When you go to the trouble of installing tile flooring, you expect it to last for some time, and you don’t want human or animal carelessness to ruin it. Tile adds a great look to any home, and it can be pricey to put in, especially if you have to pay someone to tackle this job for you. When showing a home for sale, dirty or defaced tiles decrease the appeal of any room.
That’s why you may want to institute a few ground rules at home so everyone will know what is expected with regards to the floor.
1. Remove or wipe shoes at the entrance to your home. Some people keep socks, slippers, or house shoes near the door so family members can remove outdoor shoes or boots and help protect the flooring. At the very least, they should expect to thoroughly wipe or scrape their footwear before proceeding into the house. Lay out a front door mat on the porch or stoop as the first line of defense. Then place another indoor mat on the floor just inside the entrance. After two wipes, the shoes should carry considerably less dirt into the house.
2. Keep pets elsewhere. If your dog or cat enjoys free run of the house, try to keep them off the tile as much as possible. Their nails can scratch the tile surface, depending on how hard it is, and if the pets go outside at all, they can track in mud, dirt, excrement, or dust that is hard to catch with a doormat. Many pets like to hang around the kitchen, which is where many people use floor tile, due to the warmth and food odors that entice them. Find ways to entertain your pets in other areas when they first enter the house to help minimize the amount of traffic on the tile flooring.
3. Keep potential stain-causing substances in check. Don’t let the kids paint, glue, or carve hobbies in rooms that have tile flooring. These substances can drip or spill onto the floor, sometimes leaving permanent stains. Set up an area where they can safely work under your watchful eye in another area that doesn’t have tile flooring. Or at least cover the floor with newspapers in the area where the kids will be working.
4. Be careful when cooking. Many people put down kitchen throw rugs to catch drips and spills from cooking or cleaning. If you do use throw rugs, put down those with a non-skid backing. If you don’t use rugs, use care when mixing, processing, or cooking foods to reduce the likelihood of an accident.
5. Insist that smokers use ashtrays. If someone in your home smokes tobacco products, or you have visitors that do, be sure to set out ashtrays or ask them to smoke in designated areas (like the front porch). This may help to minimize the risk of someone spilling cigarette ash on the floor, which could cause burn marks.
In general, ask family members to use caution when walking on the tile floors. While you don’t want to be hypersensitive, a little thoughtfulness on everyone’s part will go a long way to keep your tiled floor tidy and in good condition.