Cement Tile Maintenance

Once you’ve put the time, energy and financial resources into installing or designing your home, restaurant or establishment with quality cement or concrete tile, there’s nothing worse than diminishing its visual quality. Always do your best to keep your cement tiles looking great with a few of these cement tile maintenance tips!

Mind the (Grout) Gap

When installing cement tiles, it’s tempting to leave no gap in between tiles because many people find that tiles without gaps look more appealing. While that comes down to personal and design preference, the fact of the matter is that there needs to be at least a small (1/16”) gap in order for grout to be applied. Thankfully, 1/16” is a very small gap, which makes the gap almost visually non-existent at a glance. We recommend using non-sanded grout for narrow grout gaps.

Polishing and Sealing Your Cement Tiles

After installing your cement tiles, you need to make sure that you carefully and thoroughly clean the cement tiles in order to get the best visual results. This will set up your new floor space for success: keeping it looking great, getting a lot of amazed remarks, helping it last for decades and so much more.

Follow these steps to polish your cement tiles:

  1. Use a fine (600 grit) sand screen disc to lightly sand the surface of the tiles
  2. Seal with either a good quality penetrating sealer
  3. Buff with a white pad

Sealing your cement tile floor is also an important part of the installation stage, as cement tiles are porous and therefore can absorb unwanted stains and dirt. When choosing to seal your cement tile, you have two primary options: penetrating and topical sealers.

Penetrating sealers for cement tile are absorbed right into the cement and make it the most difficult for any stains to adhere to the tile. Topical sealers on the other hand sit on the surface and don’t let stains through. In our experience, it’s recommended to avoid topical sealers as the sun can wear them out much sooner and they can make the surface more slippery.

Here at Granada Tile, we recommend Dry-Treat sealers and enhancers, which are specially designed to penetrate much deeper into the tiles so as to resist more stains. The molecules in Dry-Treat products are 400 times smaller than competing sealers, allowing the compound to permanently bond with the tile and provide longer and more thorough protection.

How to Clean Cement Tile

When you need to clean your tiles, always avoid acidic substances or bleach of any kind. This is super important, because any acid-heavy substance can wear out sealers much faster. Instead, use a pH-neutral soap and water when cleaning tiles.

Manage Cement Tile Stains

One of the first things that come to mind when cleaning and maintaining cement tiles are the stains that you’ll run into during cement tile’s lifespan. The first step is to understand what kind of stain you are dealing with so that you can be better equipped to tackle the stain and restore the tile to its former glory. You may come into contact with a stain that is biological, organic, inorganic, oil-based, or ink-based.

  • Mildew, mold, fungus, algae – These biological stains appear as a result of living substances that come into contact with the tile.
  • Coffee, tea, wine, tobacco, cosmetics, or blood – These organic stains comes primarily from food/beverage sources.
  • Iron, bronze, metal, or rust – These inorganic stains come from raw materials.
  • Oil, grease, body oil, various food – These oil-based stains are typically preventable with thorough sealing.
  • Ink-based – The most common types of ink based stains are from markers and ballpoint pens.

Our recommended method of cleaning for all of these stains is to use Dry-Treat’s Rejuvenata Active, Rejuvenat Spray, Oxy-Klenza or Eff-Erayza. These products can be used for regular mopping and cleaning, as well as for more heavy duty cleaning and stain removal. These products are also perfect for cleaning grout.

Contact us at sales@granadatile.com or 1-213-788-4238 to learn more about cement tiles and how you can best maintain your fresh new installation of tiles.