Cleaning Ceramic Tiles

I recently installed ceramic tiles over the kitchen floor. When they were installed, I was told to never clean the tiled floor with vinegar and water. Several neighbors, who do have a ceramic tiled floor, say they use vinegar and water all the time. Who is right?

Whether you use vinegar and water or a commercial cleaner, neither will damage the tiles themselves. What you must be concerned with is the grout. Vinegar and water-or a stronger cleaner-will hasten the deterioration of the grout. It is also extremely important to apply a silicone sealant over the grout. Without the sealant, the grout will easily absorb water, and within a short period of time that water will damage the wood underneath the tiled floor. Not only will unprotected grout absorb water, but it will also absorb all the dirt that comes with it, and the grout will become discolored and unattractive. Once you apply silicone sealant, keep an eye on it. When you notice the grout is a little discolored, clean the surface and apply another coat of sealant. The frequency with which you have to reapply the sealant will depend on the strength of the cleaner you use.

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