Three Ways to Revive Old Ceramic Bathroom Tiles
Old ceramic bathroom tiles may be scratched, out of date, or have simply lost their shine. It may also have become boring to look at after years of seeing the same old thing. There are a few things you can do to improve this position. The first thing is just to give it a good cleaning. The second is to restore it if your budget does not allow replacement, and the third is replacement.
Bathroom tiles can simply become dull due to a buildup of environmental debris, smoke, or even mold. A simple wall cleaning that you do once in a while can remove water stains or obvious dirt, but it’s not enough to remove the oils that smoke dissolves in from bathroom tiles. Tiles may be clean, but grout discolors easily. By giving your bathroom walls a spring cleaning, you can restore it to the shine it once had.
If you have been using household cleaning products, that may be the reason why your bathroom ceramic tiles are dull. Ceramic tile cleaners are available on the market and have been specifically formulated to clean tile. Some are formulated to also remove grout that has become embedded in the tile. You can also make your own tile cleaner, using one part water, one half vinegar, and one half baking soda. Use a bucket or spray bottle. A sponge is all you need. Thoroughly wash, rinse and buff dry. If the grout is still dark in spots, scrub with a brush, rinse, and then dry. If discoloration still persists, rub with bleach and wipe clean. Do not expose yourself to bleach fumes.
If cleaning hasn’t brought your ceramic bathroom tile back to life and money is tight, you might consider refinishing your bathroom and painting over the tile. Tiles do not adhere well to paint. First you need to prepare the surface of the tile. This means turning the smooth surface into a rough one. You can do it with sandpaper, but once you start, there’s no going back. You will need to clean the tile with a cleaner that does not leave chemicals on the tile, such as one with trisodium phosphate. Use a large pore sponge for better scrubbing. Then, using 180 grit sandpaper, abrade the ceramic well. It will feel gritty to the touch when you are done. Then paint over an acrylic latex primer, preferably with a roller. Smooth with a latex brush, then allow the primer to dry. Once dry, apply the paint. A semi-gloss latex paint is probably best. After a couple of hours, add a second coat if it seems to require it.
Your third option for fixing old or unattractive ceramic bathroom tiles is to remove the tiles and replace them with new ones. The big job is to remove the ceramic from the wall. A grout saw, with a thick handled blade, is used to cut the grout. Then, using a hammer and chisel, gently separate the tiles from the wall. Be sure to wear eye protection. You can also remove old mortar using the hammer and chisel method. If the old adhesive was chemical, you will have to use an adhesive remover, which you can buy at any hardware store. Once this is done, sand the wall until it is smooth.
Placing ceramic bathroom walls requires cleaning the wall with mortar or chemical adhesive and laying the tiles. It is finished by grouting. You can find more detailed instructions on the Internet.
When you’re tired of the same old bathroom walls, try a good cleaning, and if that’s not satisfying, repaint or replace. You are not stuck with those walls. With a little work and a little money, your ceramic bathroom walls can once again be a treat to look at.