Protect Your Shower’s Tile Flooring – 6 Do’s and Don’ts

There is nothing like tile for updating the look of a shower. Whether you prefer a vintage or contemporary style, the tile Floor in your shower is a big investment and it needs special care. Follow these tips to insure your shower Tile looks – and performs – like new, for years to come.
Professional cleaning for shower stall.

1. Do Avoid Using Traditional Bar Soaps

Soap with tallow/lye – this ingredient common to soaps like Dial, Dove or Ivory. Leaves scum and feeds mold. Be mindful of the ingredient “Sodium Tallowate.” Consider using Shower Gel or Body Wash or, if you love bar soap, an olive oil or glycerin based formula is best. Whatever your bathing products, make sure to contain any leakage by catching drips with a tray or other preventative. It’s the excess product sitting on the tile surface that erodes its performance over time.

2. Do Be Wary of Using Harsh Cleaners (on any Tile)

Clean shower tile regularly to remove build-up but make sure the cleaners you choose are mild, non-abrasive and customized to the needs of tile and grout. That goes for stone flooring as well. Even vinegar and water can leave behind damage. Do a little extra research or call your local hard-surface care professionals and ask their advice about the best choice of cleaner for your particular shower floor.

3. Don’t Let Moisture Linger on your Shower Tile

White Tile and Grout

Moisture is a key ingredient in a lot of hard-surface damage scenarios. The professionals can give you the best advice for maintaining your tile flooring. Run fans and leave doors open (including shower doors). If you have a curtain, open but go back and stretch closed to avoid mildew growth. Use a towel or squeegie to cut down on standing water.

Speaking of water, consider a water softening system. By removing the minerals that water carries after passing through the ground, you can cut down on watermarks on fixtures, lime and chalk build-up on shower and sink surfaces. There are many up sides to this choice, including more effective homecare and better health for skin and hair.

4. Don’t Postpone Maintenance

As beautiful as it is, there are some common problems with tile and grout. When a tile surface “fails,” grout is often the culprit. The spaces between tile are the most vulnerable to cracking, leakage and stains. If you see any sign of structural failure, get a professsional opinion immediately. As soon as water finds its way past the surface and compromises any sealant below, you’ll have serious damage that requires a full tear-out. Not sure what to look for? That’s a job for the Pro’s.

5. Do Spring for a Periodic Professional Cleaning

Pro Cleans Shower Stone Tile

A professional can usually diagnose basic tile problems. If you are seeing some discoloration and mold growth in your shower, it may be due to contamination from water intrusion below the surface. In this scenario, a professional cleaning is usually ineffective as it cannot reach the source of the staining. If staining comes back shortly after your shower is cleaned, you are likely facing that exact situation. But in most cases, tile installations in open areas that are not subject to daily punishing immersion respond well to a professional cleaning.

Professionals will spend particular attention to cleaning grout lines. In fact, it is important to have an area of grout cleaned before repairing a section of damaged grout in the same space. Why? Because it is often the case that dirt hides the original color of your grout. If you match new product to the dirty color before cleaning, you will end up patching with a product that is significantly darker than the installation. One deep cleaning will reveal the error. So, whether you are maintaining a tiled entry, a kitchen or a bathroom, schedule a regular service. Local Hardsurface pros can do a great surface cleaning for the tile and can clean and seal grout lines, helping both to perform as intended and keep your subfloor safe from moisture.

6. Do have your tile and grout regularly resealed.

When you get any hardsurface flooring cleaned, whether in your shower or in any room that features tile and stone, seal for success. A reapplication of sealant will protect your grout lines from immediate resoiling and can enhance the grout’s performance. What’s more, though ceramic and porcelain tile is made to perform without additional sealing, a stone floor will drink up impregnable sealant and benefit long term from that protective layer.

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