The best way to clean and maintain cement tiles

Cement tiles are still in trend, and with the endless possible pattern and colour combinations they are unrivalled even by new porcelain tiles that have recently been released onto the market by high end Italian and Spanish porcelain manufacturers. Suitable for both floors and walls, cement tiles are a highly durable material that, if properly looked after, can last for centuries.

Traditionally, this material would have been highly polished in situ, giving the tiles a bright, polished sheen that would make them very resistant. Another option was to wax them – each additional layer of wax giving added protection.

Nowadays, on-site polishing or waxing is rare – it is more common to use specialist sealing liquids and cleaning products that help maintain the sealant and keep your cement tiles looking fresh and beautiful. Here’s our simple cleaning and maintenance guide for encaustic cement tiles.

Maintaining cement tiles is not hard, but they do need some basic care – Firstly we recommend mopping your cement tiles regularly with clean water and a neutral cleaner such as Lithofin Easycare (this is assuming your tiles have been sealed with Lithofin Stainstop MN). Our Cement tile pigments are made with a combination of cement powders and natural marble powders, which gives the tiles their unique finish. This material however is porous and needs to be sealed. Once sealed correctly however, your tiles will have a long life – especially if cared for using the right cement tile cleaning products.

To make sure that your cement tiles are kept looking their best, we suggest cleaning up any spills as quickly as possible – taking care to completely dry off any liquid that is sitting on the surface of the tile with a clean cloth – this is to prevent any staining or any permanent damage to your tiles. This is especially important with any acid-based liquids such as red wine or lemon juice, which if left on the cement tile can degrade the sealant and potentially stain the tile. An easy way to maintain cement tiles is to make sure that all entrances and exists have mats so as to reduce the wear caused by foot traffic coming in from outside.

If you do need to use cement tiles in high traffic areas, or outdoors (please see our recommendation regarding outdoor use), we would recommend re-sealing your tiles more often in order to keep them maintained. For kitchens and hallways the use of an additional, top-coat sealant, such as Lithofin Multiseal will give the tiles a slight sheen, but will greatly assist with maintenance and keeping your cement tiles clean. Once a month we recommend topping up your wash bucket with some Lithofin Powerclean – this will help to take out any additional dirt build-up that the Lithofin Easycare hasn’t handled.

If cared for properly, your cement tiles will last for a long time. The beauty of cement tiles is that they can be stripped sanded and re-sealed, a bit like stone or wood, so even if your cement tiles have built up a lot of dirt, they can easily be restored to their former glory. Clean up spills immediately and make sure to sweep up and dirt and debris on a daily basis. We suggest mopping your cement tiles every week with clean water mixed with a squirt of Lithofin Easy care. Most importantly, you should never use any acid or bleach-based cleaning solutions because this can degrade the sealant a permanently damage cement tile surfaces.
If spills are not quickly cleaned and dried then its possible that your cement tiles might become stained. Drinks such as wine, coffee and tea can stain cement tiles whilst common foods like tomato sauce, lemon juice and oil can also lead to the sealant becoming worn and the cement tile becoming stained. To deal with particularly stubborn stains on your cement tiles, we would first of all recommend deep cleaning the tiles using a product like Lithofin Powerclean diluted 1:5 and using a white emulsifying pad. This process can be repeated until the desired effect is achieve. If this doesn't work to remove the stains, the next step would be to strip off the sealant using a product like Lithofin Wax Off, deep clean the cement tiles using Powerclean, then re-seal using Lithofin Stainstop MN. Your cement tiles should be given the opportunity to fully dry out between each step of the process. As a final resort, these tiles can be sanded using a very fine grit – we would recommend consulting with a professional to carry out this kind of work – please get in touch for recommendations.
As a general rule of thumb, we recommend resealing every 12-18 months. If you have laid your cement tiles in a wet area, such as on a shower wall, or in a wet room, we would recommend re-sealing cement tiles every 12 months, and periodically cleaning with Lithofin Powerclean in order to prevent any limescale build up. Your cement tiles should have been laid with a coat of Lithofin Stainstop MN before grouting and an another coat of Stainstop after grouting and making sure that any grout residue has been removed by Lithofin Powerclean. If this has been done correctly and you have been maintaining your tiles with Lithofin Easycare, then re-sealing should be a simple process. To achieve the best result, we suggest stripping any old sealant of Lithofin Wax Off, then give the tiles a deep clean with Lithofin Powerclean. Once your cement tiles are fully dry, you can re-seal them with Lithofin Stainstop MN. We recommend two coats. In non-wet rooms such as hallways and kitchens we think that a final coat of Lithofin Multiseal will help to keep your tiles clean and shiny.
If you need any help keeping you cement tiles in mint condition. If you’ve already purchased cement tiles from us and would like advice on how to look after them, give us a call to consult with one of our expert advisers. If you’re looking to use cement tiles for your residential or commercial project we can assist with the design and creation of bespoke cement tiles together with offering a range of stock cement tiles available for delivery in 5-10 working days. Get in touch today for the best range of cement tiles and for any help in cleaning and maintaining the beautiful, handmade tiles.

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