Cleaning Commercial Tile & Grout Floors
Cleaning tile and grout floors has become more challenging then ever for building owners and managers. There are so many diversified types of hard tile flooring today that require specific tools, cleaning solutions and trained staff.
There is little available to the facility manager to get the kind of results they are looking for. Many managers have accepted a lower standard of “Clean” when it comes to their tiled floors because there are few who can really clean it completely.
Most commercial buildings have ceramic, porcelain or quarry tile when it comes to hard tile surfaces. The areas that often have these type of flooring materials are restrooms, cafeterias, hallways and the front lobby.
Ceramic Tile Floor Cleaning
Newer ceramic tile flooring can become a problem on two fronts First, the tile surfaces are produced with more texture than ever before. This makes the floor mop less useful, often just a tool that moves dirty water from the surface of the tile to the grout lines.
Second, the grout between tiles has even more texture to trap residue. The grout easily absorbs moisture, oils and sugars. These residues in turn attract dirt and other solids that degrade the overall appearance of the grout, often resulting in darkening and bacteria laden grout.
When soil is deposited in grout and left untouched for years, odors can become persistent and difficult to remove completely.
Looking For More Efficient Cleaning Methods
The ability of the mop to clean and restore these materials seems inefficient even when using the best cleaning solutions. Once the soil is broken down into a liquid form, the suspended soils need to be vacuumed away completely.
Some building managers will use a rotary scrubber or Zamboni machine to power scrub and extract but this merely scrapes and loosens the grime available on the surface. These ground-in residues remain deep within the surface, hiding in micro-pockets and crevasses that brushes don’t completely reach.
Cleaning agents can often dissolve and suspend the soiling, but unless a more efficient, immediate extraction method is used, this slurry only soaks in deeper. Some have endorsed the use of a wet vacuum to try to improve the soil removal process. This process still falls short of the desired level of clean.