Keeping the tile floors in your home looking clean and attractive takes effort. While sweeping and running a mop over the surface removes some dirt and grime, over time, this type of cleaning simply isn’t enough.
The problem is that tile flooring is porous to various degrees, and the natural stone material absorbs grime and stains, making your flooring look dull, dirty, and unattractive over time.
Revitalizing tile flooring requires heavy-duty cleaning, but tile and grout cleaning machines are big-ticket items. The solution: renting.
Below, we detail where to find a grout and tile cleaning machine, plus what you need to know about renting one.
How Does a Grout and Tile Cleaning Machine Work?
Tile and grout machines, also known as hard floor cleaning machines, come in various configurations and styles. While standard machines are specifically used for tile and grout cleaning, some machines are designed to handle tile flooring and carpet cleaning. These upright machines, which operate in a similar fashion to a steam cleaner, feature rotating brushes on the underside that move at various speeds to scrub away built-in dirt, grime, and stains.
Some professional machines may come with interchangeable heads, allowing you to swap out the rotating brushes for pads to dry and polish your tile.
What to Know Before Renting
Since most tile and grout machines are rented for professional/industrial use, there’s very little consumer information available on how to properly use one on your flooring. Even so, they are fairly easy to figure out intuitively.
Here are some things to keep in mind when renting a machine for home use:
- Make sure the machine is portable. Choose a style that you can easily transport to and from your car, maneuver, and use inside your home.
- Pick an appropriate cleaning solution. Take care when choosing a cleaning solution to use with your rental machine. Professionals use industrial tile and grout cleaners, but you may want to go with a popular consumer brand. Be mindful of picking a cleaner that performs well with your type of tile and won’t damage it.
- Avoid permanent tile damage. Ceramic and natural stone tile that isn’t protected by glazing may get scratched from the powerful rotation of brush bristles. Make sure the machine you choose is safe to use on exposed stone tile.
Where to Rent
The rental companies on this list have a variety of hard floor cleaning machines that work on tile and grout flooring. Rental costs vary by location, type of machine, and availability — rental costs start at about $35 per day, but can exceed $100 a day for larger machines.
Equipment rental costs also vary by location. Most company websites allow you to enter your city, state, or zip code to receive an accurate quote.
- Type of machines: Herc has large grout and tile cleaning machines, wet/dry vacuums, carpet cleaners, dust extraction vacuums, and surface vacuums.
- Appropriate for home use? Yes. Manual scrubber sizes range from 15-32-inches, and there is a drop-down menu for selecting sizes based on floor space capacity. Ride-on cleaning machines are more appropriate for industrial use.
- Extra equipment and supplies: Machines include batteries (non-electric models) and basic accessories. Extra accessories may be available at certain locations.
- Pricing: For a 15-inch electric ground and tile cleaner, the estimated cost is $35 per day, $135 per week, $375 per month; for a 15-inch battery-operated ground and tile cleaning machine, the estimated cost is $120 per day, $310 per week, and $785 per month. Delivery is available for an additional fee.
- One-person operation? Yes. One person can all operate all available sizes. Larger machines may require more muscle to push and pull.
- Can rentals fit into a car? Smaller machines can fit into a car. Larger machines require an SUV, van, or truck for transport.
- Find out more
- Herc has stores in 39 states. Find a location.
The Home Depot
- Type of machines: The Home Depot has tile and grout steam cleaners.
- Appropriate for home use? Yes. The machines are compact and don’t require chemicals.
- Extra equipment and supplies: Everything needed to operate the machine is included with the rental. It can be used with a garden hose. Recommended safety glasses are not included.
- Pricing: Estimated prices are $48 per four hours; $69 per day; $276 per week; and $828 per four week period. A deposit of $100 may be required.
- One-person operation? Yes.
- Can rentals fit into a car? It can be comfortably transported in an SUV, truck, or van.
- Find out more
- Home Depot has stores nationwide. Find a location.
- Type of machines: Rug Doctor has cordless dual-tank hard floor cleaners that separate clean and dirty water. A variety of soft-surface cleaning machines are also available, but these are not recommended for tile floors.
- Appropriate for home use? Yes. The hard floor cleaners are suitable for small to large spaces, and they use technology to quickly wash and dry flooring. The machines run for up to 30 minutes on a single battery charge.
- Extra equipment and supplies: None needed.
- Pricing: Rental fees start at $30 per day, but vary by location.
- One-person operation? Yes. Machines are designed for home use.
- Can rentals fit into a car? Yes. Hard floor cleaners resemble standard vacuum cleaners.
- Find out more
- Rug Doctor has stores nationwide. Find a location.
- Type of machines: Sunbelt Rentals has ground and tile machines, wet/dry vacuums, and multi-surface cleaners of various sizes.
- Appropriate for home use? Yes, but when renting, you should specify that equipment is for home use to get suitable sizes.
- Extra equipment and supplies: Accessories are available, if needed.
- Pricing: The company prefers giving customized quotes for rentals based on local variables. Estimated costs are $35 to $270 per day. Transportation surcharges are included in the delivery fee.
- One-person operation? Yes.
- Can rentals fit into a car? Cleaning machines fit into cars, vans, SUVs, and trucks. Delivery is available.
- Find out more
- Sunbelt has stores in 46 states. Find a location.
- Type of machines: United Rentals has walk-behind grout and tile cleaning machines.
- Appropriate for home use? Yes. These bulky machines are suitable for larger rooms and have great maneuverability.
- Extra equipment and supplies: Not specified.
- Pricing: For the 32-inch grout and tile cleaning machine the estimated cost is $261 per day, $751 per week, and $1,465 per month.
- One-person operation? Yes. The machine may require some muscle to operate.
- Can rentals fit into a car? Yes. It can be comfortably transported in an SUV, truck, or van.
- Find out more
- United Rentals has stores in 49 states. Find a location.
Places That Don’t Rent Grout and Tile Cleaning Machines
In case you’re still wondering about a store near you that you thought would make our list but didn’t, here are the stores we confirmed don’t rent tile and grout machines:
- Bissell (Bissell only rents carpet cleaners, and not hard floor cleaners)
- Lowe’s (Lowes sells several floor cleaning machines, but doesn’t rent equipment)
- Menards (Menards rents only carpet shampooers and power washers, and not hard floor cleaners)
- Walmart (Walmart sells some floor cleaners, but most are vacuums and other carpet cleaners)
How to Use the Machine
Cleaning your tile floors using a tile and grout machine is pretty easy. Here’s how to handle these machines in general. Always read the specific instructions for your machine carefully before operating.
- Step 1: Make sure all hoses, cables, and cleaning heads are properly attached and that the equipment is in good working order before turning the machine on. Some machines are electrically-powered, while others are battery-powered.
- Step 2: Saturate the entire floor with your choice of cleaning solution. You can apply a solution to the floor using a spray attachment, spray bottle, or a clean mop. Following instructions, let the solution sit for a certain amount of time — usually minutes. Some machines have water tanks, while others can attach to a garden hose for outdoor tile cleaning. Be sure to check specific instructions.
- Step 3: Turn the machine on. At a moderate speed, move the machine forward and back as you cover a section of flooring. It may be necessary to do more than one pass to get the desired results. You can decide how big of an area to cover; just make sure you see clean tile and grout before moving onto the next section.
- Step 4: After the entire floor is clean, turn the machine off. If the machine has a tank, empty dirty water into the bathroom tub (or outside, if the cleaning solution you used is environmentally safe). Follow rental company instructions for cleaning equipment, if required.
Need more ideas? See our research on where to get an all-purpose floor cleaner instead of a machine focused on just tile/grout.