Spring can be a messy season, and keeping your tile floors clean and your grout in good shape can certainly be a challenge for maintenance managers. While commercial tile and grout are typically designed to be rugged, regular foot traffic and moisture mean that these areas require maintenance to get rid of the build-up of dirt and grime.
Whether it’s the bathroom floor or the tile at the front entrance, staying on top of those areas will help them stay clean and safe.
Studies show that bathroom cleanliness can change someone’s mind about revisiting your business, so the condition of those floors matters as part of the overall impression you’re leaving.
Cleaning tile and grout
It is recommended that tiles get deep cleaned on a monthly basis, and even before you get to cleaning, you need to settle on the tools for the job. Which cleaning product you use depends on whether your tile is ceramic, stone, or porcelain, and each surface requires a different approach.
If the products are too abrasive, they could cause pitting in the tile and dissolve your grout. Conversely, using a wax or oil-based cleaner can leave a film that might attract dirt. The cleaning solution you choose should be able to break down and remove grime, dirt, and all other debris from your floors.
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Once you’ve settled on the appropriate products for your surface, make sure the floors are dry before you start, so dirt doesn’t just get moved around throughout the process. Next, use your tools (mop, microfiber pad, wheel, or sprayer) to apply the cleaner thoroughly, allowing it enough time to completely dry before it sees any foot traffic. You can speed up this process with open windows or fans if your time is tight.
Sealing the grout
You may want to apply a sealant to protect your grout, but before you start, assess its condition. Is it worn or cracked? If so, repairs need to be made before applying the sealant. Next, thoroughly clean the area so that the sealant is applied to a fresh surface. After that, use the vacuum to remove any debris. Apply a rinse, allowing 12 to 24 hours for it to completely dry before applying the sealant.
Note, there are sealants designed to keep the look of the grout the same, and there are products designed to enhance or change its appearance. Both types of products may work with your grout but decide ahead of time on the final look you are trying to achieve.
Keeping your floors in good condition starts with consistent maintenance and daily attention to your tile and grout. Daily mopping is a common approach, but it may not be the most effective, as the mop may simply be pushing the dirt around and into the porous grout. As this worsens and microbes multiply, often the grout turns an unattractive black colour, making it even harder to get clean.
Here are a few things to consider adding to your regular maintenance plan to keep your tile and grout looking great:
- Vacuum up all debris first to help the mop do a more efficient job at cleaning the tile and grout.
- Clean and change your mop head regularly to ensure that it is free from leftover dirt.
- Use a brush to scrub your grout lines routinely to help avoid grime from building up.
- Protect the area wherever possible from dirt and traffic with mats that can cover the area.
Maintaining your tile and grout can be a challenge through the messy months, but with regular maintenance and special attention, you can keep them clean, safe, and leave a professional impression on your building’s staff and guests.