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Tile Cleaning and Maintenance Tips

Tile is considered to be easy to care for and requires very little maintenance when compared to other flooring options. By taking a few preventative measures and following simple routine cleaning tips, you can easily keep your tile floors looking pristine.

Natural slate tile
Ames Tile – Nepal Slate Random Sticks

Routine Care for Porcelain and Ceramic Tiles

  • Vacuum and sweep regularly to remove dust and debris.
  • Clean your floors weekly with a neutral PH cleaner that does not contain ammonia, acid, or bleach.
  • Change mop water frequently while cleaning floors.
  • Glazed ceramic backsplashes in bathrooms can be cleaned with multi-purpose bathroom cleaner as long as the cleaner is also suitable for grout.

Grout Sealing

  • Cementitious grouts should be sealed after installation to prevent staining.
  • Epoxy grout does not need to be sealed since it is already chemically cured.
  • Neither sealing or using epoxy grout is a 100% perfect solution to prevent grout staining and discolouration.

Routine Grout Cleaning

  • Use a grout compatible or neutral PH cleaner to clean the grout.
  • Deep cleaning with professional strength grout cleaner is recommended every 6-12 months. More frequent cleaning is recommended for areas with heavy exposure to soap and grease.
  • If deep cleaning does not remove grout stains, try an epoxy-based grout stain to return it to the original colour.

Natural Stone

Since natural stone products are porous and soak up liquids, they require more maintenance than ceramic or porcelain tiles. Following proper maintenance guidelines is necessary to keep your natural stone beautiful.

Natural Stone - Filed and Honed Travertine tile
Ames Tile – Filed and Honed Travertine

Natural Stone Sealing

  • Sealing is strongly recommended for all natural stones. Since fine grout particles can stain tiles, it is recommended to seal both before and after grouting.
  • Sealers will not make your natural stone stain proof. They will provide a temporary barrier that allows you to clean the stone before stains can penetrate the stone.

Natural Stone Routine Maintenance

  • Vacuum and sweep regularly to remove dust and debris.
  • Only clean using a neutral PH cleaner designed for cleaning stone. Cleaning products that use acid, ammonia or bleach can etch or discolour natural stone.
  • When trying out a new cleaner, it is highly recommended to do a test spot in an inconspicuous area such as under appliances.
  • Clean up all spills immediately to prevent them from penetrating the stone’s surface

Vinyl Flooring Maintenance Tips

Vinyl flooring is considered to be one of the easiest to maintain flooring options on the market. There are a few tips and tricks to learn that will help you spend less time cleaning your floors. For a quick run-down, read our quick vinyl flooring maintenance tips below or watch this video from worldwide vinyl supplier Armstrong.

Maintenance tips

  • Sweep your vinyl flooring regularly – at least once per week.
  • Wipe up spills as soon as possible to prevent staining.
  • When sweeping is not enough to get your floors clean, occasionally wash your floor using the manufacturer’s recommended cleaner. Do not use detergents, abrasive cleaners, mop and shine products, paste wax or solvent based polishes.
  • Use a mop or cloth to clean your floor. We do not recommend using a vacuum beater bar or abrasive scrubbing tools as these can damage your floor.
  • If your floor begins to dull over time, use the manufacturer recommended floor finish polish to restore the floor’s original shine. The gloss level of each vinyl floor varies, so it’s important to check what your manufacturer recommends.

Preventative maintenance

  • Use a walk-off mat at outside entrances to prevent dirt, sand and grit from being tracked onto your vinyl floors. Rubber or latex backed mats can stain your floors. Instead choose a non-staining vinyl mat or a woven colourfast rug.
  • When moving appliances or heavy items, put down a piece of plywood or hardboard runway to protect your floors from damage. A runway is always recommended, even when using a furniture dolly or items with wheels.

5 Hardwood Floor Cleaning Myths

Hardwood floor cleaning and maintenance myths
Misconceptions about hardwood floor cleaning are rampant on the internet. There are many people on Pinterest and home advice forums claiming vinegar and water are best for cleaning your hardwood floors or steam mops have made their hardwood floors look beautiful again. While these methods may appear to work for now, they can cause damage over time. We want to clear up these misconceptions and give you the facts from the long-term perspectives of flooring experts.

Myth 1: Vinegar and water should be used to clean hardwood floors

Fact: No. Vinegar and water seems like a great natural and easy floor cleaner since most people already have these products in their kitchen. But the vinegar can actually dull or damage your hardwood floor.  Instead use a product recommended by your manufacturer. Links to the hardwood care and maintenance sites for some common hardwood manufacturers can be found at the end of the post.


Myth 2: Damp mopping is the best way to clean wood floors

Fact: No. Water and wood do not mix. That soaking wet mop is putting too much water on the floors. Wet mopping can void your warranty and causes warping, de-lamination and joint-line separation. To prevent these problems, use a spray like the Bona hardwood floor cleaner spray to lightly mist the floor and then use a dry mop.


Myth 3: Steam cleaners can be used on my hardwood floors

Fact: No. The mantra “wood and water do not mix” holds true here too. We have all seen the hawkers at home shows and infomercials on TV claiming that steam cleaners are great for sanitizing and cleaning your wood floors. But many hardwood flooring manufacturers list steam cleaners as a don’t in their hardwood cleaning advice and will void the warranty if you use a steam cleaner. Repeatedly using a steam cleaner can result in peeling, whitening or cloudy finish. If you want to keep your manufacturers warranty and a pristine finish on your floor, keep that steam cleaner away from your hardwood floors.


Myth 4: Vacuums with a beater bar can be used for hardwood floor cleaning

Fact: No. Vacuuming is recommended by most hardwood floor manufacturers – WITHOUT a beater bar. The rough bristles of the beater bar can permanently scratch your floor. Get a hardwood floor attachment to make your vacuum safer for to use on your hardwood.


Myth 5: I can use any cleaner on my floor including ammonia or oil-based cleaners.

Fact: No. Ammonia is a basic cleaner with a PH of 11 and can ruin the colour of your floor. Oil-based cleaners can leave a milky-residue on the hardwood. Stick with manufacturer approved cleaners to avoid any these ingredients.


Hardwood Care and Maintenance Info from the Manufacturers

The best way to keep your floors looking good and under warranty is to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. All of our customers receive a copy of care and maintenance info in the mail after their job is completed.

Links to a few common manufacturers are below. If you don’t know the manufacturer of your floors, feel free to call us or use the National Wood Flooring Association’s advice.

National Wood Flooring Association Common Maintenance Questions

Shaw Floors Hardwood Flooring Care

Beaulieu Canada Hardwood Care & Maintenance

Armstrong Hardwood Care

6 Easy Solutions to Common Carpet Problems

Over time it is natural for carpet to experience wear and tear from every day living. We have some quick and easy solutions to common issues that will get your carpet looking like new again. Before trying any of the following solutions or any other carpet maintenance type, we suggest checking the carpet care instructions provided by your manufacturer to see what they recommend.

1. Snags: If a pet’s claw, a child toy, or any other sharp object hooks on the fibres and creates a small snag. Using a pair of scissors, clip the snag as close to the carpet base as possible.

2. Dents: Heavy pieces of furniture can cause dents or indentations in your carpet but they can be removed. Work the carpet pile back into place using your fingers tips or a spoon. Use a hair dryer to raise the tufts and gently pull up the tufts.

3. Shedding: Happens often with new cut pile carpets and can be removed by vacuuming. Shedding will gradually disappear within a few weeks or months, depending on how often you vacuum.

4. Pilling: It’s not just your sweaters that experience pilling. With certain carpets, heavy traffic can create little balls of tangled fibres and lints. To remove them, clip them with scissors.

5. Burns: If your carpet has a small burn, you can remove the darkened fibres using a pair of curved fingernail scissors. But if the burn is too extensive, you will have to consider patching or replacement.

6. Sprouts: With cut pile carpet, small tufts or sprouts rise up above the surface of the carpet. Please don’t pull the sprout out. Instead, cut it off with a pair of scissors.

7. Crushed Pile: When your carpet pile is crushed and matted, bring it back to life by vacuum with a beater bar vacuum or using a carpet rake.

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