How To Look After Granite Tiles
Granite is an incredibly popular material to have in and around your home, and there are many advantages of doing so. They are incredibly attractive and bring some form of luxury into your home. In some ways they are very similar in appearance to marble, which is well known for its decadence and cost. But, it is important that these are not confused, as caring and looking after them are very different and they both need different maintenance. If you look after and care for your granite tiles well, there is no reason that they will not last you a long time.
Like we have said, granite is a beautiful material, and although it has many different uses, it is often found in homes on the floor. Granite floor tiles have become more and more popular over the last couple of years, and they are now considered very on trend and stylish within the home. That said, they make excellent counter tops in kitchens, and are fairly popular as wall tiles in both the bathroom and the kitchen. Granite is a completely natural stone, but that does not mean that it has to be dull. It is quite the opposite. Granite is one of the most exquisite and beautiful stones that is available in a huge range of colours and varieties. This means that it can fit in with the style of your home, whilst still lending itself to its pre-conceived expectations.
Before we go into how to care and look after your granite tiles, here are just a few reasons why it is as popular as it is. It is incredibly durable. This is why more and more people are turning to it as a possible floor tile material, as it will withstand even the busiest areas of your home, such as the hallway. This means that you do not have to worry about having to replace some of your tiles after a few years, like you may have to with other ones, if they start to look dull and old. Granite will stay looking as good as it did when it was first installed. Another reason that it is very popular as a floor tile is that it is naturally one of the most stain resistant materials there is. Once the floor tiles have been sealed, this will only enhance this resistance. When you consider what your floor tiles have to go through, it is only understandable that a material that is non-absorbent and stain resistant would be preferable. It is also well known for its heat resistance. This is particularly beneficial to you if you are using it in the kitchen, and also why it is a popular choice for that particular use. Finally, they are timeless, and although this is not an advantage to the stone itself, it is a reason to feature it in your home. You do not have to worry that in ten years’ time, your home will look really out of date, as granite tiles will simply move with the time.
Before getting any stone installed in your home, regardless of where it is, it is incredibly important that you know how to care for it. You do not want to purchase a material, only to find that it requires specialist care and attention, not to mention specific cleaners, and a huge list of do’s and don'ts. If you are looking for a low maintenance tile that just needs a quick wipe over, yet can stand up to the demands of your busy home, it is advisable not to get a marble kitchen installed for example which requires more work than say, ceramic. It is all just about doing your research well, and knowing what it is that you are buying and installing and ensuring that you have the time and are willing to put in the effort required to keep your tiles looking their best. Or, alternatively, you need to be prepared that the life span of the tiles may not be as long as you thought and may need replacing quicker than they should.
One thing to bear in mind with granite tiles is that it is very heavy, and if you are having it installed on your stair case, or kitchen counters, it is important to ensure that they can withstand the extra weight. As it comes, granite does not require much specialist maintenance and attention. We previously mentioned sealing your tiles to prevent stains from becoming absorbed, and also to make them water resistant. This should be re-applied annually in order to keep the tiles glossy and attractive, but also to prevent any damage from forming on the granite. In between getting it sealed, it is important to clean them regularly, which we will come on to further on. It is also essential to inspect the grout regularly as well, as any cracks or damages may make the tiles less stable and more prone to breaking themselves. If any imperfections are found, it is essential that these are rectified immediately to prevent any further damage that may be caused.
Now we will come onto the cleaning of the tiles, and how this can make a big difference to the longevity and appearance of your tiles. If you have the time, it is important to dry mop your granite tiles daily. This will keep the tiles free from any dust and small particles of stone accumulating on the tile, and eventually lead to damage being caused. Any spillages should be mopped up immediately, and not left sitting on the surface of the tile. Although the tiles are sealed, and granite itself is incredibly non-absorbent, as with any material, if any spills are left on the surface for any length of time, they will leave a stain, so it is important that these are cleaned up right away.
Aside from your daily dry mopping, you will, at times be required to clean the surface as well. This can be done with a mop or sponge and some hot water (avoid using any abrasive sponges as they can leave very feint but permanent scratches which will affect the appearance), and cleaner can be added should you wish. However, be very careful with this, as some cleaners cannot be used on granite, and so it is incredibly important that you check the label, and a discreet area of the tile, before using it on the whole area. To keep the attractive shine that granite has, it is also important to polish your granite in between having it sealed. This can be done with shop bought granite polishers, or with a chamois.
Finally, it is advisable to avoid any cleaners that have an acidic base, as this will dull your granite tiles over time. Also, if you have chosen to use your granite tiles as a counter top in your kitchen, it is important that these are not sat or stood on. Although granite is well known for its toughness and durability, it is not so favoured for its flexibility, and any bending of the tiles is likely to cause cracks in the surface that will be difficult to fix, unless the whole tile is replaced.