Grout Care

Grout is the material used to fill the spaces between the individual tiles. Grout comes in many colors. While color is important to the final finished look of the tile installation, it has little effect on the functionality of the grout. The purpose of grout is, simply, to fill the joint between the tiles and becomes a permanent, integral component of the finished installation.

Penetrating/Impregnating Sealer
Most tile installations use cementitious grouts. This type of grout should be sealed after installation to prevent the color from staining. The grout should be sealed with a penetrating/impregnating sealer (often called grout sealers). Epoxy grouts, conversely, are chemically cured and acid resistant and, as a result, do not require a sealer. The application of a good quality penetrating/impregnating sealer into the grout joints of a cementitious grout will not change the natural color of the grout, but will prevent the penetration of moisture, simplify maintenance, and help prevent staining or discoloration. Only the grout needs to be sealed, not glazed floor or wall tiles. Grout can be sealed seventy-two hours after installation.

There are different grades of penetrating/impregnating sealers, therefore the useful life and price will differ between a low quality and high quality sealer. You may need to reapply the sealer on an annual basis depending on the sealer quality, traffic patterns, and maintenance routine. Some sealers have multiple year warranties for useful life. Refer to the manufacturer warranty, technical & product information for specific details on product installation, useful life, and product applications (including any warnings) before use.


Grout Maintenance
Neither sealing the grout nor using a 100% Epoxy Grout will guarantee against surface build-up or discoloration of the grout. Grout needs to be cleaned on a periodic basis to remove any surface build-up. Routine grout cleaning can be done with a daily concentrated household or commercial cleaner depending on the application. When heavy duty grout cleaning is required, you will need to use a professional strength Tile & Grout Cleaner that is capable of removing grease, soap scum, body oil, mildew stains, algae, and synthetic or acrylic waxes from the grout joints. However, such a product should contain non-polluting chemicals. This type of product can be purchased from most Home Centers, or through your local professional Floor Covering Dealer.

Grout Color Restoration
When grout has been stained to the point that it cannot be maintained or returned to its natural color, you can return the grout back to its original color or any other color through the use of a "grout stain". Grout Stains are epoxy-based products that are specifically designed to penetrate into the grout and seal the surface with a permanent color. Once the grout has been stained there is no need to seal it any further with a penetrating/impregnating sealer. Prior to staining, the grout joint should be cleaned thoroughly to remove any dirt, oils, grease or sealers with a professional strength Tile & Grout Cleaner. This can be purchased from most Home Centers or through your local Professional Floor Covering Dealer.

Quartz Surfaces

Routine Care
Quartz Surfaces are virtually maintenance free and can be cleaned with extreme ease.

Common household spills are easily removed and the surface restored to its original appearance.

Some Quartz Surface colors and finishes liked honed, matt, etc., are more sensitive to grease or finger-prints and may require extra care during routine cleaning.

For routine cleaning, use a damp cloth or paper towel and, if necessary, a small amount of mild soap. Once clean, rinse and dry surface thoroughly.

For stubborn or dried spills, use a nonabrasive cleaning pad such as a white 3M Scotch-Brite® scrub pad combined with a small amount of mild soap or specialized stone cleaner. Quartz Surfaces floors in high traffic areas should be cleaned daily with a clean, dry dust mop or soft bristle broom.

Quartz Surfaces floors in low traffic areas can be cleaned less frequently using the same method. Spills should be spot treated with the use of a damp mop or cloth towel and, if necessary, a small amount of mild soap or specialized stone cleaner.


Avoid exposing Quartz Surfaces to chemicals and solvents, especially paint removers or furniture strippers containing trichlorethane or methylene chloride. Keep nail polish remover, bleach or cleansers that contain bleach, bluing, permanent markers or inks. While casual exposure to alkaline materials will not damage One Quartz Surfaces, highly alkaline (high-pH) cleansers are not recommended when cleaning One Quartz Surfaces. If any of the substances listed above come into contact with One Quartz Surfaces, rinse the exposed surface immediately and thoroughly with plenty of clean water.

Do not use strong abrasive and/or alkaline cleaning products. Always follow the manufacturers’ dilution instructions and recommendations.

 

Glass Tiles
For routine cleaning, use any non-abrasive cleaning compound recommended for either glass or tile

Metal Signatures/Metal Ages/Urban Metals
To clean, use a liquid non-abrasive household cleaner.
DO NOT use scouring pads, steel wool, sandpaper or other abrasive products.
Avoid cleaners containing ammonia, bleach, abrasives, or other hazardous/polluting compounds.
Always test in small inconspicuous area while using a new cleaner to ensure compatibility.

Natural Stone

Porous by nature, natural stone products require an alternate maintenance program from traditional man-made ceramic tile. It is crucial that a proper maintenance program is used for natural stone products

 

Many of the cleaners used on ceramic tile can harm natural stones. Ceramic tile cleaners can stain, dull or damage stone. Proper stone cleaners should never contain acid or bleach. A light solution of vinegar and water, will etch and eventually damage stone. Natural stone should be cleaned with neutral cleaners. Stone floors should be vacuumed or dust mopped often as dirt and dust will scratch the surface of stone.

 

Sealing  

A premium natural look penetrating/impregnating sealer is the normal choice on polished or honed marble, limestone, granite, or where the natural color of a slate is desired. Penetrating/impregnating stone sealers are a no-sheen, natural look sealer that can be water-based or solvent-based, and are good for interior and exterior applications.  A stone enhancer sealer is often used on tumbled, antique stones or on slate where a darker, enriched or highlighted character is desired. Stone enhancer sealers are also a no-sheen, penetrating/impregnating sealer that is formulated to darken, enrich, and highlight the natural color and beauty of stone products. Always test loose pieces of stone to ensure desired effect with enhancing sealers. However, they will also darken the color of grout joints. They are, generally, suitable for interior and exterior use, and rated to protect the stone for several years.
 

Stone Cleaners
Only use cleaners specifically designed for cleaning stone. These cleaners contain no acids and are concentrated neutral pH cleaners that will not affect existing sealers or wax-type coatings. The surface of the stone should be dampened with clear water. This will keep the cleaning solution on the surface so it can be effective. A solution of the cleaner and water missed to manufacturer instructions should be applied to the stone surface with a sponge or mop. On walls, kitchen counters or vanity tops, a spray bottle can be used to apply the cleaning solution. Allow sitting for manufacturers specified amount of time (usually 3 to 5 minutes). Agitate with a sponge, synthetic mop, soft bristle brush or through the use of a floor-scrubbing machine. Mop up dirty solution and buff dry.

Once the stone has been cleaned, you can periodically apply a Spray-Buff wax-type floor finish to enhance the beauty and luster of polished stone (including countertops). Apply the finish with a spray applicator and buff immediately with a white nylon pad. Reapply as often as needed, depending on volume of surface traffic and consistency of routine maintenance program. This product is not designed to restore the original shine, but is intended to maintain and protect the original shine. This can be purchased from most Home Centers or through your local Professional Floor Covering Dealer.

 

Heavy-Duty Stone Cleaning

To effectively remove heavy dirt, grease, grime, waxes, and floor finishes a heavy-duty non-hazardous and non-polluting stone cleaner is required. Apply the solution of the cleaner and water mixed to manufacturer instructions to the stone surface with a sponge or mop. Allow setting for manufacturer-specified amount of time. Massage with a sponge, synthetic mop, and soft bristle brush, or through the use of a floor-scrubbing machine. Mop up dirty solution and buff dry. Be sure to change out the cleaning solution every 100 square feet to avoid reintroducing dirty water during the cleaning process. Rinse thoroughly with clean water when finished. After cleaning you may apply the Spray-Buff wax-type floor/countertop finish to enhance the natural shine.

 

Stain Removal
Stone poultice will remove stains and grout haze from stone. Poultice is a fine, nonacidic, absorptive clay cleaning powder that removes deep-set oil stains, grease and light cementitious grout haze from polished and unpolished natural stone.

CAUTIONPoultice may dull the shine of the polished stone. If this occurs you will need to use a marble polish to restore the natural shine.

Restoration
If a marble finish has become dull, scratched or etched, you can restore the natural shine through the use of a marble polish. Some marble polishes are available in kits. The process can be enhanced with the use of floor buffing machines. The process is generally a re-crystallization process to remove fine scratches and restore the original shine and polish to the stone. This is not an application of a topical sealer or wax to cover-up damaged or worn surfaces.