Tile Floors

March 19, 2013

Cleaning tile, and grout.

Tile, and grout floors are designed to be low maintenance. Unfortunately people create work for themselves by the crazy things they do to their floors. I’ll cover all the things you need to do to maintain it. Normally I’d have you dust mop the floors, but in this case I want you to use a straight suction ( no power nozzle) vacuum to clean the floor. This will suck the dirt up off your floor. A dust mop will push the dirt into the grout lines creating more work for you.

Next you should mop the floor using a specially designed mop for tile floors. These mops have strips of micro fiber material. A string mop, or sponge mop will be cut by the sharp edges of the tile leaving pieces of sponge, or string behind on your floor. You also should use a cleaner designed for tile, and grout. These cleaners tend to be on the acid side of the PH scale. It will lift dirt out of the grout lines. A new technology using no acid but highly effective has been developed by Core Products. The product is Grout Smart, and it’s Hydrogen Peroxide based with special cleaners added. Always follow directions when using chemicals. Measure carefully as more is not better. The last tool I’ll mention is a grout brush. It fits on the end of a pole, and the brush sits in the grout lines allowing you to scrub the grout clean.

Ideally you’ve sealed the grout so dirt doesn’t stain it. Grout sealers last a couple of years then should be reapplied. Grout is a porous material, and will allow dirt to penetrate it. If it’s a new tile floor, or you’ve just worked to get it clean do yourself a favor, and seal it. Use a commercial grout sealer ( Stone Care International has a great one) and apply the sealer to the grout lines. I know two easy ways to apply sealer without getting on your hands, and knees. The first is to get a small foam painters wheel for doing corners. Screw it into a pole and dip the wheel in the sealer. You can run the wheel in the grout lines applying grout sealer while in the upright position. The other way is to take a flip top ketchup bottle. and wash it out thoroughly. Fill it with grout sealer, rest the opening in the grout line, gently squeeze out the sealer while moving the bottle down the grout line. You have to bend over but you can seal the grout very fast. Lastly if this all sounds like too much trouble you can cheat. Stone Care International now makes grout pens in a variety of shades. They will cover 140 feet of grout. Below is a video demonstrating, and discussing many of the principles of cleaning a tile floor.