Delaware Valley Tile and Grout Specialists LLC

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How Does Grout Get So Dirty and Why Should I Keep It Clean?

If you have tile in your bathroom, kitchen, or any other area of your home, then you might have wondered how or why the grout gets dirty so quickly. Additionally, you may have wondered how YOU can remove the dirt so that both the grout and tile look clean once more. But, before you grab your cleaning agents and equipment, it is important for you to have a basic understanding of what grout is, and what may have caused it to look dirty.

What is grout, and what could cause it to become discolored and/or dirty?

Grout is a material utilized to fill gaps, and in this case, the spaces between tiles. It is rough, but also a porous substance that allows grime and dirt to adhere to it easily.  What's more, liquids can penetrate deep into the grout, thus making it look discolored.

One of the biggest and most common causes of dirty and/or discolored grout is dirty mop water. Sometimes, when you are cleaning your kitchen or bathroom floors, the mop water can spread dirt from the tile to the grout. And, since the grout is the lowest part of your floor, the grime and dirt can settle. So, while you might think you are keeping your tiles clean (and could very well be doing so), you could be contaminating your grout.

Why should you keep your grout clean?

Simply put, the dirt and debris that falls into the grout can make it a haven for mildew, mold, and bacteria. With these things present, family members or friends (especially those with allergies) can become sick, or, in the worst-case scenario, suffer from respiratory issues. Inevitably, not only should you keep your grout clean because it looks dirty, but because it has the potential to cause health issues.

If you feel compelled to grab your cleaning equipment after reading this article, you should keep in mind that your efforts may not do the trick. Cleaning dirty grout is not always as easy as it looks, and you might even make the situation worse. In all, if you don’t feel confident, you should pick up the phone and get in touch with a tile and grout cleaning service.

As a company that has been providing grout cleaning services in Philadelphia, and many other areas for over ten years, you can count on us to get your grout and/or tiles looking like new once more. To learn more about our cleaning services, please browse through our website, or give us a call at your earliest convenience.

Keeping Grout Clean

So the bathroom is looking a little scummy. If it's bad enough, you need to call one of the best grout cleaning services in the Philadelphia, PA area. If it isn't so bad, you can try tackling the problem yourself. Keeping Tile clean is pretty easy but grout? That's hard. Let's take a look at a few methods.

First you need a good brush. Old tooth brush? Way too soft and you'll be scrubbing until next year. Metal bristles? You'll just rip the grout out and have to call one of the tile installation companies around Delaware County, PA. What you need is a good stiff plastic bristle brush. Most supermarkets sell bristled brushes for cleaning dishes. Check the aisle with the cleaning detergent for a nice firm brush, as narrow a field of scrubbing as possible is best.

Next you need a solution. If the grout is just a bit discolored some warm water might do the trick. If it's a little worse for wear try a mixture of vinegar and water, 50/50 usually gets the job done. Worse than that? Try applying a paste created with baking soda and water to the areas for about fifteen minutes before you go back to scrubbing. If that doesn't do the trick you can move on to one of the store bought cleaners but that might mean quicker tile erosion in the long term, so it's best to limit their use as much as possible.

Steam cleaners are another consideration. They're a relatively simple alternative to use and are sold by a number of companies. Just add water, power it on and go. Steam cleaners are also green because they offer no real danger to the environment and create virtually no waste.

Remember to try your cleaning products on a small, inconspicuous spot before moving on to the entire job that way you know how effective it will be before you do all the work. And remember that if the job seems a little too difficult or your methods aren't giving you the results you want that you can always call or contact one of the premier grout cleaning services in the Montgomery County, PA area, Delaware Valley Tile & Grout Specialists.

The Top 5 Bathroom Trends for 2016

We live in a time of personalization. We have apps that show us news we want to read; we have niche stores popping up in every city that cater to our idiosyncrasies; and, we have home contractors who can bring our rooms to life with a selection of services that reflect our personalities.

Nowadays, homeowners have the option of furnishing and decorating every room in their houses with designs that suit them in every way imaginable - and bathrooms are no exception! As the premier tile specialists in Delaware County, PA, we keep up with emerging bathroom styles. We want you to know that now is the time to act on your desire to upgrade your bathroom for two reasons: There are some very cool trends shaping the world of bathroom design, and winter is a slow season, so you'll be able to schedule the work according to times that suit you.

Reimagine your bathroom with some of the hottest trends set to steal every home's spotlight in 2016!

  1. Gray, black, and white are about to wash over the bathroom scene in 2016. These colors, or a combination of them, can accommodate any other color scheme because they offer a nice, soft undertone. So homeowners are using them to line their walls and floors in order to keep their options open when buying things like towels and other everyday bathroom items.
  2. Subway tiles aren't just meant to line the walls of the underground. In 2016, these durable and water-resistant tiles will be popping up in bathrooms all over the country. Why? Because they are classic, elegant, and timeless. Touch up your bathroom with a sleek, slate-gray subway tile scheme, or add a dash of winter white to your bathroom to bring it to life.
  3. Squares are about to be everywhere, and we're not talking about boring squares here. Bathrooms are starting to feather square patterns in everything from cabinetry to tubs. Designers are affording the classic shape a rebirth right now, giving bathrooms a geometric, angular, contemporary aesthetic. Think of all the tiling options you'd have at your disposal by adding a few square-shaped fixtures. You could get away with just about anything!
  4. Freestanding tubs are versatile in terms of practical use as much as they are for aesthetics. Trendsetters are abandoning conventional tubs because the vast majority of us prefer showers. And without a tub, designers have a lot more space to work with when drawing up plans for a shower. However, for those of us that do not want to lose the tub in 2016, many are looking to freestanding tubs.
  5. Lights and mirrors in the shower are becoming commonplace. Often, the best lights in a bathroom are above the mirror, which is always above a sink. However, many people now prefer doing things they used to do in front of the sink while they shower. Needless to say, adding lights and a mirror to the shower makes this migration much easier.

Styles and trends are constantly evolving. It may be hard to keep up with them, that's why you should act one these bathroom trends, because they will surely remain timeless. Take a look around the rest of our site to learn about our home grout repair services in Delaware County, PA. Give us a call to discuss how we can work together to personalize, renovate, and upgrade your bathroom today!

Why The Holidays are a Great Time to Remodel Your Bathroom

People in the tristate area have been coming to us for over 10 years for all of their bathroom remodeling needs. However, they often come to us in the summer thinking that it's the only time - or the best time - for bathroom renovations.

While the warmer months are ideal for performing any kind of labor intensive work, winter is a great time to breathe some new life into your home. Below, you'll find a few reasons why.

  1. Vacation time during spring and summer should be spent with family. You only get so much time off from work and there are only 2 days each week you can spend doing what you want. More likely than not, you'll be spending most of your free time in and around your house this winter. Schedule your remodeling now so you don't have to waste time at home during vacation season.
  2. Cold weather remodeling is great because you'll get fresh caulk and sealing in your bathroom, which you need to keep out the cold. Bathroom windows are usually drafty, so a little fresh caulk can prove invaluable.
  3. Winter is a slow season for renovation companies. During the cold months, you'll probably be able to choose a date for your project without much grief. During the busy spring and summer seasons, though, home repair companies can get overbooked or experience other scheduling conflicts that ultimately leave customers hanging. Moreover, the crew doing your winter weather work won't feel as much pressure to work quickly because they're behind schedule; and it's always best to have relaxed people who are taking their time do remodeling work.
  4. You can save a lot of money on home repairs and renovations during the winter if you know where to look. How? Since winter is a slow season, companies are likely running specials and other promotional offers to incentivize customers. For example, we're currently offering free caulk and sealing to anyone who schedules work before December 25, 2015.
  5. Impress someone this holiday season with a new bathroom. Whether it's your kids coming home from school, your friends coming over for drinks, or a spouse who's been wanting to redo the bathroom for years: Bathroom makeovers are a great way leave an impression on someone unsuspecting.

Our bathroom work takes a day to complete and the bathrooms we service are always ready for use within 24 hours. Give us a call if you're interested in having some work done before the holidays, and check out our website for pictures of our work or to see testimonials from our customers.

You've got laundry to do. You've got a living room to clean. You've got a bed to make. How can one person be expected to do all that and prevent mildew from building up in their bathrooms. Easily, that's how!

Here at Delaware Valley Tile and Grout Specialists, we talk to people all the time about how they wish they would've known about stopping mildew before it was too late. Well, search no further because we're going to share a few of our expert tips with you.

  1. Eliminate Dampness by any means necessary! This may sound impossible. After all, we're talking about bathrooms, and baths are wet! One of the best things you can do to prevent mildew is to invest in a squeegee. After you shower, use it on the tiles and mirrors.
  2. Turning the fan on or leaving the door open after you take a shower is one of the best ways to prevent bathroom mold and mildew, because those things build up when there is no ventilation.
  3. Ventilation is key, as you now know. If you are fortunate enough to have windows in your bathroom, open them as often as you can!
  4. Invest in a mildew-resistant shower curtain. They can be a bit more expensive than regular shower curtains, but the return they yield on the investment is well worth it.
  5. Hang up the towels if you want to keep mold and mildew out of your bathroom. Wet towels are a breeding ground for mold and mildew!
  6. Use DVTG Solutions to prevent future deterioration of your grout.
  7. Many of us have rugs on our bathroom floors, which is a great idea. However, it is important to wash them as often as you can, typically doing so weekly is a good practice.

Top 4 Signs of Bathroom Water Damage

At Del Val Tile and Grout, we know water damage when we see it we've practically got a sixth sense as to the best means to solve your tile, grout and shower issues and keep your bathroom looking clean and new. But if you're wondering if your water damage has reached such a degree that it requires the attention of a professional, use our handy guide to determining if your bathroom requires immediate work to prevent costly repairs later on.

Mildew or mold, between your tiles or elsewhere.

Even though we associate it with damp places, mold or mildew should never be ignored. Aside from causing health problems, which can range from simple allergies to deadly infections, in the case of black mold, these growths are both indicators that something has possibly gone awry within your walls or in your floor. The growth of mold or mildew where no water directly contacts should be regarded with suspicion - it can indicate the presence of a broken or sprung pipe, or water trickling down from another source within your walls.
While it's normal for small amounts of mold or mildew to show up on the tiles and grout in your shower, we recommend calling our experts for re-grouting and recoloring services to help keep your bathroom clean and allergen-free.

Bubbling paint and warped walls

Through our experience rebuilding many a damaged shower, we can tell you with confidence that cracked, blistering paint, or wallpaper and walls that have bent or cracked, should never be ignored. Many individuals make the mistake of assuming that their paint or wallpaper simply didn't hold up to the steam put out by hot showers, but, in reality, this is unlikely. What is more often the case is that plumbing has leaked into your drywall and caused it to disintegrate slightly, making it buckle, bend and warp in ways that disrupt the paint/wallpaper.
In extreme cases, this can lead to a partial collapse of a wall. Don't hesitate in calling a bathroom specialist to inspect and rebuild bathroom and shower walls.

Loose tile

Tile flooring is fairly sturdy - after all, it's bonded to the ground, and bound with adhesive, waterproof grout. But if your tile floors are extremely old, or if the work was done haphazardly, you may find that once water permeates a tile floor it will quickly start to clack around. If you feel or hear loose tiles when walking, this means that the adhesive bond has begun to be eroded - and it's unfortunately possible that this means the entire adhesive layer underneath your tile overlay has been destroyed.
We can't stress enough the importance of getting your tiles routinely re-sealed and re-grouted by qualified professionals; grout is the number-one factor preventing your tiles from coming unsealed and requiring costly repairs, yet is a fast and affordable service.
If you have suspicions that your floor or walls may have been subjected to water damage, or if you're looking to take preventative care of your tiles, grout and other bathroom areas, give Del Val Tile and Grout a call to find out more about our affordable options.

When to Re-Grout vs. When to Recolor Grout

In our decade of experience helping clients restore their tile and grout, we've encountered one problem particularly often; recoloring by businesses who should have gone for the re-grouting route instead. Why make this mistake? For one, re-grouting seems like a "bigger" project that will be more expensive, time consuming and disruptive than simply recoloring. In reality, however, when cracked, dry-rotted grout is simply glossed over with color sealing, or steam cleaned, the end result may look nice temporarily and take a shorter amount of time than removing and redoing the grout, but you'll soon need to either re-do the same service or ultimately rip it out anyway! We've put together a short guide to help you understand when you can simply paint over or clean your grout to achieve the desired results, versus when your grout truly does need to be removed and restored by the experts at Delaware Valley Tile and Grout Specialists.

When to Color Seal/Recolor

Color-sealing serves a two-fold purpose when it comes to your grouting. First, it protects grout from absorbing spills, water, dirt, etc. This helps prolong the life of your grout and keep it from sustaining damage that will quickly make it lose its waterproof qualities. Color sealing also allows your grout to be easily wiped-down, with any grime or buildup only sticking to the sealant layer instead of the grout itself. When you color seal/recolor, you can both restore the color of your existing grout and prevent it from changing color due to absorption of stains. You can re-color your grout to be different than it started - grout color seals are available in a large array of colors! You can match your walls, the tile or choose a darker color to better hide potential spills, if it's a concern.
So, to summarize, recolor your grout if:

  • You want your grout to be a different color.
  • Your grout is in excellent shape but requires a re-sealing to keep it that way.

When to Re-Grout

Re-grouting is admittedly more work, and more expensive (though still very affordable!), than recoloring - however, not re-grouting in cases that call for it can be a very costly mistake indeed. It may be tempting to cover up your grouting issues with color sealant, or steam cleaning for a short term fix, and many companies and color seal providers will suggest doing exactly that. However, to avoid causing leaks, mold, and damage to your home, removing and redoing grout once it shows signs of aging (which should take a long time, when properly installed , maintained and periodically resealed), such as cracking and crumbling, will save you from potential expenses due to water damage. Re-grouting is a rather difficult and time-consuming process for those who don't do it day-in and day-out like we do. We recommend calling us for re-grouting because we can determine if the grout grime is due to wear and tear or a leak.
We hope this blog was a helpful source for your grouting needs! Be sure to keep checking our blog for more useful tips on tiling, grouting, color sealing and more.

Delaware Valley Grout and Tile Specialists
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