Tiled kitchen counters are fantastic, but wear-and-tear take their toll and may leave your countertop needing freshening up. Contractors will be more than happy to take on the job of retiling your kitchen counter, but there are options for the homeowner who wants to avoid spending money.
Cleaning the Grout
Instead of learning about how to retile kitchen counter, you now need to find out how to clean grout. Invest in a powerful degreaser and a good, stiff-bristle brush. Give the grout a good dose of the degreaser, using a spray bottle to help you direct the jet of solvent. All that is left to do is scrub hard and long to remove dirt and stains.
If you want to do an even better job on cleaning your grout, rent a steam cleaner that will help stains rise to the surface. Once your grout is clean, make a point of avoiding oil-based soaps in the future, as these can leave a waxy build-up and leave grout looking dirty.
The Lazy Retile
For those who want to avoid as much work as possible, you can retile kitchen counter overtop existing tile. If you are going to choose this route, make sure to wash the existing counter very thoroughly with a degreaser before laying new tile down. Also, staggering the new grout joints against the existing ones is important for strength and durability.
Lastly, remember that you will be adding to the height of the countertop edge by not removing tile that is already on your countertop. For those people who do not like thick appearances, tiling over existing tile might not be the best option, though you can always cover the double-tile edge with molding to give your kitchen countertop a built-in appearance.
In most cases, the right thing to do when in doubt is to retile kitchen counter. However, budget and time-conscious do-it-yourselfers can opt for painting tiles instead. Being careful about how you prepare the surface, the products you have chosen to paint with, and taking the time to find out how to do the job properly will ensure a paint job that lasts.
Some types of tile can withstand a light sanding, but all tiled countertops will need primer. After priming, paint the countertop and grout, and the allow the paint to dry completely. The next step is glazing the tiles, and this is one area you do not want to skip or skimp on.
Glazing the painted tiles is key to a proper job. Use a sponge or rag and make sure no glaze touches the grout. For a job that lasts, seal both the tiles and the grout to prevent staining and make the countertop easy to clean.
When to Retile
Before thinking that you will need to read up on how to retile kitchen counter, you should ask yourself if some elbow grease can save you the cost and effort of the renovation. If the tile you have matches the color scheme of your kitchen and you are happy with the look and effect, you may just need to give the grout a good cleaning.
If you have grout that is chipped and cracking off in places or if you need to replace broken tiles, consider retiling. Perhaps the decor of your kitchen has changed and the existing countertop no longer matches the look and a change of tile color or texture may be in order. Also, replacing the countertop can add to the resale value of your home.