Remodel vs. Refinish: Understanding the Proper Method for Refinishing Tile

When it is time for a bathroom or kitchen upgrade, homeowners are left with the decision to do a complete remodel or refinish outdated or damaged tile. While remodels may be necessary for tile that has completely degraded or that has led to water damage, it is often possible to simply refinish tile that needs a color change or has a few cosmetic flaws such as scratches and fading. Refinishing tile has several benefits over remodeling since it can be finished in a day versus the several weeks that tearing out an entire bathroom often requires, and it is less expensive since it requires fewer materials. As you plan your tile refinishing project, here are the steps that are involved for doing the job properly.

Start With a Complete Clean

It is important for the tile to be free of anything that interferes with the ability of the glazing materials to stick to the surface. Therefore, several cleansers will be used to remove things such as soap, grease, dirt that tends to accumulate on tile after years of bathing or cooking in the room. This process may need to be repeated more than once in areas that have very old or dirty tile.

Repair Chips and Scratches

Refinishing the tile is the perfect time to fill in minor chips and scratches so that the pieces have a perfectly smooth finish that generates a beautiful shine. Once the tiles are all clean and dry, your refinisher will then begin filling any little dings they find on the surface. This is part of what makes your refinished tile look brand new once the project is complete.

Etch the Surface

The next step in the process is to etch the surface of the tile. This helps to rough up the smooth surface by removing the shiny top layer of your tile. It also makes minor pores that will allow the primer and glaze to form a strong bond with the tile during the final steps of the refinishing process.

Prime the Tiles

Applying epoxy primer to the tiles further increases the longevity of the project by protecting the material the tile is made from while also increasing the durability of the surface glaze. While you can apply primer with a brush, it will be evident in the finished project since the brush strokes will be visible. This is why professional tile refinishers use sprayers that provide a smooth, seamless coating. Primer should also be applied with two coats for long-lasting results.

Apply the Acrylic Glaze

Once the tiles have been cleaned, etched and primed, it will be time to add the finishing touch that you have been waiting to see. Using a similar technique as was done with the primer, three coats of high gloss acrylic enamel will be applied to the tiles. Finally, allow it to cure, and you should expect to be able to have full use of your bathroom or kitchen within three days.

Refinishing tile is the more eco-friendly way to update your home’s appearance since it reduces the waste of materials by enhancing what is already there. Whether you want to freshen up the color or repair tiles that have been scratched over the years, this process is one that can be completed in a day so that you can enjoy instant satisfaction from your home improvement project.

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