Just like that ghastly bright orange and yellow floral wallpaper in the dining room, those green or brown mosaic tiles in the bathroom can be just as disturbing as the New Years Day hangover that happens when there is no aspirin in the house. Bathroom tile renovations are particularly called for when you want to bring the facility out of its tragic time warp and into the present day, or the tiles are just way past revival and need replacing as part of your bathroom remodeling. With some careful planning and clever advice, your bathroom tile renovations need not be the headache you expect.
Firstly, do you really need to replace the tiles? Or is there perhaps a better way? If your tiles are merely ugly but are in a generally good state of repair, you could save a lot of money on bathroom tile renovations by refinishing. This is a fairly complicated process but you can do it yourself if you are confident and patient.
First a solvent is applied to the tiles to remove grease and soap scum. Then a gel compound such as hydrofluoric acid is applied with a scouring pad in a process known as etching. After a few minutes, it is neutralized with a mixture of bicarbonate of soda and water. The etching process prepares the surface to enable bonding of the refinishing spray. Protect any other surfaces (towel rails, soap dishes, etc) with newspaper and masking tape.
When the bonding agent, or primer is sprayed on, it gives a yellow appearance. You need to spray the tiles with this primer, then dry and cure the surface with a heat gun. This will take around thirty minutes, after which the new surface coating is applied after mixing with the specified color.
Three coats of resurfacing coating should be applied with a thirty-minute drying time between each. The room is to be left closed for at least 24 hours, but leaving the window open will help to ventilate. The surface should be touch dry in 24 hours but cannot be used for 72 hours.
Regrout Old Tiles
This is like cosmetic dental surgery. Over time, the grout between the tiles can become chalky and can fall away in bits, leaving tiles vulnerable to falling out too if the adhesive behind them also fails. As bathroom tile renovations go, grout replacement is the most inexpensive method, but is painstakingly slow and requires patience and a steady hand. You can employ a chisel and hammer method or purchase a small electric detail grinder- again, quite reminiscent of a visit to the dentist.
Be very careful to avoid chipping or scratching the tiles. Although you should remove most of the grout, there is no need to remove 100%. The next step is to mix up the grout that you will buy from your hardware store.
Follow the package instructions and only make up a small amount at a time, to a consistency of smooth icing.
Smear the grout into the gaps in a manageable area before mixing a new batch. You will need a damp grout sponge to rub over the tiles, in a circular pattern. Continually rinse and wipe, until the tiles are clean.
If your bathroom tile renovations call for the removal of the tiles, you might be able to take out your frustrations with a sledgehammer and chisel. Knock the tiles loose using a shallow angle of attack to prevent unnecessary damage of the underlying surface. Remember safety and wear your goggles. Tiles shatter and splinter unpredictably so protect your eyes and skin.
Now all that is left is to replace the old, decrepit tiles with new ones that are easier on the eye. You can either employ a contractor to do it for you or you can attempt it yourself. Just be sure you know what you are doing. Ask a million questions at your hardware or attend a DIY class; and look forward to showering in your new, stylish bathroom afterwards.