Why Does My Grout Look Dirty?

The majority of people with tile floors eventually run into the same problem – floors with dark dirty grout in the kitchen, bathroom, foyer and walk areas, and light clean looking grout where traffic is not as frequent. 

The reason this happens is fairly simple.  The dirt that shoes leave on your tile is transferred to the grout through the liquid used to clean the tile – namely mopping.  The more you mop, the worse your grout will look.  Unfortunately, this not only makes your grout look dirty, but the liquid also penetrates the grout (grout is porous) and permanently stains it.  Even the cleaners used with the water can stain grout.  This is why that “back to new” look is usually not obtainable through cleaning alone.  This damage to your grout makes future floor maintenance even more hopeless than before cleaning.

Give us a call at Grout Guys, LLC to make your grout look like new again. We can regrout or stain your grout to make it beautiful again.

Questions to Ask A Tile & Grout Company Before Working With Them

When you’re looking for a Tile Restoration Service, it is important to check out several things about the prospective company before hiring them.

First and foremost, do they do a great job? Read our reviews on Google from past customers. We stand behind all work we provide and will send out a warranty along with your quote.

Are they insured? Do they have insurance (general liability)? These aspects do not guarantee they will be good, but it will validate them to a degree. They are operating as a responsible business with respect to covering risks that may occur.  Grout Guys, LLC is fully insured.

How long have you been in business? There are many good, young companies, but if a company has been around for several years, there is a better chance they meet customer expectations because they have been in business serving customer needs for a while and this won’t likely happen if they are doing a terrible job. Dan Brennan has been in the tile business for 30 years serving the Raleigh area.

What is the process for cleaning, regrouting, recaulking, etc. The company should be able to tell you their process. And what equipment will be used are issues that would be addressed during this conversation. Please ask Dan Brennan when he is out at the estimate.

Are your employees background checked? All employees of Grout Guys, LLC are criminal background checked and do not use drugs.

What is the time of arrival? Can the technician be left a key? Do I need to be there? You do not need to be in your house while the technician is working.

Payment – can be a check made payable to: Grout Guys, LLC or you can use a credit card, but there is a 3% charge to use them. Please call our office after the work is complete to pay by credit card. If you will be paying by check, please give to the technician once the work is complete.

Is a tip required for the technician once work is complete? For us, only about 30% of customers leave a tip. It is not like a restaurant when 15% or more is necessary. At Grout Guys, LLC I would suggest that customers determine what they would like to do with regard to tipping our technician. It is not necessary, but always appreciated.

If I have problems down the road, will your company come back and warranty the work? At Grout Guys, LLC we warranty all work that is performed and will definitely come back – if needed. We stand behind our work along with our products and know you have a choice when it comes to tile restoration companies.

We hope this list helps you select the right grout and tile restoration company for your next service.

By going through these questions, you have made the effort to understand and qualify the company with which you do business, and have a better chance of developing a safe and beneficial relationship.

Dry Areas Before Regrouting/Sealing/Recaulking

On average, you will be asked to leave your shower dry for 24 hours before and after regrouting, sealing and recaulking.  It is important the shower is left dry in order to ensure you achieve the best possible results so the grout/caulk/seal can cure correctly.  Excess moisture in the shower can lead to problems.

Will Sealing Grout in My Shower Stop Mold

The short answer is no. Sealing your grout will help to protect the grout and also make it easier to clean, but it does not change the environment. A shower / bathroom is obviously a wet area, with high levels of humidity – the perfect environment for mold to flourish. The best steps you can take to prolong the life of your grout and prevent mold build up are to use a quality grout and keep the area as well ventilated as possible.  Also, avoid the use of harsh chemicals and cleaners like bleach.

How to Get Rid of Mold

Once mold has penetrated the grout, the only way to get rid of it is to remove the existing grout, then replace it. All the cleaning in the world will only remove the mold from the surface of the grout and the mold will simply redevelop from the inside out. Further, cleaning the grout with harsh chemicals and cleaners such as bleach actually decay the grout over time, making the grout more porous and encouraging further mold development.

Difference – Sanded & Unsanded Grout

Sanded grout is used on tile with a grout joint width equal to or greater than 1/8 of an inch. Unsanded grout is used on tile with a grout joint width less than 1/8 of an inch and is recommended for use with polished natural stone products due to the narrow grout joints customarily preferred.

Why Clear Seal

There are several good reasons to follow up with a professional grade clear grout sealer after your tile has been installed or you buy a new home with ceramic tile.

One of the reasons your tile and grout gets dirty so quickly is because grout is porous. That means when you spill liquids or track dirt over your floors, your grout soaks them up. Sealing your grout with a clear sealer will seal your grout pores, protecting your grout from staining and keeping it looking (and staying) cleaner longer. A clear grout sealer will also make your regular floor cleaning easier and more productive.

Applying a clear grout sealer after you purchase a new home with ceramic tile or after your tile has been installed (if the grout lines have not already been treated with a clear seal) is one of the best ways to assure your tile and grout will remain looking great for the long term.

Color Seal

Color Seal on Tub - Before and After
Color Seal – Before & After

Why Color Seal Groutlines ~

Color sealing your grout may be a recent innovation, but it is certainly not a fad. Quality color sealers repel oil and water-based liquids, which will prevent food and beverage stains. In addition, they contain constant acting agents that inhibit the growth of bacteria and mildew. This not only offers health benefits by making your floors more sanitary, but can reduce or eliminate the funky smells you often find with older floors that have had a long time to absorb a variety of liquids. Color sealed floors are consequently easier to maintain.

There are aesthetic reasons for choosing color sealing as well. When you have areas where only some of the grout needs to be replaced, it is virtually impossible to match the color of the new grout to the older grout that is still intact. Even if you use the identical product and color, aging and wear has already altered the look of your previously installed grout and the difference is usually noticeable. Color sealing, however, will provide a consistent look across the board, making all of your grout look new again. And not just new —color sealing can completely change your grout to virtually any color you choose. The benefit of this is obvious. Are you considering new decor, an updated fresher look or more contemporary colors? Your existing grout doesn’t need to hold you back or limit your choices. Color sealing is a way to harmonize with and complement remodeling without the expense of regrouting. With color sealing, you can even change from a dark shade to a lighter one.

There are a couple of things that you need to be aware of. First of all, this is not recommended as a do-it-yourself project. Proper application that ensures complete protection over the entire surface of your floor is an art that requires training and practice to master. It is difficult to do correctly. Secondly, professionals like Grout Guys not only have the training, experience and tools to do the job, they have access to a wide variety of professional sealers and are better equipped to select the one that is right for your circumstances.

Grout Guys, LLC serving the Raleigh area for over 26 years. Call today for a free estimate 919-740-0984. Let’s discuss your options. Also, visit our website: www.trianglegroutguys.com

Cleaning Tile After Our Services

Here’s what we suggest to clean your tile and grout after our services:

We suggest either Simple Green Products or Method   https://methodhome.com/products/bathroom-cleaner/  Or use something without bleach or harsh chemicals.

Keep a squeegee in the shower.  Hang it from the showerhead or suction it to the wall for wiping down the tiles, tub and shower doors after a shower.

*** Do not use bleach or harsh chemicals on your tile and grout.

Why Grout Gets Dirty/Discolored

Bathroom Floor - Before and After Regrout
Grout Lines – Before and After Regrout

Understanding Grout

Grout is a material that is applied between tiles in order to fill the spaces and hold the tiles together. It is a rough and porous material, which allows dirt and grime to adhere to it very easily. Think of it like a sponge with many tiny holes that can fill up.  Liquid substances will penetrate deep within the grout causing it to look discolored. This is evident with tile flooring.

One of the most common causes for dirty, discolored grout lines is due to cleaning the tile regularly.  When you start mopping the floor, the dirty water from mop water is immediately soaked up by the porous grout.  The more you mop your floor, the dirtier and darker your grout lines will become.  The dirty water from your mop bucket is darkening your grout with every stroke of the mop.

This can be very frustrating because your floors will look dirty, despite your many efforts to keep them clean. In addition, dirty grout is a source of bacteria, mold, and mildew.

Making Your Grout Look Like New Again

Once the grout is stained, it is very hard to remove the stains and restore the grout to its original color. It is important to use the proper cleaning methods when trying to clean your grout. Call Grout Guys, LLC in order to effectively extract all of the dirt and stains from your grout. We can also apply a clear/color seal to your grout to help reduce the amount of dirt that penetrates into the grout. This will help to retain the original look and color of the grout.

Tile floors withstand an enormous amount of traffic within a home. Every time someone walks on a tile floor with shoes on, they are transferring dirt and germs to the tile and grout. Therefore, it can be quite a daunting task to keep your floors looking clean. Nonetheless, your floor is one of the first things a visitor will notice when they enter your home. With our help, you can achieve the look of sparkling clean floors and feel confident that your home will be healthy and radiant.

Preparing to Sell your Home

Bathroom Floor before and after tile cleaning
Preparing to Sell your Home – Before and After Color Seal

Preparing to Sell Your Home

Selling a home doesn’t happen overnight. To maximize your sale price, stand out from the competition and sell quickly, your home needs to go on the market in tip-top condition.

You only get one chance to make a good first impression in real estate. Once your home’s listing goes live, the days on the market start ticking. In the Internet age, with access to so much information, buyers will punish a seller whose home has been on the market for many months. If you can’t make the effort to get your home in it’s best condition, hold off on listing it.

Although buyers will look at a property in its entirety before deciding whether or not to purchase it, there are certain areas of a house that may bear more scrutiny than others. Any real estate agent can tell you that one of these specialty areas is the bathroom. This is an area where you spend a great deal of time at the beginning and ending of each day.

An ideal bathroom exudes a clean, tranquil, and comfortable ambience. It is also a part of the house that will be seen by friends, family members, and other visitors; so it should be built to impress rather than embarrass.

An unappealing bathroom can be an instant turnoff. With this in mind, it’s worth thinking about investing a bit of time and money to make your bathroom look its best.

Kitchens and bathrooms sell your home. Plan to have the bathroom grout cleaned and the kitchen floor cleaned and color sealed. At Grout Guys, LLC, we can help you prepare your kitchen and bathroom so that you can list your home for top dollar. We will give you options. Give us a call to discuss more in detail.

What is Efflorescence

efflorescence in grout lines of shower stall
efflorescence in grout lines

What is efflorescence?

A classic example how unprotected stone and lack of regular maintenance can create a very unsightly film on Slate and other Natural Stone surfaces, particularly in wet areas.

Moisture, can and does, penetrate all Unprotected Natural Stone.

When moisture reacts with naturally occurring salts in the stone itself, the mortar setting bed, or grout, Efflorescence grows. Yes, it GROWS. Salt crystals will grow and expand and will find a way out towards the surface. Sometimes this film leaches out directly through the pores of the stone, but more often it finds its way through the path of least resistance, the joints.

Fortunately, this can be rather easily resolved and prevented by calling Grout Guys, LLC at 919-740-0984 for a professional tile/grout technician to treat it. We have free estimates and have been in the tile business for over 26 years.