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.

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.

Options to Update Floor Tile Without Removing Them

Semco Florida
update old tile without removing them

Old and outdated floor tiles can ruin the appearance of your space.

Ceramic tiles are perhaps the only flooring solution that can work in any room of a house or office. Tile is most commonly seen in kitchens and bathrooms, but its versatility, durability and ease of maintenance means tile is also seen in a variety of flooring applications including offices, patios, walkways and even pool decks. Tile is also long lasting. But this is where you can run into trouble. Tile that is old is often stylistically dated and tile floors can even limit the type of renovations and remodels you do to walls and other areas of your interior or exterior space. And old tile is also likely damaged and chipped and even stained. Many people believe that the only way to get rid of old tile is to remove it completely and either replace it with new tile or a new surface.

But before you go ripping up your old tile floors, check out these options to cover up ugly floor tiles.

Installing a Vinyl Top

Those who are looking for a quick solution may want to opt for adding a vinyl surface atop their existing tile floors. These days, vinyl comes in many different colors, patterns, and quality levels.

Adding vinyl atop of existing floors normally entails choosing the right amount of vinyl for the space, cutting it at the right dimensions, and applying it to the surface of the existing floor. Keep in mind that although vinyl is a quick fix, it is often permanent as well. Therefore, those who choose to place vinyl atop of their existing floors should only do so if they are certain that they do not want to do anything with their tile floors, and are completely comfortable with the vinyl.

While vinyl is a cheap and easy way to cover your old tile floors, it also comes with a number of drawbacks. Vinyl is cheap for a reason. It is not very durable and is prone to punctures. If your floor takes a lot of traffic and abuse, vinyl flooring is not the best option to update floor tile without removing them.

Clean the Grout Between the Tiles

Cleaning the grout between the tiles is another temporary fix that you can choose. Grout often collects dirt, grime, and other substances over time, which can leave your tile floors looking old and outdated.

To clean the grout between your tiles, you can create your own natural cleaning solution at home, or you can purchase a product from your local hardware store or get a professional surface cleaning product. Either way, the process involves some elbow grease and time. Nonetheless, once you clean the grout between your tiles, you should have tile with a somewhat presentable appearance.

Use a Tile Cleaner or Surface Cleaner

If grout cleaning is not enough to restore your tile to its luster, you can also use a surface cleaner to help bring back those old tiles. A surface cleaner like Semco Stone Soap is a great option for cleaning tile floors. It can also be used as a grout cleaner. It is strong enough to clean, but gentle enough not to damage fragile finishes and is 100% biodegradable.

Use a Rug to Cover Old Tiles

Perhaps the easiest way to update or cover old tile is to place a rug on top of the floors. While the rug may not hide the floors entirely, it can improve the appearance of the space and give it a bit of style. This technique is best used in smaller areas like bathrooms. The downside, of course, is that a rug can become dirty over time and does not solve the old, ugly tile problem but merely hides it.

Update Floor Tile Without Replacing Them by Resurfacing

diagram of tile resurfacing updating tiles without removing them

Resurfacing your tile floors with a micro cement or cement resurfacing compound like the Semco Remodel without Removal system is a great way to update your old tiles without removing them. Tile resurfacing is perhaps the best option for those who are looking to update their tile floors without removing them. You can resurface any type of tile in both outdoor and indoor areas. The benefit of resurfacing is that you get a brand new seamless surface that is stronger than vinyl and other floor tile overlay solutions. Semco Remodel without removal uses the Semco X-Bond Seamless Stone which creates a molecular bond to the old tile surface. The resulting surface is waterproof, chemical resistant and comes in a variety of colors and polishes.

If you think the Semco surface solution is the right choice for your tile restoration project, contact us today and let us help you get the best surface solution for your needs.

 

Tile Resurfacing and Remodel Without Removal Before and After

Want to Learn More about Remodel Without Removal Tile Resurfacing?

Tile resurfacing is a new solution to an old problem: what to do with that ugly old tile. Instead of removing the tile and replacing it, tile resurfacing is a method of overlaying a tile resurfacing product that bonds to the old tile. It covers the grout to make a seamless, beautiful and polished surface.

 

Contact Us to Get Started on Your Tile Resurfacing Project

Call 305-814-7872

Contact us to tell us bit about your project and we will get you set up with a Certified Semco Tile Resurfacing Expert in your area.

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Semco Florida Surface Solutions

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

305-814-7872

sales@semcofl.com

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