Homes frequently have tile flooring in different areas; some more so than others. Most people install tile floors in the bathroom and frequently the kitchen because of the high volumes of moisture they have. Others may tile the entryway and laundry room among other areas. With the assortment of tile options, homeowners may find natural stone tile in one area, where man-made tiles are in others. Because of the different advantages they offer, quite a few homeowners have a combination of these two types of tile in their home. When caring for tile and floor grout, the maintenance is fairly simple for the most part. But each type of tile requires specific products or other chemicals can cause various degrees of damage. Today, we at ADC Carpet Cleaning Specialists would like to relate maintenance for natural stone tile versus man-made tile.
Types of Natural Stone & Manmade Tile
Natural stone has the beauty and unique factors, no two pieces are identical. There can be low to high variations in the veining, shading, and colors, depending on the stone. Common natural stone used in residential applications include marble, granite, limestone, travertine, slate, and quartzite, but there are many others. For a more uniformed and customized style man-made tiles are ideal; they include the ceramic and porcelain options among others.
Natural Stone Sealing
The biggest difference between natural and man-made tile is that natural stone should be sealed. During the installation of natural stone tile, they should be immediately treated with a sealant, but not all installers ensure they are. Over time, the sealer dissipates, and additional applications need to be done. The stone should have been sealed at the installation and then after the grout is completed, another sealing application at the time of installation, however, for routine maintenance sealers should be applied professionally 1-2 times a year. The sealants act as barrier to keep the soil, moisture, and other contaminates from penetrating into the tile and grout. The different various debris will cause the tile and grout to look dull and dingy. If you are unsure your tile and grout need to be sealed, you can perform a simple test. Pour an ounce of water on the surface. If the water absorbs in under a minute, you need to schedule a sealant service. The tile and grout will need to be cleaned first or the debris will be trapped under the sealer. As a result, manufacturers recommend a deep professional clean first, followed by a sealing service. The tile and grout need to be fully dry before the sealant application.
Cleaning Manmade Tiles, Natural Stone and Grout
If you prefer commercial cleaners, there are many that are specific to the stone. However, because standard natural stone cleaners are gentle on the tile and grout, but tough on removing spots and contaminates, we recommend using a natural stone clean for the both natural stone and man-made tile. These cleaners will not harm the tile or grout nor expedite the deterioration of the sealer.
Note: If you prefer DYI cleaners, never use any vinegar. Vinegar is acidic which will remove polish from polished stones and dissolve your sealers.
To avoid mildew and mold growth, especially in the shower, be sure to squeegee the water off the tile after your shower. Wipe up any moisture that lands on the tile and grout surfaces and utilize your exhaust fans where applicable to control the moisture that is one of the primary elements to mold and mildew growth.
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In between your professional deep tile and grout cleaning services, be sure to perform a thorough cleaning once a week on your tile and try to remove the dirt and debris daily, or as often as possible. When your tile and grout require a deep professional clean and/or sealing service, call the leading experts of ADC Carpet Cleaning Specialists and let our elite specialists take care of the rest.