Tile flooring is a timeless design staple. It’s a low-maintenance, versatile option found everywhere from lavish lobbies and commercial kitchens to dive-bar bathrooms. While tile is typically chosen for its inherent long lifespan, cleaning commercial tile floors the right way is key to keeping surfaces in optimal condition and looking brand-new as long as possible.
A big reason why tile is popular is that there are many different types to choose from, each with a unique look. And just as no two tile materials are the same, the steps for cleaning tile flooring depend on the type being treated. Knowing the correct techniques, using the right supplies, and having the necessary equipment will keep floors sparkling and extend longevity.
In this article, we’ll learn about different types of tile flooring, how to clean commercial tile floors, why it’s important, and who’s best suited to do the job correctly.
Cleaning Commercial Tile Floors
There are both pros and cons to tile flooring. When installed properly and with proper maintenance, a tile floor can last more than 20 years. This is a real value add to any business. However, cleaning commercial tile floors means more than simply sweeping and mopping. To ensure all dirt and debris are effectively cleaned, the type of tile used in the flooring needs to be considered.
Tile flooring is a catch-all term that describes any durable flooring consisting of tiles. Let’s look at a few popular material choices as well as a few different properties that tiles can have to learn how different tiles require different cleaning solutions.
Ceramic and Porcelain Tile
Ceramic and porcelain tiles are the most common types of tiles, as they are suitable for many applications. Highly durable, ceramic and porcelain tiles are available in hundreds of designs and are budget-friendly. These all-purpose tiles are frequently found in high-wear areas like commercial kitchens and restrooms. Also, both ceramic and porcelain tiles are known for being easy to clean.
A common misconception is that easy to clean means no cleaning required. In fact, cleaning commercial tile floors is recommended in all instances, and ceramic and porcelain tiles should be attended to once or twice weekly. Additionally, it’s important to keep in mind whether the tile is textured, polished, or matte because this will make a difference.
In all instances, the first step is to remove surface dirt with a vacuum or dust mop. If the tile is textured, saturating the surface with a neutral solution helps to soften debris stuck to ridges. To clean, use a soft-bristle brush, scrubbing in a circular motion to reach every nook and cranny.
Natural Stone Tile
Natural stone tile — like polished marble, granite, limestone, and slate — is naturally beautiful. This type of tile is often selected for high-traffic zones, including reception areas in offices and walkways between buildings, to add a touch of elegance or make a stately impression.
However, that beauty requires regular maintenance, which can be a challenge due to natural stone’s characteristic of porousness. Despite its hard exterior, natural stone is easily damaged by standard cleaning solutions that are overly acidic.
And not only can the delicate surface of the tile itself be damaged, but the tile’s protective layer of sealant can be and accidentally removed by harsh, acidic cleaning agents, causing additional damage. This is something to be particularly mindful of, as natural stones like polished marble are costly.
High-gloss tiles make a statement. They are also prone to showing grease, grime, watermarks, and fingerprints. Therefore, high-gloss tiles need to be cleaned more frequently to keep their shine.
For high-gloss tiles, it’s a good idea to use a mild liquid detergent, which can be diluted to half-strength. But because liquid cleaners often leave behind a visible residue, it’s a good idea to rinse the tiles with warm, clean water and to dry the surface rather than allowing it to air dry.
Non-slip tiles are an important safety measure in many commercial spaces. Often, the anti-slip characteristic is created by texturing the tile’s surface or coating with a special compound, which requires extra thoughtfulness when cleaning.
While industrial-strength cleaner might seem like a good idea, it can do more harm than good, as harsh chemicals can be overly abrasive. Special surface finishes are best cleaned using detergent with a neutral pH, which is less damaging to the integrity of non-slip properties.
Regular Cleaning and Maintenance for Tile Flooring
The best way to extend the life of a tile floor is to clean and maintain it regularly. Unfortunately, many people try to save money by doing the work themselves, and they end up using the wrong techniques and supplies. For example, household cleaners that are typically on hand actually attract more dust and soils.
Another challenge faced by DIYers is finding the time to do the cleaning as frequently as needed. Many simply do not get around to doing the work and then wait too long before hiring a professional. This ends up being more costly in the long run, since a poorly maintained floor is more prone to damage and decay, which can lead to replacement sooner rather than later.
Hiring a Commercial Cleaning Company vs. Managing a Janitorial Team
Hiring professionals is the best bet for cleaning commercial tile floors, and an internal janitorial team is one such solution. However, there are drawbacks to going this route.
First, an internal team does not appear out of thin air; it takes time to hire — and if an office space is large, then a sizable team is necessary. Next, when the cleaning crew is made up of internal employees, training is the responsibility of the employer. Likewise, the procurement of supplies and upkeep of equipment is also the responsibility of the employer. Finally, there’s the cost of additional payroll as well as the time required to manage the team. Taken together, an internal janitorial team may not be the best answer.
On the other hand, hiring a professional cleaning company minimizes the extra time and effort required. Commercial cleaners handle all responsibilities: They ensure the team is fully staffed; handle all training; provide all cleaning agents, brooms, mops, buffers, and rags; and more. Plus, commercial cleaners can be scheduled with whatever frequency is needed, whether monthly, weekly, or daily.
Trust Houston’s Commercial Cleaning Pros to Do the Work
Keeping tile floors clean in commercial buildings is time-intensive. Additionally, it requires intimate knowledge of different tile types and proper cleaning techniques and equipment. What sounds simple to many is best handled by professionals.
For more than 25 years, DTK Facility Services has kept Houston’s commercial spaces tip-top, in both appearance and cleanliness. Founded on the principles of integrity, quality, and dependability, we offer a full range of services, including cleaning commercial tile floors, shampooing carpets, washing windows, pressure washing, and more. Whether you’re a single office or multi-building complex, a church,school, grocery store, or a mom-and-pop retail shop, contact us today for a quote and let us handle the dirty work.