How to Resurface a Tile Floor

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Things You'll Need

  • Gloves

  • Safety glasses

  • Respirator mask

  • Screwdriver

  • Bucket

  • Washing soda

  • Sponge mop

  • Etching acid

  • Scratch pads

  • Putty knife

  • Waterproof filling compound

  • Masking tape

  • Paint sprayer or rollers

  • Ceramic tile bonding primer

  • Ceramic tile surface finish spray

  • Caulk

Make your ceramic tile shine again.

Ceramic tile can begin to look faded and worn after a few years. Replacing this type of tile is a daunting project, and hiring a professional contractor to do it can cost a small fortune. You can resurface the tile yourself, however, with products available at your local home improvement center.

Step 1

Remove all caulking or trim from the edge of the floor using a screwdriver. Set the trim to the side to reuse.

Step 2

Clean the ceramic tile with a mixture of 1/4 cup washing soda, or bicarbonate soda, with 1 gal. of warm water. Use a sponge mop, then allow 20 minutes for the floor to air-dry.

Step 3

Etch the surface of the tile to make it receptive to the new surface treatment. Use a light acid mixture and a course scratch pad, such as a Brillo-type product. Wear a respirator mask, safety glasses and gloves when using these chemicals. Ventilate the area as much as possible.

Step 4

Repair tiles that are cracked or chipped--a waterproof filling applied with a putty knife works best. Follow drying instructions on the filling compound label. Bobvila.com provides excellent tips for repairing ceramic tile.

Step 5

Tape off the areas you want to protect from the resurfacing spray with masking tape. Remove the edging plates for doorways and set them aside.

Step 6

Apply the bonding agent primer using a roller or paint sprayer. The primer will help bond the finish surface coat to the ceramic tile.

Step 7

Spray the finish surface coat on the tiles in three thin layers. Allow 72 hours for the surface to dry and harden. Replace all door-edging plates and trim, then recaulk the floor edges.

Tip

Repair cracks and chips about a week before the resurfacing. This will provide plenty of time for the filling compound to dry and settle.

Warning

Keep the work area well-ventilated. Wear gloves, a respirator mask and safety glasses when in proximity to these chemicals. The fumes are strong and toxic.

references & resources

Claudia Henning

Claudia Henning began her writing career as a "Lake Sun Leader" columnist in 1989. Her experience includes radio and Web writing, where she specializes in construction and home improvement project methods. She has an Associate of Science degree in physics/math from Del Mar College.