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Make Your Metal Tiles Shine Like New with Regular Cleaning

Installing metallic tiles in your home is a relatively straightforward process that won't take long, depending on the size of the project. However, taking care of those same metal tiles is an ongoing activity, especially in high-use areas such as above your kitchen stove or bathroom sink. Just like everything else in your home, the more effort you put into caring for metal tiles, the longer they will last.

Before settling on the style of metallic tile you'll use in your home, it's important to understand the intricacies of each option. Metallic tile is available in several finishes, including stainless, gunmetal, copper, bronze, and iron. The tiles are usually made of a porcelain and metal composite material and then coated with a metallic finish, so you can incorporate them into areas of the home where solid metal doesn't perform as well, such as your outdoor patio, bathroom, and kitchen range. Luckily, with a few simple cleaning products and routine care, you can make sure your metallic tile withstands the test of time.

Opt for Sealed Metallic Tiles

Metallic tiles that are protected by a sealant are the way to go. Q-Seal, for instance, is a permanent sealer that is water- and stain-resistant, and will protect against abrasion. Plus, it never needs resealing. These tiles will require only some basic maintenance, and they give you the flexibility to incorporate metallic tiles throughout your home. Try adding metallic tile that has a gunmetal finish to your kitchen backsplash, for example. It would look absolutely stunning sprawling up from a granite countertop that contains shiny specks of silver. Likewise, a darker bronze finish would perfectly complement stainless steel faucets and hardware to give your kitchen a versatile mix of materials that work together as one.

Garden Oasis in Calla Lily White 3 x 6 field tile in a grid pattern with Marsh Fog 5/8 x Random linear mosaic blend on the wall


Protect Your Investment

If you're going to invest in a new backsplash that features high-end metallic tiles like those from the Refined Metals collection, why wouldn't you want to protect your investment? This collection features metallic finishes that complement both traditional and contemporary spaces. Its pieces are modern interpretations of classic cast-metal designs and are made in various sizes to fit any design strategy. While they come sealed with Q-Seal, and are stain- and scratch-resistant, you'll still want to stay on top of easy maintenance for lasting beauty. Take these preventative sealants to the next level by using the following tips to properly care for and clean your metallic tiles.

Read Your Product Guide

The first step to properly cleaning your metallic tiles is reading the guide that accompanies your products. The manufacturer's instruction manual is your greatest asset in maintaining the beauty and luster of your new tiles. It will have specific instructions that you must follow to retain the perfect finish. For example, the Refined Metals Installation Instruction and Care document provides detailed information for homeowners who decide to go with this line of metallic tile. Proper care includes cleaning with an ordinary household cleaner (we recommend a liquid, non-abrasive cleaner), but be sure to use cleaners only you test them in a small inconspicuous area to ensure that no damage will result. We also recommend avoiding scouring pads, steel wool, or other abrasive implements that can damage the tile surface. Finally, any cleaners containing ammonia, bleach or other harsh chemicals should be wiped up shortly after application or damage to the tile surface may result.

Read the guide carefully and keep it somewhere handy, such as in your cleaning closet, so that you can reference it easily and avoid products that could damage your metallic tile.

Saxon Metals in Bronze 3 x 12 Signet Border; 2 x 12 Chair Rail, 2 x 2 Signet Dots and 12 x 6 Mural with Mocha Tumbled Stone on the wall and counter. Cortesia Noce 10 x 20 Field Tile on the floor.


Know Which Cleaning Products to Use

Once you determine which cleaning products are safe to use, it's important to know how to apply them. Certain metal tiles may be more sensitive to specific cleaning products, so understanding what will work best is important. Your best bet for wiping down metallic tiles is to use a microfiber cloth. Made from tiny threads of polyester and polyamide, the material gives you a durable and lightweight option for cleaning your materials. If you have a backsplash that consists of Garden Oasis™ metallic tile in Earthen Bronze, for example, a microfiber cloth will avoid scratching its fine iridescent finish, while effectively cleaning dust, stains, grease, fingerprints, and fine particles. The fine fibers will also add a nice polish to the metallic finish, allowing it to sparkle in the light. Just make sure to pair the cloth with a recommended cleaning product for safe, optimal use.

Here is a detailed list of things to avoid:

  • Using cleansers containing acid or bleach for routine maintenance
  • Using wax cleaners or oil-based detergents
  • Using ammonia (it will discolor grout)
  • Using harsh cleaning aids like steel wool pads or scouring pads containing metal
  • Using a cleaning agent that contains color

For additional maintenance tips, check out American Olean's Care & Maintenance page.

Consistently Clean Your Tile

For an effective cleaning process, there are four main steps to follow. First, make a solution of warm water and soap, or get a bottle of the recommend cleaning product ready. Second, dampen your cloth with the cleaning solution and work it in a circular pattern on the metal tiles. Always test any cleaning product in a hidden location to determine if it is safe. Third, rinse your tiles thoroughly with your cloth to prevent the formation of streaks or buildup. Lastly, wash your cloth with warm, soapy water and rinse it well. Be sure to remove any remaining debris off the tiles.

Whether you're cleaning metallic tiles that feature copper, stainless, iron, or titanium finishes, proper cleaning habits will help keep your tiled areas beautiful and protected for decades. It's important to not let tile maintenance slip, so set a reminder on your smartphone or make a note on your calendar for a weekly cleaning session. Depending on the size of your tiled area, a thorough cleaning may only take you 20 minutes per week. Consistent cleaning leads to lasting elegance, so start putting some of these methods into practice today.