An­timi­cro­bial tiles help cre­ate san­i­tary spa­ces

The Review - - Classifieds -

Tile can be a wor­thy ad­di­tion to rooms with po­ten­tial mois­ture is­sues or ar­eas in a home that may rou­tinely ne­ces­si­tate quick cleanup. Be­cause they are not da­m­aged by con­stant con­tact with wa­ter, tiled floors and walls are of­ten found in bath­rooms, kitchens, laun­dry rooms, and en­try­ways.

Although tile is re­silient, it is not im­per­vi­ous to the micro­organ­isms that tend to pro­lif­er­ate in ar­eas where mois­ture and hu­mid­ity are com­mon­place. Mi­crobes can grow rapidly in warm ar­eas, es­pe­cially if food is present. Mold or mildew is­sues also can be­come prob­lem­atic seem­ingly overnight. But cer­tain mod­i­fi­ca­tions can help home­own­ers al­le­vi­ate the pro­lif­er­a­tion of micro­organ­isms.

Var­i­ous man­u­fac­tur­ers have de­vel­oped their own in­no­va­tive tile that con­trib­utes to cleaner, and some­times more ecofriendly, home en­vi­ron­ments. The ap­pli­ca­tion of cer­tain treat­ments can make ce­ramic tiles even more im­per­vi­ous to wa­ter and mois­ture. Some tile may help re­duce the spread of cer­tain strains of bac­te­ria, such as E. coli and staph, with­out re­quir­ing the ap­pli­ca­tion of po­ten­tially harsh chem­i­cal de­ter­gents. Oth­ers treat­ments may pro­tect against yeast, molds and fungi that can cause stains and odors and re­sult in the degra­da­tion of tile.

An­timi­cro­bial prod­ucts in­hibit the growth of micro­organ­isms and sup­press their re­pro­duc­tion. For ex­am­ple, tiles with Mi­croban pro­tec­tion em­ploy an an­timi­cro­bial agent built into the prod­uct dur­ing the man­u­fac­tur­ing process. When mi­crobes touch the prod­uct sur­face, the agent pen­e­trates the cell wall of the micro­organ­ism. Other tiles are treated with mi­cro­met­ric par­ti­cles of ti­ta­nium diox­ide (TiO2), which is ac­ti­vated by sun­light or ar­ti­fi­cial light. This causes a pho­to­catal­y­sis process, which is re­spon­si­ble for the prod­uct’s anti-pol­lu­tion and bac­te­ri­ci­dal prop­er­ties. Ex­am­ples of TiO2-treated tiles in­clude Ac­tive Clean Air & An­tibac­te­rial Ce­ramic .

An­timi­cro­bial ce­ramic tile can be ad­van­ta­geous in rooms where san­i­ta­tion and hy­giene are an ut­most pri­or­ity. This in­cludes not only pub­lic places, but pri­vate res­i­dences. Work­tops and floors where mi­crobes can be trans­fered are particularly ben­e­fi­cial ar­eas to in­stall an­timi­cro­bial tile.

A po­ten­tial side ef­fect of an­timi­cro­bial tile is a re­duc­tion in re­liance on harsh clean­ing prod­ucts. Although reg­u­lar wash­ing is rec­om­mended, res­i­dents may not need to use odor­if­er­ous or strong chem­i­cal clean­ers to san­i­tize their homes. This helps im­prove in­door air qual­ity and re­duce the po­ten­tial con­tam­i­na­tion of the en­vi­ron­ment from chem­i­cal runoff.

Home­own­ers think­ing of in­stalling an­timi­cro­bial tile in their homes should dis­cuss their op­tions with a tile re­tailer or con­trac­tor dur­ing the plan­ning stages.

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