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.

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.

How to Cover Wall Tile Without Removing Them in Bathrooms, Showers, Kitchens and More

Semco Florida

Are old, ugly tiles in your bathroom shower or kitchen backsplash ruining your attempts to beautify your spaces? You might have thought about removing the old tile and replacing it. But that can get costly and it is a big job. Have you ever removed and replaced floor tile? We have; it is a pain in the neck. Now imagine all the delicacy that goes into setting floor tile on the ground and think about doing that on a vertical wall. Wall tile is difficult to install and before you go and tear it out and replace it, read over these options to cover up wall tile in your bathroom, shower or other areas.

Cover Up Wall Tiles in Bathroom or Kitchen with Tile Stickers

While not a total cover up tile solution, tile stickers offer a way to revivify old tile and without having to remove or replace them. Tile stickers can be used on both floor and wall tile. They are especially suited to kitchens and can give that old backsplash a bit of decorative flair. Tile stickers come in a variety of materials including vinyl and even metal. To install tile stickers to your bathroom or kitchen wall tiles, first clean the tile with a surface cleaning product. Cleaning the tiles ensure that you will get a good adhesive bond. After you allow the tile to dry, remove the paper backing from a self-stick tile and press it over the tile.

Tile stickers are a quick and easy solution to cover up wall tile, but they are not always the best solution. One of the main drawbacks is that the adhesive used in the stickers can wear down in moisture rich environments like a shower or bathroom. And if you get a stronger waterproof adhesive, it can end up damaging the tile in the long run.

Consider using tile paint to cover wall tiles without removing them

Another great option is to use tile paint cover up old bathroom and kitchen wall tiles. Tile paint can be applied to any tiles to give them a clean look. Painting your tile may sound like an easy job, but it is anything but. Tile, especially ceramic tile, is really hard to paint because it is a non-porous smooth surface. The paint has trouble adhering to the tile. So if you chose to go this route, either hire a contractor or be sure you know what you are doing.

Another issue with tile paint is that it makes cleaning your wall tile a little trickier. Cleaning solutions can chip away at the paint and cause it to erode. Tile paint also does not last as long as a more permanent solution like wall tile resurfacing.

Resurface your old wall tileupdate floor tile without removing them with SEMCO

If you are tired of that old tile wall, and don’t want to go through the hassle of removing and replacing, painting or stickers, resurfacing is the best way to cover wall tiles. Tile resurfacing involves applying a resurfacing compound called a microcement over the tile. The resurfacing material is easily applied and usually comes in a variety of surface texture finishes, polishes and colors to meet your color pallet. The Semco Remodel without Removal resurfacing system is a great choice if you want to resurface your wall tile. It even works on floor tile too. The Semco system creates a molecular bond with the tile surface, creating a strong, durable and beautiful new decorative wall or floor.

 

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Semco Florida Surface Solutions

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Suite 500 #1042
Boca Raton, FL 33431

305-814-7872

sales@semcofl.com

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