As with any type of flooring, it is important to consider the needs and uses of the rooms where you'll be laying down tiles and the care and maintenance needed for each.
Ceramic tile floors provide a luxurious array of colors and patterns. They are also one of the easiest to care for and maintain. With just a regular all-purpose cleaner and a soft mop or sponge, you can clean up just about any stubborn stain or dirt. Be sure to vacuum or sweep the tiles prior to cleaning and rinse with clean water to avoid dulling the finish. Steer clear of cleaners that contain acids or ammonia as they might damage some ceramics.
If you're looking for tiles that provide beauty, extreme durability, stain resistance and better footing than regular ceramic tile floors (especially for outdoor applications), consider a slate tile floor. Slate tiles do need somewhat more maintenance than ceramic floors and are susceptible to oil stains, even from skin. It is recommended that you apply a sealant to slate on a regular basis and promptly clean up stains with diluted hydrogen peroxide (50-50 solution with water).
Garage floor tile can help safeguard your garage's floor from the corrosive effects of automotive and certain household products such as antifreeze, washer fluid, oil, paint, and solvents. Look for tiles specifically designed for garages and that provide special interlocking tiles that prevent seep-through of liquids. Although garage tiles are virtually maintenance free, always clean up any spills as soon as possible.
Vinyl is one of the most popular choices in flooring for its ease in installation, low cost, and wide range of patterns and colors. Although vinyl tile flooring may seem to require little or no maintenance, it is susceptible to damage and discoloration from various sources. Clean all spills promptly with all-purpose non-toxic cleaners. Avoid exposure to bright sunlight, as it will cause vinyl to discolor and expand. As vinyl is quite soft, avoid walking on it in heels or dragging furniture across it.
For laminate flooring tile, cleaning can be best achieved using ammonia or vinegar with water or other window cleaners. As with all flooring tiles, be sure to vacuum or sweep up loose dirt and other particles before proceeding to the wet cleaning phase.
When cleaning tile floors, the best advice is to always read the manufacturer's recommendations. Although it isn't essential to buy their particular cleaning product, you should use products with identical chemical composition in order to safeguard your flooring investment.