Tile and grout cleaning is an important part of keeping any home looking its best. It's an essential part of home maintenance and can help to extend the life of the tile and grout.
This guide explains the types of tiles and grout, the benefits of cleaning and maintaining them, and tips for doing so. We'll cover what tools and materials are needed, as well as answer questions about cleaning and caring for tile and grout. Finally, we'll discuss professional grout cleaning services and how they can help keep tile and grout looking beautiful.
What is Tile and Grout Cleaning?
Tile and grout cleaning is a process that involves removing dirt, blemishes, and particles from tile and grout surfaces. This helps to keep the tile and grout looking clean and new. Tile and grout cleaning can be done using a variety of methods, such as steam cleaning, chemical cleaning, and manual scrubbing.
It is important to select the right cleaning method for the specific tile and grout to ensure the best results. Natural stone tiles, for example, should never be treated with chemical cleaners. Certain ceramic tiles, as well, are hearty enough to withstand most cleaners, while their grout cannot.
Types of Tile and Grout
Tile and grout come in a variety of types, each with its own unique characteristics and benefits. Understanding the type of tile and grout will help demystify how to clean the grout and tile.
Ceramic tile is the most common type of tile and is available in a wide variety of colors and patterns. Porcelain tile is also a popular choice, as it is resistant to moisture and staining. Ceramic and porcelain are also relatively easy to keep clean between professional tile and grout cleaning services. They are durable and strong, meant to last for a long time.
Both ceramic and porcelain tiles come in a vast variety of styles. Some styles include the standard glazed subway tile, wood-look style, and even natural stone-look like marble or travertine. These types of tiles make it easy to personalize any space.
Natural stone tile can also add a unique and luxurious look to any room. Tiles of this kind can come in almost any natural stone. Slate and flagstone tiles look beautiful outside and benefit from regular cleaning and sealing. Marble, travertine, and quartz tiles can create rich, unique spaces. These kinds of tiles can be delicate and will require regular maintenance to keep them looking their best. Some companies also offer professional stone restoration, to return the beauty and luster of the floors. This might be a useful service if the wrong kind of cleaner or method was used.
When it comes to grout, there are basically two options: cementitious grout or polymer-based grout. Most older homes in the Los Angeles area will have a variety of sanded or non-sanded cementitious grout. The older the home, the more portland cement in the grout, and the stronger the grout lines are. This kind of grout has lasted for almost 100 years without chipping or cracking but is usually very stained.
Polymer-based grouts are generally the recommended direction for new builds or a remodel. These kinds of grout, including epoxy grout and resin-based grouts, are durable, flexible, stain-resistant, and mold and mildew-resistant. While a little more expensive than cementitious grout, polymer-based grouts are easier to maintain.
Benefits of Cleaning and Maintaining Tile and Grout
There are many benefits to cleaning and maintaining tile and grout. Regular cleaning can help to remove built-up dirt and debris, which can cause the tile and grout to look dull and dingy. Regular cleaning also helps to prevent staining, which can occur if dirt and debris are left on the surface. Finally, regularly cleaning and maintaining tile and grout can help to extend the life of tile and grout. All of this helps to save money in the long run.
Regular cleaning also provides a chance to properly examine the grout lines for any cracks, chips, or missing areas. This kind of wear is normal but should be handled swiftly to avoid any further damage. The tile as well will benefit from this kind of examination. One loose tile, for example, can cause the surrounding tiles to become loose as well. Additionally, chipped or cracked tiles may look unsightly, they are also an indication of poor installation or issues under the tile.
In general, for the health and maintenance of the home, tile and grout cleaning is essential. Professional tile and grout cleaning is the extra step needed to avoid any major issues or damages.
Tips for Cleaning and Maintaining Tile and Grout
Cleaning and maintaining tile and grout can be a time consuming task, especially without the proper tools and techniques. But, to keep tile and grout looking their best, cleaning is imperative. These cleaning tips should help build a good list of tasks.
The first step is to vacuum or sweep the tile and grout to remove any loose dirt and debris. Vacuuming or sweeping should be an almost daily chore. Debris can adhere to the tile or grout and become incredibly difficult to remove if not handled right away.
Next, we recommend using a mild detergent and warm water to scrub the tile and grout. When it comes to maintaining tile and grout, it is important to use the appropriate cleaners. Avoid using harsh chemicals, as these can damage the tile and grout. Some folks swear by baking soda cleaners, but we recommend being cautious with this as well. Baking soda is an abrasive and can scratch the floor and leave residue behind if not rinsed well.
Be careful with anything labeled "tile and grout cleaner" or "grout whitener." These types of products may contain chemicals like muriatic acid and hydrogen peroxide and can damage colored grout. If gloves are required to handle the product, proceed at risk. The product is most likely too harsh for skin contact and may produce fumes that are unhealthy to breathe. We typically recommend to our clients to use a couple of drops of dish soap or a mild detergent.
The most important step is to rinse the tile and grout with clean water after scrubbing. Many people will fill their mop bucket once while cleaning, and use the same water throughout their house. This just takes the dirt and grime from one side of the house and smears it all over the other. Take care to refill the mop bucket every 150 square feet or so. This will keep the mop clean and ensure the floor is properly rinsed.
After the professional tile and grout cleaning, we recommend having a sealer applied. Sealer will help to protect the grout lines from staining and water damage. It is important to note that not all sealers are the same, and some may not work on specific tiles. A penetrating sealer is great for natural stone and grout lines, but will not adhere to glazed tile.
Tools and Supplies Needed for Cleaning and Maintaining Tile and Grout
Besides knowing how to clean, having the right tools will help go the extra mile. Most folks already have many of these things at home. Recommended tools to clean and maintain tile and grout between professional cleanings: a vacuum/broom, mop and bucket, mild detergent/cleaner, and grout brushes. A sealer is typically recommended but not required.
The most important thing is to understand the tile and grout lines being cleaned. A grout brush with plastic bristles in a v-formation is usually safe for cleaning. A brush with metal bristles, however, may leave marks on the tile. Steel wool as well can be useful for tough stains, but must be used with caution.
Some people may also invest in a steamer or steam mop for tougher stains. Steam cleaners for grout can help lift stains from dirty grout. Both might be a good investment for maintaining the floor between professional tile and grout steam cleaning.
Common Questions About Cleaning and Maintaining Tile and Grout
When it comes to cleaning and maintaining tile and grout, there are a few common questions that people have. We've listed a few here.
Q: How often should the tile and grout be professionally cleaned?
A: This depends on the type of tile and grout as well as the amount of traffic in the area. Generally speaking, tile and grout should be cleaned once every 9 to 12 months. However, if there is a lot of foot traffic in the area, more frequent cleaning may be needed.
Q: What type of cleaner should be used on tile and grout?
A: As mentioned above, it is important to use the appropriate cleaner for the job. A mild detergent and warm water are usually sufficient for regular cleaning. For tougher stains, a specialized tile cleaner may be required. Be sure to always check the label and ensure the product is safe for both the tile and for people.
Q: Is professional tile cleaning worth it?
A: Simply, yes, for all of the reasons stated above. Additionally, aside from having knowledge and experience, professional technicians will have products and tools to scrub the grout lines and steam clean the tile. These tools would generally be considered cumbersome for a homeowner to have. Their cleaning solutions are able to provide a deep clean on both the tile and the grout.
Professional Grout Cleaning Services
There are a few things to keep in mind when looking for a professional tile and grout cleaning service. Be sure to research different companies to find one that has experience in the cleaning method most appropriate for the specific cleaning needed. Make sure that the company uses cleaning products that are safe for the house and the residents. Finally, check reviews and photos to make sure that the company is reputable and reliable.
How to Clean and Maintain Tile and Grout?
Cleaning and maintaining tile and grout can be a time consuming task, but it is an essential part of home maintenance. Regularly cleaning and maintaining tile and grout can help to extend its life and keep it looking its best. By following the tips in this guide, tile and grout can be kept looking beautiful.
Regular tile and grout cleaning with the appropriate techniques is an excellent way to maintain tiled floors. Paired with regular professional tile and grout steam cleaning, the floor will look and feel beautiful. For tile and grout steam cleaning in Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley, consider JP Carpet Cleaning Expert Floor Care.
This article was also published through our newsroom here: A Definitive Guide to Cleaning and Maintaining Tile and Grout