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Ceramic Tile Flooring Care and Maintenance

January 27, 2010

Ceramic Tile Flooring Care and Maintenance

Grout Care

1. Grout is the mortar type material used to fill the spaces between the individual tiles, or stone. It’s purpose is simply to fill the joint between the tiles and become a permanent, integral part of the floor.

2. Neither sealing the grout nor using a 100% Epoxy Grout will guarantee against surface build up or discoloration of the grout.

3. Grout needs to be cleaned on a periodic basis to remove any surface residue buildup.

4. This routine cleaning can be done with a neutral PH balanced daily-use household or commercial cleaner depending on the application.

5. When heavy-duty grout cleaning is required, you can use a professional strength tile and grout cleaner that is capable of removing grease, soap scum, body oil, mildew stains algae, and synthetic or acrylic waxes from the grout joints.

Post Grouting Installation Clean-Up

1. Grout haze is a film left behind on the surface of the tile as part of the final grouting process; it is usually buffed off the surface after the grout has achieved its initial 12 to 24 hour cure, with the use of a cheese cloth material. If after 48 hrs a grout haze still exists, then use a “grout haze remover” which usually contains Sulfamic Acid. Sulfamic acid cleaners should ONLY be used on Ceramic and/or Porcelain tiles. IMPORTANT NOTE: Never use Acids on natural stone tiles; this could lead to permanent etching. Instead use a Natural Stone Cleaner and a cheese cloth for grout haze removal.

2. In cases where you have used Epoxy Grouts , you may need to use an “Epoxy Haze Remover”. These cleaners are formulated to quickly and safely remove Epoxy grout haze, without damaging the grout or the tile face of your newly installed ceramic floor.

Routine Maintenance

1. You should allow your new ceramic tile and grout to dry for at least 72 hours after installation, before any type of maintenance occurs.

2. Cleaning your new floor with a damp mop once a week is the best thing you can do to maintain your ceramic floor.

3. A simple sweeping or vacuuming of your tile floor prior to mopping will remove any dust or debris.

4. Make sure that any cleanser you have chosen is compatible with grout cleaning, (neutral pH), and will not stain the grout. We recommend Shaw’s R2X Hard Surface Cleaner.

5. Heavy traffic areas should be mopped more often than once a week.

6. Never use a detergent or soap because it may dull the surface.

7. When cleaning, the entire area should be cleaned or scrubbed with the cleansing solution, through the use of a cotton mop, cloth, sponge, or non-metallic brush.

8. The entire flooring area should then be rinsed with clean water to remove any cleaning solution residue.

9. Cleaning unglazed tiles should be done on a regular basis using cleansers that have a neutral pH for safe regular use; these cleaners are better suited at removing grease, oils, and normal spills from unglazed products.

10. Remember: Routine cleaners should never contain acids, vinegar, chlorines or ammonia as these chemicals can damage and discolor the grout or the surface of the stone or tile.

11. Always thoroughly rinse the flooring surface after cleaning, using clean clear water, to avoid any periodic residue build up or mold and mildew growth.

Protecting Your Ceramic Floor

1. Protect you ceramic tile by affixing felt or similar pads to the legs of any metal, iron, wood or plastic furniture that could scratch and dull the surface.

2. Exterior metal furniture which rests on tile floors or patios may rust and cause staining.

3. Good quality entry mats will help protect your ceramic tile from wear by collecting dirt, sand, grit and other substances such as oil, asphalt, or driveway sealer that might otherwise be tracked onto your floor.

4. You can also place these mats at heavy pivot locations such as in front of the kitchen sink or stove.

Never seal or wax your ceramic tile. These coatings are unnecessary. They will attract and hold dirt on your floor surface.

Never use vinegar or bleach for regular cleaning. They can adversely affect the tile and grout with continual use.

Never use steel wool or abrasive cleaners for ongoing maintenance. They can mar your tile surface if used repeatedly.

Ceramic tile can be maintained with minimal effort. Follow these basic care and maintenance guidelines and your floor will retain its beauty for years to come.

Tile Glossary Information

A. Square Footage Formulations

Multiply the length by width to calculate the square footage (S/F) of area.

2. Add 10% for waste laying tile on a straight line pattern. Add 13% waste when laying a pattern on diagonal installation.

3. Divide net S/F by S/F in box to determine the full and partial number of cartons.

4. Round off to the next full box for exact number of full cartons required.

5. Multiply the number of full cartons by S/F per box to determine the total S/F.

Example: Facts: Area is 20’ long and 15’ wide. Tile is packed 16.0 S/F to a carton.

Answers :

1. 20’ x 15’ = 300 S/F of area.

2. 300 S/F x 1.10 = 330 S/F.

3. 330 divided by 16.0 S/F = 20.63 cartons.

4. Round off 20.63 cartons to 21 total cartons.

5. 21 cartons x 16.0 S/F = 336.0 total S/F.

Cut-tile Base Formulation

Length of wall divided by 2 = number of S/F

Example: 1 piece per standard 3 foot door.

Measuring for Door Clearance Formulation

Door should clear height of two tiles. Lay one tile on top of another.

Example: Ceramic over concrete 1/2”, ceramic over wood 1”.

Example: 3 feet in width, 3 steps = 9 linear feet

Cement Backer Board & Seam Tape Formulation

Area S/F divided by 15 S/F or 16 S/F = number of sheets

Note: Sheet size is 3’ x 5’ x 1/2” = 15 S/F or 4’ x 4’ x 1/4” = 16 S/F

Use 1 bag of Multi-Set Thinset to adhere approximately 4 sheets of cement backer to plywood subfloor.

Use 1 roll of cement backer seam tape for 50 linear feet of cement backer board.


1 bag of thinset will cover approximately 50 to 65 square feet of ceramic tile or cement backer board.

Example: 100 S/F ceramic tile installation, 2 bags needed.

Example 2: 100 S/F ceramic tile and cement backer board installation, 4 bags needed.


Check our Flooring Calculator

Coverage’s of grout will vary by size of tile. The coverage for a 25 lb. bag of either sanded or unsanded grout is:

Tile Size- Sanded Approx. Grout – Coverage Per Bag Tile Size- Unsanded Approx. Grout – Coverage Per Bag
2” x 2” 125 sq. ft. 4-1/4” x 4-1/4” 250 sq. ft.
4” x 8” (quarry) 50 sq. ft. 6” x 6” 300 sq. ft
6” x 6” (quarry) 55 sq. ft. 8” x 10 ” 525 sq. ft
8” x 8” (quarry) 60 sq. ft.
6” x 6” 65 sq. ft.
8” x 8” 80 sq. ft.
10” x 10” 90 sq. ft.
12” x 12” (Mexican) 30 sq. ft.
12” x 12” 125 sq. ft
13” x 13” 130 sq. ft
13” x 20” 170 sq. ft
16” x 16” 170 sq. ft
17” x 17” 190 sq. ft
18” x 18” 225 sq. ft

J. Floor/Wall Adhesive 1 – 3-1/2 gallon pail of adhesive will cover approximately 130 sq. ft. of ceramic tile.

For more information visit our web site at

Important Links about our Ceramic Tiles

A Step by Step Guide to Installing Your TileCaring for Metals Tile and TrimsCeramic Tile Flooring Care and MaintenanceTile GuidelinesImportant Information on how to purchase TileCaring for Natural StoneCaring for Metals Tile and Trims

The post Ceramic Tile Flooring Care and Maintenance first appeared on Flooring Supply Shop Blog.

One thought on “Ceramic Tile Flooring Care and Maintenance

  1. I really wish more people would read up on information like this. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to go and acid wash a floor because people cannot follow simple instructions (such as don’t mop and scrub your floors 15 times half a day after the grout job was done.)

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