An Overview of the Semco Tile Resurfacing Process

Semco Florida

If you are curious about how tile resurfacing works, here is a rundown of the steps involved and the reasoning behind each. The Semco Tile Resurfacing System is a great way to cover up old, ugly tile on floors and walls in bathrooms, kitchens, outdoor areas and more.

Step 1. Clean the Tile

Resurfacing projects are only as good as the bond created with the old surface. Tile is notoriously difficult to get new materials to bond with. The Semco System solves this issue by adding an extra scratch coat layers that provides the bonding pores necessary for the new surfacing material to adhere to.

Creating a great bond requires an exceptionally clean surface. This is especially true for commercial kitchen application and any high traffic area. Calcium deposits and magnesium grease, also called efflorescence, interfere with the bonding process and need to be removed.

The Semco System makes three different cleaners to address this and they are applied in a systematic way to ensure that the tiles are clean enough to lay the bonding and scratch coat material.

Step 2. Rolling Primer and Applying Scratch Coat

After the surface is clean, the next step is to roll the primer and then apply the scratch coat. The primer is a polymer liquid that is rolled out in a very thin consistency onto the surface. The scratch coat is then mixed and applied after the primer is dry. The scratch coat application is what makes the Semco system unique over other resurfacing systems. The scratch coat creates a layer of porous surface that allows the topping material to bond. This is why Semco can bond to tile and metal surfaces better and stronger than most other systems.

Step 3. Grout Line Cover-up

Most people who are undertaking a tile resurfacing project have the goal of eliminating the grout lines. This is another area that the Semco Tile Resurfacing system beats out the others. Most other tile resurfacing system are a thin, paint like epoxy that is applied haphazardly over the old tile. They can change the color of the tile and grout lines, but they do nothing to smooth the grout lines or cover them up.

The Semco system does it differently. The Semco system uses what is called a Brown coat to cover and smoot over tile grout lines, chips, dents, and even whole missing tiles. Unlike most materials that shrink when the dry, The Brown coat is made of a materials that expand. This allows the brown coat to fully penetrate those grout crevices, dents, and missing tile pieces. With the brown coat in place, there will not be much indication that there was ever any tile there to begin with.

Step 4. The Finish

After the brown coat is in place, it is time to lay the finishing coats on. Depending on the Semco finish you choose, there might be different procedures. In the video, you can see them laying the natural grain finish. They first start with a skim coat that goes over the brown coat. The skim coat is then sanded to ensure that it is nice and smooth. Depending on the finish you choose, there are times when then sanding will ensure the proper texture for the final stain. Once sanded, a pre-stain is applied. You can see how the pre-stain is applied in the video. As the pre-stain dries, you will start to see the beautifully textured leathering finish that emerges.

Once the stains are dry, the final step is to apply a sealer. The sealer protects the surface from water, and other damaging agents.

Commercial Kitchen Grout Deterioration: Why Your Commercial Kitchen Tile is Costing you Money and How to Fix it

Semco Florida

Commercial kitchen tile is designed to withstand a lot of abuse from foot traffic, equipment, temperature variations and constant exposure to water, grease, chemicals and other natural or chemical agents. The quarry tile that is used in commercial kitchen tile flooring is not the weak link. Rarely do these tiles break or succumb to the effects of heat and chemicals. The weak link is the grout lines, where grime, bacteria and chemicals pool and loiter. Restaurant owners end up spending a lot of money on costly repairs, tile replacements and regrouting only to have to do it again in a couple of years. Many restaurant owners find that they are having to replace their tile grout every couple of years or even more frequently, yearly, if it is a high use kitchen. This is a costly addition to maintenance budgets that may not be necessary. Below we cover the causes, costs and solutions to commercial kitchen grout deterioration.

Commercial Kitchen Tiles and Daily Cleaning

Commercial kitchen tile floors are perhaps the only floors in the world that undergo not only intense daily exposures to traffic, equipment, and the harshness of heat, but intense daily cleaning. Due to health code requirements, commercial kitchen floors are required to undergo strict cleaning regimens. And this is all the more true for commercial kitchen tile flooring, which has grout lines in which bacteria can flourish. Many a restaurant owner has found that they must replace their tile flooring just to keep up with health codes.

Because of this daily cleaning, restaurant owners and workers have sought out ways to reduce both the work and cost involved in it. We don’t blame them. Cleaning commercial kitchen floors is hard work and anything that can make it faster and less costly to do is certainly in the interest of workers and owners alike. But it is these cost and work saving measures that may be contributing to the grout deterioration problem, unfortunately.

No Rinse Cleaner and Commercial Kitchen Tile Deterioration

To cut back on cleaning costs and work involved, many restaurant owners have started to use no rinse cleaners on their tile floors. No rinse cleaners, also known as enzymatic cleaners, are mostly harmless to commercial kitchen grout in itself. The problems start when these cleaners are applied to dirty floors. No rinse cleaners are designed to break down fats and grease without the need to rinse. This is a great way to reduce total cleaning time. But the tradeoff is that the process of breaking down the grease and fats leaves an acidic residue that breaks down not only grout but tile surfaces too.

The rise in the use of these no rinse cleaners has resulted in restaurants and other places that use them dealing with rapidly deteriorating grout which requires replacement every two years or so. This is an incredibly costly and inefficient way of keeping floors clean! The other option is to use a grout that can be subjected to these cleaners, but their effectiveness has been disputed and none of the manufacturers will offer a warranty on these grouts. That might be all you need to know about their effectiveness.

A Better Solution to Commercial Kitchen Grout Issues

Tile resurfacing is quickly becoming the most popular method of dealing with tile issues of all kinds. From old and broken tiles, to commercial kitchen grout issues, resurfacing tile floors instead of removing and replacing them is a cost effective, environmentally friendly and long lasting option.

Tile resurfacing with a Semco resurfacing product in commercial kitchens confers several benefits that other options do not.

1. Tile resurfacing virtually eliminates the no rinse cleaner problem.

The chemical resistant, fully sealed Semco X-bond solution is used in some of the toughest industrial environments, including mechanic garages. There is no risk of deterioration due to no rinse cleaners.

2. Commercial Kitchen Tile resurfacing is less costly

With no grout deterioration, the obvious cost saving benefit is that you don’t have to replace and reseal the grout every couple of years. But the savings don’t end there. The remodel without removal system used in Semco’s tile resurfacing system means that you don’t have to remove the old tile. The Semco resurfacing product adheres at the molecular level to the tile.

3. Easier to clean and ADA compliant

Semco X-Bond is easier to clean than tile due to its smoother surface and lack of grout lines. Additionally, Semco surfaces can be augmented to provide ADA complaint coefficient of friction for safety.

Concrete Driveway Restoration Options

Semco Florida

Concrete driveways are incredibly popular because of their durability and aesthetic smoothness. They easily beat out an asphalt driveway in the looks department. But if allowed to go without maintenance or repair for too long, a concrete driveway can take on a drab appearance that sucks the life out of your home or business’s curb appeal. And cracking, spalling and crumbling concrete are not just an eyesore, they are also safety hazard that can cause falls and even damage cars and machinery. If you are dealing with a dilapidated concrete driveway and need some direction about concrete driveway restoration options, continue reading below.

Concrete Overlay for Driveways

concrete driveway resurfacing and restoration

This is an example of a resurfaced driveway with X-Bond Seamless Stone.

A concrete overlay is a great way to restore a concrete driveway for relatively cheap. The overlay process is rather simple. First, the surface is thoroughly cleaned and then a concrete overlay product is applied. This overlay is sometimes called a micro-topping or thin overlay depending on where and how it is used. Concrete overlays are generally more durable than micro-toppings, so if your driveway takes a good deal of traffic or is exposed to the elements, overlays are the way to go.

Concrete Resurfacer

A concrete driveway resurfacing product is a little more durable than a micro-topping or an overlay. Driveway resurfacing systems are usually intended to do more than just freshen up the appearance of the concrete surface. Prior to applying a concrete resurfacing system, all concrete cracking or concrete spalling are bridged or repaired. Then the concrete resurfacer is applied and allowed to dry and take hold. From there, a concrete sealer is used to waterproof and protect the new concrete driveway from the elements.

Decorative Concrete Driveway

One of the great things about using concrete overlays or resurfacing systems on your old concrete driveway is that it gives you a chance to add some decorative novelty to your driveway. Instead of the boring old white or grey concrete color, concrete resurfacing products come in a variety of finishes that can be laid in patterns.

Resurfacing vs. Concrete Driveway Removal

If you have an old concrete driveway, you have probably wondered about the possibility of replacing it entirely. Driveway removal and replacement used to be a very common technique in the driveway repairing industry. But it is not cheap. According to data collected by Angie’s list, a driveway costs anywhere between $6,000 and $10,000 to tear up and replace.

Driveway removal has its advantages in cases of severely damaged concrete driveways, but in other cases, it is less cost effective than using an overlay or resurfacing product, which can both repair and refinish light and moderately damaged driveways to a new decorative look.

Driveway resurfacing has a number of other advantages beyond the economic. If you are worried about the environmental impact of your home improvements, resurfacing not only costs less, it is much more sound in terms of environmental cost. The driveway removal process requires a lot of work, machinery and disposal that resurfacing does not.

Resurfacing your driveway is also a considerably less time consuming way to restore a driveway. There is no drilling, demolition or even grinding. All you have to do is ensure that the surface is clean, any major cracks are bridged, and then the resurfacing solution is applied.

Driveway Restoration with Semco Florida

Florida driveways take a relentless beating from the sun and the elements and concrete removal companies make a lot of money replacing driveways that might not even need it. If you think that your driveway needs to be removed, consider resurfacing before you go tearing up your driveway. Learn more about driveway restoration with Semco Florida here. o

Revitalize Old, Dirty Grout Lines

Semco Florida

Grout can make or break the aesthetics of tile. Whether wall tile, bathroom floor tile or kitchen and even outdoor tile, the grout color and grout lines need to be carefully matched and coordinated with the look of the tile. Grout lines that are too small for the tile size can detract from the look of the tile, and conversely grout that is too thick or inconsistent grout lines can be incredibly unattractive.

In the worst case scenario, tiles are improperly spaced and set which means that that no matter image of dirty tile groutwhat you do to the grout lines, they will always be uneven. Here are some of your options for updating old, uneven and dirty grout lines without having to rip up the tile and replace it.

Why does grout get so dirty?

Grout is a highly porous and rough, and it sits lower than the tile around it. Grout lines are literally little channels that can collect dirt, water, grim and be breeding grounds for bacteria, mold and mildew. And normal cleaning practices might make things worse for the look of grout in the long run. Dirty mop water, while able to clean the tile itself, is perhaps the number one cause of dirty grout lines.

In order to prevent and forestall your grout lines becoming sodden petri dishes that kill the look of our tile, you should regularly clean and reseal your grout lines and ensure you use clean mop water as much as possible.

Grout Colorant and Grout Paint

Sometimes, though, the grout stains are so well embedded that you are left with only the option of regrouting your tile or attempting to paint or add colorant to it. If you are looking to save money, tile painting is perhaps the best way to go. In some cases, depending on the color and placement of your grout, you can get away with spending very little to revitalize your grout. Take a look at how this white tile bathroom floor was transformed with a $2 bottle of acrylic paint. That was a special case of white tile on white grout. In some cases, you need a little more color to match you the palette of your tile. In that case, grout paints and colorants are the way to go. There are a number of great products on the market that can help you freshen your tile grout. Here is a great article on grout paint that can help get you oriented.

Another advantage of grout colorants is their ability to hide the uneven grout lines that a careless contractor left behind. Just find a color that blends with your tile and does not offer a stark contrast to the tile, leaving the edges between the tile and the grout less defined and so any imperfections less noticeable.

Regrouting Tile

Sometimes neither cleaning nor painting will cut it. You many have to regrout the tile. Signs that you need to regrout or even replace your tiles include the following:

  1. Loose tiles. Loose tiles are a sure sign that something is going wrong. Something has failed. In this case it will likely be necessary to contact a professional about your options for tile replacement or tile resurfacing.
  2. Excessive mold and mildew. When tile are loose or the grout is cracked and the sealant worn, water can accumulate under the tile and grout and cause persistent mildew that does not respond to cleaning. If you suspect that your tile and grout has mold or mildew growing under it is time to regrout or replace.
  3. The grout has been there for awhile. Grout can last on average about 15 years before succumbing to degradation. If it has been awhile since your grout has been installed, it may be time for a regrouting job.

Tile Resurfacing as a solution to grout problems

After all this, you may be despondent, “I have crumbling, dirty grout lines besotted with mildew! What should I do?”

Well, you can replace your tile, which would mean that you have to remove all the old tile and grout and lay new tile, a hassle and dirty job, or you can resurface it.

Resurfacing materials like Semco’s Tile Remodel Without Removal system have advanced to the point where there is no need to remove the old tile to get a brand new, seamless, sealed and grout free decorative surface. The Semco system can be applied to wall tiles, shower tiles, kitchen tiles bathroom floor tiles, indoor and outdoor tile and more.

If you are tired of grappling with tile maintenance and dirty grout lines contact Semco Florida today to learn about tile resurfacing. Or check out our tile resurfacing FAQs.

Choosing a Concrete Overlay System: Things to Consider

Semco Florida

If you have had enough of your chipped, pitted and cracking concrete surface, you are probably looking for some guidance on what to do about it. You could rip up and replace your old concrete, but that is a time and budget consuming hassle. Concrete overlay resurfacing is a great alternative to concrete replacement. Here we go over some of the things you should consider and help you understand concrete overlay resurfacing systems and how to determine which is the best for circumstances.

Basics of Concrete Overlay Resurfacing

Basically, concrete overlay resurfacing is a cost effective alternative to concrete removal. Rather than demolishing the old concrete and repouring new concrete, concrete overlay involves repairing concrete cracking, bridging gaps, and then using a overlay system to cover the old concrete. This overlay can be decorative or plain depending on your needs. It is used on sidewalks, walkways, driveways, garages, interior, exterior, pool and roof surfaces and more. Check out our concrete resurfacing FAQ page for more info. Before you decide on a concrete overlay resurfacing system, ask yourself some of the following questions to help you determine which system fits your needs.

What is the condition of the existing surface?

Does the concrete have a lot of cracks and gouges, or are they small aesthetic line cracks? If the damage to the surface is considerable, you want to make sure that you choose a concrete overlay that can accommodate not only resurfacing but crack repair. The best way to handle larger cracks, greater than ¼ of an inch is to use a concrete crack filler like Semco Concrete Crack Filler which can bridge concrete gaps greater than ¼ inch. Then you can apply the overlay system. If you don’t fill the cracks, the overlay can fail to bond and the cracks could telegraph through the overlay over time.

What will the concrete overlay be exposed to?

Another thing to consider before deciding on a concrete overlay resurfacing system is what kind of conditions the surface is regularly exposed to. For example, interior concrete surfaces are not exposed to the same elements, changing weather conditions, UV exposure as exterior systems. While interior surfaces like garage flooring are exposed to chemicals from cars and heavy machinery that a pool deck will not be. We recommend making a list of all the possible conditions and elements that your surface is exposed to on a regular basis and using this list to make a choice about which system is best for you. Take into consideration things like surface strength PSI for garage flooring and UV resistance for a pool deck, roof deck or decorative overlay.

How do you want it to look?

This is perhaps the most important question. The reason that you are even considering concrete overlay in the first place is because you are tired of looking at old, worn, broken and cracking concrete. The goal of an overlay should be to restore and beautify your concrete surface. What the final product looks like depends on the overlay. Some overlays are just a bland concrete coloring, which may be exactly what you are looking for. But if you want a decorative look or something more than grey concrete color, there are overlay systems designed for this. Semco concrete overlay systems, for example, come in a variety of colors, mixtures and textures.

We hoped that this brief guide helped you narrow your focus when choosing a concrete overlay system. Semco Florida is dedicated to helping you get the concrete resurfacing system that is best for your home, business or municipality. Contact us to learn more about Semco Concrete Resurfacing and Overlay Contractors in your area.

Can You Install New Flooring over Old Flooring?

Semco Florida

Homeowners and businesses looking to save a few bucks on remodeling and renovation often wonder if there is a cheaper way to update flooring without having to replace it. After all, flooring is a large chunk of the cost associated with a remodel. And as many know, flooring choices have the potential to make or break a room’s décor. We have covered some ideas of how to update or hid ugly tiles and other flooring, but in this installment, we will cover how the Semco product allows you to install a new seamless floor over your old flooring.

Can you put new flooring over old flooring?

Yes. And there are many ways in which this can be done. But before you make the final decision to cover your old flooring rather than replace it, take a few things into consideration. If your floor is supported by a subfloor, you may want to remove the old flooring in order to inspect and repair any damaged subflooring elements. If your flooring is on a hard foundation, removing it gives you the chance to inspect for any foundation cracking. If you are confident with the state of your subfloors and foundation, then installing new flooring over the old flooring is the most cost-effective way to update your flooring.

New flooring over existing tile

update floor tile without removing them with SEMCO

The Semco Remodel without Removal system can cover a variety of flooring types without having to remove it.

Tile flooring is perhaps the most used types of flooring. You will be hard pressed to find a home or business that does not use tile flooring in some way. Tile flooring replacement can be extremely expensive, dirty and time consuming. This makes tile flooring great candidate for a remodel without removal solution. There are two ways to put new flooring over ceramic tile:

Use new tiles to tile over existing tile: Learn more how to do this here.

OR

Resurface tile floor with a floor resurfacing solution like Semco. You can learn how to do this here.

New Flooring over Hardwood

Hardwood floors wear out over time and are prone to several issues like cupping, buckling and varnish peeling. There are three choices in the case of old, worn out hardwood flooring. You can refinish, remove and replace, or cover the old floor with new flooring. Refinishing old wood floors is great if you just have a few surface scratches and mild scuffs and marks. Removing and replacing is the most expensive and is recommended if the wood flooring is unsalvageable. You can cover your old hardwood floors with new hardwood flooring, or you can use a flooring solution like Semco’s Remodel without Removal to cover your old hardwood flooring. The Semco system binds at the molecular level to any  surface and creates a seamless surface that is great for a variety of residential and commercial applications.

New flooring over concrete

Damaged and cracking concrete is unsightly and can be a safety hazard. Concrete resurfacing is a process that involves repairing the damaged concrete and adding a layer of concrete micro topping over the old concrete surface. The advantages of this include reduced cost and the ability to customize your concrete with decorative designs, polishes and finishes. Learn more about concrete resurfacing here.

Cover old flooring with Semco Remodel Without Removal

With Semco Florida’s remodel without removal flooring solution, you get the ability to cover your old flooring without having to incur the cost of removing the old flooring material. Semco’s system can go over tile, laminate, vinyl, hardwood, concrete, stone and more. It is great in all types of areas, garages, patios, pool decks, bathrooms, living rooms, kitchens commercial applications and more. Contact us today to get started on your flooring remodel.

A Brief Guide to Floor Resurfacing (Concrete, Hardwood, Tile)

Semco Florida

Flooring comes in all kinds of types, textures, colors and finishes. The type of floor used is largely a function of where and how it is used. Concrete in garages and driveways, durable and strong; tile in bathrooms, showers, kitchens, delicate and clean; hardwood flooring in living rooms, domestic, inviting, comfortable; stucco or concrete for roof decks and pools, versatile, durable and slip resistant. But nomatter the type of floor, they are all prone to wear and tear and at some point need to be replaced or resurfaced. In this guide, we go over the basics of floor resurfacing and direct you to the resources and products offered for each type of floor resurfacing project.

What is Floor Resurfacing?

Floor resurfacing is a process in which an old, cracked and worn floor is repaired and coated with a micro-cement topping or other cementitious overlay. Floor resurfacing is a cost effective and environmentally friendly way of making old floors new.

Concrete Floor Resurfacing

Concrete is perhaps the most common flooring surface material. Even under hardwood or tile, there is a concrete foundation. In some sense, then, all floors are concrete floors. Exposed concrete floors, like

image of spalling concrete

Spalling concrete, a common occurrence in exterior concrete, can be repaired by filling in and resurfacing the concrete.

those found in warehouses, garages, driveways and municipal applications often undergo a lot of use and abuse. Concrete cracking and concrete spalling can be a safety or OSHA lawsuit in the making and stained, cracked and crumbling concrete on driveways and sidewalks can ruin the curb appeal of business and homes.

Concrete resurfacing is an alternative to concrete demolition and removal. The main advantage of concrete resurfacing is that it can repair and resurface concrete flooring or exterior surfaces much cheaper than demolishing, removing and repouring new concrete. Unless your concrete surface is completely crumbling, concrete resurfacing is probably your best choice. Learn more about concrete resurfacing here.

Hardwood Floor Resurfacing

Hardwood floors are not normally resurfaced. Usually, hardwood floors undergo refinishing. Hardwood refinishing involves sanding off the top layer of hardwood and adding a new top coat of lacquer or other polish. It is a relatively simple fix to relatively simple problems. Hardwood refinishing is perfect if all you have to fix is a few scuff marks.

If, however, your hardwood is really beat up, you may want to resurface it with a concrete based overlay or replace the hardwood, depending on your budget. Hardwood is a rather expensive form of flooring, and many people choose to resurface it instead with a universal flooring solution.

Tile Floor Resurfacing

Tile floor is both decorative and utilitarian. It is great for bathrooms, kitchens and other interior spaces. But because it is often found in heavily trafficked areas, it is prone to wear and tear. Tile resurfacing is a relatively new solution to update old tile. Tile resurfacing, like concrete resurfacing, allows you to update your surface without having to remove the old surface. And also like concrete resurfacing, tile floor resurfacing reduces the cost and labor associated with removing and retiling the floor. Tile resurfacing products adhere at the molecular level to the tile and come in decorative colors and finishes. Learn more about tile resurfacing.

Common Areas that can be resurfaced

Because floor resurfacing is so much cheaper than conventional methods of removal and replacement and because so many people and business are looking to reduce their environmental impact, more and more residential and commercial spaces are potential candidates for resurfacing. From pools to driveways on the exterior, to bathrooms, kitchens, hardwood living room floors and more, special seamless resurfacing materials like Semco provide a cost saving and green flooring solution. Let’s take a look at some common areas that are resurfaced.

Pool and Pool Deck Resurfacing

Pools and pool decks are great candidates for resurfacing. Pools and pool decks are highly susceptible to mold and mildew buildup which can wreck your backyard aesthetic. If you plan on resurfacing your pool deck, make sure to choose a slip resistant or non-slip resurfacing product. If aesthetics is your concern, and you want to decorate your pool deck with colors, textures and finishes that match your design goals, don’t get stuck with a dull concrete color resurfacing material. Make sure the resurfacing solution you choose is easily customizable to your tastes. Learn more about pool resurfacing.

Roof Deck Flooring and Resurfacing

Roof decks take a lot of abuse from the sun. So any concrete resurfacing product that you use to resurface a roof or patio deck needs to be resistant to the damaging effects of UV rays. If you are thinking an epoxy floor is sufficient, think again. Epoxy is not UV resistant and is susceptible to degradation from moisture.  Semco roof deck resurfacing systems combine durability and aesthetics to create a seamless and integrated roof deck and patio flooring system that is UV resistant and waterproof.

Garage Floor Resurfacing

Commercial garage floors in car repair shops and municipal and emergency services garages take a lot of wear tear. They often need to be resurfaced or in some cases, if not properly maintained, completely replaced. In order to avoid costly repairs, resurfacing garage floors with a durable and strong resurfacing material is a necessity. The materials used should be able to withstand excess weight. Before resurfacing your commercial garage, ensure that the material used is able to withstand at least 7,000 PSI.

While garage flooring for residential applications does not need to be as durable as that for commercial applications, it should still be resistant to chemical exposure and mild impacts from tools and other large and heavy objects. Learn more about garage floor resurfacing.

Driveway Floor Resurfacing

Driveways are perhaps the most common resurfaced areas. Because they are so highly trafficked and exposed to the elements, they have a tendency to wear down quickly. Before resurfacing your driveway, you need to make sure that the materials are up t o the task. A concrete resurfacing product that is suitable for a sidewalk may not be suitable for a driveway. Driveways, like garages, take a lot of wear and tear and need a resurfacing product that can take weight and stand up to the elements. Learn more about driveway flooring here.

Shower Tile Resurfacing vs Replacing vs Refinishing

Semco Florida

how to remove wall tileBathroom remodeling is a big job. There are a lot of things to consider. And if you have a tile floor or shower tile, at some point during the remodeling process, you will have to make a decision about what to do about it. If your bathroom remodel matches your current tile, you may not need to do anything to update the tile floor or shower tile. But if your shower tile is old, broken or just plain ugly, you have several options. You can resurface shower tile, replace it, or refinish it. All three options come with there own distinct advantages and their own distinct drawbacks. Let’s take a look.

Resurface your Shower Tile

We have already discussed how to update tile floor without removing it in another blog. The same concept applies to shower tile and wall tile. Resurfacing shower tile involves overlaying the old shower tile with a micro-cement, also called a micro-topping. The cementitious overlay adheres to the tile at the molecular level, ensuring long lasting durability. The advantages of covering shower tile include reduced cost. By cutting out the entire process of wall and shower tile removal, resurfacing shower tile is significantly cheaper than replacing the tile. The shower tile resurfacing material used by Semco also comes in a variety of stylish and waterproof colors, polishes and finishes that you can match to your bathroom remodeling palette.

Refinishing Shower tile

When your shower tile was brand new, it had a beautiful glaze to it. In order to create that glaze, the tile is baked in kilns and heated to nearly 2500 degrees Fahrenheit. As time goes by, the glaze on shower tile begins to dull and fade. Cleaners, chemicals and soap take their toll. The goal of shower tile refinishing is to restore the tile to its original luster. The tile refinishing process involves cleaning the surface, fill in chipped or broken tile, apply a bonding agent, and, finally, apply the new finish.

Tile refinishing has a few drawbacks. It is time consuming and requires professional installation and you if you don’t like the color of your old tile, reglazing it wont do it. Resurfacing or replacing is a better option if your old tile color is ugly.

Replacing your Shower Tile

The final option is to remove and replace your shower tile completely. This is the most labor intensive and costly option. But if you really like tile, and your remodel requires it, it can be a good option if you can afford it. Most people hire a contractor to remove tile, but you can do it yourself if you have the time and tools. Check out our article on how to remove wall tile to learn more. If you do it right, you can recycle or even sell your old tile. This can cut back on the total cost of the project.

Resurfacing your Shower Tile with Semco Florida

We want you to do what you think is best for your tile remodeling project. But if you choose to resurface your shower or wall tile, Semco Florida can help you every step of the way. Semco’s Remodel Without Removal system makes remodeling any kind of tile, including shower tile, a breeze. It comes in a variety of waterproof, mildew resistant polishes, finishes and textures and colors.

How to Remove Wall Tile Without Damaging Tile

Semco Florida

Removing wall tiles can be a tricky process. There are a lot of things to consider. how to remove wall tile

Making sure that you do not damage the drywall underneath is probably the most important part of the job. And if your goal is to keep the tiles intact, then it gets even trickier. Unlike floor tiles, wall tiles are closely spaced and the grout lines are incredibly thing, making it harder to remove the tile without damaging them. Here we will give you a step by step how to remove wall tiles as delicately as possible.

1. Prepare yourself and your area

Believe it or not, removing tile can be a bit of a hazard. We recommend equipping yourself with safety googles, a long sleeve shirt and pants to avoid tile shards in case one shatters.

Protect your work are by tapping up any drains to avoid debris entering and clogging them. Spread plastic or cloth tarp to make cleanup easier.

2. Remove the grout

If you intend to save some of the wall tiles for later use, you must remove the grout from between the tiles. This will make it easier to remove the tiles without damaging them. If you are removing an entire wall of tiles, the only areas that need to have the grout removed are along the floor and ceiling. If you are removing a few tiles for repair or replacement, remove all the grout between the selected tiles.

3. Heat the grout up

To remove the grout, first use a heater of blow dryer to heat the grout surface. As the grout heats up, it expands and become easier to remove. If you are having trouble scraping the grout out, try heating it for longer periods.

4. Scrape the grout

Once the grout is heated, use a utility knife or a special grout scraper to remove the wall tile grout. Sometimes a utility knife is not enough and a special scraper is required. In cases where the grout is tough, you may need the help of a rotary grinder or dremel.

5. Find a loose tile to remove first

After the grout has been removed, try to locate a loose tile to remove first. To do this tap along the edges of the tile with a chisel, screwdriver handle or other small tool.

6. Chisel tiles away from wall.

Using a hammer and chisel, gently chisel the tile away from the wall. Because of the steep chiseling angle, the first tile to be removed tends to break, especially if it set hard in the mortar. From there, the remaining tiles are easier to access during the removal process and are much less likely to break.

To avoid losing any tiles, have a helper catch the tiles as they fall away from the wall. Make sure that both you and your assistant are wearing leather gloves. Tile shards can be tiny and easily bury in the skin. If a tile will not come out by this method, it may require you to break it. Unfortunately, you likely will not save all the tiles. If you have to break the tile, make sure you are wearing both gloves and eye protection, as porcelain tile often shatters into tiny shards.

7. Scrape off setting material

The final step is to take a chisel and scrape off the setting material and remaining grout until it is fairly even with the wall. Also remove any remaining tile spacers that may remain.

Other tile restoration options

Removing wall tile is a tedious job. While it seems easy to read through the steps, it involves a lot of work and can take good day of work including prep and cleaning. With that in mind, removing wall tile may not be the best option for you. There may be other options, including resurfacing without removal.

Tile over tile

One option that is commonly implemented is to actually just tile over the old tiles. Not having to remove the old tile saves significant time and money. Learn more about how to tile over tile.

Resurfacing Tile with a Tile Overlay system

Another great option is to resurface your existing tile. If you don’t plan on retiling the old tile, is it really necessary to remove it? Removing tile is, as we have seen, a hassle and it can damage your drywall and more in the removal process. Skip this step by resurfacing your tile with a tile overlay like Semco resurfacing solutions. Another advantage of resurfacing is that you can choose the style that you want. From venetian plaster to a smooth finish, resurfacing tile without removing it gives you design latitude that other options do not. Learn more about how to update your wall tile without removal here.

Spalling Concrete: How to Identify and Fix

Semco Florida

Do you have a concrete surface that is flaking and chipping like old paint? This is commonly known as spalling concrete and it is a

image of spalling concrete

Spalling concrete is a result of chemical and physical process.

source of great irritation to homeowners, businesses, builders and city municipalities. Here we go over in detail what spalling concrete is and how you can go about fixing it and restoring your concrete surface to a presentable state.

What is Spalling Concrete?

Before understanding what concrete spalling is, it is helpful to understanding what a spall is. A spall is defined as flakes or chips of surface material that have come off a larger solid body. Spalling can happen to almost any artificial surface, and concrete is certainly not exempt.

The symptoms of spalling concrete are the flaking, chipping and large chunks that you see missing from your concrete surface, exposing the coarse, rocky concrete aggregate. Those are the symptoms, but spalling concrete is a little more complex than just surface level appearance. Concrete spalling is the result of chemical and physical process that are happening within the concrete itself. It is a relatively common problem with a number of causes varying from how the concrete was mixed to environmental conditions.

What Causes Spalling Concrete?

Here is a brief list of the things that can cause spalling concrete.

1. Corrosion of rebar. Water that permeates an unsealed concrete surface can causes the corrosion of the rebar. The rust from the rebar occupies more space than the original rebar, causing a pressure buildup and consequently, a spall.

2. Freeze and thaw cycle. This is a very common problem in northern states, in which water that has penetrated to concrete freezes, expands, puts pressure on the concrete, and over enough cycles causes it to spall.

3. An alkali silica reaction. This type of reaction results from a reaction that occurs between the reactive silica found in concrete aggregates and the alkaline cement pastes. This reaction causes increased pressure in the concrete, swelling and ultimately spalling.

Can Concrete Spalling be Prevented?

As we have seen, most concrete spalling occurs as a result of moisture getting into the concrete and either causing corrosion or swelling. In other cases, spalling occurs as a result of poor concrete mixing methods. This is much less common. The most effective way to prevent concrete spalling is to use a concrete waterproof sealant to stop water from getting in where it can cause damage.

Can concrete Spalling be Repaired?

If your concrete has already succumbed to spalling, don’t worry, you can repair it. The type of repair and the work involved depends on where the concrete spall is located, how deep it is, whether is is on a vertical or horizontal surface and if there is any exposed rebar.

Concrete Wall Spalling Repair

If you have spalling in a basement wall or other vertical concrete surface, the fix can be a little involved. To fix a concrete wall that is spalling, you first need to cut into the concrete around the spalled area. Make the cut about three-eighths of an inch deep with a circular saw.

Next, use a hammer and chisel to remove the concrete from the cut area. This step should expose the reinforced steel bars.

Break away any concrete attached to the rebar.

The rebar will likely be rusted. Remove any rust with a wire brush until you reveal an unrusted surface. To prevent further corrosion and spalling, paint the bars with an anti-rust paint.

The final step is to add the new concrete. Make sure to pack the concrete well into the hole so that no gaps appear which could weaken the wall.

Repair Concrete spalling on a Horizontal Surface

Spalling concrete on a horizontal surface like a driveway or sidewalk is not only an aesthetic problem, it is a safety hazard. Spalling on a concrete driveway or sidewalk may require a more comprehensive solution to ensure that it does not return. The most common method for repairing spalling in horizontal surfaces is to resurface and seal the surface with a resurfacing solution. The advantage of using this method is that it not only repairs the spalling concrete, but prevents spalling issues from returning.

How do you fix spalling concrete on driveways and diagram of concrete resurfacing systemsidewalks?

Some people mistakenly believe that you need to completely remove the old concrete and repour new concrete to fix and prevent concrete spalling on driveways or sidewalks. Fortunately, repairing concrete spalling is often much easier and cheaper than that.

Spalling concrete is usually fixed with a cement and concrete resurfacing overlay. A good concrete resurfacing product like Semco concrete resurfacer can fill in cracks, repair gaps and resurface the concrete without having to remove it. After the concrete is resurfaced, to prevent further spalling it is recommended that a waterproof concrete sealing system is used.

Repair Concrete Spalling by Resurfacing

Concrete resurfacing is used to repair and revitalize concrete surfaces suffering from stuff as minor as stains and light corrosion due to the elements, to more structural issues like spalling.

Concrete spalling can be patchy or can cover the entire extent of the surface. In cases of isolated spalling, a localized patching solution might be suitable. In cases where the spalling is more extensive, you may want to consider a resurfacing solution. Concrete resurfacing systems are designed to cover cracks, spalling and other imperfections with a durable mechanically bonded microcement. The concrete resurfacing product is then sealed to ensure that you do not have a repeat of the spalling. What is great about this option too is that you can incorporate decorative finishes depending on your beautifying goals.

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Contact

Semco Florida Surface Solutions

5550 Glades Road
Suite 500 #1042
Boca Raton, FL 33431

305-814-7872

sales@semcofl.com

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