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Old 12-08-2011, 03:04 PM   #1
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coating a ceramic tile floor??????


I know this is a DIY forum but I have been asked a few times over the years by homeowners to coat ceramic tile in bathrooms. You know the ones that were done in that era where the toilets,tissue,towelbar and tile all matched in pinks,yellow blue and so forth. And I actually know some who have tried it unsucessfully themselves. I would like to hear your thoughts on prep(cleaning and scuffing?) and then coating(products,preferably SW as that is what I have where i'm at.

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Old 12-08-2011, 04:04 PM   #2
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coating a ceramic tile floor??????


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I know this is a DIY forum but I have been asked a few times over the years by homeowners to coat ceramic tile in bathrooms. You know the ones that were done in that era where the toilets,tissue,towelbar and tile all matched in pinks,yellow blue and so forth. And I actually know some who have tried it unsucessfully themselves. I would like to hear your thoughts on prep(cleaning and scuffing?) and then coating(products,preferably SW as that is what I have where i'm at.
Hey Ron,

Given the tone of your question, I think you already know the answer to this... The best recommendation is don't paint it (personally, I think it'd be easier to take up and replace the old tile than to paint). But, if you have a customer that is hell-bent on having it painted, and is willing to pay you mega bucks to do so, without any liability or warranty from you...than do this. (A) Detergent Clean: scrub surface with a strong detergent (TSP) and scour pad. Rinse thoroughly with clean water (B) Solvent clean: scrub surface with toluene, lacquer thinner, denatured alcohol or xylene (something a little stronger than mineral spirits) to remove any waxes or sealers - again, rinse with clean water. (C) Etch: There are products on the market designed to etch ceramic and porcelain and come under many names - XIM makes one called Etch-IM that'll give you as good a shot as anything - Obviously follow manufacturers instructions carefully. (D) Paint: You've got a couple of options here - 2 component epoxy (not acrylic epoxy) or 2 component urethane. Personally, I'd opt for the 2 component Polyamide or Polyamine cure epoxy (and I know I'm gonna get a lot of flak on this one, but I'd also go with the water-borne version instead of the solvent-borne). Apply 2 coats in the allotted time frame and don't shower in this room for 72 hours. Paint beneath the toilet and beneath the vanity, if possible. If you can't paint beneath 'em, run a bead of 100% silicone caulk where toilet and floor meet (vanity, as well) - run a bean of silicone along tub also. You don't want water (or whatever) to seep beneath the toilet and wick up through the grout...(E) Prepare your customer for the slipperiness of the newly painted tile and let 'em know this product will yellow over time (nature of the beast).

If you came into my paint store and asked for this recommendation, I'd send you to my nearest competitor. My recommendation would be don't paint it.

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Old 12-08-2011, 04:08 PM   #3
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coating a ceramic tile floor??????


Listen to Ric.......in the history of bad ideas, painting ceramic tile is at the top of the list.
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Old 12-08-2011, 04:29 PM   #4
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coating a ceramic tile floor??????


Just don't get involved in that process. I have seen a lot of that done and it just simply doesn't last and doesn't work. And that is the professional companies doing the job.

Don't even think about using the systems sold at the box stores, it double-doesn't-work.
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Old 12-08-2011, 04:45 PM   #5
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coating a ceramic tile floor??????


You need to scarify the surface. Removing the ceramic layer. Then coat the masonry layer that's left with a concrete stain, such as H&C solid or semi-transparent stain, then you could apply a clear protective coating to that. Its not an easy job and most DIYers don't have the right equipment. Etching won't remove all of the ceramic not to mention that you have to rinse and neutralize an etched surface very well, so you need a place for the water and chemicals to go.
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Old 12-08-2011, 04:48 PM   #6
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coating a ceramic tile floor??????


Just don't get involved in that process. I have seen a lot of that done and it just simply doesn't last and doesn't work. And that is the professional companies doing the job.

There is no way you can successfully "scarify" all of the surfaces necessary to make any of it work.
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Old 12-08-2011, 05:22 PM   #7
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coating a ceramic tile floor??????


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Listen to Ric.......in the history of bad ideas, painting ceramic tile is at the top of the list.

I don't know,painting the inside of a fiberglass shower?
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Old 12-08-2011, 09:51 PM   #8
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coating a ceramic tile floor??????


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Just don't get involved in that process. I have seen a lot of that done and it just simply doesn't last and doesn't work. And that is the professional companies doing the job.

There is no way you can successfully "scarify" all of the surfaces necessary to make any of it work.
Bud, are you sure?
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Old 12-08-2011, 10:01 PM   #9
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coating a ceramic tile floor??????


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Bud, are you sure?
Just don't get involved in that process. There is no good that come from it.
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Old 12-09-2011, 12:07 AM   #10
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coating a ceramic tile floor??????


Wow...I'm not used to people agreeing with me, so maybe I should stir things up a bit. Ceramic is not an impossible surface to paint successfully. Why I would walk away from this job is (a) it's a floor and (b) it's in a bathroom w/shower. If you're going to paint ceramic, scarifying would probably be the best means of prep, but as Bud said, you really couldn't do a complete and proper job scarifying installed tile...Etching glass (ceramic, glass, porcelain) is not the same as etching concrete. A glass etching compound usually is an acid based, brushable product that impregnates the surface with a very, very fine aggregate (often times an insoluble salt) that becomes a permanent part of the surface. It's this foundation that paint can bite into and create a mechanical bond...

I still wouldn't recommend painting a tile floor in a bathroom, but if you're ever called to paint ceramic wall tile (such as a kitchen back-splash) or exterior glazed brick, there are ways to do so successfully - and in these examples, where the environment isn't considered as harsh, etching would not necessarily be required, nor would finishing with a dual component epoxy or urethane. (Priming with a non-acrylic adhesive bonding primer would be required though).
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Old 12-09-2011, 05:39 AM   #11
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coating a ceramic tile floor??????


I am actually guilty of doing one Ric. Half bath,no shower or tub and walls only. Homeowner was adament about getting rid of pink tile without all the demo to redo. I cleaned,etched, bond primer and sprayed on SW All Surface Enamel. I was there last year and looked in on it after four years it still looks good but I agree with no floors or shower/tub areas. Thanks for all your comments fellas.
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Old 12-09-2011, 08:31 AM   #12
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coating a ceramic tile floor??????


Not saying ceramic tile CAN'T be painted........but, in the end, it looks like painted ceramic tile, a cheap landlord-type of cover-up that just looks bad.
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Old 12-10-2011, 10:20 AM   #13
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coating a ceramic tile floor??????


Plus you have to worry about the surface getting slick. The 12" x 12" stick on tiles are a much better option than painting them and even that is just a cheap cover up.

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