Should You Clean Tile or Replace It?Why clean ceramic tile? When it gets dirty and worn you may as well replace it, right? After all, the tile has withstood years of traffic and abuse. The tile looks dreary and the grout isn’t the same color as it started out to be. You may need to replace it based on its condition, however many people have made the mistake of replacing their tile when all it really needed was a professional cleaning. The benefits of tile cleaning are simple; make it look nicer, newer, and extend the life of your ceramic tile.

Consider the cost of replacing tile verses a good deep cleaning. On average, medium grade tile will cost you around $10 a square foot, compared to $1.50 a square foot for cleaning. The math is simple – cleaning is a much less expensive alternative.

If you have never had your tile professionally cleaned, you may not realize the effectiveness and shine it can bring back to your once beautiful tile. As long as you are still happy with the style of the tile, cleaning is a great option. If you have contracted with a professional and experienced cleaning company, you should be impressed with the results. Grout, for example, tends to darken over the years with dirt and grease. After a while, the grout is a different color altogether. Cleaning will bring the original color back, and the tile will look new.

Let’s look at the process in which the tile is cleaned, and the different types of equipment which can be used. A rotary style machine is used to clean the tile and the grout. This tool uses pressure jets which shoot water and soap onto the tile. This acts similar to a pressure washer, but with less mess. The unit contains the water, and an extraction hose is connected to remove the water and soap. There are normally 2 to 4 jets in the unit flowing in a circular motion. A hand tool which cleans the corners and edges of the tile is used to get the hard-to-reach spaces. When the cleaning is complete, a simple wipe of the tile with a towel is all you need.

Once the tile is clean, a great way to keep the grout sealed from water and stains is a grout sealer. This should be considered after cleaning the tile. The only step left is to sit back and enjoy your like-new flooring.