What Types of Tile Are Easiest to Clean?

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The easiest to clean tiles are all relatively non-porous—they typically have a smooth, polished finish, which means spills remain on the surface and do not sink more deeply into the tile material. Many floor tiles are easy to clean; naturally, some are easier to clean than others. Easy to clean tiles include vinyl, polished porcelain and laminate—the last two are just as easy to clean as vinyl but, usually, much easier to keep clean than vinyl.

Vinyl Tiles

You can use just about any store-bought floor cleaner on vinyl tiles. Vinyl tiles are easily cleaned with sweeping and mopping. The smoother the vinyl surface, however, the easier they are to clean—tiles with etched patterns and grooves will collect dirt in the crevices, which makes some types of vinyl tiles more difficult to keep clean. As long as vinyl tiles are cleaned frequently, however, they can look good for many years.

Polished Porcelain

Because of the tile’s finished surface, polished porcelain can usually be cleaned with a broom or dusting mop and a damp mop. For daily mopping, mopping with plain water may be all that is necessary. For more thorough cleaning, a mild floor cleaner and water may be used. Many types of finished ceramic tiles are also easy to clean by sweeping and using a damp mop—however, polished porcelain seems to be more resistant to staining.

Laminate

Laminate tiles are very easy to clean. Daily sweeping and occasional damp (damp—not wet) mopping will keep these tiles looking their best. For very dirty laminate tiles, you can use a laminate floor cleaner, available at most stores that sell floor cleaning supplies, or a very small amount of mild liquid detergent in a bucket of water.

Warning

Abrasive cleaners may scratch the surface of finished tiles. Use only soft, mild cleaners when possible. Do not use too much water when cleaning laminate tiles. If too much moisture finds its way inside or under these tiles, they may warp. Mop them quickly and then dry them immediately after. Smooth, easy-to-clean tiles may also be slippery when wet. You can care for this issue by using a slip-resistant cleaner—just make sure the cleaner you choose is suitable for your type of tile.

Considerations

Porcelain tiles' grout can get dirty quickly, though the tile itself may remain sparkling clean. You can prevent this by sealing the grout with grout sealer. After cleaning any kind of tile, dry the floor with a soft towel to prevent water spots. Of these three kinds of tile, polished porcelain tends to be the most stain resistant. Vinyl may easily become stained (although, not necessarily permanently) if spills are not wiped up quickly.

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