DIY Stone or Tile Installation? Important Clean Up Tips…

A new stone or tile installation may have a slight film due to dust settling from construction or an inadequate cleanup of the grout residue. It is very important that excess grout be removed before it has a chance to cure. Check the specifications on the grout packaging for cure time.

If excess grout is left on the surface beyond the cure time, then use the following procedure:

Cement Grout Cleanup

1. Remove any large chunks of grout with a scraper. On polished stone, take care not to scratch the surface.
2. Sweep or dust mop floor to remove all loose debris.
3. Rinse the floor several times with plain water. Apply water with a string mop, wrung tightly. Avoid flooding the tile, as excessive water may cause discoloration of the grout. If too much water is applied, pick up excess with a wrung string mop or wet vacuum.
4. If grout residue still remains after several rinses it will be necessary to use a grout removing chemical as follows:

For marble and other acid sensitive stone:

Add 3-4 oz. of household ammonia to water and rinse the floor several times. There are also several non-acidic grout removers available.

For granite, glazed ceramic/porcelain:

Mix a mild solution of 2-4 oz. of sulfamic acid and water. Rinse the floor several times. Repeat rinsing with ammonia and water solution to remove acid residue. Do NOT use any other acids besides sulfamic acid. There are several grout cleaners available which contain sulfamic acid.

Do not use any acids on marble, travertine, onyx, limestone, or terrazzo!

Epoxy Grout Cleanup

Epoxy grouts are very different than cement based grout. They have excellent chemical resistance properties and are highly recommended for tile in kitchens and baths as well as counter tops and shower walls. Epoxy grouts can be tricky and working with them takes practice, so unless you have worked specifically with epoxy grouts before you may want to leave it to the professionals.

One of the biggest problems with epoxy grouts is failing to clean up the grout residue before it cures. Unlike cement based grouts, epoxy grout needs to be thoroughly cleaned in a much shorter time period or cleanup may prove difficult to impossible, depending on the surface type. If epoxy residue remains after it has cured the following procedure is recommended:

1. Carefully scrape any large pieces of epoxy from the surface using a sharp razor blade. Wetting the area first will help prevent scratching.
2. Mix a solution of hot water (the hotter the better) and several drops of dish washing detergent (Ivory, Dove, etc.). Apply the solution to the epoxy and scrub with a green scrub pad.
3. If the soap solution does not remove the epoxy, try wiping the surface with a clean white rag and acetone. (Be very careful to use all safety precautions when using acetone or other strong chemicals.)
4. If acetone fails, the epoxy will have to be removed with a stronger solvent.

The best approach to DIY projects is always precautionary rather than reactionary. If you are unsure about what grout cleaner or chemical to use or if a stronger solvent than those suggested here is required to resolve the problem, contact your stone and tile restoration contractor for recommendations or services.

This is one of a series of articles written and published  on behalf of Stone and Tile PRO Partners.

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Testimonials

JMC did an outstanding job sealing the grout for the floor tiles and shower tiles. JMC also sealed the granite counter tops. The price was competitive and reasonable. The owner, Justin, personally performed the work. The good experience started with him showing up at the scheduled time. He was diligently focused on performing a good job. He applied several coats of sealer to the granite tops to insure a quality job. He spent hours sealing the grout for over 2,000 sq ft of floor tile. His enthusiasm and attention to quality never waivered. I highly recommend using their services.

Steve Temecula CA

Justin helped my husband and I repair a large crack in our granite slab. He not only repaired the crack but resealed all of our other countertops too. His price was very competitive and he kept his word on when he was available and showed up on time. What more could you have asked for! Thank you Justin!!

Misty Temecula CA

Justin did an amazing job color enhancing and sealing our slate floors. I called and met with several tile cleaning companies, but chose Justin because I felt he was the most honest, knowledgeable, and experienced. He took the time to explain different options and even showed me a small area before he continued with the entire floor. He spent hours prepping, cleaning, enhancing, and sealing our slate. His work paid off...our floors are finally gorgeous! He changed our dull, chalky looking slate by giving it a brilliant luster that enhances our home. I could not be more thrilled with the results. Bottom line, Justin did exactly what he said he would at the cost we agreed to and even changed his personal schedule to accommodate my schedule. He went above and beyond. In a time when I feel it is difficult to find good, honest, hardworking people to hire, Justin at JMC Tile and Grout has changed my mind. Thank you Justin!

Laura Temecula CA

Justin is very professional. He has done 2 separate marble polishing jobs for us and each time we have been very pleased. He is very thorough and careful, doing a great prep job to prevent any damage. His prices are very fair. So glad we found Justin. There are very few marble and stone care professionals in this area. Highly recommend Justin!

Diane Murrieta CA

Justin came in and cleaned and resealed the grout on our floors. He was a very professional and easy person to talk to. He was also very helpful with other things around the house. Great guy and great job. Well done!!! Thank you!!!

Helene Temecula CA

Justin did an excellent job of repairing a large crack in our kitchen granite. It was quite deep and covered a large area. Needless to say it was very noticeable and would have caused us to replace an entire slab of granite if we had not had it repaired. He spent almost an entire morning in the restoration. He was meticulous in his work, was able to match the color of the granite and it looks 100% better. In addition he resealed and polished all the rest of our granite countertops. We certainly would recommend him. He was professional, very neat and thorough. He arrived exactly on time, even though he had to drive an hour to reach us. He will certainly be someone we contact again if we need any more restoration or maintenance on our granite. We were delighted with his work. Cyndi M. Coronado

Cyndi Coronado CA

Justin is the man. My wife and I recently moved into our new home in Lake Elsinore, we thought that we would seal the grout on our floors and shower by ourselves. After realizing the size and scope of the grout sealing project we decided to contact an expert to get an estimate. I had read online that most tile companies charge about $1.00 per square foot so I had an idea how much the estimate would be. Justin came out the same day and gave my wife the estimate. Since we did not have any furniture in the house yet we asked if he could start the same day. It was already 2pm at that point and Justin was not sure if he had enough sealer with him to do the whole job. He agreed to start sealing the grout near the walls where the heavy furniture would be placed and come back later to finish the job another day. After he started sealing our grout he found more sealer in his work van and decided that he would just power through and finish the job for us the same day! We were thrilled with the entire experience. Justin is truly a tile and stone professional. When he was finished sealing the grout he also sealed our new granite counter tops. All I can say is, if we ever have a tile or stone job in the future, Justin is "our guy." Great service with top quality products and fair pricing, what more could you ask for? Also, at no point during the job did he attempt to up-sell us anything, as a matter of fact, he tried to lower his price once the job was finished but we wouldn't hear of it. We agreed to a set price and that is what he deserved. Thanks Justin, you saved us a lot of time and energy. I can sleep better at night knowing that our expensive new flooring is protected for many years to come. I would highly recommend JMC Stone & Tile to friends and family.

Lake Elsinore CA

Justin thank you so much for the wonderful job you did restoring my marble floor. Very professional and I will recommend your service to all our friends. Thank you Elizabeth, Riverside County

Elizabeth , Riverside County

Thank you Justin at JMC Stone and Tile Care. He re colored our grout with color seal and it looks amazing. His attention to detail to customer service is top notch and I have no problem referring your services. If your in Temecula CA JMC Stone and Tile Care is my recommendation for all your tile, stone, and color sealing needs. Thank you so much

Cathi Cameron, Temecula CA

We are so happy with the service from Justin at JMC stone and tile care. He re colored are old nasty stained grout on our countertops with color seal. The grout looks brand new he will be referred to all our friends in Murrieta CA.

Julie Johnson Murrieta CA

Justin (JMC Stone and Tile Care) cleaned the tile and grout of my floors in April 2013. On the day he was at my home to provide a quote and also on the day of service, Justin was prompt, courteous and professional. Once involved in the job and realizing that part of my floors was not as badly in need of cleaning as the rest of the tile, he reduced the cost of the service. I very much appreciated his fairness and integrity! Not only did my floors looks sparkling clean when he was done, but I also knew much more about how to keep my floors clean on my own. He was quick to share secrets of his trade! I recommend Justin’s service without reservation. His service is unparalleled, and he is a friendly and honest professional! Gail Miller Temecula CA

Gail Miller Temecula CA

Justin, I would like to thank you again for the excellent job you did repairing and retiling our marble tile table. I would definitely use your services again and recommend you to anyone needing stone or tile work done in Murrieta CA. Thank you, Heather Lumsden

Heather Lumsden Murrieta CA

We have been very pleased with the service that Justin has given us. The overall quality of his work was excellent. In one small area we had a slightly rough feel to the sealant he had applied to our granite countertops. Justin returned on the very day that we called him and quickly repaired it. This is a very courteous, professional, and above all, competent service in Murrieta CA. Thanks so much John Welniak

John Welniak. Murrieta CA

February 14, 2013 Justin We are absolutely thrilled with our new floor!!!! Yes, I say new floor because that is the way the whole house looks! It looks like brand new tile. Justin, you did a fabulous job! Thank You, Judy Nitti

Judy Nitti Temecula CA

I accidentally spilled some cleaner on our marble vanity and made those awful etch marks. I called Justin at JMC Stone and Tile Care and he assured me that I didn't ruin my bathroom vanity. Thanks so much for removing those etch marks, we will definitely refer you to anyone in Wildomar CA.

J. Escarsega, Wildomar CA

I would like to thank Justin of JMC Stone and Tile care for bringing back the beautiful shine to our granite countertops. Very professsional and courteous and on time. It's hard to find all those qualities in one place. Thanks Justin again and we are clients for life and we will definitely refer you to anyone in Oeanside Ca.

Lacey Linek, Oceanside CA

We had a last minute emergency and we had a surprise visit from an important client. We called a few tile and stone companies and not one would help us. We called JMC Stone and Tile Care and Justin rescued us. He was very professional and accommodating to our last minute request to have the tile cleaned. For that we can't thank you enough and will refer you to anyone in Carlsbad CA.

Kyle Batsford, Palomar Reprographics, Carlsbad CA
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