Old tile floors look attractive. Whether you have an old tile floor in the hallway, bathroom, or kitchen: they are stunningly beautiful! Of course, they need some extra care when being cleaned. Better said: you need to take some things into account when cleaning your old tile floor as they have their instructions. Our tips will help you bring your old tile floor back to life.
How to clean an old tile floor
You need to approach this carefully since old tiles are very fragile. You mustn’t use aggressive cleaning products. Our roadmap will help you to clean your old tile floor safely so that you can fully enjoy it!
Step 1: sweep the tiles with a soft broom
Prepare your floor by sweeping them with a soft broom; use one with fine hairs. Make sure to also sweep the parts in between the tiles. Be careful and gentle with this to avoid crumbling.
Step 2: Cleaning tiles using water
When done sweeping, use a damp cloth to clean the tiles. For this, it’s best to use hot water but don’t use too much. This is because old tiles are porous. They can get damaged when soaking up too much water. Do you have old wall tiles? Clean these also. It’s best to start from the bottom and work your way up.
Step 3: A proper cleaning
After wiping the tiles with a damp cloth, the real deal starts with the cleaning part. There are lots of tile cleaners on the market with each their benefits and promises. When choosing one, make sure to consider the following:
- Be careful with cleaners that contain scrub particles
- Try your product first on a small piece of tile
- Dilute every cleaner with water first
- Ideally, go for a fragrance-free and PH neutral cleaner
Apply the cleaner (diluted with water) to the tiles. Again, don’t use too much water. There is no need to mop so using a damp cloth will do. When the tiles are rather dirty, you can use a sponge.
Step 4: Drying the tiles
This is an important step as old tiles can’t stay wet for too long. To let them try, properly ventilate the room. Possibly, use a fan. We advise you to dry the tiles with a dry cloth. This is the fastest and best way to dry your tiles.
Step 5: Waxing tiles
When you have cleaned antique tiles, you can wax them. This protective layer of wax will function as water repellent. Which product to use depends on the type of tile. Read up on it well or consult an expert.
Step 6: Sanding old tiles
You can bring new life to your old tiles by sanding them after cleaning. Though, don’t do this too often. Sand your tiles carefully using pumice powder or fine, wet sand. After, you remove the sand using water. This might be quite some work but the rewards are massive.
7 Tips for cleaning your old tile floor
Cleaning your old tile floor is a rewarding job as you keep your house in its original state. There are a few things you need to look out for when cleaning an old tile floor. Here, we’ll discuss all things important when it comes to making and keeping your floor look neat.
Tip 1: Repair the pavement grouts
One way to clean old tiles is by repairing the grouts. Old tiles’ joins are often porous and can even crumble sometimes. With time, they will wear down. Repairing the grouts has a few advantages:
- The old tiles will have a new look and feel
- You can immediately apply a coating
- It prevents grout problems in the long run
You can let an expert repair your pavement grouts but you can also do it yourself. Brixor is a grout set that contains everything you need to do the job yourself: a cleaner, coating, application, and clear constructions.
Tip 2: Don't use an aggressive substance
You saw this before but don’t use aggressive substances. Unfortunately, there are plenty on the market. Be careful when it comes to:
- Acidic cleaners
- Bleach-based cleaners (do NOT use)
- Cleaners containing perfume
In some cases, you can use bleach. Only if diluted! We’ll explain how to do this at tip 7.
Tip 3: Coloring of the grouts
Restoring the color of the grout will give your tiles a neat and clean look. You can simply do this yourself by using grout paint. For this, you could use Brixor. Brixor is a set that contains grout paint, a mild cleaner, and an applicator. This set is available in 8 different colors. Next to coloring the grouts, the paint also functions as a protective coating. The coating will make the tiles last longer.
Tip 4: Be extra careful with very old tiles
One tile is not the other. Experts distinguish between two types of tiles.
- Pre-industrial tiles: very old, porous pottery tiles
- Industrial tiles made from ceramic or cement
Pre-industrial tiles are very vulnerable: use a mild, PH-neutral cleaner. Never use bleach! You can carefully wet them using water and a plant sprayer. Industrial tiles don’t need to be handled as carefully as pre-industrial tiles. But still, be aware!
Tip 5: Clean the tiles when the sun is out
To let your tiles dry faster it's a smart idea to clean them when the weather is sunny. A hot summer day is ideal for the tiles but can be uncomfortable since the temperature is high. Anyways, the sun will help you to dry the tiles. In this way, the tiles will not soak up all the water so they will remain stronger.
Tip 6: Mild cleaning? Use baby shampoo
A safe cleaner for old tiles is a PH-neutral shampoo, preferably without perfume. A baby shampoo without perfume is a safe option for your tiles. Keep in mind that this shampoo will not be able to remove all the stains.
Tip 7: Tough stains? This is how you use bleach
Using bleach when cleaning old tiles is only an option when there is no other way. Just as with any other cleaner, first, test the product (diluted with water) on a small piece of the tile. When this works out, you are ready to clean all the tiles. When using bleach on old tiles, use 1 part of bleach to 10 parts of water. For instance, when using 500 ml bleach you use 5 liters of water.