How to Cover a Kitchen Backsplash

Semco Florida

You may feel as though your kitchen needs an upgrade, but you don’t have a lot of time or money. An easy way to change the look of the room is by replacing your backsplash. Due to the durability and clean appearance, many homes have ceramic tile backsplashes. If this is the case in your kitchen, you may not find it feasible to rip everything out. Besides taking a great deal of effort, this can be an expensive project. To remain within budget and to keep things simple, covering your tile may be a smarter option. There are many different ways to top your existing backsplash so that it looks brand new.

Paint Over It

If you don’t like the color of your backsplash, the easiest way to update things is by painting over it. This is quite affordable and can instantly change the look of your kitchen. Before you begin, it is important to prepare your tile.

Everything must be clean so that grease and other residue is removed. These items will keep your paint from sticking properly. To get the job done, it is advised to use a mild abrasive cleaner. When you select your paint, choose an oil-based or epoxy product. A water-based item will likely peel and ruin your efforts.

It is simple to cover your entire backsplash with one color. However, getting creative can be fun. You can use multiple tones to create a diamond pattern or something similar. If you are not a good freehand drawer, you can use stencils to form a different design. This will help you achieve a custom appearance.

If you use a stencil, it is best to choose one with a tacky back. This will keep it in place while you dab your paint. Nothing will seep underneath so that you achieve clean results. Rubber stamps can be used as alternatives. When using these items, apply enough paint so that they leave noticeable impressions. However, you do not want too much paint on the stamps. This will cause your design to glob and run.

Vinyl Decal Fun

The quickest and easiest way to change the look of your kitchen backsplash is with vinyl decals. These are temporary stickers that can be used to cover individual tiles. Your local craft store should offer a wide variety of patterns and designs. To achieve a completely new look, you can apply decals to all of the tiles. If you only want a small change, you may consider placing decals on random tiles. These create accents that bring interest to the room.

Tin is In

If you are looking to give your kitchen a sophisticated makeover, you may want to cover your existing backsplash with tin ceiling tiles. These bring a rustic and elegant look to your room. The texture of the tin tiles will add dimension to your space as well. You will be able to find these types of tiles in a variety of patterns. Application is a breeze. Before you begin, it is essential to clean your existing tiles so that adhesion is not a problem. After the tin tiles are in position, you can go back and add some type of molding around the finished backsplash. This provides a rich appearance.

Beadboard Fun

For a more quaint look, beadboard can be used to transform your tile backsplash. Beadboard is a type of paneling that includes alternating recessed strips and groves. Normal beadboard is white, which makes it easy to paint. This means that it can be blended into any kitchen decor. On the other hand, leaving a natural wood finish offers a charming and rustic flair as well. To begin, you must measure the amount of material that you will need. Beadboard comes in large sheets, so cutting and sizing may be required for a proper fit. To install it, you can use a caulking gun to apply an adhesive glue to the back. For a different twist, you can install the beadboard horizontally. This offers a modern spin on a traditional decorating material. As with the tin tiles, you can edge the new backsplash with a trim molding.

You and your family spend a great deal of time in your kitchen. When it is time for a change, you may opt for some type of makeover. The above ideas will help you cover your existing backsplash. They are easy and inexpensive ways to make a big impact in the room.

Remodel without Removal with Semco’s plaster cement

If you want to go smooth and modern then the Semco system allows you to do just that. Not only can you smooth out all the grout joints with this micro-cement, but you can also create a wide variety of decorative finishes including a concrete look, a Venetian Plaster effect or any other texture and color that can be done with a trowel. Greasy splashes from your favorite fried steak recipe or the errant spill from that glass of rare Bordeaux will leave no lasting effects on this virtually stain-proof material. Originally used on Las Vegas casino floors this resurfacing system will stand the test of time on your backsplash and no one will ever know that underneath it lies a baby blue 2” x 2” tile from 1978.   

Doing a Kitchen Remodel Without Demolition

Semco Florida

There’s no doubt about it, a kitchen remodel is a big job. Even a modest kitchen rebuild can cost from $20,000 to $30,000, and the more typical range is between $50,000 and $60,000. That’s a large chunk of change, especially in the world so financially strained by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the same time, a remodel in the kitchen is still a positive move, adding value to your house and creating a more pleasant atmosphere in this pivotal and crucial family space. Today, we’ll be talking about an interesting way to get the renovation done without too much headache, and that’s cutting out the demolition.

Ways to Save: No Demo

One of the ways you can actually achieve some savings in your kitchen remodel, however, is by cutting out all — or nearly all — of the demolition step. This brings with it a number of other benefits, chiefly that minimal demolition means you won’t be forced to leave the house while the remodel work is going on. Extensive demolition brings:

  • Dust
  • Noise
  • Disruption of plumbing fixtures
  • Reduced or eliminated access to life essentials

Therefore, reducing or eliminating demolition during a kitchen remodel is a desirable solution. You escape all these negatives, and can remain in your home throughout the project. So, how can it be done?

1. Floors

Your floor could made from tile, stone, wood or vinyl. The easiest way to remodel a kitchen floor without any demolition is to go ahead and build right over the existing floor. Some existing methods for doing this include vinyl and laminate systems, but these have limited appeal aesthetically. You could also try to just place new tile over the old layer, but a better option, in our view, is the Semco system.

Semco is a seamless stone material available in a variety of finishes that allows you to directly resurface over other solid surfaces. Regardless of any textures, grout joints, existing scratches or abrasions that are in the current floor, Semco can cover them with no remaining semblance of those inconsistencies remaining. It’s also easy to trowel the Semco all the way up to the edges and around existing fittings like islands.

2. Backsplash

A backsplash is invariably made using tile, and the issue with that is that you have grout lines, which are challenging to clean. In my own experience, something simple like a slow-leaking wine bottle that drips onto your counter tops and splashes onto the backsplash can wreak havoc on the effect. Using Semco for the backsplash allows for a seamless finish that’s much easier to clean in any event, especially in the hard-to-reach spots behind the oven and sink.

3. Cabinets

You could also use Semco for the surface of your cabinets, but there are actually even easier ways to do it. A prevailing trend at the moment is making use of lighter colors for kitchen cabinets, and to do that you can simply spray them with a lacquer or other durable kind of paint. In this way, you change up the color but don’t have to switch out the cabinets. No removal of the cabinets will save you a huge amount, and the visual impact of repainting is often surprisingly powerful. Once again, I speak from experience, there.

4. Plumbing Fixtures

This is where the little bi of demo comes in. The kitchen faucet can’t be tiled over or repainted. If you want a new one, the old one has to be removed. While it does require a little bit of demolition to remove the old faucet or even the entire kitchen sink, it’s hardly “heavy-duty” demo, especially if you’re not changing the size. It won’t create a lot of dust or other contaminants, and can be done quickly. At the same time, it has tremendous aesthetic impact on the overall kitchen design, and can be a big part of adding value to your kitchen remodel project.

There is a bit more work to do when you want to change the size of your kitchen sink. In this case, you will have to switch out the counter top, or at the very least cut a bigger hole in the countertop. If you want to minimize demo, then stick with the same sink and faucet dimensions.

5. Countertops

Your typical countertop can be made of granite, quartz, sometimes tile, stone and others. All of these can be easily recoated with the Semco seamless stone system. Adding just an eighth-of-an-inch layer to the entire surface can create a brand-new finish without having to take out a single existing countertop.

One more benefit here is that the Semco system even allows you to adapt your kitchen countertops to the latest trends without removal. For example, there is an increasing demand for square edges. Using the Semco system, you can take a rounded edge and you can make it square.

If you think pulling out and replacing cabinets is expensive, you haven’t yet gotten the bill —- or the additional noise and disruption — for a typical countertop removal yet. Once again, resurfacing with something like Semco is a great way to get the job done, creating a new surface and look without the hassle and expense of demo.

Kitchen Remodel: No Demo Needed

We hope the ideas above can help you to see that you don’t necessarily need to line up the demolition team when you are planning a kitchen remodel. You can make great savings and still achieve the dream-kitchen look with materials like the Semco seamless stone covering system, and a lick of paint where needed. Your new kitchen awaits!

How to update kitchen tiles without removing them

Semco Florida

Because tile is so durable, homeowners often find themselves in a predicament: The kitchen floors, backsplash and walls aren’t unstable enough to tear out, but the dated color or finish is getting on everyone’s last nerve. Even if you’ve purchased a home with a recently renovated kitchen, powder blue or tangerine tile might not be your cup of tea

But before you decide on a tile resurfacing project, you should consider a few things first. In this article we are going to discuss some of the things that you should consider before you start any tile resurfacing project.

Updating Kitchen Floor Tiles, Updating Kitchen Wall Tiles, and Updating Kitchen Backsplash Tiles

As you can plainly see, the key idea here is update. If your existing kitchen tile is still in fairly decent shape, you have a lot to work with. You don’t necessarily have to tear everything out and start from scratch. Before you grab a sledgehammer or call a contractor, consider your options. Some are better than others, but at least you have a few.

Stick-on “tiles”

There are affordable stick-on tiles or tile decals for giving your kitchen counter or backsplash a fresh new look. Manufacturers offer a wide range of colors, textures and patterns to choose from. Even vinyl and metallic finishes are available.

Mind you, the stick-on tile solution is merely a short-term cosmetic fix. It’s makeup, so to speak, rather than a quality face-lift.

In theory, this is a fast, easy project for a rainy afternoon. Some users, though, say that getting the decals straight was more labor intensive and time consuming than they expected. Depending on the quality of the product, the decals might discolor over time. The sticky stuff is no match in the long run for moist climates like those in bathrooms, laundry rooms and kitchens.

Finally, if the adhesive is potent enough, it can actually damage the tile.

Again, this is a cheap, short-term fix for a small surface. If you plan on updating your kitchen backsplash tiles in a more permanent way relatively soon, stickers are a nice stopgap measure.

Tile Paint

This one sounds like a piece of cake, but it’s the stuff of nightmares for amateurs. Painting tile, a smooth, nonporous surface, is nothing like painting your kids’ bedroom walls or a cheap wooden side table you found at a flea market. Paint just doesn’t want to adhere to tile.

There’s also the risk of eroding the paint with cleaning products down the road.

If you want to go this route, trust the job to a professional who knows which products and methods are best.

Resurfacing: The Most Practical Solution

Short of a complete teardown and remodel — which involves dirt, dust, noise, inconvenience, the problem of old tile disposal, and possibly plumbing or electrical work — resurfacing is the most permanent solution.

Resurfacing existing tile is far more cost effective than replacing it. Your kitchen won’t be off limits for days or weeks. A quality job results in great-looking kitchen tile that will last for years to come.

Refinishing and resurfacing are not synonymous

Some contractors toss these two terms about as though they were the same thing. They’re not.

Refinishing entails stripping the old finish, applying a fresh coating and reglazing the existing tile. That would all be well and fine if not for the toxic chemicals involved. Most people who have done their homework just aren’t willing to put their families or pets at risk.

The Semco solution

Semco stone aggregate resurfacing material was designed to be safe, durable and highly versatile. It’s ideal for both walls and floors and appropriate for a range of tile products:

  • Ceramic
  • Porcelain
  • Mosaic
  • Marble
  • Granite
  • Cement
  • Limestone

Unlike epoxy overlays that eventually give in to moisture and peel away, Semco’s X-Bond resurfacing material, a compound called microcement, was designed with pools, outdoor decks, steamy bathrooms and traffic-heavy kitchens in mind. X-Bond adheres at the molecular level. You can expect the mechanical, interlocking bond to last for around 15 years before you notice traces of wear and tear.

Not only that, but there are attractive colors, textures and polishes to suit every taste. If you’re updating kitchen floor tiles, backsplash tiles or wall tiles, you can take the look rustic, industrial, or clean and modern. Either way, count on getting lots of compliments on your “all new” tile.

The Resurfacing Process

Even when money is no object, most people drag their feet on home improvement projects. Who looks forward to the smashing, drilling, intrusion and mess? Who has patience for the inevitable delays? Who’s not afraid of fly-by-night contractors who do shoddy work that’s expensive to repair?

The tile resurfacing process is almost embarrassingly straightforward. There’s no demolition work, noise or lingering dust. The existing tile is simply cleaned and prepped. The resurfacing product is seamlessly applied for a new-tile look.

In a day or two, you have a gorgeous kitchen décor that you love, and you’ve added value to your home.

Don’t waste a couple of valuable weekends updating kitchen backsplash tiles with uncooperative decals; for as short a time as they last, it’s not worth it. Save yourself the frustration of trying to get paint to stick to tile.

Updating kitchen wall tiles, backsplash tiles or floor tiles needn’t be a hassle or a huge expense. Semco kitchen tile resurfacing is the way to go.

Things to Consider Before Resurfacing your Tile

Semco Florida

Is your old tile floor cracked, stained or otherwise detracting from the look of your room, kitchen, bathroom, or outdoor area? Do you try to hide your tile with rugs and furniture? Perhaps you think the only solution to old and ugly tile is to rip up and remove the old tile and replace it with either new tile or new flooring. There is another way: tile resurfacing. Tile resurfacing is a relatively new technique that is helping home and business owners update the look of their spaces without incurring the expense of ripping up old tile. Tile resurfacing is part of Semco Florida’s Remodel without Removal System. Tile is a particularly tricky surface to attempt to get materials to bond to. The Semco solution, however, features a scratch-coat resurfacing system that bonds at the molecular level with the original surface and is used on tile and other surfaces.

But before you decide on a tile resurfacing project, you should consider a few things first. In this article we are going to discuss some of the things that you should consider before you start any tile resurfacing project.

Cracked Tiles

Besides out of date aesthetics, the most common reason people want to replace or resurface their tile is due to an abundance of unsightly cracks, chips, and other surface damage. Unlike tile refinishing, which is just a surface level touch up of otherwise structurally pristine tile, tile resurfacing solutions are designed to first fix the structure of the tile before the resurfacing layer is added. This prevents the broken tile from pushing through the new surface and creating a new crack.

Delaminating Tiles

Another thing to consider before you resurface your tile floor or tile wall is the state of the tile adhesive integrity. Tile is held in place by a layer of mortar that adheres the tile to the floor or wall. As this layer of mortar ages, it can deteriorate and crack to the point that it causes a hollowed out space where the tile is no longer connected to the surface. In some cases it can become so bad that the only thing holding the tile in place ist the grout that connects it to the tiles around it. This is called tile delamination and it is something that absolutely must be addressed before you undertake a tile resurfacing project.

To determine if your tile is delaminated, you can gently knock on tiles and listen for a hollow sound empty sound. Some people use a chain that they drag over the tiles to find the hollowed out areas. If you suspect that you tile is delaminated, it is best to consult with a professional.

If your tile is in fact delaminated, it will require removal. The good news is that you do not have to replace the tile before you resurface it. The Semco solution allows you to fill in any missing tiles before you resurface the remaining tiles.

Floor Transitions

If your floor has a number of transitions areas either between different types of tile or different types of flooring, you can use the resurfacing system to smooth out those transitions. Going from tile to wood flooring, for example, can result in a large and uneven transition. The tile resurfacing material can be sloped as to create a smoother transition zone and can seamlessly continue on to another flooring area if you choose to resurface multiple types of flooring.

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

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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?

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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.


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.

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