Because the kitchen is such a high-traffic area in the home, it is one room that will require frequent cleaning. And if you have the wrong kitchen tile for your flooring, countertop, or backsplash, your job will be made even more difficult. But how can you decide what’s going to work best for your kitchen if you’ve decided to take on a remodel? Perhaps more importantly, how can you properly clean and maintain kitchen tile you got stuck with when you bought your home, at least until you’re able to upgrade to your preferred materials? Here are a few pertinent tips to help every homeowner keep kitchen tile spotless and well maintained.

The main thing you need to know is what type of tile you’re working with. Some high-end kitchens are a wonderland of natural stone, with granite, marble, limestone, and other goodies from the ground turning up in the form of polished flooring, countertops, and backsplashes. Other homes feature more affordable options like ceramic, porcelain, glass, and other types of tile. These products come in a variety of colors, patterns, and price points, and they have their pluses and minuses when it comes to features like value and durability. But you need to know what you’re working with if you want any hope to properly maintain your kitchen tile.

Natural stone, for example, has the ability to provide your kitchen with a rich, luxurious aesthetic. And it certainly won’t hurt the resale value of your home. But granite, marble, and other types of natural stone can be finicky and hard to maintain. You may, for example, have to reseal your tiles regularly to protect them from. And they can be subject to staining because they are porous materials. In addition, you’ll probably have to use specialized (and sometimes pricy) cleaning products that are designed specifically for use on natural stone.

Ceramic tiles might not be as desirable or valuable, but if you’re on a budget they’re a great choice, especially if you’re looking for a durable product that stands up to a lot of abuse and is easy to clean with commercial solvents and homemade cleaning products alike (vinegar and water solution, for example). Another fun fact: there are plenty of companies making faux ceramic tiles that look exactly like travertine, sandstone, and every variety of marble and granite. So you could get the look you want for a lot less money and make your cleaning and maintenance tasks easier in the process.

Whether you’re dealing with tile flooring or a countertop or backsplash, it’s important that you have some understanding of how to properly clean and maintain your product. If you’re not sure, you can always check in with the pros at an outlet like Tiles Direct. These experts can not only help you to find the right tiles for your kitchen remodel, but they are a font of knowledge concerning how to best care for this important aspect of your kitchen design. And it costs you nothing to ask for advice when it comes to cleaning and maintenance.