Glazed (shiny) ceramic tile is virtually stainproof, but unglazed (matte) ceramic tile is porous and must be sealed to resist stains. A new unglazed ceramic-tile floor needs to be sealed with a commercial sealer and a water-base wax. Both types of tile are installed with grout. Some advice for tending to your ceramic tile:
Never use harsh abrasive cleaners that might scratch the glaze.
Do not clean unglazed ceramic tiles with acids, strong soaps, or abrasives.
Damp-mop ceramic tile with an all-purpose cleaner. Dry the floor with a soft cloth to avoid streaks.
About once a year, strip the wax buildup on your unglazed tile floor and rewax. Rinse the floor thoroughly with clear water after applying the stripper.
Concrete -- the focus of our next section -- is similar to brick in that it's a porous surface that is difficult to maintain. But you can keep concrete looking great by applying the right cleaning techniques.