What is the Best Way to Clean Textured Tile?


Cleaning Textured Tile - I was wondering we have ceramic tile that is not smooth it has dimples that trap dirt and is very hard to clean is there a product that can be applied to make is smooth so it wont look dirty all the time the only way to clean it is on my hands and knees with a scrub brush.


ANSWER - There are trade-offs with textured ceramic tiles relative to the degree and type of texture it has on its surface.  On one hand the more textured the more slip resistant it will be.  On the other had the more texture the more maintenance there will be.  The more texture the tile will get dirty easier, you will have to clean it more frequently and it will take more effort to clean.  There are tiles that have texture that are slip resistant but don't require a lot more effort to maintain.

The best way to clean textured floors, or any tile floor and its grout, is to use a tile cleaner manufactured for that purpose or a neutral base cleaner and scrub the floor with a brush (make sure it doesn't scratch the tile) on an extended handle so you don't have to get on your hands and knees.  Then use a wet and dry vacuum to pick up the dirty water.  Rinse if necessary.

Once the tile surface and grout are clean to your satisfaction, then you can take a penetrating type sealer for applying over ceramic tile and apply it to their surface.  Within 10 minutes, before it tries, buff dry if with a lent free cloth to avoid streaking and a tacky surface.  For a list of cleaning product manufacturers and links to their websites go to our website at www.CTaSC.com and look under Expert Answers' Resource column for Cleaner and Sealers.  Good luck.

14 thoughts on “What is the Best Way to Clean Textured Tile?

    • Donato Pompo says:

      Per my comments above, do not use a mop on a tile floor as it isn’t the best way to clean a tile floor and particularly a tile floor with a texture. Use a scrub brush on an extended broom handle and scrub the floor with a tile cleaner. Then pick up the dirty water with a wet/dry vacuum. Then rinse the floor.

  1. Barbara says:

    I’m having this same problem. I had workers come and paint my bathroom ceiling and it was raining and muddy outside. They tracked mud into the tiles and it dried. I can’t get it to come out. What type of tile cleaner? I’ve tried spraying Scrubbing Bubbles, PineSol, pure vinegar, and a scrub brush. It’s killing me to scrub to hard.

    • Donato Pompo says:

      You should be able to use a detergent cleaner for tile floors. Apply the liquid solution over the tile and let it sit for about 10 minutes. Then get a scrub brush on an extended handle and scrub the floor. Use a wet vacuum and pick vacuum up the dirty water. If necessary apply the cleaner of the floor again and scrub and vacuum up. Rinse the floor with clean water and vacuum it up. If it was just muddy water it should not have stained the tile.

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  3. Isabel Eddy says:

    Two years ago we bought an old cottage which was not habitable due to roof leaking etc. However we are now living in it and we had ceramic tiles laid in the bathroom, hall and kitchen.
    Worse decision I ever made. They look filthy all the time which I understand is because of grout haze. We had numerous workmen in the cottage, like plasterers, central heating Following them being put down on the floor and I thought a normal clean
    Would resolve the problem. I have tried everything but to no avail,
    Do you have any ideas?

    • Donato Pompo says:

      There is a trade off with how much texture you want the tile to have. The more texture the more slip resistant to a degree. Although the more texture the more it will tend to pick up dirt, the more frequently you have to clean it, and the more wear it will put on your cleaning equipment.

      There are penetrating sealers that can be applied over a tile whether it is very absorbing or very low absorbing and even impervious. The sealers act as bond breakers that can reduce the tendency of the tile to pick up dirt and make it easier in the cleaning of the tile.

      Sealers like Miracle Sealer 511 Impregnator has been used successfully in this manner. It is important that you don’t apply more sealer than the tile can immediately absorb. Obviously impervious tiles or any low absorbing tile will not readily absorb the sealer. In these cases after you have applied the sealer, you have to almost immediately buff dry the surface of the tile with a lint-free cloth and let it dry. You will have to reapply as it wears, which can vary depending on how much traffic it is subjected to.

      Make sure the tile is clean and dry before applying the sealer. When you clean the tile don’t use a mop. Use a scrub brush on an extended handle with a neutral based cleaner to scrub the floor. Use a wet vacuum to pick up the dirty water and then rinse with clean water and vacuum it up too. After the floor is dry for at least 24 hours, but per the sealer manufacturer’s directions, you can apply the sealer.

  4. Sheila Wigley says:

    I want to put dimpled wall tiles in the bathroom shouldn’t be a problem with dirt do you think 60cm x 30cm ( in the shower alcove and on the walls)

    • Donato Pompo says:

      It depends on what you mean by dimple. If the surface is smooth and the dimples are wide enough to easily clean it should clean without too much difficulty. But if the surface is textured it can be more difficult to clean and can have a tendency to pick up dirt so you have to clean more frequently.

  5. Elizabeth says:

    I know it may be risky to do so but would you be willing to name a specific brand of tile cleaner for textured tile bathroom floors? I’ve spent so much money trying to find the most effective one and so far none has worked. Our bath floor tile is a small hexagon shape with tiny grooves and other patterns embedded throughout. I do g want to re-do the floor but am considering as we cannot scrub away the dirt that gets in the grooves. There is no soap residue as this tile is on the floor surrounding the shower – it’s good old fashioned dirt :-(.

    • Donato Pompo says:

      The key is to use a scrub brush on an extended handle where the bristles are not too stiff and will scratch the tile. Use a cleaner similar to Aqua Mix Concentrated Stone & Tile Cleaner in the water. Apply the solution. Let it sit 10 minutes or so. Scrub with brush. Pick up with wet vacuum. Rinse with clean water. Pick up with wet vacuum. Buff dry with lint free cloth.

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