Question

Is there a non-toxic product I can use to reglaze kitchen and bathroom tile?

Asked by Judy
Friday Harbor, WA

Recently on TV I saw someone show kitchen and bathroom tile that had been reglazed using a non-toxic product and the process apparently only took three hours. Is this something the homeowner can do, or is this a job for a professional?

Answer

Molly McCabe, AKBD, CGP, CAPS

Answered by Molly McCabe, AKBD, CGP, CAPS

Bainbridge Island, WA

A Kitchen That Works LLC

May 23, 2012

Dear Judy,

I would not recommend tile reglazing as a DIY project as a general rule.

  • Good results take time and experience.
  • However given your locale, it may be a bit expensive to have someone come from the mainland to perform this service.

Searching for a non-toxic reglazing product

I was unsuccessful in locating any credible low VOC tile reglazing products.

There was one company that claimed their product was low voc but when I looked for the MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) on their website I was instructed to e-mail my request for an MSDS sheet which I did but did not receive a response.

  • Further, I have contacted a variety of trades people in my network including a tile mason, tile retailers, a tile cleaner and a national paint company representative that sells a reglazing product for tile.
  • No one has heard of a product that fits the description you have provided.

Professional installers use hazmat suits!

If you read the directions for standard reglazing products they contain severe
warnings about use
and application of the product.

Further, if you watch video clips of “home makeovers” featuring tub/tile refinishing, you will likely see the trade professional in a hazmat suit with special fans and exhaust tubing sucking the fumes out of the house during the application and curing of the period.

Durability after re-glazing?

If you choose to have the tile professionally refinished (reglazed is something
of a misnomer as glazing requires high heat from the kiln)

  • you will probably want book a room for the night at the local B&B and
  • you will not be able to use traditional cleaners once the tile has been reglazed, as experience has shown the finish is not as durable.

The original glaze on the tile gets its durability from the high heat in the kiln where the glaze is baked onto the tile) and may scratch easily.

Good luck with your project.

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