General Maintenance Guidelines For Ceramic Tile

Procedure code:
931001G
Source:
Hspg Prepared For Nps - Sero
Division:
Finishes
Section:
Ceramic Tile
Last Modified:
08/10/2016

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We’ve reviewed these procedures for general consistency with federal standards for rehabilitating historic buildings and provide them only as a reference. Specifications should only be applied under the guidance of a qualified preservation professional who can assess the applicability of a procedure to a particular building, project or location. References to products and suppliers serve as general guidelines and do not constitute a federal endorsement nor a determination that a product or method is the best alternative or compliant with current environmental regulations and safety standards.


This standard includes general guidelines for maintaining ceramic tile floors.

  • In cleaning ceramic tile, keep in mind that there are two different surfaces, the tile and the grout.
    • Cement grout is considerably more porous than ceramic tile and more susceptible to the accumulation of dirt and stains.
    • Epoxy mortar grout is not as prone to soiling and staining.
Do's Don'ts
  • Dry clean ceramic tile by sweeping with a brush or dust mop or by vacuuming.
  • Use oily sweeping compounds, alkaline cleaning compounds, sealers, polishes, and non-slip coatings are NOT recommended.
  • Remove minor soils by mopping with water.
  • DO NOT leave water or cleaning solution on the floor any longer than necessary.
  • For excessive soiling, use a general-purpose, synthetic detergent mixed with warm water for washing the surface.
  • DO NOT use abrasives or other gritty materials on GLAZED TILES.
  • Rinse thoroughly and mop up rinse water, leaving the floor as dry as possible.
  • DO NOT use acids on glazed tiles.
  • Dirty grouting can be scrubbed with a stiff brush and a mild abrasive powder.
  • Avoid using steel wool pads for scrubbing (they may leave rust spots).
  • USE nylon abrasive pads for heavy duty cleaning.
  • DO NOT use abrasive powders for scrubbing ceramic tile (it is messy and almost impossible to remove).
Last Reviewed: 2017-08-13