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Repairing and Maintaining Your Tiled Floors

7 Jun 2014 15:35:39 | Posted in Advice & Tips By Hank Evans |

Basic Cleaning

basic cleaning

On most tiles it’s safe to assume that Lithofin Easy Care , a commercial tile cleaning product, can be used for regular upkeep. When looking for cleaners, it’s important to avoid acidic solutions, as they could degrade or damage your tiles. Instead, use alkaline cleaners for the best results.

If you’re looking for something that you might have in your home, 60 mL of castile soap mixed into around 7 litres of warm water could possibly be a good alternative for regular mopping. Also, you can use a microfibre mop or cloth and very warm water to wipe tiled surfaces. This can remove water marks and smears on flat or polished/shiny tile colours and it will dry faster than using soapy water.

In addition to mopping and scrubbing with a cloth, it’s worth noting that frequent vacuuming or sweeping can also help reduce the amount of scratches and scuffs from dirt and dust that might accumulate.

Stubborn Stains

While grout doesn't need to be frequently cleaned, there are a few solutions that can help. If you’d like a more commercial cleaner, you can try LTP Grout Stain Remover. However, if you’d like to try another solution, try scrubbing the grout with an old toothbrush and a bit of baking powder in water. It should be a little gooey, like a paste when it’s ready to be used. 

For mildew, try using an equal mixture of ammonia and water and scrub the grout gently with a brush. To prevent mildew buildup in the future, air out the room after you shower and keep tile flooring dry as best you can.

If you find rust stains on your tile, don’t fret. You can use Lithofin Rust-EX or WD-40 if you have some laying around. Use a small amount on a rag and work the stain gently until you’re satisfied. Spray the area with warm water to push away the loose rust, though you can repeat the process as many times as necessary if it doesn’t work the first time.

Scratches - Buff or Repair the Tile

floor tiles

We've all accidentally dropped heavy objects on the floor but, when you’re dealing with a tile, it can mean you need to look into replacing it. However, if a tile is only scratched on the surface and no white is showing, you may be able to use a little brass polish or toothpaste to buff the scuff. This will likely only work on glazed tiles (such as porcelain or ceramic), so it’s recommended you test this method first on the area under the range or fridge. If it stains, don’t use it on the rest of your tiles. 

Using a cloth that won’t scratch the surface further, wipe the spot in question with the solution of your choosing and then clean it with some water when you’re done. 

If your tiles are made of natural stone (such as slate, travertine, or limestone), they can simply be lightly sanded and re-sealed.

For marble, you should first inspect the crack to make sure you don’t have a larger problem. For instance, if the crack is spread across multiple tiles, you could have an issue with your sub-floor. Alternatively, if the grout is chipped away around the tile, that could also cause a crack in a specific tile. If you don’t have a larger problem than a simple crack in the marble, we can move on to the repair.


Items you’ll need:

  • Epoxy glue
  • Paintbrush
  • Acetone


First, use acetone to clean out the area around the marble tile. This is to make sure the adhesive will hold the tile in place and not stick to the dust and dirt once we’ve repaired it. Use a paintbrush and spread the epoxy along the edges of the crack and push the two pieces of marble together to seal it. While the glue is curing, don’t walk on the tile.

Replacing a Broken Tile

Well-laid tiles rarely break, but on the off chance that a tile has broken, it’s important to understand how you can fix it. While it may sound like a huge pain for the average person, it’s not as hard as you might think with a few tools and some patience. 


Items you’ll need:

  • Power drill
  • 6mm masonry drill bit
  • Masking tape
  • Carbide-tipped scoring tool
  • Small chisel
  • Hammer
  • Notched trowel
  • Wide chisel
  • Grout
  • Tile Adhesive
  • Rubber grout float or Sponge


Using a carbide-tipped scoring tool, scrape out the grout from around the tile gently and apply masking tape to the surrounding tiles to protect them from damage. The last thing you need is to wreck any tiles around the one you’re removing. Using a 6mm masonry bit, drill evenly spaced holes into the tile to loosen it from the substrate. 

Starting from the center and moving your way to the outside, use a small chisel and a hammer to chip the tile away, be extra careful when you reach the edges. After removing the tile, get rid of the old tile adhesive using a wider chisel. Use a notched trowel to spread a small amount of fresh tile adhesive over the substrate. For even better adhesion, spread a thin layer of tile adhesive on the back of the new tile. Put the tile in place and push it down until it’s even with the surrounding tile, making sure to leave equal space on all four sides. 

Once the tile adhesive has set according to the package’s directions, start mixing the grout. While holding a rubber grout float, push the grout into place and allow 15 minutes for it to harden. After the grout has set, wipe up the excess with a slightly wet sponge. Don’t walk on it for 24 hours to allow it to properly set.

Conclusion

With the proper supplies, even the most inexperienced DIYer can complete these projects if you follow our directions. If you have any questions and you’ve bought tiles for your project from Trade Price Tiles, don’t hesitate to contact us day or night with your questions and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

 

How well do you maintain your tiles and what tricks have you learned for cleaning them? Tell us in the comments!

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