As we continue with the concept of testing a small area first before commencing with a larger project, an incident comes to mind. A cleaning service committed a considerable amount of time and resources to “fixing” a damaged ceramic tile floor without testing for final results first.  In their misguided efforts at cleaning the floor quickly, they used harsh products resulting in some of the tiles actually bubbling from the “thermobolic” reaction of the right chemicals applied at the wrong time.  

To most observers the tiles were damaged beyond repair and would have to be replaced at great expense.  A well intentioned vendor convincingly promised that when he was through with his restorative work, “only an expert could determine where the damage had been done.”  

Unfortunately, he promised far more than he could deliver.  When he was through with applying several coats of finish to the entire “restored” areas, it looked worse than when he started.  The finish he used magnified every defect a hundred fold.  Of course, if he had simply tested a small two feet by two feet area first to determine the results, he could have saved everyone a lot of time and anguish.  He chose to “restore” several thousand square feet with none of it being acceptable to the customer. 

He and the customer were both frustrated because they both “assumed” that the restoration effort would work based on a very weak promise.  It didn’t work as hoped and a valuable (and expensive) lesson was learned.  None of his work could be salvaged since the ultimate fix was to replace the damaged tiles, re-grout and apply new seal and finish to the entire floor.  If he had done a small test area first, he could have expended a relatively small amount of time and labor to identifying a satisfactory outcome.  Lessons learned:  Always, always, always pick a small inconspicuous area and conduct a test first before committing time and resources to a possibly doomed effort.  

Once you have a process that works, make sure that you and your crew stick to it and not experiment.  A final thought is to always under promise and work very hard to over produce since your reputation may depend on it.  

Your comments and questions are always welcome.  I hope to hear from you soon.  Until then, keep it clean…..


Mickey Crowe has been involved in the industry for over 35 years. He is a trainer, speaker and consultant. You can reach Mickey at 678.314.2171 or