If you have chipped, cracked, discolored, or otherwise ugly and barely functioning tile counters, then refinishing may be the answer to your troubles. But read on to see if this alternative to full-out counter replacement is right for you.
What Is Counter Refinishing?We are not referring to any do-it-yourself counter refinishing methods, not to any refinishing methods that involve laminate or solid surface materials. This counter refinishing method--often referred to as reglazing--is all about revitalizing ceramic or porcelain tile with proprietary bonding agents and coatings.
Types of Tile Counters That Can Be Reglazed
- Ceramic tile
- Porcelain tile
- Cultured marble tile
Process of Refinishing Tile Countertops
- Obstructions such as cooktops, outlet covers, and the like may be removed by the refinisher.*
- Repairs are made to minor cracks and chips.
- Tile counter is lightly sanded down.
- Tile residue is cleaned off.
- Bonding agent is applied.
- Counters are left to dry and are usable with 36-48 hours.
- Refinisher returns to inspect work.*
"What About the Grout?" One Unexpected Benefit of Counter RefinishingGrout lines in tile may be used to an aesthetic advantage by using colors that work with the tile color. In most cases, though, tile grout is seen as an afterthought and is limited to basic neutrals. Even if an interesting shade of grout was used, chances are good that it has discolored over time and is virtually impossible to clean.
Tile counter refinishing covers not only the tile but the grout. This has three advantages:
- Covering up unsightly grout.
- Reducing the groove in the grout, making it easier to clean.
- Eliminating the porous grout surface, which also makes it easier to clean.
Can I Refinish My Tile Counters Myself?Not advisable. You're even better off DIY-finishing your laminate counters than you are your tile counters. Several good methods exist for refinishing laminate, but no adequate consumer-grade tile refinishing system is available.
If you feel absolutely compelled to refinish your tile--or even go into the business--NAPCO is one outfit that has been around for 30 years and which provides refinishing coatings and equipment to members of the refinishing industry.