Tiles may be easier to clean than carpets, but when you consider grout maintenance, this type of flooring certainly comes with challenges of its own. You could find yourself spending a lot of time doing it manually without the help of a grout cleaning machine, so this equipment is really a must-have for anyone who has tile or stone floors with grouted areas. If you’ve ever tried scrubbing out grout stains by hand with a brush, you know it’s not something you want to be doing across the entire surface of a room floor on a routine basis. To save you time, Ardex has reviewed some of the top features in grout cleaning machines so you know what to look for when shopping for a model:
Photo by Ranch Redo
Stainless Steel Boiler
If you demand the best of the best, avoid the grouting systems that have ASB plastic boilers and opt instead for those with stainless steel boilers. According to Ellegant Home Design (847-749-1098) at 1002 W. Dundee Road in Arlington Heights, Illinois – a leading Ardex distributor – there have been a number of complaints about warping and distorting after several uses. These machines are a significant investment for home maintenance so you don’t want to be buying a new one or having it replaced in just a few months. In addition, look for a system that has a boiler with a high capacity (3-4 ounces should be sufficient). Click here for examples of installation and maintenance products including grout systems from Ardex.
If you have tile floors in more than one room in your home, then a grouting system with high portability is a must-have. Nobody wants to be stuck having to lug a bulky machine around, especially if you have tiled bathrooms on the second or third floor. While portability might cost a little extra, the added expense is worth it if you’re going to be using the machine on a regular basis. Portable models typically include wheels, a small frame, lightweight construction, and easy storage capabilities.
Opt for a model that includes an integrated vacuuming feature if possible, as this will keep you from having to retrace your steps with a separate shop vac in order to do the most thorough job possible. As you know, grout is porous and has a tendency to absorb dirt, debris, and even odors. Thus, many of the higher end models have built-in vacuum functionality to help you pull out dirt and bad odors that would otherwise evade the efforts of a wet brush and soap. Failing to vacuum after cleaning grout is a common tile cleaning mistake and one of the reasons why many people can’t get the odors out of their floors.
This is an important to feature to have if you have kitchen tiles that have absorbed nasty smells and dirt, as higher temps will help extract the unwanted aromas by producing more steam. Many quality commercial grout systems have adjustable temp controls that go up to 356 degrees or higher. However, you can spend a lot less and get a home model that goes up to 310 degrees and gets the job done almost as well.
Finding a Model that Suits Your Needs
Ultimately, it all depends on how much space you’re trying to cover, how often you’re going to be using the machine, and whether you’re looking for the most premium product or something that can save you money. It’s possible to meet your needs without having any of the above features if you’re only using the system for a small amount of space like one room. If you don’t foresee having a need for the machine again in the future, it might even be a better idea to rent one instead.