Anyone who is thinking of laying tiles as flooring in their home will be wondering how long these floors generally last, and what they should do to make sure they last well. Tiles can look attractive and they have many benefits, such as being easy to clean, but it’s important to understand how long they are going to last.
This is especially true if you are putting them in a room with lots of foot traffic. Since tiles take a long time to lay, you don’t want to have to replace them in just a few short years to keep your home looking good. With that in mind, let’s look at how well tile floors hold up to being used.
How long do tile floors last? If it has been properly installed and it is well looked after, a tile floor can last for decades. It can still be looking great after 10, 20, 30, 40, and sometimes even 50 years. Tile floors are enormously hard wearing and are an excellent flooring choice if you want a floor that will last almost indefinitely. Tile floors can even last for longer than 50 years.
Do Tile Floors Last Well?
Tile floors last extremely well. Because tiles are so tough, if they have been laid properly and you take care of them, it should take a very, very long time for them to wear out. The longevity will depend on the kind of tile that you choose and how high quality it is, but most tiles should last for a long time.
This is one of the biggest advantages that tile floors offer. They are one of the most durable kinds of flooring, provided that they are looked after well. However, you do need to maintain your tile floors if you want them to last for this long, and understanding what things may damage them is important too.
If you don’t maintain your tile floor, you will find that it doesn’t last nearly as long, and might have quite a short lifespan. A tile floor can be ruined in a matter of weeks if you put strong chemicals on it or leave water standing on its surface, so it’s important to know what to do.
How Do You Maintain Tile Floors?
Although tile floors do wear very well, knowing how to maintain the floor is critical to ensuring that it lasts as long as possible. One of the first steps involves maintaining the grout, because this will help to ensure that the grout remains sealed and water-resistant. The second involves resealing the tiles if necessary.
Resealing the grout should be done on a fairly regular basis, particularly if the floor gets a lot of foot traffic. If you don’t maintain the grout, you will find that it starts to crumble and stain, and possibly even that mold appears around the edges. If this happens, there’s a high risk that your tiles will start moving and rocking in place.
A tile that is able to move comes under a lot more stress, and this means that it is much more likely to crack. This could lead to breakages.
Furthermore, if the grout isn’t maintained, it will lose its water-resistant properties. This will let moisture penetrate through the floor, which can further degrade the grout and loosen the tiles. You therefore need to reseal the grout every few years, depending on how much wear and tear it gets.
You may also need to reseal your tiles at times, depending on what kind of tiles you have chosen. Some tiles are glazed and these should not need sealing, but if you buy unglazed tiles, they will have to be sealed. This seal will need to be redone every 2 or 3 years.
How Do You Clean a Tile Floor?
Knowing how to clean the floor well is key to keeping it looking great for years. Using the wrong cleaning solutions or an improper cleaning method could cause your floor to degrade more quickly. Sweeping and mopping with a damp cloth is usually sufficient to clean the floor.
You don’t need to use harsh chemicals on a tile floor, especially if it is porous tile. If you need to disinfect the floor, dilute some white vinegar in a gallon of water and mop the floor using this. Keep the floor dry by wiping up spills as soon as possible, and do not mop with excessive amounts of water.
How Important is the Tile Grade?
When shopping for tiles, you’ll see that they are graded according to their quality. If you want your floor to last well, you should buy one of the higher graded tiles, although these will inevitably be more expensive. The expense is usually worth it because of the floor’s longevity.
If you buy a low grade tile, you should be aware that it is unlikely to last as long. It can still do several decades, provided you care for it well, but it isn’t going to be as hard wearing and tough as a high grade tile.
Do You Need Replacement Tiles?
When buying your tiles, you might be wondering whether it’s a good idea to buy a few extras. The answer is certainly yes. One of the drawbacks of tile floors is that they get chipped if you drop something heavy on them – and having extra tiles will allow you to replace damaged ones with ease.
Chipped or cracked tiles can cause moisture problems, so they need to be removed and replaced. Since the available colors and styles are likely to have changed by the time this happens, having a few matching tiles in reserve is a key way to ensure you can keep repairing your tile floor and maintaining it as time passes.
Tile floors should last well, provided you reseal them every few years if they are unglazed and you avoid using harsh chemicals on their surface. They are one of the most hard wearing floor options, which is one of the reasons they are so popular in areas with a lot of foot traffic.