Commercial Kitchen Grout Deterioration: Why Your Commercial Kitchen Tile is Costing you Money and How to Fix it

Commercial kitchen tile is designed to withstand a lot of abuse from foot traffic, equipment, temperature variations and constant exposure to water, grease, chemicals and other natural or chemical agents. The quarry tile that is used in commercial kitchen tile flooring is not the weak link. Rarely do these tiles break or succumb to the effects of heat and chemicals. The weak link is the grout lines, where grime, bacteria and chemicals pool and loiter. Restaurant owners end up spending a lot of money on costly repairs, tile replacements and regrouting only to have to do it again in a couple of years. Many restaurant owners find that they are having to replace their tile grout every couple of years or even more frequently, yearly, if it is a high use kitchen. This is a costly addition to maintenance budgets that may not be necessary. Below we cover the causes, costs and solutions to commercial kitchen grout deterioration.

Commercial Kitchen Tiles and Daily Cleaning

Commercial kitchen tile floors are perhaps the only floors in the world that undergo not only intense daily exposures to traffic, equipment, and the harshness of heat, but intense daily cleaning. Due to health code requirements, commercial kitchen floors are required to undergo strict cleaning regimens. And this is all the more true for commercial kitchen tile flooring, which has grout lines in which bacteria can flourish. Many a restaurant owner has found that they must replace their tile flooring just to keep up with health codes.

Because of this daily cleaning, restaurant owners and workers have sought out ways to reduce both the work and cost involved in it. We don’t blame them. Cleaning commercial kitchen floors is hard work and anything that can make it faster and less costly to do is certainly in the interest of workers and owners alike. But it is these cost and work saving measures that may be contributing to the grout deterioration problem, unfortunately.

No Rinse Cleaner and Commercial Kitchen Tile Deterioration

To cut back on cleaning costs and work involved, many restaurant owners have started to use no rinse cleaners on their tile floors. No rinse cleaners, also known as enzymatic cleaners, are mostly harmless to commercial kitchen grout in itself. The problems start when these cleaners are applied to dirty floors. No rinse cleaners are designed to break down fats and grease without the need to rinse. This is a great way to reduce total cleaning time. But the tradeoff is that the process of breaking down the grease and fats leaves an acidic residue that breaks down not only grout but tile surfaces too.

The rise in the use of these no rinse cleaners has resulted in restaurants and other places that use them dealing with rapidly deteriorating grout which requires replacement every two years or so. This is an incredibly costly and inefficient way of keeping floors clean! The other option is to use a grout that can be subjected to these cleaners, but their effectiveness has been disputed and none of the manufacturers will offer a warranty on these grouts. That might be all you need to know about their effectiveness.

A Better Solution to Commercial Kitchen Grout Issues

Tile resurfacing is quickly becoming the most popular method of dealing with tile issues of all kinds. From old and broken tiles, to commercial kitchen grout issues, resurfacing tile floors instead of removing and replacing them is a cost effective, environmentally friendly and long lasting option.

Tile resurfacing with a Semco resurfacing product in commercial kitchens confers several benefits that other options do not.

1. Tile resurfacing virtually eliminates the no rinse cleaner problem.

The chemical resistant, fully sealed Semco X-bond solution is used in some of the toughest industrial environments, including mechanic garages. There is no risk of deterioration due to no rinse cleaners.

2. Commercial Kitchen Tile resurfacing is less costly

With no grout deterioration, the obvious cost saving benefit is that you don’t have to replace and reseal the grout every couple of years. But the savings don’t end there. The remodel without removal system used in Semco’s tile resurfacing system means that you don’t have to remove the old tile. The Semco resurfacing product adheres at the molecular level to the tile.

3. Easier to clean and ADA compliant

Semco X-Bond is easier to clean than tile due to its smoother surface and lack of grout lines. Additionally, Semco surfaces can be augmented to provide ADA complaint coefficient of friction for safety.

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