Your bathroom tile has just been refinished, and you couldn’t be happier with the results. Well done! Under normal use and proper care, your reglazed bathroom tile will give you many years of trouble-free service and beauty.
You have probably been instructed by your installer to refrain from using any parts of the bathroom that have been reglazed for 24 to 48 hours. And even though you can use these surfaces after waiting the prescribed amount of time, you should be aware that the finish will continue to cure for 30 to 90 days. So it is important that you exercise extra caution in those first months and give it proper care in the years ahead.
To maintain its impressive appearance, assure its durability, and protect the warranty on your new reglazed bathroom tile, follow these simple guidelines:
Nix the abrasives and chemicals
During your tile reglazing project, you must treat your refinished bathroom tile as you would treat the surface of your car. Never use harsh abrasive cleaners. And that includes scrubbing pads such as Scotch Brite, SOS pads, steel wool, and wire brushes.
Stay away from cleaners like Comet, Ajax, and Soft Scrub. Avoid bleaches, ammonia, and cleaners containing ammonia. Any of these chemicals can cause a dull finish or a chemical crack. Your new surface could peel, which might void the warranty.
You could destroy the finish through the improper use of acid-bearing compounds, such as drain openers or tile and grout cleaners. If you must open a blocked drain, use a liquid drain cleaner instead of powders or crystals. Bail the standing water out of the tub and remove the drain plug. Use a funnel and pour the chemicals directly down the drain. The chemicals should not come in contact with the new surface.
Don’t ever clean paint brushes or use any painting-related chemicals near your reglazed surfaces. And don’t clean or store sharp or abrasive items on these surfaces.
Instead, use recommended cleaning products
Regular cleaning prevents dirt and soap scum build-up that will conceal the beauty of your new finish. For everyday cleaning, use a mild liquid cleaner and water with a soft wash cloth or a sponge that can be used on Teflon. You should clean your reglazed bathroom tile and surfaces after every use. Recommended cleaning products include:
- Formula 409
- Scrub Free
- Mr. Clean Bon Ami
- Dishwashing soaps—Ivory, Dawn, and Joy
- Lysol Tub & Tile
In addition to proper cleaning, you should wax your refinished surface two weeks after it is done and once every 1-3 months after that. Regular auto wax works fine, but don’t buff it too hard. Begin by cleaning the surface and gently wiping it dry. Apply a light, thin coat of wax with a damp cloth using a circular motion. Wipe away the excess wax with a soft dry cotton towel.
Be careful with your personal care products
Use a hanging shower caddy or a shelf in your bathtub to store your personal care products away from the surface. Never leave leaking shampoo bottles, wet wash cloths, and spray cans on the newly reglazed bathroom tile. Rust from cans of shaving cream will damage the finish. The chemicals in bars of soap will eat into the finish over the years.
Keep all chemicals away from the finish. These chemicals include cosmetics, hair dyes, and perfumes, which could easily stain and mar the finish. If any of these chemicals damage the finish, it could be viewed as neglect and could void any guarantee.
It’s best to use liquid soap or body washes since they rinse away easily with water and help prevent soap residue.
Do not use a rubber bath mat or anything else with suction cups. Most mats will produce a reaction with the new surface when subjected to hot water. Your refinishing company probably carries slip-resistant mats and covers that will give you years of trouble-fee service. These mats are warranted, so ask your refinishing company for details.
Too much of a good thing can be harmful
What would a bathroom be without water? Somewhat useless, to be honest!
Yet, too much water can be damaging to your reglazed bathroom tile. Leaky faucets will erode the new finish, causing it to crack and deteriorate prematurely. They must be maintained to prevent the dripping that will erode the surface and cause it to crack and wear out. Make sure you fix dripping faucets before the tub is refinished. But if you develop a leak later, fix it right away.
If the water in your tub does not evaporate quickly, take the extra precaution of wiping it out after every use with the towel you use to dry off. This simple task will slow down any soap and mineral build up.
Don’t leave standing water in the drain area. If your tub doesn’t drain completely, wipe off the drain area to help prevent rust from appearing.
Fix the chips
Of course, you know not to drop sharp or heavy objects on the finish. That’s what causes chips. But if you do accidentally scratch the surface, contact your refinishing company immediately for repairs or purchase an inexpensive porcelain repair kit at the hardware store. If you don’t, you risk creating more damage since water can now get underneath the glaze and cause it to peel. And there is always the possibility of voiding your warranty.
Refinishing is an excellent, affordable way to keep counters, tubs, and sinks looking good for years to come. Taking proper care of these surfaces will extend the life of the tiles and maximize your investment.
Remember, if you treat your new surface with respect, clean it regularly and follow the above guidelines, your reglazed surface will stay shiny and bright, giving you many years of trouble-free service.