The new kitchen tiles always look gorgeous. But will they be painful to clean? If you hate cleaning grout, then it could be. However, choosing easy to clean kitchen tiles will make your job easier.
When it comes to renewing kitchen tiles, whether a basic clean cleaning, grout scrubbing, or a complete restoration, one thing to consider is texture. The more nooks and crannies in the surface means extra time and energy will need to be spent to get dust, grease, and grime out of the area. Ceramic tiles with sealed grout are probably the easiest to clean, but porcelain are not far behind. Natural stone mini tiles can be the most difficult to restore, but far from impossible.
We asked a professional maid service how to approach tile maintenance. “One easy trick to keeping textured tile looking new is to clean it regularly, since time means the surface will build up grim which comes from dust and moisture. If you consider that micro grease specks on kitchen tile then work together, creating an even heavier type of grime which is the one of the most difficult types of dirt to clean. For natural stone, you might need a special cleaning agent. But for many types, you can use common household cleaners, or if nothing else works, a very mile abrasive like Comet. However, the biggest thing to keep in mind is keeping the surface integrity in place. Scrub brushes can help, and even using multiple types of scrubbers can get the job finished quicker and to the level of cleanliness you hoped for. Always keep in mind that any surfaces can pick up scratches, whether obvious or super subtle, which build up over time. So, choose your scrubber and spray carefully!”
This can often be overwhelming when considering a new backsplash for your kitchen. There are so many styles, colors, textures, and materials available that make the decision tough.
Of course, along with aesthetics, you need to consider how easy it is to keep clean. Is the material porous, and will it easily absorb grease spatter or spaghetti sauce stains?
Let’s explore these 5 easy to clean kitchen tiles.
Contemporary Glass Tiles
Glass tile is a creative alternative to common backsplash materials. Cut to fit the area between the black laminate shelf and the countertop, the glass tile is installed over painted drywall. The glass adds subtle, fashionable color and a glossy, reflective surface that is easy to clean with vinegar and water or glass cleaner. Glass tiles between the shelf and cabinets add more shine and a scale change for visual interest.
When you are on a budget, you can consider a laminated splash guard. This type of splash protection is cheaper but available in many colors and styles. You will be surprised to find that there are many types of laminates on the market, some of which look like real stone splatters, which are much more expensive. The beaded stone molding frames a mosaic niche to provide a functional focal point for the kitchen. Stone tiles should be sealed with a low-gloss penetrating sealer to protect them from stains and water and to facilitate cleaning.
Elegant Marble Tiles
Polished Carrara marble is a classic and elegant stone. But be prepared to quickly clean up any spills of coffee, juice, wine, or grease as the marble is easily stained. Clean with a damp sponge and a soap-free detergent or a neutral pH marble cleaner and pat dry to avoid water stains. Vinegar and citrus-based cleaners are acidic and surface damaging, but peroxide can be used to remove stains. The 12-inch tiles used here come together to minimize grout joints and create a near-perfect look.
Painted Mosaic Tiles
Create a custom backsplash by painting tile designs on 6-inch blank square tiles. Look for paintings by artists, such as Pebeo Porcelaine150 or Plaid Folk-Art Emaux. Both are water-based paints that adhere to tiles and become permanent and waterproof. Pébéo paints should be heated in an oven at 300 degrees F for 30 minutes. The use of color on food preparation surfaces is not recommended. Folk art tile glazes are heat cured for durability and are non-toxic and dishwasher safe (very easy to clean in a splash guard).
Economical ceramic tiles are available in a wide variety of colors, and you can customize the installation by creating your own design. Small tiles inserted at intervals, add personality, and extra elegance to your kitchen. White epoxy grout highlights the pattern of the installation and echoes the color of the cabinets. Based on the color scheme, you may want to use an epoxy color to minimize the tile pattern or to coordinate with the floor, wall color, or cabinets.
With many kitchen tile options and splash protection, think of the material that will meet your needs. “Is it more crucial to you that it’s easy to clean?” Stephanie Pritchard, a kitchen designer at Middleburg Design Company, asked. “Or is the aesthetics of the tiles more important?”
Ceramic and porcelain tiles are stain-resistant, so you don’t have to worry about spilling a jar of spaghetti sauce. Glass tiles are also a safe option because maintenance is easy: quick cleaning with a sponge and these tiles should look like new.
Natural stone splashes, while beautiful, are riskier. Some of them are porous. And they are challenging to clean. Polished natural stones like limestone, slate, or marble can be stained with grease, says Jennifer Gilmer of Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen & Bath. Natural stone splashes should be closed at least once a year.
If you like to cook at home, avoid tiles with a lot of texture, such as stacked or rough tiles. Grease can find corners and cracks, and cleaning can take hours. “You don’t want to choose anything that requires a scrub brush,” says Pritchard.
What’s in Style?
Subway tiles, replicas of the classic rectangular white ceramic tiles used in the New York subway, remain popular. But instead of a standard two-by-six-inch white tile backsplash, Gilmer suggests classic glass subway tile or an installation that uses small ceramic tiles or large natural stone tiles.
Homeowners with a more contemporary taste can place the tiles vertically rather than horizontally. They can also place smaller three-foot tiles vertically on the stove and cover the rest of the kitchen walls with full-size horizontal tiles.
Stacked Tiles, a three-dimensional installation that places tiles of different depths on the splash guard, are becoming increasingly popular despite the difficulty of cleaning. “It looks like stacked stone,” says Pritchard. “Owners love the organic aspect.”
Several designers report that customers are increasingly drawn to glass splashes, especially painted glass. A large piece of glass is sized for your kitchen’s splash guard, holes are cut out for switches and electrical outlets, and the back of the glass is painted the desired color. “They are perfect,” says Gilmer. “It tends to work smoothly in contemporary kitchens where a clean, uninterrupted look is best.”
The splash plates are also getting bigger. Rather than simply laying the tiles from the counter to cabinet, many homeowners choose to go to the ceiling. It can make the cabinets look like they are hanging on an existing stone or tile wall. “It gives the room more space and width,” says Kadwell.
Which one is your favorite kitchen tile?