Ceramic tiles are durable, easy to maintain and elegant. If properly taken care of, ceramic tiles will last for many years. If you uncover old ceramic tiles under carpeting, tile or countertops, you do not necessarily have to remove it and throw it away. Perhaps the existing ceramic tiles in your home is old and in need of a facelift. Restoring ceramic tiles can quickly enhance their beauty and bring out the original appearance of the tile.
Remove any glue or adhesive residue from the tile that may be left from flooring lying on top of it. Put on a pair of rubber gloves and hold dry ice onto the adhesive spots for about one minute. Slowly move the dry ice over the adhesive in a straight line. Use a plastic scraper to scrape up the adhesive as you are freezing it with the dry ice.
Sweep the ceramic tile with a soft-bristle broom or vacuum cleaner. This will remove any loose dirt, debris and adhesive chunks from the floor.
Fill a bucket with warm water. Add a few squirts of dish soap to the water. Clean the ceramic tile with a soft cloth and the soapy water. Scrub the grout in between the ceramic tiles with an old toothbrush. Rinse the tile and grout with a rag and plain water.
Moisten paper towels with undiluted vinegar and place them on stained areas of the grout. Allow them to sit on the grout for several hours. Remove the paper towels and wash the grout again with the soapy water. Rinse with plain water.
Remove mould and mildew from in between the tiles by soaking paper towels in chlorine bleach and placing them on the stained areas. Leave them on the stains for several hours---overnight if possible---until the stains are gone.
Restore chips in the paint of your ceramic tiles by filling them in with touch-up paint for appliances. The gloss in appliance paint is similar to that in ceramic tiles, so as long as you can find a similar colour, it will blend well.
Apply a clear, water-based finish to the ceramic tile if its glazing has cracked. Brush the finish onto the surface using a paint brush. Avoid getting the finish on the grout. You can find a finish made for ceramic tile in the flooring department in most home improvement centres.
Repair cracked grout in between the tiles. Remove the old grout with a grout saw by running the tool directly into the tile joints. Fill in the joint with new grout. Mix the batch of grout according to the manufacturer's instructions. Place a small amount on an old baking tray and bake in the oven at 176 degrees Cor one hour. This will show you the true colour of the grout once it is dried so that you can be sure it will match the existing grout.