Which Tiles Are Easiest To Keep Clean?
Tile cleaning tips from BATS Tiling, Sunshine Coast and Brisbane
Did you know that tiles have been used in construction and art for 25,000?
Yep, that’s right. 25,000 years! We can thank the ancient Egyptians for first putting fire to clay to create some of the earliest ceramic tiles. Which impressively, can still be seen sprawled across the walls of the ancient pyramids and many other historical sites around the world from China to Mesopotamia and the Mediterranean.
So, how did tiles become one of the most popular building materials and surfaces in modern construction? It’s simple really. They are super tough, ultra-durable and versatile (pun intended) and easy to keep clean.
Wait what? Easy to keep clean?
Well, that last one can be a little misleading, so we’re here to discuss a little more. When it comes to cleanliness, not all tiles are made equally. How easy a tile is to keep clean depends on some key factors, such as;
- The size of the tile
- What material the tile is made from, e.g ceramic, porcelain or stone
- What finish is the tile, e.g gloss, matte or natural
- What application you have chosen for the tile e.g floor, walls or benchtop
Choosing the Right Size of Tile for Your Project
Large tiles present a number of advantages over small tiles. Perhaps the most notable of which relates to grout. The bigger the tiles, the fewer grout lines and the fewer places that grime, mould, bacteria or any other kind of build-up can hide.
Unfortunately, cement grouts aren’t quite as tough, durable or easy to clean as their tile counterparts, so choosing a tile size that keeps your grout lines to a minimum is a great way to get longer life out of your tiled surface. Tiles with a rectified edge, also known as a straight edge, can be installed much closer together than traditional curved edge or cushion edge tiles. Rectified edge tiles present a major advantage over cushion edge tiles for long term cleaning as general grout gaps can be as little as 1-2mm rather than 2-5mm.
The best materials to finish a wall and floor for an easy clean are going to have as few gaps and seams as possible, hence large tiles are a clear winner.
Choosing the Right Tile Material
Natural Stone Tile
If you are looking for a more natural look and feel in your bathroom, then natural stone tile will be a fantastic choice for you. Natural stone tiles can be sealed to resist scratches, mould, stains, and humidity.
This makes it incredibly easy to clean and maintain. In addition to this, natural stone tiles come in a range of materials such as quartz, marble, granite, sandstone, and travertine giving you plenty of options to achieve the right look for the space you are renovating.
If you want wow factor, glass could be the choice for you. It never goes out of style, it is affordable and stylish, and provides homeowners with a practical solution for their bathroom décor needs. Glass can be used on bathroom backsplashes, walls, and even as shower tile. Glass tiles come in a wide array of designs, shapes, and colours. You can install transparent, translucent, or opaque glass tiles to suit just about any look.
One reason that makes glass tiles so easy to clean is that they are resistant to stains, scratches, humidity, and moisture. If you are looking for an affordable bathroom tile that is easy to maintain, then glass is the best option for you.
Polished Porcelain Tile
Porcelain is highly stain-resistant. For more stubborn stains or dirt, you may need to enlist the help of a mild cleaner, but more often than not, hot or warm water is all you need to get your tiles looking great.
If you are working with a low budget, then porcelain might be a great choice for you. Porcelain comes in a variety of colours, styles, and textures, it’s easy to cut and lay and is an ideal choice for the humid conditions of your bathroom.
Not only is laminate flooring cost efficient, it is also very easy to keep it looking spotless. Mopping and sweeping is all that needs to be done to ensure your laminate floor stays looking fresh. Laminate floors can be prone to scratching, but most times small scratches can be fixed by rubbing a little vegetable oil on it. However, laminate cannot be refinished so for more serious scratches or damage you may be faced with replacing it altogether.
Ceramic tiles are one of your best options when it comes to low-maintenance flooring. This type of flooring is difficult to scratch and the clean up process is simple. More times than not, a vinegar/water mixture and a little elbow grease will do the trick. This type of flooring is also very durable, so the chances of cracking one of these tiles is relatively low. Since ceramic types come in a variety of shapes and colours, this is ideal for any home.
Sealing Your Tiles
Unglazed tile, natural stone and most grout are prone to staining. This can be easily prevented by sealing the tile with the correct sealants for the type and purpose of your tiles.
When choosing a sealer, there can be a huge price variance, normally based on level of performance and longevity. Premium sealers are designed to provide a high degree of stain resistance and provide a longer interval between re-application. Economical sealers usually provide a lower degree of stain protection and require more frequent re-applications.
Sealers can be solvent or water-based. Strict safety precautions should always be considered if a flammable, solvent-based sealer issued. Ventilation is also an important factor when using a solvent-based sealer. If an installation system includes a membrane or tile warming system, always check with manufacturers before using
Sealers can be “penetrating” (impregnating) which are designed to completely penetrate into a porous surface and not change the appearance. They may also be a “coating-type” (topical) which are designed to bond to the tile or stone surface, providing either a matte, semi-gloss or gloss finish. Also, there are sealers designed to darken or colour-enhance some porous tiles and some grouts. Penetrating (impregnating) type sealers should generally be considered if no change in surface characteristics or look is desired (check with manufacturer). Penetrating-type sealers are considered appropriate for the full range of porous tiles, stone and grout.
We have more than 20 years experience in commercial and domestic tiles of all kinds. We’d love you to end up the bathroom you’ve planned for and the perfect finish you deserve. Give us a call and we’ll show you the BATS Tiling difference. Choose the right tiler, first time.
Call us 07 5491 4458 and see how easy it can be to get tiles laid with BATS Tiling. We’re the friendly, professional tiling team and we’re all over the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane.
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