Floor, counter, and wall tile can easily be maintained and repaired with these instructions.
Remove old grout and clean surfaces before applying new grout.
Tile is molded clay that has been prepared for use as flooring or as countertop or wall covering; or it is natural stone that has been cut for the same purpose.
Ceramic and natural stone tiles are widely available. Several types of ceramic tile are in popular use. Glazed ceramic tile is baked, coated with glaze, and baked again, creating an extremely hard surface layer. Quarry tile is baked but left unglazed, leaving it porous. It is softer and thicker than glazed tile. Porcelain mosaic tile, made in units of less than 6 square inches, is made of porcelain or natural clay composition, either plain or with an abrasive mixture throughout. Natural-stone tile is simply cut from stone. Granite and marble tiles are usually polished and sealed after cutting, while slate tiles are cut along natural faults, leaving a textured appearance.
Tile flooring, walls, or countertops are installed over a solid base, creating extremely hard and durable surfaces that will serve for many years with little maintenance other than cleaning. Tile is installed with an adhesive, and space between the tiles is filled with grout, a sandy paste that hardens soon after application.
To clean grout:
Spray on a commercial grout cleaner or heavy-duty all-purpose bleach-based cleaning solution (use 1/4 cup of chlorine bleach in 1 quart of warm water to eliminate mold and mildew). Let soak for several minutes.
Scrub with a stiff brush and rinse thoroughly.
Dry with a clean white towel or paper towels.
Apply grout sealer to keep the grout clean for up to a year.
To regrout tile:
Scrub the tile and grout thoroughly with a strong household cleaner. If there is any mildew, scrub the tile joints with a toothbrush dipped in bleach and rinse thoroughly.
Remove any damaged grout with a putty knife, grout knife, or other sharp tool. Vacuum up any mess.
Scrub the area again, but leave it damp.
Mix sufficient tile grout according to the package instructions. Apply grout with a damp sponge, wiping firmly in areas that need grout. Smooth the new grout with a clean damp sponge. If needed, apply more grout and smooth again, until the tile joints are completely filled.
Let the grout dry for at least twelve hours. Scrub the tile firmly with a clean cloth to remove any grout on the tile.
Seal the grout with an appropriate grout sealer, following the manufacturer's instructions.