As a professional floor care cleaner, your preliminary walkthrough with your prospect is incredibly important because what you are walking on is what you will be servicing.
Tile and grout is a very popular flooring option for homeowners and commercial businesses alike. Tile is extremely versatile, looks beautiful, and can be easily maintained by the owner or by a professional cleaner. All it takes is a bit of knowledge and a dedicated attitude to keep the floors in shining condition.
This article is aimed to help tile and grout contractors develop the most successful walkthrough routine they can. This will ultimately land more bids with more prospects for tile and grout cleaning services.
Like most walkthroughs, there are some basic universal steps that you will take (no pun intended), as well as some tile and grout areas of interest you should be looking for during the tour. Let’s start with a general overview of the walkthrough and then move on to what to look for specifically. To finish, we will discuss the equipment, costs, and labor intensity of performing excellent tile and grout cleaning services.
Getting Ready for a Tile and Grout Walkthrough
To start, you should gather some supplies for the walkthrough. You’ll want an easy and effective way to capture notes such as the Walkthrough Builder™ on the Route app, a measuring tape, and a camera. Your phone camera is sufficient and if you are using Route already, your pictures and videos can be automatically uploaded to your Walkthrough Builder™. Route designed this feature to enhance the efficiency and organization of your walkthroughs. You will soon discover that using this streamlined approach to notetaking is far superior to writing notes by hand.
You don’t need to carry any of your cleaning supplies to the tile and grout walkthrough but you will want to keep them in mind as you are touring. There are different types of tile and grout which require different cleaning methods and supplies. In the Walkthrough Builder™, you can record details about each room in the “Areas of Special Concern” tab as well as selecting the flooring type from a convenient drop-down menu. Having all the details is going to make writing your proposal much better later. It will also make it easier for you to share the scope of work with your team. You can share the entire walkthrough with your staff with the touch of a button.
The measuring tape will be for finding the dimensions of the tile and grout you will be cleaning. Once you’ve assessed the measurements, those details can be saved in the Walkthrough Builder™.
Last but not least, remember to show up on site in a professional outfit or uniform with clean shoes. You want to make a good impression on your prospect with your knowledge and your appearance. This will help you create a strong brand identity as a tile and grout contractor.
If you have everything prepared and feel ready to take the tour, let’s get started.
Performing a Tile and Grout Tour: General Overview
When you meet the owner of the facility, you need to introduce yourself and then ask if you can see the tile and grout.
While you’re performing a tile and grout cleaning walkthrough, some things you’ll want to capture in the Walkthrough Builder™ are:
- The square footage of the tile that needs cleaned
- The age of the tile
- What kind of material the tile is made of
- The hours available for cleaning services
- Desired frequency of service
- The best equipment to use for the job
There are additional things you may want to know as well, such as where there is water access, if they’ve ever had mold issues before, or if they do any maintenance cleaning themselves. Those are just some thought-starters, but think critically about what questions you might need answered in order to get the most out of your walkthrough.
Now let’s break down each of the bulleted items into specific detail so you can land that tile and grout cleaning bid time and time again.
Like many floor cleaning services, square footage is going to be one of the largest determinants in your price. The average cost of tile and grout cleaning services varies significantly from contractor to contractor. However, a good national average is between $0.75 to $1.25 per square foot. This cost is for cleaning only. Many prospects will be expecting cleaning and sealing services which could change the price to something closer to $1.50 to $2.50 per square foot.
If the grout is particularly bad or if the tile is porous, this could also increase the cost of your labor. This is why details like such should be carefully recorded in the Walkthrough Builder™ and pictures of the tile and grout should be taken in every room while you are touring.
Age of the Tile
Ask the prospect about the average age of the tile that needs cleaned. This doesn’t have to be incredibly precise, but having a good idea of when the tile was laid will be very helpful in assessing final costs in the proposal. Generally speaking, newer tile is going to need less maintenance than older tile.
If the tile is extremely old or in very poor condition, you might even suggest replacing the tile for your prospect instead of cleaning it.
The age of the grout is also important. Grout is simply a concrete-based mixture that has been applied between the tiles. Grout is porous, and therefore collects dirt, debris, food particles, and oil. This leads to unsanitary and unsightly floors. As a professional tile and grout cleaning contractor, you will be able to provide the deepest clean possible to both the tile and grout, which will make your prospects floors like nicer and last longer than they could ever do by hand.
Type of Material
What the tile is made of will affect how you clean it and what you charge. The most common substrates are porcelain and ceramic. These versatile tiles are non-porous which give them longevity and make them easier to maintain. In general, ceramic and porcelain will be the least expensive service you offer as far as cleaning goes, although the condition of the grout might influence the price a bit.
The other type of tile you will see is natural stone. Although stone tiles are beautiful, they are porous and therefore difficult to clean and quicker to dull with traction. Cleaning natural stone tile will be more labor-intensive and therefore a more expensive job.
Labor Hours and Service Frequency
An important aspect of any cleaning service proposal are the labor times and service frequency.
When taking your tile and grout walkthrough, be sure to ask when the facility will be available for cleaning. If the building is only open during the middle of the night, this could affect your price and available labor.
You also will need to know how often they expect the tile and grout to be cleaned. Seasonal changes are a big part of this. The winter months can be particularly hard on tile and grout because of extra debris, road salt, and sudden changing temperatures.
By contrast, spring and summer could also be important cleaning times, especially if you are in a humid or very rainy climate.
Tile and Grout Cleaning Equipment
Tile and grout cleaning equipment comes in many shapes and sizes. You will have to do some research on your own to determine what is best for your needs. A good place to start is by investing in one machine for homes and one for commercial cleaning. The commercial cleaner will be bigger and more expensive but well worth it in the long run.
For both commercial and residential spaces, you will want a powerful steam cleaner with a floor scrubber attachment. This will allow you deep clean both the tile and grout and polish it to a brand-new finish. Residential steam cleaners will be smaller and more transportable, but commercial cleaners will be more powerful and have a series of attachments that allow for maximum versatility on a variety of surfaces.
You will also want a heavy-duty shop vac to clean up any dust you stir up that could contaminate the air and leave a dull layer on your freshly cleaned tile.
The price of steamers, polishers, and vacuums varies tremendously so research reviews online before buying to ensure you get the product you need without going overboard.
Cleaning solutions also come in many different styles but you can break it down by assessing the following:
- Scrubbing: Most tile and grout will require an abrasive wash to loosen dirt.
- Mold-Fighting: If there is mold present, a chemical agent that kills mold is a must.
- Steaming: A wide range of chemical solutions for steam-cleaning are available at any hardware store.
- Bleaching: Grout may require some form of whitening agent to achieve a new look.
- Polishing and Sealing: These finishing touches are crucial to making your tile and grout cleaning job last.
Writing a Tile and Grout Proposal
After you have completed your tour, it’s time to write a proposal for tile and grout cleaning services. The easiest way to do this is to use the Estimation Calculator on the Route app. While there are many calculators available online, Route’s Estimation Calculator is available in the palm of your hand. It’s also based on real-world data which gives you an extremely accurate bid for your services.
To calculate the cost of tile and grout services, you will first want to calculate the square footage of the tile times the hours you think it will take you do the job, keeping in mind the number of workers you will be paying to help you.
Then you will add in the cost of your cleaning solutions and if you are renting your equipment, you will need to add your rental costs.
If there are any special concerns such as labor times, heavy damage, or increased frequency, make an educated estimate as to what that will cost you.
This data can be easily recorded in the Estimation Calculator and with the touch of a button, you can generate a contract that is ready to be signed by your prospect.
You can even import things like photos, your prospect’s logo, and your company’s standard legal verbiage, which gives your proposal an even better look and feel. When using something as streamlined and intuitive as Route, much of the labor-intensity of writing proposals has been done for you.
Tile and Grout Wrap-Up
Tile and grout cleaning is an amazing service. You can take a worn-out floor and turn it into a brand-new looking floor with your expertise and cleaning knowledge. Your prospect will be delighted when they see what an impressive job you do, not just on your cleaning but on your tour.
When performing a tile and grout cleaning walkthrough, remember to take thorough notes in the Walkthrough Builder™ in your Route app. The square footage and substrate are the most important details.
Remember to consider labor hours and service frequency as this is a highly-detailed job that takes time to do well.
Invest in good cleaning supplies and machinery because it will be well-worth it in the long run.
Lastly, use Route’s Estimator and Proposal Generator to generate a top-rate proposal that can be personalized to every prospect you work with.
Utilizing these tips will result in better walkthroughs and better bids so save this article for future reference. You’re already well on your way to commercial cleaning success so keep working hard and take it one tour at a time. It will all pay off when you land your next tile and grout cleaning bid.