Do not walk on your new tile for at least 24 hours after installation. The setting materials need time to dry. Walking on it sooner will cause tiles to shift, thereby ruining your installation.
Glazed tile does not have to be sealed. It should be cleaned routinely with an all-purpose, non oil-based household or commercial cleaner. The product chosen should also be grout joint cleaning compatible. The type of product may vary depending on the tile application and use.
You should sweep or vacuum floor areas prior to cleaning to remove any dust or debris. Routine cleaners should never contain acids or ammonia. Acids can damage the grout and the glazed surface of the tile, and ammonia can discolor the grout.
Unglazed tile should be cleaned routinely with concentrated tile cleaners that have a neutral pH for safe regular use. These cleaners are better suited at removing grease, oils and normal spills from unglazed products. Again these products will vary depending on the application, amount of traffic and the use. The product chosen should also be compatible with cleaning the grout joints at the same time.
For routine cleaning, use any non-abrasive cleaning compound recommended for either glass or tile.
Metal Signatures/Metal Ages/Urban Metals
To clean, use a liquid non-abrasive household cleaner.
DO NOT use scouring pads, steel wool, sandpaper or other abrasive products.
Avoid cleaners containing ammonia, bleach or abrasives.
Always test in small inconspicuous area while using a new cleaner to ensure compatibility.
Grout is the material used to fill the spaces between the individual tiles. The grout fills the joint between the tiles and becomes a permanent, integral component of the finished installation.
Most tile installations use cementitious grouts. This type of grout should be sealed after installation with a penetrating/impregnating sealer which does not contain silicone. The application of a good quality sealer into the grout joints of a cementitious grout will prevent the penetration of moisture, simplify maintenance, and help prevent staining or discoloration. Only the grout needs to be sealed, not the glazed tiles. Grout can be sealed seventy-two hours after installation.
You may need to reapply the sealer on an annual basis depending on the sealer quality, traffic patterns, and maintenance routine. Some sealers have multiple year warranties for useful life. Refer to the manufacturer warranty, technical & product information for specific details on product installation, useful life, and product applications (including any warnings) before use.
Epoxy grouts do not require a sealer.
You must wait for the grout to cure before using any cleaning products on it. Curing will take at least 72 hours.
Neither sealing the grout nor using a 100% Epoxy Grout will guarantee against surface build-up or discoloration of the grout. Grout needs to be cleaned on a periodic basis to remove any surface build-up. Routine grout cleaning can be done with a daily concentrated household or commercial cleaner depending on the application. When heavy duty grout cleaning is required, you will need to use a professional strength Tile & Grout Cleaner that is capable of removing grease, soap scum, body oil, mildew stains, algae, and waxes from the grout joints. This type of product can be purchased from most Home Centers, or through your local professional Floor Covering Dealer. Steam cleaning of grout is not recommended.
Grout Color Restoration:
When grout has been stained to the point that it cannot be maintained or returned to its natural color, you can use a "grout stain". Grout Stains are epoxy-based products that are specifically designed to penetrate into the grout and seal the surface with a permanent color. Once the grout has been stained there is no need to seal it any further with a penetrating/impregnating sealer. Prior to staining, the grout joint should be cleaned thoroughly to remove any dirt, oils, grease or sealers with a professional strength Tile & Grout Cleaner.
Care & Cleaning of Your Tile
Care & Cleaning of Your Natural Stone
Natural Stone, such as granite counters, travertine backsplashes, and slate tiles, should be sealed after installation and before using. Sealing will help prevent staining and discoloration.
To insure your natural stone products will provide you with a lifetime of beauty and utility, a proper maintenance program is crucial. Natural Stone products are porous by nature and require a different maintenance program than ceramic tile.
Many of the cleaners acceptable for use on ceramic tile can stain, damage or dull stone. Dirt and dust will scratch the surface of stone. Therefore, stone floors should be vacuumed or dust mopped frequently to remove abrasive agents from the stone surface. Natural stone should be cleaned with neutral cleaners. Stone cleaners should never contain acid or bleach. Acids, even a light solution of vinegar and water, will etch and eventually damage natural stone.
Only use cleaners specifically designed for cleaning stone. These cleaners contain no acids and are concentrated neutral pH cleaners that will not affect existing sealers or wax-type coatings. The surface of the stone should be dampened with clear water. This will keep the cleaning solution on the surface so it can be effective. A solution of the cleaner and water mixed to manufacturer instructions should be applied to the stone surface with a sponge or mop. On walls, kitchen counters or vanity tops, a spray bottle can be used to apply the cleaning solution. Allow sitting for manufacturers specified amount of time (usually 3 to 5 minutes). Agitate with a sponge, synthetic mop, soft bristle brush or through the use of a floor-scrubbing machine. Mop up solution and buff dry.
Stone poultice will remove stains and grout haze from stone. Poultice is a fine, nonacidic, absorptive clay cleaning powder that removes deep-set oil stains, grease and light cementitious grout haze from polished and unpolished natural stone.
CAUTION: Poultice may dull the shine of the polished stone. If this occurs you will need to use a polish to restore the natural shine.
Apex Tile, Inc. does not manufacture installation products or tile cleaning/maintenance products. We provide the information contained herein to our customers as an information source only. The products identified in this website may have chemicals that cause reactions in certain individuals. We strongly recommend the use of safety glasses, respirators (masks) and gloves in handling any materials that contain chemicals. We recommend the proper disposal of any scrap tile/stone, installation and/or maintenance products. Contact the manufacturer directly, PRIOR to usage, to obtain proper handling instructions, application instructions and warnings concerning potential health hazards for any product contemplated for use. We also strongly recommend that you always test a small area prior to usage of any installation/tile/cleaning/maintenance product to determine whether the product you are about to apply serves its intended purpose.