First of all you need to ask yourself, do you really want tiles on your floor, or should you opt for more modern solutions like an epoxy floor. Epoxy is not just more stunning, it is also much easier to clean than tiles.
It would be great if tile retained the same appearance as the day it was first grouted and cleaned, but even a tough surface such as tile will begin to age and wear with use use.
The good news is professional tile and grout cleaning can restore most tile coverings to their original beauty. The process for cleaning grout and tile is dependent upon how stained they are.
If you attempt grout cleaning yourself, you can be successful with some grout cleaning products as long as the stains have not penetrated deep into the grout. Stain prevention is the key to keeping grout looking good, and that begins right after installing the tile.
Sanded grout is a masonry product that is very porous, and if it is not sealed, it doesn’t take long for spilled food and drinks, dirt from shoes, and other materials to penetrate and leave stains.
Sealers applied to the grout about a week after it has dried help to keep the stains from sinking in too deeply; however, these sealers don’t last forever and will wear over time. It is recommended to reseal every year, but that might not be often enough in heavy traffic areas.
Grout sealing is a tedious job because only the grout should be sealed. This requires an applicator such as an artist brush small enough to fit between the tiles. Sealer may change the color of the grout making it slightly darker, but some products only darken the grout coloring while wet and it will return to its original color when the sealer dries.
Preparing to Reseal Grout
Before resealing, the floors as well as the grout should be cleaned to remove any surface contaminants.
If there is an area of the floor that has been covered by furniture since the tile was first set, it is good to compare it to areas where the floor has been cleaned to determine if cleaning is performed sufficiently. Perform the comparison after the tile and grout cleaning solution has dried completely.
Generally, grout cleaning is more difficult than tile cleaning because the tile has a tough glazed finish. Still, you may notice a difference in appearance when you compare the area that didn’t have traffic to the cleaned area.
Grit on the bottom of shoes is equivalent to small crystals that can cut into the tile surface. Shuffling shoes across the surface is about the same as using sandpaper, so you can imagine what damage this can do on a long term basis.
If you can’t get the tile or the grout clean enough to look as it did when it was new or just don’t want to go the painstaking trouble, your best option is to call a hard surface specialist like an epoxy flooring contractor and save yourself the aggravation and labor.
A professional has techniques, materials, and equipment that are industry specific and they know how to use them without harming other surfaces such as hardwood floors or carpeted areas.
Keep in mind that the sooner you contact a hard surface professional, the better the chances of returning the surface to its original appearance. Any tiles that are chipped and/or broken may require replacement, and in order for the replacement tiles to blend in with the originals, a hard surface specialist is highly recommended.