Cleaning Ceramic Tile

Ceramic tile needs to be treated gently when cleaning. No abrasive cleaning products should be used on ceramic tile surfaces. To properly clean the surface, gather these items:

  • Water
  • Spray bottle
  • A cloth/rag
  • Dish soap
  • Toothbrush or scrub brush

Use a cloth to remove loose dirt and dust from the tile. Fill the spray bottle with warm water and add a drop or two of dish soap spraying the surface liberally. Use a cloth or rag to wipe down the tiles. To clean the grout, grab an old toothbrush and scrub to get it bright white again.

After getting all of the dirt, dust and food particles off of the tile, rinse the surface with water and wipe dry. To make the tiles shine even more, buff them with a soft cloth.

Avoid using vinegar or any acid based cleaners on ceramic tile. These can fade and dull the surface. Also, regular soap can leave a residue, making tiles appear dirty.

If the ceramic tile has become cracked or grout is missing, contact Refinish First. They can repair and refinish ceramic tile surfaces.

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Refinishing Outdoor Kitchens

Since the kitchen has become the heart of the home, people are more likely to gather there, but that means they are stuck inside instead of being outdoors and enjoying the sunshine. That’s where the outdoor kitchen or bar comes in. They are great for entertaining during the summer because they offer food and refreshments while allowing guests to bask in the summer weather.

Outdoor kitchen areas come in many different designs and layouts depending on the functions the owner wants it to have. Most have a mini fridge and grill as the basics, since summer is all about grilling. Food prep areas are also usually present in the design.

With the temperamental Idaho weather, these outdoor kitchen areas could get damaged in the months following summer, especially the countertops and flooring. If this is the case, give Refinish First a call. They can refinish many different countertop surfaces and ceramic tile flooring that is usually found on patios.

They can create and match almost any color imaginable. They also offer a stone look in a variety of colors and textures, which would look great outdoors. They fix the chips and cracks before refinishing countertops, and will fix missing grout in tiles.

There’s still time to get the outdoor kitchen area looking brand new before summer BBQs are in full swing. Contact Refinish First today!

3 Spring Patio Prep Ideas

Outdoor patios can take a beating from harsh winter weather. Tiles can become cracked and stained, furniture is usually dusty and dirty from storage and plants can wither away. There’s plenty of time to get the patio looking great before those spring and summer outdoor gatherings. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • If there are any damaged tiles on the patio, don’t replace them. Instead, call the professionals at Refinish First. They can fix the imperfections and leave the tiles looking brand new. They offer three standard solid colors, more than 30 stone accent finishes and can create almost any custom color imaginable.
  • Many plants can’t take the winter weather and end up lifeless come spring. Dig out those withered blooms and replace them with healthier versions. Plants and flowers bring a vibrant, alive feeling to many patios, and if chosen with color schemes in mind, can complement the colors already used in the patio decorations.
  • If the patio furniture has been in storage, it has probably survived the worst and just needs a quick wipe down. If it stayed outside, it will most likely need a more thorough cleaning with a mild detergent. Investing in plastic covers is a good way to protect patio furniture that stays outside year round.

When evaluating those outdoor patios, keep Refinish First in mind for tile and concrete refinishing needs.

Why You Should Consider Surface Refinishing

Surface refinishing is a fast and cost effective makeover alternative to replacing a bathtub, countertop or tile that is worn out, damaged, hard to clean, or simply the wrong color. You’ll save thousands of dollars and avoid days or even weeks of demolition mess and costly replacement.

What kind of repairs can you make?

Bathtub repair can be performed on many types of tubs including porcelain, fiberglass, acrylic or marble. We can even repair chips and cracks. Have your countertops been accidentally scorched or chipped by a sharp knife? We can fix that too! Tiles that have been chipped and missing grout can also be repaired before refinishing.

How long does it take?

A standard size bathtub, in reasonable condition, takes only 3 to 5 hours for Refinish First to refinish. The tub will typically be ready to use within 24 hours, or even sooner with our special curing procedures.

How long will the new finish last?

With proper care and maintenance, Refinish First refinishing can extend the useful life of your fixtures for up to 15-20 years or more. These finishes are designed to stand up to daily use and do not require special care.

Will the surface look painted?

The deep gloss of a Refinish First refinished bathtub resembles new porcelain.  A Refinish First refinished countertop resembles new laminate or natural stone depending on which Refinish First finish you select. Most people will have a difficult time telling any difference between a Refinish First refinished countertop and a newly installed laminate or solid surface countertop.

What makes Refinish First’s refinishing process superior?

The combination of diligent preparation, our proprietary MM-4 bonding agent, advanced coatings and final detailing sets Refinish First apart from all other surface refinishers. The original surface is always completely cleaned and surface scratches and chips are filled and repaired. Next the surface is treated with MM-4, a unique proprietary bonding agent, which creates a molecular bond between the cleaned surface and the new coating. No other company uses all these steps and the one-of-a-kind MM-4 bonding agent. We offer superior adhesion, superior finish & feel, superior craftsmanship, superior service, superior reputation and track record, superior materials and superior procedures and techniques. Learn more about the Refinish First refinishing process on our website.

Common Problems with Tile and Why You Should Refinish Them Instead

There are all sorts of problems with tile, including cracked grout, loose floors, flaking glaze, and mismatched patterns. One tile company listed common complaints by clients on their website—and this is just a partial list:

  • My polished porcelain floor does not seem to have an even shine.
  • My tiles are warped.
  • My tiles are scratched.
  • The glaze on my tiles is flaking off.
  • My tiles seem to have small cracks on the edges.
  • My shower is leaking through the tiles.
  • My tiles have been laid, but they are wrong or damaged.
  • My tiles have defects in the surface.
  • My tiles seem to be different than the ones I selected.
  • Some of the tiles on my wall or floor are the wrong color.
  • There are cracks running across my tiled floor.
  • The glaze on my tiles is flaking off.
  • The grout is crumbling.
  • The grout is turning dark.
  • My porcelain tiles are stained.

Rather than explain away faults and problems in our materials or workmanship, we do it right the first time. Refinishing is a much better option to replacing ceramic tile. It is not only more practical, but also less expensive than new tile and you avoid the mess of removal and replacement. Make your life easier (and bathroom more sophisticated!) by refinishing your tile. Ceramic tile refinishing can be used on tile countertops, bathtub tile surrounds and tile walls saving you up to 50% over the cost of replacement. The results, especially if you choose Refinish First’s Natural Accents stone finish, can be dramatic and is an affordable alternative to pricey Formica, Corian, Swanstone and other solid surfaces. Consider Natural Accents for your kitchen countertops, bathroom vanities and ceramic tile. Natural Accents multi-color stone look offers a high-end makeover for any decor – modern, traditional, country or casual – without the mess, time and expense of removal and replacement. The specks and flecks of different colors deliver a depth and character that you have to see to believe. The results are beyond impressive, so give Refinish First a call today.

Tile Replacement or Refinish First Refinishing?

Replacing bathroom tile just because the grout needs repair, the tile is a dated color or you have a single tile missing, is an expensive proposition. You can save up to 75% of replacement costs by having your bathroom tile refinished by Refinish First. Ceramic tile refinishing is an affordable, durable and beautiful alternative to removal and replacement of tile countertops, vanities and walls.

Bathroom tile around the bathtub, on the walls or on the vanity are all excellent candidates for tile refinishing. Refinish First’s process of cleaning the tile, use of our bonding agent, and application of superior top coats will assure you a durable long-lasting finish for your bathroom tile. Our process involves specialized equipment, primers, bonding agents, top coats and clear finishes. The differences between painting vs. refinishing tile are durability, surface gloss and how long the new surface will last. Even though these terms sound technical, our process is much quicker and far more economical than replacement.

Compared to refinishing tile, replacing bathroom tile can be a very difficult process. Determine what is behind the tile. If the tile is set in plaster or lightweight concrete, it will be much more difficult to remove than if the tile is glued or set onto green board or drywall. Once the tile has been chiseled off the wall, it is likely the backer board would need to be replaced. This is a messy, dirty process and you’ll need to be prepared to have the bathtub out of service for days if not weeks. Before you start ripping down tile, be sure to get a free estimate from Refinish First. We can refinish this same bathroom tile for a fraction of the cost and generally have your bathroom back in use in 24 hours!