New to residential tile cleaning and need some info | TruckMount Forums #1 Carpet Cleaning Forums

New to residential tile cleaning and need some info

Mr.Steamer

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So I have been stripping and waxing commercially for years, but just recently realized that I don't know shit for my tile services for residential. I hear so much different stuff...alkaline rinse, acid rinse, can't seal tile only grout, color matching etc. and I realized that I am kind of over my head. I know there is a difference between God made and man made tile, but not sure of the differences or what can/can't be used on each. Also, I don't have a spinner tool, just a low speed machine and wet/dry vac. Any advice or tips on getting started would be appreciated. Thanks!
 
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Ken Raddon

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You're swimming upstream without a high pressure system with a spinner but it can be done.

If you've done s&w for that many years this should be real simple and I am going to lay it down for you here.

Step one: clear the area and sweep it up.

Optional step (only necessary if your machine throws water when you scrub) tape off the cabinets and appliances and adjacent floors. PS I have only ever taped off adjacent high end wood floors.

Step two: mop down some tile and grout cleaner. Make sure you have enough down to stay wet for 20 minutes. It should be about as deep as if it were stripper on a strip and wax job and work in manageable sized areas.

Step three: Scrub with a good brush (too many to mention and any softer brush will dig a little into the grout but a stiffer one will scim over the grout) You do know how to heel a brush right? Well you're going to heel the brush into the grout lines especially in front of the oven, sink and fridge.

Step four: Suck that up with your wet vac. Then mop down some clear hot water and suck it up. Then move onto the next area and repeat.

Two additional thoughts... I have never found acid cleaners to be necessary as in they never cleaned any better than a good alkaline grout cleaner. My two faves have been Grout Master from TMF and Oxyblaster from Magic Wand Co.

The difference between man made and God made is almost all man made is tougher and easier to clean. That is a simpflication but a good rule to go by. Just stay away from natural stone until you get some class training and you'll be okay.
 

Robert86

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Throw in a good grout brush like the grout demon and you can actually get quite a bit done with your current equipment. Put down your grout cleaning chemical, scrub, let dwell, extract, wet with clean water, scrub extract. Might have to do that a couple times to rinse. It will take a little more time than with a spinner but its doable.

If a truck mount is out of the budget then a few hundred on a simple pressure washer or a water otter might be even better (water otter sells like $800 - $900) and then another $300 - $400 on a tile and grout cleaning wand would be a nice upgrade at a lower cost.

For porcelain and ceramic tiles you only seal the grout, natural stone you can seal the whole floor surface.

Alkaline (high PH) for general cleaning of soils and grease and oils. Acids (low ph) for getting staining, efflorescence and lightning grout. Note that acids aren't good on a lot of natural stones but just check in here when in doubt.
 

Mr.Steamer

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I have a truckmount, but just no spinner tool. I use a lot of JonDon chems like viper venom or grout devil, I assume those would be the same difference. Are there tools for just sealing grout? I use microfiber pads to wax a floor and have sealed slate tile with them before so I assume it'd work on residential, but never sealed only grout before.
 

Mr.Steamer

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So rapid fire a few more questions. 1. Do you have a minimum charge if all they want is tile, no carpet cleaning or anything? 2. If its $1 to clean and $.50 to seal a floor where you can do tile and everything, do you still charge the same if its only grout lines you can seal? Like for ceramic or porcelain? 3. I've seen videos with different applications for grout sealing and they use different tools. One had a small bottle with a tooth brush head (or thats what it looked like) and he ran it up and down the lines. Another had a dude with a long stick with a little wheel on the end and he ran that through the grout lines...is one better than another? 4. Is color sealing different from just sealing...I mean I know it is, but if a custy had brown grout but wanted it white, do you have to recolor than seal it or is there a product that does it all at once? Do you charge extra for color seal over normal seal? And lastly, the sealers I've found on JonDon are outrageously priced...from what I know, sealer is sealer...to an extent. What would the best sealer that you guys have used for both God made, man made and grout lines only? Thanks for the info gang...it's much appreciated!
 

Robert86

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So rapid fire a few more questions. 1. Do you have a minimum charge if all they want is tile, no carpet cleaning or anything? 2. If its $1 to clean and $.50 to seal a floor where you can do tile and everything, do you still charge the same if its only grout lines you can seal? Like for ceramic or porcelain? 3. I've seen videos with different applications for grout sealing and they use different tools. One had a small bottle with a tooth brush head (or thats what it looked like) and he ran it up and down the lines. Another had a dude with a long stick with a little wheel on the end and he ran that through the grout lines...is one better than another? 4. Is color sealing different from just sealing...I mean I know it is, but if a custy had brown grout but wanted it white, do you have to recolor than seal it or is there a product that does it all at once? Do you charge extra for color seal over normal seal? And lastly, the sealers I've found on JonDon are outrageously priced...from what I know, sealer is sealer...to an extent. What would the best sealer that you guys have used for both God made, man made and grout lines only? Thanks for the info gang...it's much appreciated!
My minimum charge to clean is $125. Most areas you should be making at least $100 on any job doesn't matter.

My price to seal is determined by the sq footage weather its the entire floor surface or just grout lines.

The stick with the wheel is nice because you don't have to bend over or crawl on your hands and knees. The bottle with brush or wheel works just as well but you are on your knees. Its your preference there imo.

Color sealing should cost more. Ive never done color sealing so thats all I can tell you there.

The grout sealers I use all cost about $80 - $100 per gallon. Weather I buy the viper sealers from JonDon or the stuff from Home Depot. A good tile and grout sealer is a lot pricier than VCT sealers. Hence why we tend to charge more for sealing than we do VCT strip and wax.
 

Mr.Steamer

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My minimum charge to clean is $125. Most areas you should be making at least $100 on any job doesn't matter.

My price to seal is determined by the sq footage weather its the entire floor surface or just grout lines.

The stick with the wheel is nice because you don't have to bend over or crawl on your hands and knees. The bottle with brush or wheel works just as well but you are on your knees. Its your preference there imo.

Color sealing should cost more. Ive never done color sealing so thats all I can tell you there.

The grout sealers I use all cost about $80 - $100 per gallon. Weather I buy the viper sealers from JonDon or the stuff from Home Depot. A good tile and grout sealer is a lot pricier than VCT sealers. Hence why we tend to charge more for sealing than we do VCT strip and wax.
Well that's what I'm curious about. How to do the price different for entire floor sealing or just the grout lines and which should be more...or the same. Entire floor would seem to be much easier and grout line would be tougher with having to be so precise...
 

Shawn Abbey

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Ask for a grout roller. If not available, we spray the sealer on the grout lines, and then after some dwell time, use a bonnet to skim any excess off the tiles.
 

Robert86

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Well that's what I'm curious about. How to do the price different for entire floor sealing or just the grout lines and which should be more...or the same. Entire floor would seem to be much easier and grout line would be tougher with having to be so precise...
Charge the same weather its the entire floor or just grout lines. If you are only sealing grout lines it will use less product than the entire floor but takes more time. If you're doing the entire floor surface, you use more product but typically it takes less time. So the cost with time sort of balances out.
 

Mr.Steamer

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Charge the same weather its the entire floor or just grout lines. If you are only sealing grout lines it will use less product than the entire floor but takes more time. If you're doing the entire floor surface, you use more product but typically it takes less time. So the cost with time sort of balances out.
Ok cool that's what I thought. Does $1 to clean and $.50 to seal seem right or am I short changing myself?
 

Robert86

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Ok cool that's what I thought. Does $1 to clean and $.50 to seal seem right or am I short changing myself?
I believe $1.00 - $1.50 for residential over 100 sq ft is kind of average. And then they say half the cleaning cost to seal. Those prices are sort of national averages though so your area might price higher, might price lower.

I pretty much just do commercial tile and grout. Areas running over 1,000 sq ft. I price 0.40 for cleaning (and I'm high for my area).
 

rob allen

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WWW.FiveStar-Clean.Com

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I have a truckmount, but just no spinner tool. I use a lot of JonDon chems like viper venom or grout devil, I assume those would be the same difference. Are there tools for just sealing grout? I use microfiber pads to wax a floor and have sealed slate tile with them before so I assume it'd work on residential, but never sealed only grout before.
Your best bet is to invest in a spinner tool I guarantee you it will save you a bunch of time and pay for it itself with a couple of jobs
Like a Hydro force sx15 or A turbo hybrid is your TM able to produce 1200 psi also pick up some of this from TMF it's amazing stuff
 
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WWW.FiveStar-Clean.Com

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I have a truckmount, but just no spinner tool. I use a lot of JonDon chems like viper venom or grout devil, I assume those would be the same difference. Are there tools for just sealing grout? I use microfiber pads to wax a floor and have sealed slate tile with them before so I assume it'd work on residential, but never sealed only grout before.
Pick up one of these from interlink supply this is what I used to seal Grout https://interlinksupply.com/index.php?item_num=AR57 and I use this grout sealer http://www.homedepot.com/p/Miracle-Sealants-32-oz-Impregnator-Penetrating-Sealer-511-QT-H/100076375
 

Scott W

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I did a Stone, Tile & grout cleaning class on DVD. Audio, PowerPoint, manual, quizzes to take, lots of photos and so forth. It sold for $100 for many years.

Decided it was getting old and needed to be up-dated. Took the ads off and had 7 copies left. I will mail a free DVD to you if you send me an email with your shipping address, contact info, company name and such.

scottw@bridgewatercorp.net Once they are gone, they are gone.
 
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PhilipW

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I did a Stone, Tile & grout cleaning class on DVD. Audio, PowerPoint, manual, quizzes to take, lots of photos and so forth. It sold for $100 for many years.

Decided it was getting old and needed to be up-dated. Took the ads off and had 7 copies left. I will mail a free DVD to you if you send me an email with your shipping address, contact info, company name and such.

scottw@bridgewatercorp.net Once they are gone, they are gone.
Scott any chance I could take you up on that?
 

StevenB.

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