By Lisa Stephens

Does the tile or grout in your kitchen or bath need a facelift?  It’s amazing what a difference The Grout Guy, Cole Wilson, can make when it comes to restoring tile and grout.  His ability to deep clean just about any surface including ceramic, porcelain and natural stone flooring or walls and then seal it to maintain its look enables him to leave the customer well satisfied.  In business since 2001, Cole continues to learn about new products and techniques in order to serve his customers with the latest technology and processes. Because Cole custom mixes his own grout colors, he can create any color the customer desires!  The possibilities are endless.

Originally from New Hampshire, Cole received his original training in construction and masonry when he served in the Navy as a Seabee. After leaving the Navy, he went to work at a cable company but was interested in owning his own company and working for himself.  “My wife’s best friend started a business in Arizona doing the same thing and I thought ‘Hey, that sounds interesting and sounds like something I’d be great at.’”  He took a chance on going for his dream and never looked back.  As sole owner, Cole said he hopes to expand his business some day but is reluctant to depend on others to be as detail-oriented as he is when it comes to serving his clients.  “I am a perfectionist.  I cannot hire anyone that isn’t as meticulous as me.”  His wife steps in to help with the phone calls or paperwork when she isn’t working her other job. “But all the decisions are made together.  We’re a team,” he shared.

Get the ball rolling on that project you’ve been putting off.

Initial contact is made by phone or through his website.  Afterwards, Cole will come out to take a look at the project you need help with.  During that visit, he will give you a price and let you know how long the job will take.  Every job is unique.  “I always tell the customer about how long the job will take.  The shortest is about half a day, but recently I had a customer who had showers, floors, driveway, pool screens and decks all included and it took me a week,” he said. The average time to complete a job, however, is about a day.  He comes out to take a look prior to any job because there are so many variables to consider for each project. “Some showers are beyond repair and I will let the customer know the honest truth,” he shared.   Some clients actually want tiles replaced instead of just cleaning the entire tile and grout areas.  He educates the customer on how each completed project might look based upon the work they want done and he listens to the customer when they’re describing what they want the end result to be.  Once an agreement has been made on the work to be done and a price, he begins as soon as possible. “It depends on the month and how busy we are but it’s usually the next week or week after,” he explained.  Sometimes special equipment or supplies have to be ordered.  “I treat each job like I would one for my home or my parents’ home.  I do what it takes to make the customer love the floor or shower or whatever.”  

Upon completion, Cole leaves the customer with a magnet listing maintenance instructions.  One tip he offers is what he considers the most important aspect of maintaining tile and grout; dry the floor or shower each and every time it is used or cleaned.  In his own shower, he keeps a squeegee close by and uses it after every shower on the walls.  This, he explained, prevents water from sitting on the tile and staining the grout.  “So drying is the key,” he said.  For floors, he color seals the grout so stains cannot penetrate the grout.  Dirt, however, can form in a layer over the seal.  For that, he uses Dawn dish detergent and a wet cloth to clean the floor and grout areas.  He follows that with a dry towel and uses his toes or hands to wipe up the dirt.  This, he says, keeps the floor looking new for a long time. 

The Grout Guy does more than kitchen and baths! 

Cole goes outside too!  “I do pressure washing of patios and screens and am certified in pressure washing and paver sealing and restoring with United Association of Mobile Contract Cleaners. He also takes on commercial projects, which are among his favorites.  He has restored concrete floors, cleaned tile floors, removed epoxy grout off floors and changed the color of the grout.  He often has large tile company call him to request his help.  “If I can’t help, I can find a person who can,” he said.  

Call 727-213-5723 today to schedule your free estimate appointment.  Mention this ad for a $25 discount for Tampa Bay News & Lifestyles readers!  See before and after photos at www.thegroutguy.com.  Find them on FaceBook for customer comments and more.