5 Simple Tricks to Reducing the Need for Household Tile & Grout Cleaning in Jacksonville, Florida

Keeping a clean home shouldn’t be such a chore. People are busy and most families don’t have enough free time for heavy housecleaning. In these cases, the best thing you can do is attack your housekeeping in smaller doses. Prevention is key and the following tricks will help you keep up on those pesky-mess makers while saving you a ton of money, time, and energy.
mom hugs daughter on beach

1. Remove Footwear

As autumn wears on, the chances of finding yourself in damp shoes will only become more prevalent. Not only that, higher moisture will lead to wet sand that will become lodged in every nook and cranny of your favorite footwear.
Removing your shoes may be the best recommendation for keeping these wet messes out of your home. You will track less mud onto your carpets and the sand is less likely to build up in the hidden corners of your rooms. Though, you don’t need to ask guests to do this as just having your immediate family remove their shoes will reduce the amount of sand and mud that creeps into your house.

2. Use Your Mudroom

With good reason, many beach houses have mudrooms. With a mudroom, you can be sure that your family and pets are nice and tidy before you allow them to enter your home. Whether it be gritty sand or swampy mud, your home will stay much cleaner if you stop these dirty messes in their tracks before they can make it inside.
These handy little spaces often have enough space to store those shoes you’ve just taken off upon entering your home. Homeowners generally take advantage of the faucets and drains located in the tile-floored rooms. That way, shoes, and pets can be well-cleaned prior to entering the house.

3. Install an Outdoor Shower

Beachfront property can be beautiful and many can picture their dream houses sitting just seconds from the ocean. However, these peaceful abodes are not without their pitfalls. Yes, you and your family can enjoy some good surfing and swimming just outside your door, but all that sand and water can wreak havoc on the cleanliness of your home.
Installing an outdoor shower will save you precious time and energy on upholstery, carpet, tile, and grout cleaning throughout your home. Your whole family can surf and swim to their heart’s’ content without bringing that mess into your kitchen, living room, and bathrooms.

4. Prevent Stains

Sometimes, even the most watchful eye can miss something and the outdoor grime makes its way into your house. The next step is to prevent those outside pollutants from causing stains around your home. If you are diligent in your housekeeping, your home is sure to remain in tip-top condition for your family and guests.
The best recommendation for preventing tile and grout stains in your kitchen and bathroom is a simple solution. By keeping a spray bottle of pH neutral tile, grout, and stone cleaning solution on-hand, you can spray spills and wipe them away with a paper towel or damp sponge. Experts also recommend cleaning these materials at least once a week.

5. Protect Your Grout

Usually, the tile installed in your kitchen and bathroom can be easily damaged and, unfortunately, so can the grout that holds it all together. Damaged tile and grout are breeding grounds for mold, mildew, and biofilm that are dangerous to the health of your loved ones.
By thoroughly drying your tile after each use, you will prevent the premature crumbling of the grout. Also, be sure to avoid using anything acidic or abrasive for tile and grout cleaning as these substances will weaken the surfaces. It may even be necessary to reseal your grout or even replace your tile and grout completely if it becomes heavily damaged.

So the next time your children are running in from the beach, just stop them outside. It may even be a good idea to involve the whole family in adopting these simple tricks for keeping your house clean. It will be less of a headache for everyone. But, if you happen to find your home riddled with stained carpets, tile, or grout, just call your local cleaning company and they’ll get you back on the right track to keeping a clean and healthy environment for your family and guests.

5 Inspiring Benefits of a Clean House

Person cleaning floor in a homeFew of us get excited about the regular chore of cleaning. But at the same time, most of us are happy when it is done. If you are in need of some motivation to clean your house, consider these compelling reasons for keeping the dust bunnies, dirt, and clutter at bay.

A Healthier Environment

The EPA says that the air in your home can be five times more polluted than the air outside your home. The dust mites, pollen, pet dander, bug skeletons, bacteria, and mold in your home can create a toxic cocktail for your respiratory system and general well-being. The Center for Hygiene and Health in Home and Community in Boston found 20 percent more instances of staphylococcus bacteria in tubs than in garbage cans! It might be time to grab that bathroom scrub brush. Cleaning removes at least some of these health compromisers.

Additionally, pests, such as cockroaches and rodents, are attracted to dirty corners and food that’s been left out. Pests create extremely unsanitary conditions and carry pathogens that can affect the physical health of the people and pets in your home.

A Safer Environment

Not only is it healthier to not have pollen and bacteria floating around in your home, but it’s also safer to not have clutter. When toys or other objects are lying on the floor, particularly in walking paths, they can be safety hazards. One year, BBC reported that 6,000 people had gotten injured by tripping on their pants or by falling down the stairs while putting them on. So if you’d like to avoid a stubbed toe, a sprained ankle, or even worse, a broken leg, it might be a good idea to get the piles of dirty laundry and the loose objects out of your way.

Physical Exercise

Cleaning your house can boost your fitness routine. You can burn up to 300 calories per every hour of cleaning, with tasks like vacuuming, sweeping, and mopping burning an impressive amount of calories. And when you grab that brush and proceed to do a thorough tile and grout cleaning in your shower, you’re burning around 90 calories every 15 minutes! One research group did a study of almost 1,000 adults and found that those with the cleanest homes also tended to be the most active and the healthiest.

Increased Productivity

Studies have actually been done on the correlation between clean environments and productivity. When everything is in its place and there are no distractions to a person’s concentration, the amount of work produced is much higher.

Decreased Stress Levels

A dirty, cluttered house can affect your mental and emotional state, especially when you can’t find things you need or when you end up getting sick because of the polluted air in your home. Dirt and clutter can create stress, sometimes even subconsciously, because there are things that need attention or things that aren’t getting done. Cleaning up can help you achieve a better state of well-being. And with all the pressures and responsibilities demanding your time and attention, a clean home can also provide a calming environment where you can relax and get re-energized.

It turns out that the state of your home affects almost every area of your life! Just remember all the positive benefits of a clean home whenever you’re tempted to let the chores slide. A half hour here and an hour there can create an environment that you want to live in.

4 Steps to Avoiding Heavy Cleaning After Craft Projects

girl_with_paint_makes_grout_cleaning_necessaryWith the ever-growing popularity of websites like Pinterest, families have obviously been embracing their inner craftiness and enjoying the creation of sometimes strange things. However, the one downfall to all of this quality family time is the havoc it can wreak on kitchens and other areas of the home. The following guide will help you avoid the need for heavy cleaning after you and your children have created those delightfully-crafty works of art.

1. Cover the space.

Large kitchen tables and countertops seem to be the number one place used by families hoping to create something together. This makes sense because these spaces are usually free of carpeting and offer amenities such as water sources and easy-to-access trash receptacles while also providing ample space for everyone to be involved. The first and best practice to follow when crafting in the kitchen is to thoroughly cover the area. This can be done with a heavy drop-cloth, old bedsheets, cheap plastic shower curtains, or disposable tablecloths.

2. Use washable supplies

It can be daunting to walk into a craft store in search of kid-friendly supplies that won’t break the bank. Luckily, there are many types of washable art supplies on the market. You just need a little knowledge about what to look for when you get there. For example, craft paints are available in a large variety of colors. Water based acrylic paint dries quickly, is easiest to clean up. Oil based paints are usually thicker and more permanent and are therefore more difficult to clean up when splashed or spilled.

3. Limit available materials.

Make cleanup a cinch by limiting the materials available to your children at any given moment. First, you should give your equipment, tools, and supplies a permanent home. This will make it easier for you and your children to find them and return them when you are finished. You can also sort supplies into categories and store them in their own containers or baskets. Old baby food jars and ziplock bags are among the most popular. Additionally, rolling storage containers with drawers can be brought into your art space, the drawers removed as needed, then replaced and returned to their designated “home”. Likewise, if there are several steps to a project, try to give your little ones only the supplies they need for each step of the process. Limiting supplies will limit the number of possible messes that can lead to a need for heavy fixture, tile and grout cleaning once you have finished your project.

4. Clean up immediately.

The two biggest keys to keeping your kitchen clean during art projects will be preparation and upkeep. Many do-it-yourselfers suggest gathering all of your necessary cleaning supplies before getting started. This can not only help you keep the area clean, but it can also encourage the children in the home to clean up after themselves. This will go a long way in teaching your children lifelong lessons is tidiness.

In this day-and-age of digital connectedness, the need for quality family time is increasing by leaps and bounds. Crafting is necessary for helping children develop important bi-lateral and fine-motor coordination, self-regulation skills, and increased self-esteem. Parents should be sure to have fun with their children during family projects, but this doesn’t mean they can’t try to keep their homes neat and tidy in the process.

Why You Should Choose a Tile Floor

Luxury floor tiles made from porcelain tiles and modern wall tilesAs tile floors become more and more popular, homeowners everywhere are installing it in their new or newly renovated homes. If you’re looking at the overwhelming lineup of flooring choices, consider these reasons why tile might just be your best option yet.

It’s Long-Lasting

Ceramic and porcelain tile floors, when installed correctly, will last a lifetime (50 years). In contrast, carpet has a life expectancy of 6 years and vinyl, 10 years. If you’re a long-term homeowner, the higher initial cost of tile will easily cost you less than the more frequent replacement costs of carpet and vinyl. Besides, who likes replacing the flooring every six years?

It Increases Your Home’s Value

Because tile is such high quality, it increases the perceived value of your home. For instance, kitchens and master bathrooms are two of the top-most selling points in a home, according to Trulia. Kitchens and bathrooms are also two of the top remodel projects that bring the most return on investment at resale, with a recovery rate around 100 percent. Buyers love updated kitchens and bathrooms, and that includes gorgeous tile floors.

It’s Versatile

Tile can do many things. Do you love hardwood floors? There’s a vinyl tile option that looks like real wood. Do you need something sturdy and moisture-resistant for your mudroom or laundry room? There’s a tile—durable slate-look porcelain—that provides both features. Do you need a tile that hides dirt? There are lots of variegated tile designs that look stunning while hiding muddy footprints. Would you like to have an artistic design in your floor for the foyer? With tile, you can create a beautiful mosaic on your floor that will greet people as they walk in. The colors, designs, and finishes of your tile floor are subject only to your imagination.

It’s Easy to Keep Clean

Some tiles, such as porcelain, are very stain-resistant, an important consideration if you have children and pets. Most of the time, a simple weekly vacuuming and occasional mopping with mild cleaners will keep your floor looking fantastic. If it does get a little grimy, an appointment with a professional tile and grout cleaning service can get it looking like new again.

It’s Environmentally Friendly

Tile floors are a rating factor in determining the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification assigned to homes and other buildings. Tile is considered green-friendly, due to its long life cycle, zero (or very low) VOC (sickness-causing) contributions to indoor air quality, almost 100-percent recycling practices of tile factories (called closed-loop production), hypoallergenic qualities, and low maintenance features (which eliminate the need for strong chemical cleaners).

Why choose a tile floor? The reasons are both aesthetic and practical and the right tile floor can give you both at the same time. All you need to do is choose from the hundreds (or perhaps thousands) of colors, styles, and patterns available.

14 Choices That Make Tile and Grout Cleaning Easier

construction worker tilerShopping for tile can lead homeowners into a black hole of foreign-sounding terminology. Contractors and industry professionals should know the terms and definitions for the installation and cleaning of tile and grout, but these experts do not actually choose the tiles they will be installing in a home. It is important for homeowners to be knowledgeable about the various shapes, materials, and processes associated with the manufacturing of tile. This will ensure they get the polish, durability, or specific aesthetic they are wanting.


Tile is available in a dizzying array of shapes. Many choices are dependent on the aesthetic that a homeowner would like to produce, but other shapes have a purpose. One popular tiling method includes using sheets made with ceramic, glass, metal, or stone that are mounted on mesh. These mosaics make the installation of many small tiles easier. The pre-mounted tiles can be found in a variety of shapes, such as squares, octagons, and hexagons. Next, customers shopping for tile may hear the words convex and concave. The easiest way to remember the difference between these terms is that a “cave” goes inward. Therefore, a concave tile will be thinner in the middle than on the edges. Finally, a “bullnose” features a round and finished top edge used for the final tile in wall installations. The term “battiscopa” is synonymous with bullnose.


Just about any natural material can be used in the production of tile. Homeowners can find several types of stone and even polished wood tiles are available. Granite is an igneous rock created by extreme heat and volcanic action that can take a high polish. Adversely, limestone is the result of the interaction between sediment deposits and geological activity. These tiles will not hold a high glass polish the way granite can. Tiles are also made with slate, a metamorphic rock that is available in a large variety of colors. Ceramic tiles are generally glazed and used for both wall and floor applications, but porcelain tiles are more commonly used for decorative tile applications. Quarry tiles are made from clay and fired at very high temperatures, making it very durable and therefore good for high traffic areas.


There are several specific changes made to tile that will affect their durability, finish, and cleanliness. Frost-proof tiles make excellent outdoor tiles because they are manufactured in a way that makes them virtually impervious to moisture. The se tiles are an excellent choice in regions where there is a high instance of freezing and thawing. Crackle glaze is just what it sounds like, a special glaze that creates fine-line cracks. Some homeowners choose crackle glaze because it makes the tile appear antique. During production, a sealer will be applied to porous tile materials in order to prevent the absorption of moisture and debris. This has the potential to make tile and grout cleaning easier for homeowners and service companies alike.Don’t let yourself get lost in a mountain of tile terminology that exists when searching for what you want. Many of the words used in the industry will mean nothing to a homeowner, but many of the above examples are important in making the right choices in tile for your home.

Don’t let yourself get lost in a mountain of tile terminology that exists when searching for what you want. Many of the words used in the industry will mean nothing to a homeowner, but many of the above examples are important in making the right choices in tile for your home.

Grout Cleaning Made Friendlier

Young Woman Cleaning The Tiled Wall

Unsafe ingredients in household cleaning agents can cause headaches, dizziness, fatigue, asthma, allergies, rashes, and hives. In the early 1990s, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) began encouraging manufacturers to move toward safer ingredients in their cleaning products. The agency’s hope was to minimize the potential of these products to cause unintended health and environmental consequences.  

Safer for your family.

Cleaning products and the ingredients they contain are only one source of indoor air pollution. Products used around the home for wood, stainless steel, carpet, tile, and grout cleaning can lead to irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat. Fortunately, the EPA is committed to protecting consumers, especially children. With the implementation of the Design for the Environment Programs (DfE), indoor air quality became improved as companies began using safer ingredients in their products. The DfE program evaluated the potential impacts of products, materials, processes, or activities.  Then in 2015, the EPA introduced the Safer Choice Label. This new program requires manufacturers to list all of their products’ ingredients, on the packaging or on an easy-to-access website. With more than 40 years experience in evaluating human health characteristics of chemicals, the goal was to lower the risk of potential health hazards. The program has led to a sizeable reduction of carcinogens, and reproductive and developmental toxins.

Safer for the planet.

In order to promote social and environmental justice, the Safer Choice Label encourages product manufacturers to adhere to a safer chemical ingredients list and strive for sustainable options in packaging. In 2009, the program helped companies reduce chemicals of concern by more than 500 million pounds. Approved ingredients are considered less toxic to fish and aquatic life. The ingredients are proven to break down more quickly through natural processes. These guidelines have led to less contamination of the food chain, pollution in streams, and damage to the ecosystem. A reduction in the impact on water treatment facilities is also lowering infrastructure costs for communities.

Manufacturers of household cleaning products voluntarily invest in research and reformulation in order to enter into a partnership with the Safer Choice Program. The program assists these companies in choosing ingredients based on several assessments. They also make sure that all chemical alternatives are available to manufacturers and feasible for their uses. The EPA helps companies ensure that products are of similar or better value in cost and performance. The agency strives to understand the chemistry that leads to product performance. This partnership lasts three years and manufacturers are subject to surveillance and audits to ensure adherence to program standards.

Trendy Tile Needs Effective Grout Cleaning

Young woman pouring vegetables on a panFor decades, the function of home tiling has outweighed its form. Traditional ceramic tiles were plain looking and laid out in very linear patterns. Homeowners seemed more concerned with ease of cleaning and protecting their tile from damage than they were with the actual overall appearance. However, recent years have seen the return of beautiful tile designs in bathrooms and kitchens. Recent developments in materials, digital printing, and available shapes, have made fun and interesting tile designs accessible to the average homeowner. The following is an overview of the tile trends taking hold in 2017.


A quick search for bathroom tile on Pinterest reveals ornately designed tile patterns. Mass production in the 20th century made sophisticated printed tile more accessible to homeowners. The use of pebbling, digital printing, and diamond etching now results in geometric designs, often resembling mosaic art. Many homeowners are opting for tile placements that result in floral, diamond, and herringbone patterns. Contractors are seeing a rise in requests for different tile shapes including circles, hexagons, and octagons for floors. There is also evidence that the use of ceramic “subway” tiles on bathroom walls is another huge trend for 2017.


Homeowners are still interested in a clean finish to their bathroom and kitchen tile treatments. They are still concerned with protecting their tile, especially when it comes to grout cleaning. Abrasive cleansers can damage tiles made of glass, wood, ceramic. Kitchen backsplashes are being offered in shinier, but smaller, tile configurations, sometimes using metal or natural stone materials. This apparent need for clean-looking tile is prominent in the current color choices such as solid blacks, whites, silvers and greys.

By-gone are the days of boring kitchen and bathroom walls and floors. Linoleum was invented to make installation, cleaning and maintenance easier for homeowners, while also being more affordable than most ceramic and porcelain tile. However, that flooring option soon revealed itself to be more trouble than it was worth. New materials, design techniques and layouts mean homeowners must no longer choose between beauty and function in the tile they install. Trendy tile is made to be easily cleaned and protected while also being aesthetically pleasing to residents and their guests. A good contractor will help you find the tile that meets your standards for beauty while also making sure it is easily maintained and within your budget.

Have you recently seen any tile colors, materials, or layouts that appealed to you?

4 Ways to Combat Grout Stains

Hand in yellow glove cleans the tile toothbrush.Most homeowners take pride in keeping a clean house, but one thing that stumps them is the pink staining, also referred to as biofilm, that occurs on kitchen and bathroom grout, tile and fixtures. Fortunately, with a little elbow grease, changes to the environment, and maintenance, that staining can be battled. There are several things that cause pink stain and it may be due to one of the following factors, or any combination of them.

1. Bacteria

Bacteria are present in every aspect of our lives and they grow best in warm, humid, and moist environments. They have also been shown to feed and colonize in fatty acids such as those found in cooking oils and body lotions. The most common bacterial cause of colored film around the home is called serratia marcescens, but the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognizes that several types of biological contaminants can be found in drinking water. Even on its own, Serratia marcescens can cause pneumonia, urinary and respiratory tract infections, meningitis, and a greater chance of wound infection, especially in those with compromised immune systems.

2. Moist Surfaces and High Humidity

Moisture is very much to blame for the presence of pink stain and the constant need for thorough tile and grout cleaning. Anytime water is in constant contact with a surface it is in danger of becoming discolored. These areas may include those near leaky faucets, pet food dishes, and in toilet bowls. It may even be caused by bacteria that has colonized in a water heater. Even dry regions with low humidity may be in danger of staining because of ill-maintained humidifiers in the home.

3. Dusty Environments

Even if a surface looks clean it may still have the bacteria needed to cause biofilm buildup. Dust is a popular mode of transportation for bacteria. Recent construction, or having doors or windows open, can increase the chance of these bacteria getting into a home and settling on surfaces. Keeping windows closed and weekly dusting can slow the spread of these staining bacteria around the house.

4. Damaged Surfaces

Not only can the presence of biofilm cause damage to tile, grout and other surfaces, but the bacteria that lives within it can hide in the damage that it causes. This fact can make effective cleaning difficult and maintenance nearly impossible. In extreme cases, homeowners may choose to regrout or re-tile, but even this will not prevent future discoloration and staining.

Unfortunately, there is no way to permanently removal biofilm. However, regular cleaning and maintenance can aid in the prevention of pink staining. Experts suggest heavy scrubbing followed by disinfectant and a complete drying. Also, fixing leaking fixtures and thoroughly drying surrounding surfaces after each use is highly recommended in order to prevent more staining. By knowing what causes the discoloration of your tile and grout, homeowners can begin to fight back and keep a truly clean house.

The Top 3 Safety Tips for Tile and Grout Cleaning

Two caucasian male hands cleaning kitchen grout of an old, dirty tile floor with environmentally friendly hydrogen peroxide baking soda and a scrub brushIt can be difficult to keep a house clean. The lack of time for working adults in addition to the presence of children, dogs, or inconsiderate roommates can make the job even harder. At times, kitchen and bathroom cleaning can feel like a losing battle because of the constant moisture buildup on the sinks and fixtures. However, tile and grout cleaning can be done safely and effectively with just a little education.

Do your homework.

The first thing to consider when encountering the need for tile and grout cleaning is the problem itself. Is the bathroom simply covered in soap buildup, a light pink stain, or is it a more serious issue such as mold? The next thing to consider is the environment. Homeowners may need to use harsher cleaning agents in the bathroom, but no one would want to use those products in the kitchen where food is prepared. Finally, the extent of the damage needs to be considered. Chipped grout, broken tile, and bulging walls may be a sign of serious structural damage that may require the help of a professional cleaning service.

Read the label and believe it.

The most important thing to remember when using chemical products of any kind is to read the label thoroughly. Not only that, following the directions for use and safety precautions can protect the health of everyone while also saving time. In 2016, the EPA introduced the new Safer Choice label to make it easier for consumers to find more than 2,000 products that have been carefully evaluated for safety. It is also recommended that many products are not used near children, nor in the presence of pets and their dishes. It is also a good idea to keep the number for poison control nearby at all times. Finally, cleaning products should always be stored safely, locked up, and in their original containers.

Let professionals do the job.

There may be hidden problems lurking behind walls and beneath fixtures. Anytime that a homeowner is in doubt, or has questions, they should consult a professional tile and grout cleaning service. Many mold spores can be hazardous to health if inhaled and extensive structural damage may require professional removal and replacement. Professional cleaning service employees have specific equipment and training in the removal of molds and the use of potentially harmful cleaning products.

Not everyone has the time to keep constant vigil when it comes to keeping their home clean, but when things get out of control, keeping families safe should also be a priority. Luckily, the above tips can help protect families and pets while they work to keep their homes clean.

Which Type of Grout Should I Use for My Project?

worker with rubber trowel applying grout tileGrout is a mixture of materials that is used to fill the joints between tile and masonry units. It bonds the tiles, making them stronger and more resistant to chipping and cracking. Grout is necessary to make your floors, walls, or counters watertight and to give them a finished look. Choosing the right grout for your project depends on the application, the materials you are grouting, and the width of the joints.

Types of Grout

Grout is either cement, epoxy, or polymer based.

Cement grout is either sanded or unsanded. Sanded grout is a mixture of Portland cement, color pigments, sand, and water. Sanded grout is used in joints that are 1/8 of an inch or wider. The sand is added as a filler to prevent the grout from shrinking in larger joints. Unsanded grout is a mixture of Portland cement, color pigments, and water. It is a smoother blend that is ideal for joints less than 1/8 of an inch wide. Cement-based grouts are porous and should be sealed with a penetrating sealer after the grout has completely dried. Cement-based grouts are appropriate for most home floor, wall, and countertop tile installations.

Epoxy grout is a mixture of resin and a hardening agent. Like cement grout, it is available sanded or unsanded. Epoxy grout is best for floors that are highly trafficked and kitchen countertops. It is more durable and stain resistant. It also forms a moisture barrier and does not need to be sealed. It is more expensive than cement grout and harder to install because it sets up very quickly. Epoxy grout is best applied by a skilled tradesman.

Furan grout is a mixture of polymers that are chemical and moisture resistant. It is similar to epoxy grout and best suited for areas that are subject to grease, chemicals, and staining. Furan can be used with quarry tiles. However, it may stain the tile during application. The tile should be waxed prior to grouting to protect it. Furan grout is only available in black. It should be applied by a skilled tradesman because of the fumes the grout emits while being mixed. Furan is well suited for commercial projects, such as food preparation and storage areas, or in a home workshop where grease and chemicals might be present.

Caring for and Cleaning Grout

Cement grout applications may require periodic resealing to prevent staining. Floors especially should be resealed once a year. Most grout can be cleaned with a grease-removing detergent and a brush. Grout cleaning with steam can be performed by a professional grout cleaning service. Over time, grout may crack or deteriorate and areas of your tiled surface will need to be re-grouted. This entails removing the old grout with a small digging tool or specialty knife and applying new grout. You can find tubes of repair grout caulk at hardware stores to make the job easier.

To prevent toxic mold from building up, it is recommended that your tile surfaces be cleaned often. Drying the surfaces after cleaning is also recommended.