Recently, a customer asked me to give her a quote for cleaning the tile in a home she was going to be putting up for sale. When I pulled up to the potential customer’s home there were already two other cleaning vans in front of her house. So, not only was she getting multiple estimates, she was getting them all at once! I like to have a potential customer’s undivided attention when I’m giving an estimate because I have a great deal of information to pass on to the homeowner. I want my customer to understand her options so she can make an informed choice on the steps we take to restore her floor. It is also my opportunity to tell her how we are different than our competition. This was difficult, if not impossible, with the 4 of us in the room at the same time.
But, competition is good for the consumer, right? Of course it is, as long as you get the same thing from each vendor. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case.
Why do our customers refer their friends and neighbors to Master Tile and Grout Cleaning?
- We follow the IICRC cleaning procedures. This means we offer both single and dual cleanings with the only difference being the pre-spray solutions we use. We always pre-spray our solutions and then scrub the grout manually with a grout brush. This ensures our cleaning solutions will have the maximum effect. Next, we use hot water (steam) extraction to remove both the dirt and the solutions. Then, we vacuum up any moisture remaining on the floor. If the customer has chosen the two cleaning process, we repeat these steps with our second solution. The second step etches the surface of the grout and can remove light stains leaving the grout a more uniform color.
What about our competition? Some companies inject the cleaning solution through the machine rather than pre-spraying (which eliminates the benefit of using solutions). Some companies pre-spray, but they don’t manually scrub the grout lines before extracting. Some companies don’t use any kind of cleaning solutions (which is a huge mistake). Some companies attempt to clean with floor buffers instead of using van mounted hot water extraction machines. Some companies skip the soap step and go straight for strong acid solutions. Any acid powerful enough to eat through the dirt, grease and cleaning residue is not safe to use on your grout, and using those solutions will weaken your grout. No acid available at my cleaning supply store is strong enough to be used as an initial cleaner!
- Because we specialize in tile cleaning, we have the necessary tools to clean tile properly. That small area between your toilet and the wall will be cleaned with a small tool that attaches to our hot water solution and vacuum hoses.
We carry tile cleaning tools because that is all we do! You’ll never catch us trying to clean your tile with tools made for carpet (yes, this does happen). In fact, we carry multiple size grout cleaning tools so we can actually steam clean that area between your toilet and the wall!
What about our competition? The vast majority of our competitors are carpet cleaners. I’ve heard stories of carpet cleaners trying to clean tile with their carpet wands! Sometimes, these carpet cleaners will keep a tile tool in their vans, but it much less common for them to keep multiple size tools so they can get in those hard to reach places. Don’t get me started about the guys that show up in a SUV with a floor buffer…
- We protect your floors we are walking on! We cover your floors we aren’t cleaning. Any floor we cross over gets covered with drop clothes. This means if we have to go all the way across the house and up the stairs to get to a guest bathroom, we’ll lay out plastic backed drop clothes that will prevent any moisture that drops from our equipment from coming in contact with your floors. Our (and our competitors) hoses get pulled through garages, driveways, yards etc and we feel it is important to keep these dirty hoses off your floor!
What about our competition? I don’t know of a single competitor that does this! This is a time consuming activity, but it is the right thing to do. I had a customer tell me about how she had to dry her wood floor after the carpet guy she hired to clean her tile dripped water all over her living room.
- We protect your stainless steel appliances. Sometimes we use solutions that can cause etch stainless steel. In order to prevent any damage, we will cover your stainless steel appliances to prevent any possible damage. You may have noticed the brown paper in many of our before/after pictures. Anytime you see the brown paper in a before/after picture you know that customer had us do the two step cleaning process.
What about our competition? The vast majority of our competitors don’t even offer this cleaning step so there is no need to cover stainless appliances. Unfortunately for the customer, they miss the opportunity to get your grout looking the best it can.
- We don’t pressure you into making a cleaning decision on the spot. For most of our customers that live in or near Katy, we do a test cleaning during the estimate appointment. Grout cleaning gets your grout wet and it can take some time for it to dry out completely. By doing this test prior to your cleaning appointment, you can see what you can expect the tile and grout to look like after the job is complete. This way, you are not pressured to make any decisions on the day of the cleaning. Everyone knows what to expect! I dislike surprises.
What about our competition? I hear stories regularly about how the other guys give a general estimate over the phone but then give a more expensive estimate when they arrive. The homeowner is then pressured into going forward with the cleaning.
- We use name brand Sealers and install them properly. When clear sealing your grout, we flood your grout lines with a quality name brand sealer (usually DuPont Stonetech). We don’t apply it with a sprayer or a wand that puts as much sealer on the tile as it gets in the grout. Our sealer is expensive and wasting it due to the application method would be expensive for us. Any quality clear seal will leave a residue on the tile and grout if allowed to air dry. So, we completely dry the tile and grout after giving the grout ample time to absorb the sealant.
What about our competition? Many companies use the cheapest sealer they can find and then apply it as quickly as possible in order to get the next house. They often apply it with a pump up sprayer. Another popular application method is using a plastic wand which is about 3 feet long and it gets filled with sealer. The installer walks down the grout line which is supposed to apply sealer down each line. I also tried this method long ago. Both of these methods typically get as much sealer on the tile as it does in the grout. They also only lightly cover the grout (if at all) so only a little bit of sealer gets absorbed into the grout. Also, if a company sprays a sealer down and then leaves, they must have just applied water or maybe alcohol. You can’t do that with a quality sealant. Some of my competitors offer sealing for free. As they say, you get what you pay for. Additionally, we’re often called on to remove the sealer residue another company allowed to cure on the customers tile!
- We do grout color sealing the right way! When doing a color seal job, we don’t take any shortcuts. We require the two step cleaning process for color seals to ensure the sealant will last the 10-15 years the manufacturer advertises. We always apply 2 coats of sealant. This is time consuming but two coats is far better coverage than a single coat. If you are interested in a color seal, you can trust us to get the job done right. We’ve had many color seal customers who have moved to new homes and called us to color seal their new floors!
What about our competition? The best way to find out if a competitor is offering a quality color seal job is by asking them to explain their process. They should be performing an alkaline cleaning with a van mounted hot water extraction machine, followed by and acidic cleaning, followed by two coats of color seal applied with toothbrushes, and finally they have to carefully remove the color seal haze from the surface of the tile. If someone is bidding less than us, BEWARE, they will be skipping one or more steps. If you are interested in getting a long life from your color seal investment, make sure you hire a company that does it right!
- We will demonstrate how you can maintain your newly cleaned floor to maximize the time between professional cleanings. Customers who modify their cleaning procedures can go multiple years between cleanings.
What about our competition? The competition will want to setup your next cleaning before they leave your home!
- Many of our customers appreciate the fact that the owner of Master Tile and Grout Cleaning is on every job. The customer will not have to guess which crew will show up to do the job!
Unfortunately, if you have never had your tile cleaned by another company, you may think that we all do the same thing. This is certainly not the case. I hear a lot of interesting stories from customers who have used other companies in the past. These customers make the best cheerleaders for Master Tile and Grout Cleaning because they’ve seen our competition!