This man-made tile is typically 12-20” square, is laid on concrete, and has grout between the tiles- called grout joints. Many tiles are not perfectly flat and smooth- but rather have a texture which gives them some depth and ‘character’. Our customers call when their floor is ‘dirty’ – generally when the grout around the tiles has darkened from foot traffic, normal activity, etc. This discoloration is usually the result of AZ dust gradually darkening the grout joints or perhaps (especially in the kitchen) food and beverage spills darkening or staining the joints. Whatever the reason the multi-step process we use to clean the floor is to ‘topscrub’ the floor with a floor buffer using a special brush to get into the grout joints along with the texture of the surface of the tiles. We are really trying to clean 2 different materials- 1) the tile and 2) the grout.
The objective during the cleaning process is not necessarily to get the floor back to its original appearance-because it can’t be done. The grout in some areas has been stained and simply will not come clean. Rather, our objective is to clean the tile well and to prepare the grout for a staining procedure wherein every linear inch of grout will be stained with a toothbrush back to its original color. Most floor grout is made of cement, sand and color- the sanded surface is perfect for holding microscopic pieces of dirt which will eventually darken and discolor the grout. Oil-based food spills (chicken grease, hamburger drips, Fritos, salad dressing, etc) are just like oil spots on a concrete driveway- they stain the concrete - and these spills stain the grout. After many years of trying to ‘clean’ the grout 4 years ago I moved to a process where I added a step which recolors the grout to its original color and seals the grout at the same time. A note: sealing grout does not make the grout stain- or dirt-proof- but it will give the homeowner a few minutes to wipe up the spill before it stains. Depending on the square footage- the manpower may be 2, 3, or 4 people to clean and restain the floor.