Hey there, if you are thinking about remodeling your shower or building a new home, I can help. Tiles have come such a long way.
They are the best option as you can use them in whatever design style you like. The million dollar question here is which are
the best choices for Easy to Clean shower tiles.
In this article, I will discuss all the popular types of tiles and when do they become the best choice.
As you know just selecting the right tile is not enough, you need to know how to clean and maintain the shower.
By knowing all the information, it will be an easy task to keep your shower sparkling clean.
So Let’s get started….
Important: On this website, I feature a select number of partners and companies that have products that could help my audience. As an Amazon associate, When you purchase something through my partner links, I might get paid for the referral at no extra cost to you. Read the full disclosure here.
This post is about the best choices for Easy to Clean shower tiles.
Why Easy-to-Clean Shower Tiles Matter
Firstly, the bathroom, particularly the shower area, is a hotspot for mold, mildew, and bacteria.
The constant moisture and warmth create the perfect breeding ground for these unwanted guests.
When you have tiles that easily trap dirt or are tough to clean, you’re essentially rolling out the red carpet for these microorganisms.
But here’s the good news: easy-to-clean tiles are designed to resist this.
Their smooth surfaces and non-porous materials mean that water and soap scum slide right off, leaving no room for mold or mildew to take hold.
It’s not just about the hygiene factor, though that’s obviously crucial.
It’s also about the time you save.
No one wants to spend their weekends scrubbing away at tiles, right?
When you opt for tiles that are easy to maintain, you’re freeing up time for yourself – time that can be better spent elsewhere.
Factors to Consider When Choosing Shower Tiles
Let’s talk about things you should keep in mind when choosing tiles.
When I was at the design gallery, I would always say this, you need to strike a balance between functionality and design.
There are so many options available that its not hard to find something that you love aesthetically and is easy to clean.
Size & Shape:
Tile size and shape can make a significant impact of cleaning.
Larger tiles mean fewer grout lines, and that means potentially less area for mold and mildew to develop.
However, if your shower has many curves or intricate designs, smaller tiles might be a better fit as they can fit perfectly to these shapes more comfortably.
Always think about how the size and shape will play out in terms of cleaning.
For example, smaller mosaic tiles can be beautiful, but they come with more grout lines.
Glossy vs. matte – this is a classic debate.
Glossy tiles can often be easier to clean, as water and soap tend to slide off their smooth surface.
However, they can be slippery when wet, which is a consideration for floor tiles.
Matte tiles, on the other hand, provide better traction but might need a tad more elbow grease during cleaning since they can sometimes hold onto grime a bit more.
Pro tip: Use large polished wall tiles on shower walls and use not so tiny mosaics on shower floor.
Squares or rounds or any other shape around 2 to 4 inches are a good option. they give you enough grout lined so its not slippery and it is not a lot of grout to clean.
Grout : Grout can be both an aesthetic and practical decision.
Color choices are important, while lighter grouts give a clean, seamless look, they can show stains more easily than darker tones.
On the practical side, always make sure your grout is sealed properly.
Sealing acts as a barrier, preventing moisture from seeping in, reducing the chances of mold and mildew.
So, while you’re picking a grout color that complements your tiles, don’t forget about its maintenance and the importance of sealing.
Best Shower Tile Choices for Easy Cleaning
Ceramic and Porcelain Tiles
Photo: Large Format Porcelain tiles on shower wall, wood look porcelain tile on shower floor.
Ceramic tiles are made of clay that has been fired in a kiln.
Porcelain tiles are also made of clay but fired at higher temperatures, making them denser and more resistant to moisture.
Both types are durable, resistant to wear, and come in a wide variety of designs and finishes.
They are low maintenance.
Porcelain tiles are especially good for areas with high moisture, like bathrooms. They are very popular for shower walls.
Things to keep in mind :
For cleaning, use a mixture of plain water and a few drops of mild dish detergent.
Avoid using abrasive cleansers or harsh chemicals, as they can scratch the surface.
For tougher stains, you can use a white vinegar and water solution.
Glass tiles are known for their ability to reflect light, making spaces look brighter and more spacious.
They can make a room appear larger, are resistant to stains, mold, and mildew, and offer a unique aesthetic appeal.
Things to keep in mind :
To clean shower tile, use a mixture of water and mild dish soap. Do not use abrasive cleaners as they can scratch the surface.
For extra shine, you can wipe the tiles with a mixture of equal parts water and white vinegar.
Marble tiles on shower walls and floor.
Stone tiles are a popular option as bathroom shower tile. Having said that they do come with some extra maintenance requirement.
- Granite: A hard and dense stone, known for its speckled appearance and durability.
- Slate: A metamorphic rock with a layered appearance, comes in various colors and is slip-resistant.
- Marble: Known for its luxurious look, it’s softer than granite but offers a wide range of patterns and colors.
Things to keep in mind :
For marble tiles especially, you would need to wipe spills immediately.
All natural stone tiles need regular sealing.
For cleaning, only use stone-specific cleaning agent or a pH-neutral cleaner to avoid damaging the stone.
Vinyl tiles are also a great option. This tile material is very budget friendly, available in a variety of designs and easy to install.
Things to keep in mind :
The best way to clean vinyl tile is with mild soapy water. Make sure you rinse them thorughly to remove all the soap.
If it’s not completely clean, it will become sticky and cloudy.
Like all other tile options, do not use any harsh cleaning product.
It’s important you use the right cleaning products for natural stone tiles.
Grout Matters: Picking the Right Grout for Easier Cleaning
Grout plays an important role in tiling jobs.
While tiles are the star of the show, tile grout works backstage making sure everything stays in place and looks cohesive.
When it comes to maintenance and cleaning, however, the type, seal, and even color of the grout can make a world of difference.
Here’s a guide to understanding these factors.
Epoxy Grout vs. Cement-Based Grout:
- Epoxy Grout:
- Composition: Made of epoxy resins mixed with fillers.
- Benefits: Highly resistant to stains and water, making it particularly suitable for areas like bathrooms and kitchens.
- Cleaning: Easier to clean due to its non-porous nature. Less prone to staining and mold growth.
- Drawbacks: Can be more expensive and might be harder to apply than traditional grout.
- Cement-Based Grout:
- Composition: Made of cement, water, and sometimes sand.
- Benefits: Easier to work with and generally less expensive than epoxy.
- Cleaning: More porous, so it’s more susceptible to staining and mold/mildew growth. Regular sealing can help mitigate this.
Sealed vs. Non-Sealed Grout:
- Sealed Grout:
- Protection: A sealant is applied to the grout to create a protective layer.
- Benefits: Resists moisture, staining, and reduces the chances of mold and mildew growth.
- Maintenance: While sealing provides added protection, it may need to be re-applied periodically.
- Non-Sealed Grout:
- Protection: No additional protective layer.
- Drawbacks: Can absorb moisture, leading to potential staining and bacterial growth. Particularly vulnerable in damp areas.
The Role of Grout Color in Maintenance:
- Light-Colored Grout:
- Aesthetics: Offers a clean and airy look.
- Maintenance: Stains and dirt are more visible, requiring more frequent cleaning. However, when clean, it’s easier to notice if the grout is getting discolored or developing mold.
- Dark-Colored Grout:
- Aesthetics: Provides a bold contrast, especially with lighter tiles.
- Maintenance: Hides stains and dirt better than lighter grouts. But, it might be harder to detect mold or mildew growth until it’s a significant issue.
Grout does more than fill gaps between tiles; it influences a tile’s lifespan, look, and upkeep.
Choosing the right type, seal, and color can ease cleaning and boost durability. Whatever your preference, there’s a grout for you.
Effective Tools and Techniques for Tile and Grout Cleaning
Here are a few things that will help you with easy cleaning of tile floors:
The grout lines are very slim, it is a good idea to use when cleaning. If you have more stubborn stain, you can get the grout brush is a better stiff brush which has much harder bristles.
Spray bottles are a very good way to help you clean easily. keep in mind you will also save and not waste too much using the spray bottle.
Steam cleaner clean and sanitize using high-temperature steam, which is particularly effective against mold and bacteria
Cleaning Guide for Shower Tiles- from the complete comprehensive list
Step-by-Step Guide to Cleaning Bathroom Tiles and Grout
Routine and Deep Cleaning Techniques
Importance of Regular Maintenance:
You know, cleaning your tiles and grout on a daily basis not only prevents the nasty buildup of dirt and grime but also keeps your space looking fabulous.
Basic Cleaning Steps:
Kick-off: Start by removing any loose stuff with a soft cloth or sponge.
Regular Cleanup: Grab a spray bottle, mix water and white vinegar equally. Spray it on bathroom floor tiles, wait a bit (like 5-10 minutes), give a gentle scrub, and then rinse. Easy, right
Going Deep for Grout: Here’s a trick—make a baking soda paste using baking soda and water. Apply it on the dirty grout, then spray some white vinegar.
After it does its fizzy thing, scrub, rinse and clean grout. A little elbow grease works wonders!
Those Stubborn Stains on bathroom floors:
If you run into tougher stains, there are some specialized cleaners out there.
Just remember to test the bathroom cleaner on a small spot first.
Natural Solutions for Cleaning Tile
It’s not just for lemonade! Lemon acts as a natural bleaching agent. Just put it directly on the stain, wait for 10 minutes, scrub, and rinse off.
This is fantastic for mold and deeper stains. Spray it directly or mix with baking soda for a potent grout cleaner. It’s the easiest way.
Tea Tree Oil:
Aside from smelling great, it’s also antifungal and antibacterial. Mix a few drops with water in a spray bottle, spritz it on, and wipe away.
Sealing Your Tiles and Grout:
I can’t stress this enough: seal your tiles and grout! It’ll save you so much cleaning in the long run, especially in moisture-heavy spots.
Ventilation is Key:
Make sure places like bathrooms have good airflow. It’s a game-changer in preventing mold on tiles and grout.
Cleaning Routine Suggestions:
Daily: Quickly wiping down tiles in areas you use a lot, like the kitchen or bathroom, goes a long way. It stops mineral buildup
Weekly: A good sweep and mop, plus a light spray of a cleaning solution, and you’re golden.
I hope these tips help you out. Remember, a little effort consistently can save you a ton of work down the line. Happy cleaning!
Avoiding Common Mistakes
Hey there! Keeping your tiles and grout in top shape is crucial, but sometimes, the very methods we use can do more harm than good.
Here are some common pitfalls and how to steer clear of them:
Overusing Harsh Chemicals:
- Why It’s a Mistake: Over time, these chemicals can erode the grout and potentially damage the finish of your tiles. Plus, they might pose health risks or irritate the skin and eyes.
- What to Do Instead: Consider natural alternatives like white vinegar, baking soda, or lemon juice. If you must use strong chemicals, make sure to wear gloves, dilute according to instructions, and limit their use to only stubborn stains.
Scrubbing with Abrasive Tools:
- Why It’s a Mistake: Too much scrubbing or using abrasive tools can scratch and damage the tile surface or wear down the grout.
- What to Do Instead: Opt for softer brushes, like an old toothbrush or a specially designed grout brush. For tougher stains, allow your cleaning solution to sit for a few minutes to loosen the grime before gently scrubbing.
Not Allowing Proper Ventilation in the Bathroom:
- Why It’s a Mistake: Without proper ventilation, excess moisture gets trapped, which can lead to mold and mildew growth on tiles and grout.
- What to Do Instead: Always turn on the exhaust fan when showering or taking a bath. If possible, crack open a window periodically to let out moisture. After showering, wipe down tiles to remove excess water.
Unique Cleaning Challenges and How to Tackle Them
Cleaning tiles and grout can sometimes present us with unexpected challenges. Let’s delve into some of these unique issues and discuss the best ways to handle them:
Dirty Water Issues:
The Challenge: After mopping or cleaning, dirty water can leave behind a residue or film on tiles.
It can make tiles appear dingy even after cleaning.
Solution: Always rinse your mop or cloth frequently in a separate bucket of clean water.
Also, once you’ve finished cleaning, give the tiles a final rinse or mop with fresh clean water to ensure no residue is left behind.
Dealing with Soap Scum on Different Tile Types:
The Challenge: Soap scum buildup varies depending on the type of tile.
For instance, porous tiles like stone can trap more soap than ceramic tiles.
For Ceramic or Porcelain Tiles: Mix equal parts of water and white vinegar in a spray bottle. Spray, let it sit for a few minutes, then scrub gently.
For Natural Stone Tiles: Avoid vinegar as it can damage the stone. Instead, use a mild pH-neutral soap and water.
Importance of Rubber Gloves during Deep Cleaning:
The Challenge: Deep cleaning often involves chemicals or solutions that can be harsh on the skin or cause allergic reactions.
Solution: Always wear rubber gloves when handling cleaning agents, especially concentrated ones. This not only protects your skin from irritants but also prevents any possible contamination or staining.
Using a Magic Eraser for Tricky Spots:
The Challenge: Some spots or stains can be incredibly stubborn and resist usual cleaning methods.
Solution: A magic eraser (melamine foam) can be a game-changer for tough stains. Wet it slightly and gently rub on the stain. It works like a super-fine sandpaper, so be cautious not to overuse or scrub too hard, especially on delicate surfaces.
Use Hot Showers in Cleaning:
Warm water can help dissolve soap scum, grease, and other types of buildups more effectively than cold water on dirty tiles.
It’s the same principle as washing dishes; hot water breaks down grease better.
How to Use:
- Before cleaning your bathroom tiles, start with a hot shower. Let the steam build up for a while.
- Once the room is steamed up, the grime on tiles and glass will soften. This makes it easier to wipe or scrub away.
- Additionally, if you’re cleaning a clogged shower head, allowing hot water to run can help loosen up mineral deposits.
Using Circular Motion for Scrubbing:
Often, when we scrub back and forth, we end up redistributing some of the dirt.
Circular motions, on the other hand, tend to lift and remove dirt more effectively in tile cleaning.
How to Use:
- Apply your cleaning product and let it sit for a few minutes if needed.
- Start scrubbing in small, gentle, circular motions. This technique is especially effective for stubborn spots or grout lines.
- Circular motions are also great for avoiding streaks on surfaces like glass or shiny tiles.
Dry with a Microfiber Cloth: After cleaning, use a microfiber cloth to dry tiles, glass, or other surfaces.
It’s super absorbent and leaves behind a streak-free shine.
Which tile type is the most cost-effective?
Ceramic tiles tend to be more budget-friendly than others.
Do natural stone tiles need sealing?
Yes, they often require sealing to prevent staining and moisture absorption.
How often should I deep clean my shower tiles?
It’s recommended to deep clean at least once a month.
Can I use vinegar on all types of tiles?
While vinegar is a great cleaner for many tiles, it’s not advisable for natural stone tiles as it can damage them.
Is sealing tiles a one-time process?
No, tiles, especially stone ones, might require resealing over time to maintain their water-resistant properties.