Local Business Profile

The Grout Doctor Brings Experience and Attention to Detail to Albuquerque and Santa Fe

Matt Fugate and his wife Sara bring years of experience with grout. Whether its changing colors or replacing it completely, the Grout Doctor can provide all of your grout needs.
Chris Mayo, March 2018

Since its establishment in 1992, The Grout Doctor franchise has expanded to nearly 100 locations and boast to be one of the premier tile, natural stone and grout maintenance companies in the nation. With a reputation of providing quality services at reasonable prices, it’s no surprise that it has grown exponentially.

Despite its growing popularity, for fifteen years The Grout Doctor had not made its way to New Mexico. About a year ago Matt and his wife Sara Fugate partnered with another franchise owner, Matt Bartlett in Colorado Springs, and finally brought the company to New Mexico with locations in Albuquerque and Santa Fe.

“It’s a strong partnership,” says Fugate. “I bring years of experience with tile and grout to the business and Matt provides us with franchise and business expertise — like how to build the business, when and where to advertise, etc. The way we set it up, Sara and I will own the business free and clear in sixteen months. It works for us and I think it works for Matt too.”

Sometimes the best businesses start with a simple concept. Grout is a porous material, usually far more so than tile or stone. It stands to reason, that grout readily absorbs dirt, grease, spilled drinks and so many other things. Over time, grout often loses its luster and takes on a dingy and worn appearance. The concept is simple: The Grout Doctor makes your grout look great again.

Of course, that isn’t the end all and be all of what The Grout Doctor offers. Say, for instance, you just moved into a new house. You like everything about it, but the color of the grout leaves something to be desired. The Grout Doctor can either remove the old grout and replace it with a grout color of your choosing, or re-color your existing grout for a fresh, more appealing look.

So, what were New Mexican resorting to before The Grout Doctor arrived? “Most carpet cleaning companies offer grout cleaning,” says Fugate. “They typically steam clean the grout which will get it clean but can have a detrimental effects on its long-term health. Steam tends to release the bonding agents in the grout, so over time customers will notice that their grout is breaking down, flaking and cracking.”

Fugate explains that when that happens, the grout needs to be removed and replaced. “Grout also gets dirty faster when the agents have been compromised by steam” he adds. Fugate recommends customers consider the grout sealing option when they have their grout cleaned.

“When you have your carpets cleaned, eventually they get dirty again and need to be cleaned again. Grout is like that too. Sealing the grout once it is cleaned makes the cleaning last significantly longer,” says Fugate, “When we seal your grout, we guarantee the work for a year, and the franchise reports that when grout is sealed with the product we use — Spectrum — the results often last up to fifteen years. Imagine if you went fifteen years between carpet cleanings!”

Fugate’s attention to detail is exemplified by how he applies the grout sealer; “I seal every grout line with a toothbrush. Although it can be hard on the knees and back, that’s the only way to ensure every spot is sealed.”

While cleaning and sealing constitutes most of Fugate’s business, the franchise also allows owners quite a bit of latitude to branch into other aspects of floor care. Fugate has parlayed that leeway into offering customers concrete staining and refinishing travertine tile.

Fugate says one of the advantages of hiring The Grout Doctor is the experience he brings to each job. He spent fifteen years in the tile industry, often working on high-end flooring projects like five-star hotels and other highly visible jobs.

Another advantage is what he calls “extreme customer service.” “First and foremost, I want each customer to be happy with our work. When each job is completed I do a walk through with the customer, explain what work I’ve done and how I did it, and answer any questions they might have.” And that’s their recipe for success.

In their short time since setting up shop in New Mexico, The Grout Doctor is already making a difference in grout cleaning options for local customers.

To learn more about The Grout Doctor, check out their website: www.groutdoctor.com or call Matt at (505) 217-3553.


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