Tile and grout cleaning restoration


Have you ever walked into a restroom and thought “Boy does this stink” or even better, “Boy they are using a lot of fragrance to cover up the stink!”.  You immediately get the feeling that you need to get in and out as quickly as possible to avoid having the smell permeate into your clothing and leave there smelling like lemony fresh deodorant sticks.

If you are the one responsible for those bathrooms, let me offer you a few simple solutions to get rid of the lemony fresh scent and breathe in a fresh scent of clean.

1.  Seal the grout

Most don’t realize that grout is very porous and will hold smells and bacteria causing an odor in your bathroom.

2.  Repair cracked and missing grout

These areas where there are cracks or missing grout, will allow urea and other bacteria to be hidden from the mop and auto scrubber.  This is acidic and will eat away at the grout.  Over time, this will crystallize on the remaining grout, causing the need to be scraped or sawed out during the restoration process.

3.  Clean with a good cleaner and the right equipment

On a regular basis, evenly apply a properly diluted alkaline cleaner to the floor using a pump-up sprayer or a similar application method.  Agitate the grout lines with a floor scrubber or manually scrub the grout lines to help break down the soil and other contaminates.  Allow the cleaning solution to sit and dwell for 5-10 minutes prior to removing the solution.  Use fresh clean water and change the water once it is visibly dirty.

Color Sealing vs Clear Sealing
Once the floors and grout lines are cleaned, you will need to seal the grout lines and sometimes the tile to prevent additional staining or rapid re-soiling.  If the grout lines are stained beyond your satisfaction, re-staining the grout lines is the best way to give the floors a fresh and new look. If satisfied with the current color, then using a clear seal is the easiest and most affordable option.  However, before you seal the tile and grout, the surface will need to be reset back to a neutral state prior to applying any sealer or coating. (See picture #5 for color sealing example)

Tile and Grout protection and coating
In some residential settings and most commercial high-traffic bathrooms, the recommendation is to seal and coat the tile and grout to create an impermeable surface.  This will prevent bacteria and smells from lingering in the bathroom and penetrating into the grout.  There are many types of coatings available on the market, so buyer beware.  Some coatings will yellow, discolor and/or easily scratch causing a worse condition than before the restoration.  Do not use a floor wax or similar floor coating as these are very absorbent and will cause a worse condition than when you started.  Our first recommendation is using a siloxane-based or silicate based coating.  If done correctly, these will not have to be stripped off, causing unnecessary and costly work in the future.   Remember that just because the floor is ugly, doesn’t mean it needs to be replaced.

For free professional help, call today for a free consultation and demonstration.

2016-02-18T09:15:06+00:00June 16th, 2014|Sam's Articles, Tile/Grout|


  1. Dean October 19, 2015 at 10:22 am

    Helpful post on cleaning and restoring grout. Grout and tile can be a pain to clean and work with some times. The advice presented in the article will make these easier to work with. I appreciate the helpful resource!

    • Sam Hughes December 21, 2015 at 9:43 pm

      Thanks for your feedback!

Comments are closed.

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