Mosaic Tile Maintenance: What You Need to Know

Mosaic Tile Maintenance: What You Need to Know

You've seen gorgeous mosaic tile layouts in friends' homes or magazine spreads, but you're not sure that this look is right for you. Surely such intricate designs require more care and upkeep than you have time to manage, right?

No, not at all! Mosaic tile maintenance can fit into nearly anyone's schedule. Check out what you need to know about caring for mosaic tiles so that you can feel confident about installing this look during your next renovation project.

Maintenance in Mind from the Very Beginning

When tile professionals install mosaic tiles, they usually apply a sealing product over the top to provide a layer of protection. Depending on the type of tile, the sealant may penetrate both the tiles and the grout or just the grout.

Either way, you can count on this step of the installation process to simplify your everyday tile maintenance. Sealants help block water and other liquids from seeping into or around the tiles. It can also guard against stains and reduce mildew growth.

Everyday Recommendations for Mosaic Tile Maintenance

The more often you sweep or dust your mosaic tiles, the better. Doing this can keep dirt and debris from settling in the grout or caking onto the tiles. By taking care of these issues right away, you can prevent them from becoming bigger, harder-to-clean problems down the road. Aim to sweep your tile floors once a day or dust mosaic walls every few days. Vacuuming with a soft brush attachment is another option.

Also, be sure to clean up any spills right away. This will reduce the chances of developing water damage or stains.

Regular Tile Cleaning Sessions

It's a good idea to give your tiles a quick wash on a regular basis. For tile floors, that usually means mopping. For walls, backsplashes or counters, you're more likely to wipe the surface with a damp sponge.

When cleaning in these ways, you'll want to be sure that the product you're using is safe for tile. Ceramic and porcelain tiles can usually handle any mild detergent.

It's smart to be choosier, though, about what you use on your natural stone tiles. Pick out a cleaning product with a neutral pH. Bleach- or acid-based cleaners, including vinegar, could damage your beautiful stone.

After applying a cleaning product, rinse the tiles with clear water. Then, thoroughly dry the surface with a soft rag.

Aim to mop mosaic tile floors around once a week. Backsplashes and counters may need a similar cleaning schedule. For some walls, you may be able to wait a couple of weeks between cleaning sessions.

Occasional Extra Steps

While most tile mosaic maintenance involves quick cleaning jobs that should be done on a daily or weekly basis, you'll probably need to invest a bit of time in bigger jobs every now and then.

Pool Care

Swimming pools surrounded by mosaic tiles may require some extra attention. Hard pool water can cause calcium buildup on the tiles. With a bit of elbow grease, you can remove this unsightly layer.

Most experts recommend making a paste with baking soda and a splash of water. With a cleaning rag and circular motions, you can rub the paste into the stains. Toothpaste may help lift the calcium buildup as well. Of course, it's always a good idea to consult your tile professional before using any products to make sure that they're safe for your surface.

Most tile pool edges and decks will benefit from this cleaning process once per year.

Grout Cleaning

Tile grout has a reputation for being hard to maintain. While you do need to pay your grout careful attention, the thought of caring for it shouldn't scare you away from installing mosaic tile.

For one thing, sticking to a regular cleaning schedule can help a good deal. By doing daily sweeping and weekly mopping, you can keep a lot of stains and debris from taking up residence in your grout lines.

When you do need to deep-clean the grout, scrub it with a stiff brush dampened with warm water. Steam from the bathroom shower or a steam mop may help loosen the grime before you start scrubbing.

For additional stain-busting power, apply a cleaning product. You may hear vinegar or bleach recommended, but they can cause damage to your tiles or even the grout. A mixture of dish soap and water may be kinder to your tiles. There are also commercial grout-cleaning products on the market. As always, it's best to ask your tile professional to recommend the safest options.

Resealing

A good-quality sealant is a key component of keeping your tile in great shape, but the original coat won't last forever. Occasionally, you'll need to provide a new layer of protection by reapplying this product.

Some experts recommend resealing your tile floors once a year. Tile walls may need to be done every other year.

The first step is to clean the tiles using your normal methods. Then, allow the surface to fully dry. Once you've done that, applying sealant with a sponge or a spray bottle may take only a matter of minutes.

Mosaic Tiles in Your Home Design

Have these tips convinced you that mosaic tile maintenance is something you can handle? If so, check out this video for mosaic tile ideas:

Then, give Artsaics a call. We'll match your inspiration with our design skills to create a one-of-a-kind tile mosaic for your home. Our pros will even provide additional guidance about caring for your new mosaic tiles. Together, we can give your home a custom look that will stay beautiful for years to come.

About the Author

Nelson Londono founded Artsaics in 1998 after learning the ins and outs of designing custom artistic tiles and stone mosaics. The New York-based surfacing company specializes in producing stunning artistic tiles & stone designs with fine natural stone from around the world. Nelson and his team's passion lies in working with their hands, heads and hearts to make each and every space a unique reflection of self expression. You can learn more about Artsaics here.