Grout and tile cleaning and sealing

gideonsmomDecember 17, 2007

Hi all,

I need a little advice, please! We had tile floors put down about 4 years ago and they are starting to look kind of dirty. It's mostly the grout, but I think the tile could use a good cleaning too.

I have tried to scrub the grout myself, but didn't notice a big difference. Today I called a grout cleaning company and they charge 375 for a cleaning and sealing. I've heard some not so great things about the company, so I don't think I feel comfortable with that.

Any suggestions? I don't think our tile was ever sealed. Is that a DIY kind of thing or do I need to hire someone? I've heard that steam cleaning tile and grout works. Will any old steam cleaner do?

Any suggestions? Thanks!

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bmmalone

i recently used magic eraser on my grout on the bathroom floor. came up really well. You can buy some stripper to get any sealer off that may have been put down, and then put some sealer on. Is it a big job? no not really. just a little time consuming as the bathroom will be out of action for a couple of days. You need to let everything dry before proceeding to the next step. Good luck

    Bookmark   December 18, 2007 at 6:48AM
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graywings123

Whether you need to seal the tile depends on the type of tile. The friendly experts at the John Bridge tile forum can help. Do some reading on their Cleaning, Restoration and Sealing forum.

Here is a link that might be useful: John Bridge Tile Forums

    Bookmark   December 18, 2007 at 8:36AM
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mboston_gw

I have used several things over the last 15 years. Our tile and grout are a light gray or white with gray. The first product I used was Finazzle, which was expensive to use considering the amount of tile we have. I used it with a toothbrush and it took some time to get all the rooms done. Worked okay but I didn't like the smell.

The next time I used Windex. Found out by accident that it worked just as well as the Finazzle and was alot cheaper. My tile took on a slight bluish cast for a while, till it dried. Maybe the Multipurpose stuff which is clear would be better. Still used the toothbrush to the grout.

The last time I did the whole house, I used Tile Lab, which I found at Home Depot. It is more reasonable than the Finazzle was but more than the Windex. It was much easier to use, I sprayed it on and used my mop - did a great job on the tile itself and I only had to use the scrub brush in the most traffic areas and the areas in the bathrooms where the overspray falls on the floors.

I am anxious to get a Shark Steam Mop to try on the tile. The shoulders sure do get tired these days with scrubbing. But I would use the Tile Lab again as it is the lesser of the three as far as wear on the body.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2007 at 8:54AM
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errett

mboston,

You don't say how the grout was after the Tile Lab. I have used Finazzle on on my white porcelain floors and white tile and didn't think it did a very good job and was a lot of work. Mine were sealed. The Finazzle was almost like muratic acid as it burned my skin and anything else that it touched. Will never use it again. However, before I get in a professional was wondering how the Tile Lab worked on the grout. The Shark steam mop is great on the floors but really doesn't do much for the grout.

Thanks,
C.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2007 at 12:10PM
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jxbrown

I like Finazzle myself. I use blue Windex for lightly soiled grout too, because it is cheaper, but in areas where the grout gets really bad, I have to Finazzle a couple of times per year. Although it is kind of harsh on the hands, I checked the pH and it is neutral, but I'll agree that it smells bad. The tile itself gets cleaned with a good stiff solution of OxyClean in hot water. I mop it on and then suck it up with a Hoover Floormate. Scooba was nice for touch ups until her battery pack croaked.

Porcelain tile is essentially glass and glazed ceramic tile is close, so they don

    Bookmark   December 23, 2007 at 12:11PM
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gideonsmom

Thanks! I thought I would update. I ended up using Zep on the tiles and got a really stiff brush with a handle to get in there. It worked great and now my grout is quite clean again. I actually think that mopping my floors had pushed dirty water in the grout. I just got a Shark steam mop from all of the glowing reviews here, so hopefully that won't happen again.

I spent much less than $375 so I am quite pleased!

    Bookmark   December 24, 2007 at 7:26PM
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mboston_gw

I think the Tile Lab did a good job without as much scrubbing as the Finazzle. I use it now more frequently in areas where the grout gets dirty so I am preventing it getting too bad. I wouldn't use Finazzle again cause of the cost and smell, which really bothered my sinuses. I am hoping to get a Shark canister type that has the mop with it so I can use it too.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2007 at 5:49PM
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