Bathroom Tile Cleaning

The 7 Bathroom Tiles that are Easiest to Clean

In Home Maintenance by Giovanni ValleLeave a Comment

It’s finally time to put in that new bathroom tile that you have been planning on for years. You’ve gotten everything you can out of your current tile and have saved up the money to do the job right. But what tile should you get so you don’t run into the same cleaning issues you had with the pebble tile you inherited from the previous house owner? I’m sure they thought it was unique, but try getting dirt off all those odd-shaped uneven surfaces!

What is the easiest bathroom tile to clean? It’s hard to name just one since some of them have similar traits that make them easy to clean. You are going to want a tile that has a smooth texture, doesn’t use a lot of grout, is not very porous, and has a polished finish. vinyl, porcelain, and laminate are probably the most popular and cost-effective tiles that are easy to clean. If you have more money to spend, there are numerous more options.

There are seemingly endless choices when it comes to tiles for your bathroom. If you want to pick out the one that is going to make cleaning as easy as possible while maintaining your strong sense of style, you are going to have to do a little research. Here is a guide to the best tile materials if cleanliness is the most important factor for you.

Universal Tile Cleanliness Factors

While the material that a tile is made out of is the most important factor in how easy it will be to clean, there are some things you should be looking for when shopping around that will make any tile easier to clean. Here are some traits that are important to an easy to clean bathroom tile…

  • Absorption rate: The more porous a tile material is, the harder it will be to clean. If the material absorbs water, there is a higher chance of mold building up and stains setting in. While this trait is mostly based on the material, tiles with finishes, like a glaze or a sealant, will help lower the absorption rate and make the tile easier to clean.
  • Size: Not all tile materials come in any size, but for ease of cleaning, you want to get the largest tile possible. Grout and unevenness make a tile harder to clean. Dirt and mold tend to build up in the gaps between tiles, and grout is way more porous than any tile you will pick out. The bigger each tile is, the fewer gaps there will be, and the less grout you will use.
  • Texture: The smoother a tile is, the easier it is to clean. Dirt tends to get grabbed by rougher tiles. The more friction a tile creates, the harder it is to sweep and mop. To have the easiest bathroom tile to clean, you should be looking for a tile that is as smooth and even as possible. 

The 7 Easiest Bathroom Tiles To Clean

Here are 7 of the easiest bathroom tiles to clean. Remember, though, uneven surfaces and lots of grout make any tiled floor hard to clean, so with any of these suggestions you are looking for the largest sized flat tile.

1. Porcelain

Porcelain is the most popular bathroom floor tile material. Its popularity is due in part to how easy it is to clean. Porcelain technically falls under the ceramic family of materials, but it is harder, more durable, and more scratch-resistant.

More important if you are looking for an easy to clean tile, porcelain absorbs less water and is more stain-resistant, especially the polished tiles. Porcelain tiles come in a variety of colors and sizes that allow you to pick a tile that both looks good and is easy to clean.

There are three basic styles of porcelain tile. Each one has a different level of cleaning that needs to be done. Here are the three listed from easiest to hardest to keep clean and how to clean them.

Polished Or Glazed Porcelain

Polished or glazed porcelain has a finish on it that makes the tile less porous and easier to clean. Cleaning them is extremely simple; just follow these easy steps.

  1. Get rid of loose dirt: sweep, vacuum, or wipe up any loose dirt. If you are going to sweep, use an untreated, dry mop.
  2. Wash: use a mild cleaning solution and mop the floor.
  3. Rinse: use clean water to thoroughly rinse the porcelain tile clean.
  4. Wipe dry: drying the floor before the rinse water completely dries will increase the shine and prevent water spots.

Unpolished Porcelain Tile

Unpolished porcelain requires a bit more attention since it is slightly less porous than the finished tiles. Here are the steps…

  1. Get rid of loose dirt: Sweep or vacuum the dirt off the floor.
  2. Wash: Cover small areas of the floor at a time with cleaning solutions and hot water. Allow it to stand on the floor 5-10 minutes, but make sure it does not dry.
  3. Scrub: Use a scrub brush to scrub the wet area clean. If the stain is particularly difficult, you may have to use a floor machine equipped with an abrasive pad or stiff nylon-bristle brush.
  4. Wipe down: Wipe away the cleaning solution. Use clean, clear water with a mop to rinse the surface of the tile.
  5. Air dry: Now, you can allow the tile to air dry.

If the tile remains stained, you may have to use a more aggressive cleaning method.

Textured Porcelain

The textured tiles require additional cleaning because the standard wet-mopping will not effectively clean this tile. It also requires you to clean more frequently. Follow these steps to clean textured porcelain tiles…

  1. Get rid of loose dirt: sweep or vacuum debris from the floor. If you are sweeping, make sure to use a soft-bristle broom and sweep in two directions. First, follow the direction of the tile. Then, sweep diagonally. This should ensure that all foreign material hiding in the texture of the tile gets removed.
  2. Wash: mix a neutral cleaning solution with hot water and cover the surface of the floor. Allow the solution to remain on the floor for 5-10 minutes. Scrub the floor with a brush using the same two-direction method used before.
  3. Rinse clean: remove the cleaning solution by rinsing with clean, clear water.
  4. Occasional scrub: many sources recommend that you scrub a textured porcelain floor once a day and wet mop at regular intervals.

2. Ceramic

Ceramic tile is another extremely popular floor tile. It has many of the same traits as porcelain, it is not very porous, it comes in many sizes, shapes, and colors, and it cleans easy, but ceramic is cheaper. Ceramic is slightly more porous than porcelain, but the price makes up for that small difference.

General Cleaning Of Ceramic

Ceramic has the same basic types of tiles as porcelain, and you would clean them in the same manner. There are some things you should remember when cleaning ceramic, though…

  • Don’t forget to remove loose dirt: the loose dirt can scratch and damage your tiles if you jump right to mopping.
  • Don’t use a sponge mop: a sponge mop will push dirty water into the grout and soil it. Use a rag or chamois mop instead.
  • Change cleaning solution bucket frequently: dirty water will leave a cloudy film on a tile floor. If you change the water frequently, you can avoid this. If you do end up with a film on your tile, you can remove it with an all-purpose cleaner, just as long as it is non-abrasive. 
  • Make your own cleaner: if you don’t have any cleaner on hand, you can make one by mixing lemon juice with vinegar or hot water that will work well with ceramic tile.
  • Always buff dry: it will make your ceramic tile shine. You don’t have to go out of your way either, just use a bathroom towel and push it around the floor with your foot.

Removing Stains From Ceramic

There are further steps you can take if your ceramic tile gets stained, depending on what has caused the stain.

  • Coffee, tea, or juice: Wash the tile surface with hot water and detergent, then blot with hydrogen peroxide.
  • Grease: Wash the tile surface with club soda and water. You can also try a commercial floor cleaner.
  • Ink: Soak a cloth in diluted bleach and lay it on top of the stain. You can leave the cloth in place until the stain is gone and then rinse thoroughly.

Random Ceramic Cleaning Tips

Remember, the best way to keep tile floors clean is by keeping the grout clean. Dirty grout equals dingy-looking floors. Cleaning your ceramic tile floor properly on a regular basis should keep the grout clean as well. 

To help keep the grout clean, you should also spray it with grout cleaner or a mild bleach solution. Use a toothbrush or small scrub brush to get out stains and minor mold build-up.

3. Glass

These tiles have been gaining in popularity in recent years because they are incredibly easy to clean and can be customized in endless ways. Glass tiles, like porcelain, are resistant to stains, bacteria, mildew, and mold due to the fact that they are not porous.

Even though glass tiles seem perfect, they do tend to show dirt easily and will show fingerprints and footprints. They are also susceptible to soap scum and mineral deposits, so you will have to do some cleaning, The cleaning tends to be needed more frequently due to the nature of fingerprints and such, but glass tiles wipe clean easily. 

General Cleaning

To clean glass tiles, you should…

  1. Make a cleaning solution: the solution should be equal parts vinegar and water and put it in a spray bottle.
  2. Spray tiles: once you have covered the surface of the tiles, let it sit for 5-10 minutes.
  3. Wash tiles: use a soft-bristled brush and clean thoroughly.
  4. Rinse: use cold water, dry with a cloth, and watch the glass sparkle

Removing Mineral Deposits

If you have hard water in your house, you are going to get mineral residue built up on your tiles. Normal methods may not get them off. Here are a couple of techniques that may get the job done…

  1. Spray vinegar on the tiles.
  2. Sprinkle baking soda on the vinegar tiles. A reaction between the two should cause foaming.
  3. Rise the tiles with cold water and wipe down with a cloth.

Or you could…

  1. Add a few drops of normal detergent to a bucket of warm water.
  2. Wet a cloth with the solution and scrub tiles.
  3. Rinse with cold water.

Random Glass Cleaning Tips

To really keep the tiles consistently clean, grab a glass cleaner at your local store and wipe the tile down every couple of days. Just make sure you don’t use any abrasive cleaners because they could scratch or etch the glass.

4. Slate

If you are looking to spend a little more money on your bathroom tile, slate is a wonderful choice. It is one of the toughest natural stone tiles on the market. It is resistant to cracks, scratches, breaks, and chips. It does, however, have to be sealed on a regular basis, so it does not absorb excess moisture and to prevent stains from setting in.

Sealing Slate

If your slate floor was not sealed when it was installed, you should apply sealant yourself. A slate sealant should be carried at any stone/slate retailer. 

You should use a cotton string mop to apply the sealant. Apply two to three coats according to the directions on the sealant. Make sure to wait at least 30 minutes between coats. 

Cleaning Slate

When cleaning a slate floor, do not use any type of cleaner with an acid-base, even natural cleaners like vinegar. They will damage your floor to the point that you may need to replace it. You can use a specially designed slate cleaner that is sold at any stone/slate retailer or a mild detergent. 

In order to keep slate looking clean and fresh, you should…

  1. Get rid of loose dirt: sweep the slate with a soft-bristled broom to make sure all loose dirt is removed from the floor.
  2. Dry mop: go over the floor with a dry mop to remove any fine debris that might linger. Mop in one direction. Do not use a back and forth method.
  3. Wet mop: fill a bucket with 1 gallon of warm water and ¼ capful of detergent. Dip a mop in the bucket and wring out as much as possible, then mop all surfaces of the floor with slow, smooth strokes. Rinse and wring mop frequently if you have a large floor.
  4. Air dry: you do not have to rinse. If there are suds or residue on the floor, mop again with warm water. Let the floor air dry completely.

Random Slate Cleaning Tips

  • Make sure that you use a quality mop that is not oil-based. You may have to dry mop every day
  • It is a good idea to use bathroom mats or area rugs with a slate floor. Slate can be extremely slippery when wet, so getting out of the shower can be hazardous if there is no surface to exit onto. Just avoid rubber-backed mats, though, because they stick to or damage the slate.
  • It is okay to vacuum slate floors. If you are going to use a vacuum on your slate bathroom floor, make sure to only use a soft brush attachment and do not bang or jerk the vacuum on the floor. 

5. Vinyl

Vinyl used to be the go-to tile for your bathroom but has fallen in popularity of late. Still, it is a cheap option that is easy to clean. It has a similar look to ceramic but is less likely to break or chip.

General Cleaning Of Vinyl

As with any tile, to keep vinyl tile stain-free, wipe up any spills immediately with plain water. 

To mop the floor clean, just follow these steps…

  1. Remove loose dirt: vacuum or dry mop the floor to get rid of dust, hair, and dirt.
  2. Mix cleaning solution: there are commercial vinyl floor cleaners that you can purchase but mixing apple cider vinegar with water is excellent on vinyl. The acidity of the vinegar removes dirt without leaving a soapy film. The solution should be one cup of vinegar to one gallon of hot water. If you want a little extra cleaning power, add a few drops of dishwashing soap to the mix.
  3. Wet mop: use a damp mop to apply the cleaning solution to the floor. Make sure to rinse the mop frequently with hot water from another bucket.
  4. Air dry: let floor air dry completely.

Removing Stains From Vinyl

Like any bathroom tile, it is important to clean your vinyl tile on a regular basis and wipe up spills immediately. Otherwise, you risk stains setting in. If your tile does get stained, there are a number of ways you can try to remove it. Here are some suggestions for getting stains out of your vinyl bathroom tile…

  • Acidic stains: if your stain is from acidic substances, like juice or wine, try using baking soda and water. Mix enough water with the baking soda to turn it into a paste and rub the mixture on the floor with a soft towel until the stain comes out. Then, clean the baking soda off the floor with a vinegar/water solution.
  • Lipstick, crayons, or paint: with stains left behind from these substances, apply rubbing alcohol to the stain and scrub with a soft-bristle brush. Don’t use anything too stiff, like steel wool, because you might scratch the floor.
  • Nail polish: nail polish should be removed with nail polish remover.

Random Vinyl Tile Tips

  • If your vinyl tile gets scuffed, spray WD-40 on a towel and run the scuffed area until the marks go away. Clean the WD-40 off with the vinegar and water solution.
  • To add shine to your floor, put a few drops of baby oil into the vinegar and water cleaning solution when you mop your tile.

6. Linoleum

Another classic bathroom tile choice that has waned in popularity in recent years. Linoleum is a cheap and easy to clean bathroom tile choice. Linoleum can actually repel dust and dirt, making clean up a cinch. 

It is also naturally antibacterial, so there will be no mold or mildew build-up. Not to mention, it is environment friendly, non-allergenic, and softer to walk and stand on than harder tiles, like ceramic or glass. 

General Cleaning Of Linoleum

Linoleum is susceptible to damage from excess moisture and alkalinity, so only use small amounts of lukewarm water when cleaning and never use ammonia-based cleaners.

To get your linoleum tile clean…

  1. Remove loose dirt: sweep with a broom or vacuum up any loose dirt.
  2. Mix cleaning solution: fill a bucket up with lukewarm water and a pH -neutral cleaning product designed to clean linoleum. Mix using manufactures directions.
  3. Wet mop: do not soak the floor. Instead, use a slightly damp mop and work at four-foot sections at a time. 
  4. Rinse: fill a new bucket with clean cool water. Completely rinse the floor with a slightly damp mop. If you leave any detergent on the floor it will leave a sticky residue that will attract more dirt.
  5. Dry: Use towels and completely hand dry the floor.

Stains and Scuffs On Linoleum

Pigments in linoleum go all the way through, so stains and scuffs can be more of a problem than with other bathroom tiles. Here is how to deal with them…

  • Stains: Try to buff stains out with a nylon brush. Wash and polish the area afterward. If this doesn’t work, you may need to repair the floor.
  • Scuffs: Use a paste of baking soda and water to rub away the scuffs. Then rinse and dry thoroughly. If that doesn’t work, try WD-40 or baby oil. 

Polishing Linoleum

You may need to polish your Linoleum tile to keep it looking clean and shiny. Here’s how…

  1. Clean floor: Vacuum or sweep and wash the floor like you would for general cleaning…
  2. Polish: Once the floor is completely dried, add one coat of linoleum floor polish according to the manufacturer’s directions. 
  3. Second coat: Add a second coat if needed but make sure that the first coat is completely dry.

When putting on polish, make sure not to move the applicator over any area more than once or twice. Excessive spreading of the polish can cause streaking, which will require stripping before repolishing.

Random Linoleum Tile Tips

  • Use rugs and mats because dirt and grit will scratch and dull the tile, making it harder to keep clean.
  • Use felt pads on the legs of any furniture you may put in the room, so it doesn’t scratch the tile.

7. Cork

This isn’t a common selection, but it is an amazing choice for those looking for a safe and easy to clean bathroom tile. Cork is naturally hypo-allergenic, anti-microbial, and anti-fungal. This means no mold or mildew to worry about removing. It just needs a sweep and mop to keep clean as can be.

The only issue with cork is that it scratches and can be damaged pretty easily. If you go with cork, it is going to be important to seal the tile, so it repeals water. It is much more porous than other bathroom tiles.

General Cleaning

Here’s how to clean your cork tile bathroom floor…

  1. Remove loose dirt: sweep or vacuum the loose dirt off the floor. If you vacuum, use a brush attachment, not a bar one.
  2. Mix cleaning solution: mix a mild solution of one gallon of warm water with five drops of liquid dish detergent. Anything stronger can cause streaks. Do not use ammonia-based products or abrasive cleaners because they will damage the floor.
  3. Wet mop: use a soft mop to spread the mixture. Make sure to wring out the mop completely after each dip into the mixture because too much water can damage the floor by making the tiles swell. This could lead to gaps between tiles and mold.
  4. Air dry: wipe any excess moisture off the floor with a soft cloth, then left the floor air dry.

Sealing Cork

Because of the nature of the surface, you will have to reseal your cork tile floor. If you use something like polyurethane, you will protect the floor from scratching and dirt. It will need to be reapplied every five to seven years. Follow the manufacturer’s directions when sealing your floor.

You can also use liquid floor wax to protect the floor. You would reapply the wax once or twice a year. Do not use paste wax and always remove older coats of wax before resealing. This is easily done with mineral spirits or an electric floor buffer with 00-grade wood discs.

Random Cork Tile Tips

  • Do not use a steam cleaner. It can put too much water on the floor and ruin the finish.
  • Clean up, spills immediately. Cork is very porous, and the liquid will soak up quickly and cause a stain.
  • For stains, scrub with a fine grain steel wool pad.
  • If you use mats, use ones without rubber bottoms. Rubber bottoms will trap moisture. Rattan or mats with no backing will work much better.
  • Remember, the key to cleaning cork is not using a lot of water.

Any of these tiles will make an excellent bathroom floor. They come in various sizes and designs to make your bathroom look fresh and modern. But most important of all, they will save you time with how easy they are to clean!

a year. Do not use paste wax and always remove older coats of wax before resealing. This is easily done with mineral spirits or an electric floor buffer with 00-grade wood discs.

Random Cork Tile Tips

  • Do not use a steam cleaner. It can put too much water on the floor and ruin the finish.
  • Clean up, spills immediately. Cork is very porous, and the liquid will soak up quickly and cause a stain.
  • For stains, scrub with a fine grain steel wool pad.
  • If you use mats, use ones without rubber bottoms. Rubber bottoms will trap moisture. Rattan or mats with no backing will work much better.
  • Remember, the key to cleaning cork is not using a lot of water.

The Final Verdict

Any of these tiles will make an excellent bathroom floor. They come in various sizes and designs to make your bathroom look fresh and modern. But most important of all, they will save you time with how easy they are to clean!

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