How to update kitchen tiles without removing them

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.

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