The Art and Science of Grout Cleaning
Every tile job, even those with the most precise and small grout lines, can be ruined by stained and dirty grout. Going online or to the DIY store yields a multitude of tips and tricks, some of which may work and others that are simply useless. Today, we discuss the different types of grout and what can be done to keep it clean.
Unlike many tiles, grout can be porous and over time begins to absorb both the liquid and dirt that falls to the floor through regular home use. Light grouts can turn dark very quickly and require the most care. Similarly, larger grout lines make dirt retention much more obvious. Lastly, rough grout is more susceptible to trapped dirt then smoother grout options.
If your grout is currently in good shape or if your tile has recently been installed, it may make sense to seal your grout. Sealing grout lines retains the new look while repelling liquid and dirt. However, you should be aware of a few important considerations.
- First, sealing the grout may change its color, rendering it darker. Some grout sealant is specially formulated to avoid this issue.
- Second, sealing the grout does not mean that it will be perfectly protected. Some liquid and dirt may still be able to penetrate the sealant.
- Lastly, the sealant must be reapplied on a regular basis, according to the manufacturer’s instructions, otherwise it can’t begin to break down.
There will be times where professional help is needed to bring grout back to a better condition. SERVPRO of Bellmore/Wantagh has the experience, tools and equipment to clean grout in a way that consumer products often cannot.
- Steam cleaning may be appropriate for most low-traffic applications that are not extremely dirty. Using a combination of the heat and clean water, our commercial grade equipment can effectively extract hard-to-remove stains. This method can also be effective in cleaning the tile in the room.
- For deeper, less manageable stains, sanding the grout lines and applying new grout on top may be an option. This requires far more labor and, ultimately, cost, however it can improve the aesthetics of the grout tremendously.
- Lastly, if there is no saving the grout, a complete grout removal and replacement may be the only option. This is a good time to consider replacing the tile as well, especially if it is very old and the homeowner has been considering a remodel.
Here at SERVPRO of Bellmore / Wantagh, we are proud to offer cost-effective options for floor and grout cleaning. Homeowners that stay on top of the maintenance of their floor will almost invariably reap rewards in the form of a better-looking floor for a longer period of time. We are here to help.