July 13, 2009

My First Equipment Purchase – Olympus 1200 Portable

Here is a picture I dug up of my very first equipment purchase…

I ended up purchasing an Hydroforce Olmypus 1200 “portable” (movable cleaning units that create water pressure and suction used in cleaning tile or carpet are known as “portables” – the big green machine in the picture)

A Turbo Force – Turbo Hybrid high pressure tile cleaning tool (the stainless steel and blue tool) and assorted variety of accessories.

I should take a comparison picture of what this stuff looks like NOW because it doesn’t look so shiny… =)

olympus 1200 portable extractor

Also – here are some close ups of the turbo hybrid (or “turbo” as we call them).

turbo force turbo hybrid

turbo force turbo hybrid

Notice how the nozzles are angled so the water pressure causes them to spin… also the white border surrounding the edge (the part with the holes/slots in them) is the vacuum port area where all the water gets sucked up at.

turbo hybrid vacuum ports

Hopefully that gives some visual aid to those people out there who are not yet familiar with exactly what the “turbo” type tools do and how they work.

I also added a steam cleaner to the mix later on. I don’t use it very much but it does have it’s uses.

Posted in Equipment & Tools, Grout Cleaning & Sealing, Tile & Grout | 1 Comment »

July 12, 2009

Tile Removal | Replacement Made Easy (sort of…)

Here are pictures I took from a few different tile replacement jobs.

Here is the basic process:

1. Remove the grout surrounding the tiles to be replaced (this helps reduce/eliminate the transfer of impact vibrations when breaking the tile up)

Dremel tool beind used here:

Dremel Tool Being Used

2. Using an angle grinder and a diamond blade cut and “X” into the tile.


cut tile x

3. Use a hammer and chisel to break out the remaining pieces of tile.


After the tile is removed and pieces have been cleaned up you need to remove the thinset (the cement like adhesive that was used to stick the tile down in the first place) and make the surface flat so the new tile lays flat on the surface.

I’ll make a video about the installing the new tile but I figure this will point you in the right direction.

Posted in Equipment & Tools, Regrouting & Repair, Tile & Grout | No Comments »

July 11, 2009

Ancient Grout Removal Technique

I found this on the web as a “secret” way to remove grout…

Hhhmmm…. doesn’t look to secretive to me… it’s a piece of wood with a nail through it!

Actually, this is how my ancestors in the old days use to remove grout:

old school tool

Posted in Equipment & Tools, Regrouting & Repair, Tile & Grout | No Comments »

July 10, 2009

Turbo Hybrid – Be Sure To Clean Her Out Occasionally

I never thought to look for some reason but I guess it’s probably a good idea to clean out your turbo hybrid tile cleaning tool (the vacuum port area) more than once every one or two years.


I actually never cleaned it out… (never occurred to me for some reason) until a while ago because I saw “she” was having trouble sucking things up.

And this is what I found: it looks like I tried to “turbo” up some road kill!

Turbo Hybrid + Road Kill

Turbo Hybrid + Road Kill

I’ll do a video on how to do the maintenance on her later.

Posted in Equipment & Tools, Tile & Grout | No Comments »

July 09, 2009

How Not to Use Your Turbo Hybrid!

In case this whole tile and grout cleaning business doesn’t work out for me I can always try auto detailing!

Posted in Equipment & Tools, Grout Cleaning & Sealing, Tile & Grout | No Comments »

July 09, 2009

A New Way To Remove Grout…

And when I say “new” I mean being done by a hot girl =)

Brought to you by “Hotfortools” on youtube.com

Posted in Equipment & Tools, Tile & Grout | No Comments »

July 09, 2009

Turbo Hybrid – High Presure Tile Cleaning Tool in Action

Here is a little visual on how the turbo hybrid high pressure cleaning tool works.

It has two angled jets that spray high pressure water to “pressure wash” the grout lines. There is also an area for vacuum on the very edge.

Pretty much the most effective way to clean grout quickly and for good $$$!

Posted in Equipment & Tools, Grout Cleaning & Sealing, Tile & Grout | No Comments »

February 14, 2008

Racatac – Next Generation Knee Pads

This was actually one of the very first tools I decided to get for the biz. Takes a lot of stress off your knees. Not the best for small areas but always a good tool to have around.

racatac review in the box

I ended up ordering mine from Contractors Direct.

It was the cheapest price I could find at about $159.99. It comes with 2″ and 3″ casters. Best to go with 2″ for tile and grout work where you actually are working or color sealing grout lines.
racatac review grout cleaning

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February 10, 2008

Storage Solutions – I robbed a Home Depot!

I’ve been trying to deal with the ever increasing amount of equipment that we all end up accumulating. I made a nice little find on some heavy duty shelving sourced from a Home Depot:

grout cleaning home depot shelving

I ended up getting 3 nine foot tall upright sections (3 uprights make up two continuous shelving units). They are also about 4 feet deep.

Home depot shelving

They have tons of space with room to “grow” into.

grout cleaning supplies olympus

These two racks only set me back $150 – found off of craigslist.

And of course, they didn’t think it would fit in my truck – HA!

full truck shelving

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February 05, 2008

Which Grout Brush is Best?

I’ve tried both of the more common grout brushes out there:

grout brush 1 grout brush 2
I definitely favor the blue brush made by Flo-Pac. The bristles have a little more give to them and help them get into the line more efficiently.

This is how you know when you “might” need to replace yours 🙂

grout brush worn down

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February 05, 2008

How to Get Equipment for “Almost” Free

I got an interesting phone call today – went something like this:

“Hello, I don’t know if you’d be interested or not but I have some tile and grout equipment I need to get rid of and I’ll sell it dirt cheap.”

The first thing that came to my mind was….Define: “DIRT CHEAP”.

To my pleasant surprise, the cliché lived up to it’s name.

Turns out this gentlemen had a cleaning business about 5 years ago and had to get out due to health reasons. He had purchased a high pressure portable (one of the early models actually), a Turbo Hybrid, various wands, vacuums and accessories. He had sold all his accounts 4 years ago and had been storing all of this equipment for the last 4 years in a storage unit. He recently added up all the payments he had been making on his storage unit and realized he had better just get rid of the stuff.

Lucky for me I was at the right place at the right time – here is what I scored:

Don’t ask me why I brought my station wagon – I didn’t think there would be that much stuff:

(both the seller and my girlfriend didn’t think I could get all this stuff in the car – HA!)

Grout Mobile filled up

The score:

1 – High Pressure Portable – FX-88 (older model)

2 – Carpet Wand

3 – Turbo Force Turbo Hybrid Spinner Tool (older model)

4 – Gekko Hard Surface Wand

5 – Carpet Wand

6 – TWO Back Pack Vacuums (need some work)

7 – Janitorial Push cart

8 – Mini Blower

9 – Collapsible loading ramp (always wanted one)

10 – Tone of miscellaneous micro fiber rags, supplies, bags, hoses, etc

fx-88 high pressure portable more grout cleaning inventory

Turbo Hybrid Masters Touch

Now the million dollar question – how much did I pay for all this semi-used second hand equipment?

$100 (one hundred dollars)

No, seriously. That’s all I paid. When the seller told me how much he was letting it go for – my response was

“I’ll be right over.”

Anyone in the market for some used equipment? 😉

Posted in Equipment & Tools | 1 Comment »

February 04, 2008

Chinese made tools?

I saw this the other day at a supply house that caters to granite and marble fabrication shops.

Chinese made tools

Posted in Equipment & Tools, Stone & Concrete | No Comments »