Ceramic tile floors are a popular choice for homeowners. They’re easy to clean, long-lasting, and come in various colors, patterns, and styles so you can tailor their look to your home’s aesthetic. Like all surfaces, ceramic has its own specific instructions when it comes to tidying and cleaning. Take care of your ceramic tile floors and the payoff will be significant. When cared for properly, this type of flooring can last for decades. Heed these best practices to keep your ceramic tile floors in tip-top shape.

Vacuum Regularly

Tiles can easily show dirt, sand, grit, and other messy materials. Because there are no fibers as in a rug, ceramic tile floors do not hide what rests atop them. That means you’ll want to get out the dustpan and broom regularly. Sweep or vacuum once or twice a week. This is good on an aesthetic level, so your home stays tidy. Still, it’s also beneficial on a practical one — sand and grit can dull a surface, impacting its longevity. You can clean on a schedule, but be sure to still tidy up right after a mess to avoid scratches and maintain your tiles’ luster. 

Give a More Thorough Clean Once a Month

Ceramic tile floors are meant to shine, and you can keep them dazzling by giving them a nice scrubbing once a month or so. Swiffer often, or better yet, mop monthly to remove any scuffs and keep your tiles like new. Use a rag or a chamois mop — a sponge mop will push used, dirty water into the grout and damage it. Keep your bucket water soapy and clean by dumping it out every few mops, so you’re not just moving dirt around. You can use a store-bought solution or make your own by mixing hot water, lemon juice, vinegar, and a mild detergent. Mop and then wipe dry, letting the flooring sit for a bit before stepping on it. You can expedite the drying process by opening a window or turning on a fan. 

Take Care of Spills Right Away

Spills happen, and fortunately, ceramic tile floors work well with liquids, not really absorbing them. That’s why these floors work best in damper rooms like the bathroom, kitchen, or laundry room. So when you do spill, don’t fret — just clean it up right away. Scrub thoroughly and wipe clean so that excess liquid or dirty water doesn’t mix in and soil your grout. For most stains (coffee, juice, and soda), you can clean them with hot water and an all-purpose cleaner or detergent. Blot with hydrogen peroxide to strengthen your floor. Ink stains will require bleach (placed on the stain directly with a rag until fully absorbed), and for grease stains, use a mixture of club soda and warm water to fight the oils.

Clean Your Tile’s Grout

Grout is the hardest part of your tile to take care of, but it is also the most important one to tend to ensure you enjoy your ceramic tile flooring for years and years. Grout, unlike the ceramic tile, will absorb water, grease, and stains. Many parts of the cleaning process can be DIY; however, with grout, you will be best off using a commercial grout cleaner to get the job done correctly. Spray the grout with the cleaner, let it sit for a few minutes to take the best effect, and then use a toothbrush to scrub the grout. (Just make sure you don’t use a metal brush, which will scratch your tile.) After this, you’ll want to rinse and mop the floor to get rid of the grout cleaner’s potent solution. You can even finish by adding a grout sealer, which will help your grout resist future stains.

Ceramic tiles come in a variety of styles and prove to be one of the more affordable and popular flooring options. ACS recommends getting in touch with your local Home Depot to find the best floor type for you.