Category Archives: Tile

How to Clean Tile

cleaningCeramic tiles need to be cleaned frequently to keep them in top condition. Here are a few tips on how to clean your ceramic tile floors:

Sweeping

Ceramic tiles are highly susceptible to dirt. Textured tiles in particular get dirty pretty quickly. Sweeping your tiles regularly loosens the dirt and gets rid of all but the toughest grime. You can use your vacuum cleaner to sweep your tiles. Avoid using a vacuum cleaner with a beater bar since this can easily scratch and dull the tiles. Use an attachment on the vacuum cleaner to suck up loose dirt along tile edges and between the tiles.

Mats

Use door mats at home to keep dirt and grime from getting inside the house. Shake the door mats often to loosen the dirt. Less dirt on your tiles not only means less cleaning, but also reduces wear on the tiles.

Mopping

Ceramic tiles are best damp-mopped using grout and tile cleaners that are recommended by the tile manufacturer. If the tiles are particularly dirty, spot clean your floor using a clean cloth or wet sponge using the recommended tile cleaners.

Heavy Cleaning

Scrub your ceramic tiles lightly using a soft brush. An electric polisher/scrubber is ideal for use on textured tiles. Use a mild detergent for cleaning. After the tiles are clean, rinse them thoroughly using clean warm water so as to remove any leftover residue. You can wipe down the tiles using a clean towel to remove any traces of film on the surface.

If you have soft water at your home, you can use an all-purpose cleaner. Apply the cleaner to your floor then let it stand for 3-5 minutes. Scrub the tiles lightly using a sponge, rinse well, and your tiles should be sparkling clean.

You can use cleaning products from your local hardware or grocery store to remove hard water deposits, mildew stains, and soap scum from your ceramic tiles. Read the instructions carefully to ensure that the product is the right one for your tile. Rinse well then wipe the tiles down to obtain a sparkling shine. 

Dos and Don’ts of Tile Cleaning

Dos

  • Do clean up any spills as quickly as they happen to avoid staining your grout.
  • Do remember that despite the exceptional longevity of ceramic tiles, they are not indestructible and can crack up if excessive force or very heavy loads are placed on them.
  • Do take proper precautions when placing heavy objects or moving them on ceramic tile.
  • Do cover your table and furniture legs with protectors before placing them on your ceramic tile flooring to avoid scratching it.
  • Do remember that if you need to replace some of your ceramic tiles, the new tiles are bound to look different from the older tiles. This should not worry you since with time the new tiles will eventually blend in with the older ones. Try and purchase replacement tiles that are closest to the existing tiles in terms of dye lot and texture.

Don’ts

  • Do not use scouring powders, steel wool, or any other abrasives on your tiles since these can easily scratch the finish.
  • Do not use ammonia-based cleaners or bleach on your tile. These substances can discolor the grout especially if they are used frequently.

Caulking and Sealing

Once the tiles have been laid and then grouted, ensure that you caulk any areas that are frequently exposed to water. Caulking keeps the tiles looking sprightly and new and prevents subsurface damage that can badly damage the tiles. You can seal your tiles and grout if you deem it necessary. Sealing the tile and grout protects them from dirt stains and spills and thus keeps them looking sparkling. Grout colorants can be used to transform the original grout color and can act as a form of sealant. Non-epoxy grout joints are best treated using a silicone sealer.

Regular cleaning and maintenance of your ceramic tile flooring will keep it looking as good as new for many years.

Pucher’s is a family-owned Home Decorating Company located in Cleveland, Ohio. We are a renowned and highly reputable home decorating company serving residents of Berea, Westlake, and North Royalton. We offer a wide variety of products and services to clients such as installation of ceramic and wood flooring, the sale of window treatments such as stylish shades, blind and draperies. Our company’s roots date back more than 85 years when Carl Pucher, the patriarch of the Puchers family, started the Pucher Paint Company. Our unwavering commitment to a strong and unmatched customer service record is our philosophy.

How Ceramic Tile is Made

ceramic tileNot too long ago ceramic tiles were hand-made. A mound of wet clay was carefully shaped using a wooden mold and then left in the sun to dry or fired in brick kilns. Although a small percentage of ceramic tiles are still made the traditional way, the vast majority are made through a process known as ‘dry pressing’ or ‘dust pressing.’ This process is highly efficient and requires far less time and labor to produce than previous methods, a factor that has made ceramic tiles very common in modern construction. This is opposed to the past when they were reserved for Eastern Kings only! Below are the various processes involved in ceramic tile making:

Drying

Every ceramic life begins its life as a lump of earth. The final product is essentially baked earth. Various ceramic tile manufacturers use different methods to make the tiles, but the common denominator is that all use clay as the raw material. Other ingredients such as feldspar, sand, quartz, and water are added to the clay. The ingredients are carefully mixed together in the right proportions into a ball mill in order to create a body slip. The body slip differentiates the tile’s body from its glazed topping. The body slip is 30% water. The moisture helps the different ingredients stick together. The body slip is placed into a hot dryer to remove most of the moisture. This continues until the moisture content drops to just 6%.

The drying process essentially reduces the body slip to a lump of dust. This is placed inside a large hydraulic or electric-powered press. The press uses enormous pressure to press the dust to a particular size and shape. When I say enormous pressure, that’s exactly what I mean; something in the range of a few hundred, up to 100,000 PSI (Pounds per Square Inch). The pressure is necessary to give the ceramic tiles high tensile strength. Presses sometimes have shaped imprints such as diamonds and ovals that correspond to the tile shape. Once the body is pressed into shape, it’s now called the ‘‘bisque.’’ It is further dried to completely remove the moisture.

Glazing

Glaze refers to the shiny substance found on top and at the sides of ceramic tiles. Glaze is either sprayed directly or silk-screened on top of the tiles. It can be finished in either high gloss or matte. Various color pigments are added to the tile to impart the desired color. Glazing is not absolutely necessary in tile production, although it’s almost always used.

Baking

All ceramic tiles undergo baking before they are complete. The tile is referred to as a ‘‘green tile’’ just before it undergoes baking. Tiles were traditionally fired in a periodic kiln for several hours. Modern kilns, however, are the continuous type, and are far more efficient than the traditional periodic ones. Continuous kilns include roller-hearth kilns and tunnel kilns. The temperatures inside kilns are quite high and reach 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit (about 1,371 degrees centigrade). High temperatures are necessary for the production of high-strength tiles.

Colors and Patterns

Tiles are re-fired by baking, using a method known as bicottura. This is used to produce tiles with many different colors and patterns. The prefix ‘bi’ in bicottura does not mean that the tile is fired only twice; in fact it can be fired several times. A different type of colored glaze is applied to the tile before each firing cycle and this is repeated until the desired final product is achieved.

The type of finish applied by the manufacturer determines how slippery the tile will be when wet. Tile manufacturers use a rating system to classify their tiles for different applications. This ranges from Class 1 to Class 5.

Located in Cleveland, Ohio, Pucher’s is a family-owned Home Decorating Company. We are a highly reputable home decorating company serving residents of Berea, Westlake, and North Royalton. Our services include the installation of ceramic flooring and wood floors as well as the sale of window treatments such as stylish shades, blinds and draperies. If you need state-of-the-art ceramic tiles for your floor, just call or visit us and you can select from our great collection of top brands such as Onyx Accent Tile, Emser Tile, DalTile, Marazzi USA, Mannington Porcelain, and our classic Pucher’s DesignPro Ceramic Tile.