Cleaning the tile and grout in your home is important for sanitation and appearance. Problems like efflorescence, staining, odors, degradation, and mold result from dirty tiles and grout or from cleaning it incorrectly. If mold and bacteria form in your grout, it can cause respiratory and inflammatory illnesses and other health problems. By hiring a professional tile and grout cleaning service, they use the correct cleaning procedures and keep your tile and grout clean for a longer time. Many factors affect the cost of tile and grout cleaning, such as materials, cleaning method, damage levels, and restorative treatments.
Most people spend between $250 and $700 to clean the tile and grout in a single room, with the average homeowner paying $548 to steam clean and pressure wash the tile and grout in a 260-square-foot room.
|Tile and grout cleaning costs|
|National average cost||$548|
Labor costs are typically included in the total package price you pay. Professional tile and grout cleaning services may charge you a flat fee, per hour, or per square foot. Some companies require a $100 to $200 minimum charge. Typical flat fees for average cleaning jobs run $300-$500 per 150 to 250 sq.ft. room. The cost for rooms over 300 sq.ft. or those with both floor and wall tiles is up to $900 or more.
When charging an hourly rate, tile and grout cleaners generally charge $30-$50 per hour. Average single-room cleaning jobs usually take 3 to 6 hours. Expect longer times for large rooms (over 300 sq. ft.) and rooms with many tiles.
Even if a cleaner quotes you a flat-rate price, the rate was likely calculated based on the square footage of the space to be cleaned. A square foot estimate is precise and specific. The average cost of standard tile and grout cleaning services is $0.75-$3 per square foot.
The average home has tile and grout in multiple rooms and on many different surfaces. Kitchens and bathrooms are common locations for tile and grout. In addition to floors, tile and grout may also be used for countertops, backsplashes, tub surrounds, and walls.
The per room cleaning cost varies depending on the room type and size. Here is what to expect to pay per room for professional tile and grout cleaning:
|Type of Room||Average Costs|
|Small Kitchen (75 sq. ft.)||$75 - $225|
|Standard Bathroom (100 sq. ft.)||$100 - $300|
|Master Bathroom (150 sq. ft.)||$150 - $450|
|Average Kitchen (300 sq. ft.)||$300 - $900|
Depending on your tile and grout’s condition and location, a cleaning professional may use one or more cleaning methods. The standard means of cleaning tile and grout is a combination of steam cleaning and high-pressure rinsing. When you receive a cleaning quote, confirm that the base rate includes this type of cleaning. Hand cleaning and spot cleaning are additional services included in or added to your quote. Prices are quoted as a flat rate, a per square foot rate, or an hourly rate.
|Type of Cleaning||Average Costs|
|Steam Cleaning and Pressure Washing||$0.75-$3 per square foot|
|Hand Cleaning / Spot Cleaning||$30-$40 per hour|
Professional tile and grout cleaning services should include steam cleaning and high-pressure washing. By using heat, vacuuming, and high pressures, this standard method proves highly effective at restoring the cleanliness of tile and grout. Almost all standard package prices are based on steam and pressure cleaning services.
Hand cleaning is time-consuming. This method is only suitable for small areas that are not accessed by large steam or pressure washing equipment. Hand cleaning adds extra labor costs of $30 to $40 per hour, depending on how extensive the soiling and how much tile and grout needs to be cleaned.
If only small areas need cleaning, your project should take much less time and effort than a full-room cleaning project. Spot cleaning is also useful for more heavily soiled areas than the rest of your dirty tiles and grout. Spot cleaning is done using steam and pressure cleaning equipment or by hand. The professional you hire determines the most suitable method for the spot needing cleaning.
Natural stone, ceramic, and porcelain are the most common tile materials. Cleaning companies generally do not charge different prices for different tile materials. However, the tile you have affects the price based on its soil absorption.
Very porous materials like granite and stone are especially prone to absorbing moisture, dirt, and bacteria. Therefore, they get much dirtier than standard tile types, such as glazed ceramic, porcelain, and metal, and require extra labor and chemical treatments to clean. Expect to pay at least $100 extra for very dirty tiles in an average room.
Cleaning your home’s tiles is just one step in the process. The grout between the tiles also absorbs dirt and needs cleaning. Once it is cleaned, the addition of a sealant protects the grout from damage or discoloration and stops dirt absorption. The average cost for a standard grout sealant is $0.90 to $1.73 per square foot. If cleaning and sealing prices are bundled together, expect a cost of $1.50 to $2.50 per square foot.
The cost of grout cleaning is most affected by the size of your tiles and the amount of dirt accumulated in the grout. Larger tiles mean there are fewer grout lines per room, so your cost is lower. A room or area with lots of small 1” tiles have more grout lines than a room of large 24” tiles, so the cost is higher.
Although non-porous tile materials like ceramic are easily cleaned and do not absorb much dirt, grout is a porous concrete mixture that attracts dirt and debris. Once these items work their way into the grout, they are hard to remove without professional cleaning. The dirtier your grout, the longer the job takes, and the more you will pay.
If you get both your tile and grout cleaned at the same time, you usually do not see a price breakdown for the tile and grout. Both items are included together in one price. If the grout’s cleaning price is listed separately, it is usually $0.75 to $1.25 per square foot.
Restorative cleaning is a form of deep cleaning intended to restore tile and grout to a near-new state. Restorative cleaning costs 15%-20% more than standard cleaning services because it usually involves additional equipment, cleaning solutions, and treatments. Prices are typically $0.86-$3.60 per sq.ft. or $575 per room. Some heavily soiled or damaged tiles and grout may be in too poor of a condition for restorative cleaning to be fully effective.
Tile and grout are dirty in different ways, which leads to different issues. Some of the most common problems and their solutions include:
Surprisingly, stains in tile and grout often come from improper cleaning methods. DIY cleaning by hand removes surface dirt, but it only pushes the rest deeper into the material. Over time, the amount of dirt pushed in causes permanent stains. The only way to fix this is by replacement, restoration, or recoloring, which are described below. Staining problems occur anywhere you hand clean often.
Harmful mold develops when moisture is trapped inside the pores of tile and grout. Mold most often arises in rooms where there is a lot of humidity, such as bathrooms and laundry rooms. Mold might be a symptom of a leak in your shower or sink. You may need to hire a plumber to fix the root problem before your tile and grout are cleaned ($45 to $65 per hour).
Porous tiles and grout absorb bacteria, which breeds foul odors. The only way to remove odors from tile and grout is to disinfect it. Professional cleaning is necessary for the disinfecting solution to fully penetrate the materials.
If your tile and grout have a chalky film over its surface, it is a case of efflorescence. This is the crystallization of minerals in moisture that is within or below the grout. It is caused by using too much water in the initial mixing of the grout, installing grout too quickly after the tiles were set and water absorbs into the material, or many other circumstances. Professional and DIY cleaning services remove efflorescence. Avoid using too much water during cleaning to prevent it from coming back. Sometimes, a leak in the plumbing beneath is to blame, in which case, have it repaired to stop the return.
One strategy for reducing the challenge of keeping grout looking clean is to purposefully change the color of the grout. Grout may either be lightened or darkened using a color sealant instead of a regular sealant. Color sealants are most frequently used to darken the color of a light grout so that it does not look so dirty. If you choose to use a color sealant to lighten your grout color, keep in mind that more layers of sealant are required, and the results may not be as good as they are when darkening.
Another reason to use color sealing is if only a small area of your grout needs to be replaced. It is hard to precisely color match the new grout to the old grout, so opting for a color sealant bypasses the problem without the need to replace all the grout.
The final reason homeowners may choose to change their grout color is to aesthetically update and refresh the feel of the room. Much like paint, color sealant is mixed in many colors to coordinate with the surrounding tile and room decor.
The cost for a color grout sealant is similar to a clear sealant. If you are going from a lighter to darker color grout, you pay the same $0.90 to $1.73 per square foot as you would for a clear sealant. Since lightening a darker grout may require more than one coat of sealant, you may need to pay extra for additional labor time. Hourly rates for grout sealing average $30 to $80.
Prevention is the best method when it comes to keeping grout clean. If a high-quality sealer is used, the grout is less likely to absorb dirt and stain. A grout sealer should last 10 to 15 years if cared for correctly and not exposed to harsh stripping chemical cleaners. Another way to keep grout clean is to wipe it down daily before dirt can penetrate and stain the grout. Before mopping a tile floor, vacuum or sweep it to remove loose debris that could be dragged into the grout lines by the mop. When mopping the floor, use as little water as possible so that less moisture and dirt migrates into the grout. Shower tiles should be squeegeed off after each shower to keep moisture from lingering on the grout and encouraging mildew.
If your grout is in bad condition or stains, mold, odor, or efflorescence cannot be removed, replace the grout. Cracked or crumbling grout is a particular hazard because it allows moisture to infiltrate under the tiles, leading to mold, mildew, and even structural damage to the underlying support material.
The best way to tell if your grout needs to be removed and replaced or if it may merely be cleaned and repaired is to contact a professional. The trained technician inspects the condition of the grout and makes a recommendation. If the grout must be replaced, the crew has to remove all the old grout, clean the grout line areas between the tiles, and apply fresh grout. Grout is quickest and easiest to remove from less porous tiles. It adheres strongly and is challenging to remove from rough, natural, porous surfaces. Expect to pay $5 to $25 per square foot for removing grout, depending on the complexity of the job.
Tile and grout 1 with a severe level of grime buildup may require extra labor and cleaning solutions to clean. You will need to ask your cleaning company representative to look at your surfaces before cleaning and give you a quote for extra grime removal. Expect to pay at least $100 extra for very dirty tiles in an average room.
Tile or grout that is damaged or loose either needs repair or replacement, depending on the level of damage. If only a small area of the tile or grout is affected, a repair may be possible. Rather than completely re-tile your space, a professional assesses the damage and determines if they can re-bond loose tiles or replace single damaged tiles or portions of grout instead. Hourly rates for tile and grout repair average $30 to $80 plus materials, with an average job taking roughly 3.5 hours for a total cost of $150 to $400.
Grout cleaning costs vary depending on the amount of grout and how dirty the grout is. Areas with smaller tiles have more grout lines than spaces with larger tiles, so the per square foot cost is higher. On average, expect to pay $0.75 to $1.25 per square foot for a standard grout cleaning without a sealant or $1.50 to $2.50 for cleaning and sealing bundled together.
Under optimal conditions, tile and grout are waterproof. Look for tile and grout in good condition with no cracks, chips, crumbling, or gaps in the seal between the tile and grout. The grout should also be sealed so that nothing penetrates it.
Using a carpet cleaner for cleaning tile is not recommended. The brushes and scrubber on the carpet cleaner are meant for use on soft surfaces. They scratch and mar the shine of tile along with damaging the carpet cleaner.
For best results, plan to have your grout professionally cleaned every 6 months to 1 year, depending on the level of traffic and dirt that your tile and grout are exposed to.
For stubborn stains, the Tile Council of North America recommends pressurized steam cleaning. It may help remove stains that conventional cleaners leave behind.
The best way to avoid scrubbing your grout is to use a high-quality specialty cleaner meant for grout. Steam cleaning and pressure washing or hiring a cleaning professional are other ways to clean floor grout without scrubbing.