How to Resurface a Tile Floor


Ceramic tile can begin to look faded and worn after a few years. Replacing this type of tile is a daunting project, and hiring a professional contractor to do it can cost a small fortune. You can resurface the tile yourself, however, with products available at your local home improvement center.

Things You'll Need

  • Gloves
  • Safety glasses
  • Respirator mask
  • Screwdriver
  • Bucket
  • Washing soda
  • Sponge mop
  • Etching acid
  • Scratch pads
  • Putty knife
  • Waterproof filling compound
  • Masking tape
  • Paint sprayer or rollers
  • Ceramic tile bonding primer
  • Ceramic tile surface finish spray
  • Caulk

Preparing the Ceramic Tile for Resurfacing

  • Remove all caulking or trim from the edge of the floor using a screwdriver. Set the trim to the side to reuse.

  • Clean the ceramic tile with a mixture of 1/4 cup washing soda, or bicarbonate soda, with 1 gal. of warm water. Use a sponge mop, then allow 20 minutes for the floor to air-dry.

  • Etch the surface of the tile to make it receptive to the new surface treatment. Use a light acid mixture and a course scratch pad, such as a Brillo-type product. Wear a respirator mask, safety glasses and gloves when using these chemicals. Ventilate the area as much as possible.

  • Repair tiles that are cracked or chipped--a waterproof filling applied with a putty knife works best. Follow drying instructions on the filling compound label. provides excellent tips for repairing ceramic tile.

Resurfacing the Ceramic Tile

  • Tape off the areas you want to protect from the resurfacing spray with masking tape. Remove the edging plates for doorways and set them aside.

  • Apply the bonding agent primer using a roller or paint sprayer. The primer will help bond the finish surface coat to the ceramic tile.

  • Spray the finish surface coat on the tiles in three thin layers. Allow 72 hours for the surface to dry and harden. Replace all door-edging plates and trim, then recaulk the floor edges.

Tips & Warnings

  • Repair cracks and chips about a week before the resurfacing. This will provide plenty of time for the filling compound to dry and settle.
  • Keep the work area well-ventilated. Wear gloves, a respirator mask and safety glasses when in proximity to these chemicals. The fumes are strong and toxic.

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