When I say the word “porcelain” what is the first thing that pops into your mind? For most it is something like this – a memory of their grandmother’s fine antique porcelain dishes or a delicate figure sitting out of harm’s way on a protected shelf. While it is true that porcelain is used to make beautiful, yet highly fragile items I can attest it is no weakling! Porcelain tiles are among the toughest for durability.
What Are Porcelain Tiles?
Porcelain is a man-made material similar to ceramic. The difference between the two is that porcelain is manufactured from finer, denser clay and is fired at higher temperatures. This makes it stronger, more durable and more scratch resistant.
As tile, it is available in hundreds of style and colors. It is so versatile (no pun intended) that it is even made to look like stone! The amazing fact is that it is actually harder than granite. The color pattern runs below the surface throughout the tile. If ever your porcelain tiles were to wear down, you would not risk losing the pattern.
Caring for Porcelain Tile
This type of tile is generally resistant to water and stains, making the daily upkeep quite simple. Follow these pointers for spotless floors:
- Remove dust and debris with a vacuum cleaner.
- Wipe up spills immediately to prevent stains in the grout.
- For tough dirt, scrub the floor with a soft bristle brush before vacuuming.
Uses for Porcelain Tile
I have seen this type of tile used everywhere in a home. It is great for counter tops, back splashes, walls, and floors. As a medium for creative home décor, it is used effectively on the front of fireplaces and for tabletops. It is less expensive than natural stone or slate and excellent for high traffic areas or anyplace where water is involved.
The Issue with Tile and Moisture
Porcelain tile is very dense and absorbs less than 0.5 percent of water. Ceramic, stone and other types of tile are more porous, absorbing more than 0.5 percent of water. You may wonder why this matters, but consider than where you have moisture and warmth, it is a perfect environment for bacteria and viruses to thrive. These are microscopic organisms that live in the grout between your tiles and within the actual tiles. In the right conditions they breed prolifically, infecting your home.
Owning a home constructed with tile in the southwest does not exempt us from this problem. Our bathrooms get just as steamy as baths in the rest of the country. We spill as many liquids on our floors as people in other states!
Contrary to popular belief our climate is not hot and dry all of the time. We experience “monsoon” season where up to half our annual precipitation falls between June and September. We live on a former ocean bed containing unfriendly bacteria that gets tracked into our homes as mud on our shoes during the monsoons.
Your tile walls, back splashes, counter tops and floors may look shiny and clean, but they are breeding grounds for organisms that can make you and your family very ill.
Why You Must Have Your Porcelain Tile Cleaned Professionally
The resiliency of porcelain tile is remarkable. It maintains its structural integrity for decades. But the fact that it is slightly porous means you have a bacteria and virus problem in your home, especially in areas where water and moisture are present. Porcelain tile & stone cleaning (including grout) is done not only to leave your tile with a fresh, glowing sheen, but to minimize the health risks. Our technicians are trained to expertly sanitize your tile and grout using our proprietary deep cleaning system.
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