In recent conversations with our neighbor, I discovered that the man from whom we bought this house was a bachelor when he built it, which explains a lot, including (possibly) why the kitchen floor is made of faux brick tiles and cement-colored grout. (I mean this totally in jest! My dad lives alone and his home is immaculate, so I realize that "bachelor" does not equal "slob. ") When I consider why someone would choose faux brick tiles, I imagine that his logic must have gone something like this:
Brick is primarily an outdoor surface.
Outdoor surfaces generally do not need to be cleaned.
If I put brick tile on my kitchen floor I will not have to clean it.
When we moved in the kitchen floor was absolutely filthy. It had recently been mopped so there were no big chunks of food or anything, but the grout was so dirty in some places that it was black. There was only one thing to do: get down on my hands and knees with scalding water, floor cleaner, and a scrub brush. In the several weeks that it's taken me to complete this project, I have emptied at least 20 buckets of black water. I should note that the faux brick is expansive. It is not only in the kitchen and eat-in area, but in the connecting entryway from the garage and the hallway to the master bedroom.
It was amazing how obvious my progress was. You could actually see, just with a quick glance, which sections had been scrubbed and which were still waiting the treatment. And then Jay had to go out and buy grout cleaner, which is essentially just an enormous tube of Wite-Out, and sealer. So just when I finish scrubbing every square inch of floor, another project looms ahead.
Here's a picture of pre-cleaner and post-cleaner, side by side. Keep in mind that the dingy half is sparkling compared to what it was before.
There are other things I'd like to do around my house, but I have a feeling that I'll be bonding with my kitchen floor for at least a few more weeks.