July 16, 2009

When a Regrout Just Doesn’t Cut The Mustard

Sometimes showers are just WAY to far gone to be able to repair or regrout them to an acceptable level.

This shower was in really rough shape.

Notice how in the first picture the floor looks very very rough. It actually felt very rough/sand papery to the touch and it held dirt like crazy.

I’ve seen this in a few shower where the customer had used extremely strong cleaners, over and over again and they wore down the glaze.

Possibly it could have been defective tile but given the right type of chemical over time it is possible to wear away at the glaze.

This particular shower, even if I could get it reasonably clean, the dirt just sticks to it so fast it’s not worth it.

bad shower

Also, notice how thick and uneven the grout lines are in this second picture?

This shower had been regrouted before and would have made the process even more difficult.

bad shower 2

The customer did not even ask me to look at this shower (thank god) but I DID ask if I could take a picture of it =)

Posted in Before & After Pictures, Grout Cleaning & Sealing, Regrouting & Repair, Showers & Bathtubs, Tile & Grout | No Comments »


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 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

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 »


July 09, 2009

Wax Build Up On Tile and Grout – Beware Wax

Any sort of wax build up on tile and grout is your WORST enemy!

It gets filled in the grout lines and generally becomes a huge pain in the butt to fully remove.

Wax could come in the form of “mop ‘n glow” or any type of product that claims it will add gloss to the surface – BEWARE!
In this video – keep an eye out for the “smiley face” I drew on the tile and grou and look how long it takes to remove using both the “turbo” (high pressure cleaning tool) as well as the floor scrubber:

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


February 15, 2008

Wax | Topical Coatings + Tile & Grout = Big Mistake

I had a job today where the customer had applied a topical coating to the floor. Initially when they applied the wax to the floor it looked “great” but as time went on the topical coating begin to wear, scuff and accumulate dirt. The more it was cleaned the more inconsistent the floor looked (partial wax removal).
Here is the product that was applied:

topical coating wax applied to tile and grout ceramic

When it was being cleaned you could definitely tell the floor had a coating- the cleaning “slurry” had a thickness to it.

cleaning slurry mix of chemicals phosphoric acids and other floor strippers

You can actually pick it up off the floor.

wax acrylic type of product

The floor required a lot of extra scrubbing and dwell time but it was able to be removed so that we could color seal over it.

Luckily this was a residential type of product that was fairly easy to remove.

It’s good to check the floor thoroughly to check for coatings and wax type of products that may have been applied. Look for an inconsistent gloss that continues from tile to grout. Also you can acid test the grout lines, if they don’t fizz up (like they should normally) it’s a another hint to look for a topical coating.

On some jobs the coating can be removed with a little extra elbow grease, dwell time or pressure but on others it can be nearly impossible to remove 100%. On bad situations sometimes it’s better to just leave a floor alone than to spend all day working on it only to have the floor become 70-80% better – which would only create a blotchy, inconsistent floor.

 Word of Warning – Beware the WaxÂ

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February 12, 2008

Cleaning Pictures From Today

Here are some pictures from today’s job.

cleaning picture before the cleaning process took place

One stage cleaning process using a phosphoric acid based cleaning product diluted at about 8 to 1. Ran the blue scrub brush over the grout lines and then hit it with the turbo hybrid for rinsing and extracting at about 1500 psi.
after cleaning but before sealing

Floor hadn’t totally dried out yet but you get the point.

Customer was a referral from a past client and also a real estate agent. Also got a decent tip :)

Just another day.

Posted in Before & After Pictures, Grout Cleaning & Sealing | No Comments »