • Rinse with a warm water, using just enough to effectively remove the cleaner and debris but not enough to accumulate or pool on the surface of the tile.
  • Dry completely with a soft clean cloth to prevent water spots and ensure shine.

A Step Further—Deeper Cleaning

Occasionally you may find your tile requires a deeper cleaning than is afforded by routine care, especially in high traffic areas, entrances and exits. Follow these steps as needed:

  • Sweep or vacuum loose dirt and debris.
  • If needed, use a nylon bristle brush or scrubbing sponge to scour surface. Apply gentle pressure, just enough to remove set in dirt, soap scum or other deposits, testing first in a small area.
  • Use the recommended ratios of cleaner to water on the product label—too much cleaner may be difficult to rinse and too little may not effectively clean your tile.
  • Apply a sufficient amount of the cleaning solution to the tile surface without oversaturating and allow it to remain for as long as recommended on the label, typically no more than 10 minutes
  • For large floors, work in areas small enough to allow rinsing before product begins to dry, which can result in a film or coating that will be difficult to remove
  • Use clean warm water to rinse surface, repeating as necessary to remove all loosened dirt, debris, and residual cleaner.
  • Use a dry mop or towels to remove clean rinse water from the tile surface.

Heavy Duty Cleaning and Challenging Stains

Rarely your tile may require heavy duty cleaning to remove problem stains or following challenging situations such as leaks, flooding or major spills and contamination. If you are unable to clean your tile after repeat application of general household cleaners and more thorough scrubbing, equipment such as floor scrubbers or buffers may be necessary. It is critical to follow usage instructions exactly to avoid damaging your floor, or you may wish to hire a flooring or maintenance professional. Not only do these professionals have expertise required to safely and effectively operate such machinery, but they may also have access to professional-grade cleaners that are not available to the general public.

The Tile Council of North American website provides an extensive reference list of the most challenging tile maintenance issues and their solutions, which can be accessed at the following link: http://www.tcnatile.com/