Can I Install Epoxy over Ceramic Tile?

I have seen tiles that have been prepared in the lab environment that have epoxy well bonded to it. Doing it in under laboratory conditions and doing it in the field is two different things. In all the over 35 years I have been in the business I cannot point you at a single success story where epoxy was installed over tile.

My company started off as an installation company about 35 years ago.  When we were a young installation company we made build a sizable business by going around behind all of our competitors that were installing epoxy over tile, and redoing their failed work. That is why I typically I recommend against going over ceramic tile with epoxy.

Surface Preparation Requirements

Bonding to tile requires either intense physical abrasion like sandblasting or etching with phosphoric acid to remove the glaze.  If you etch with acid it usually eats up the grout.  Acid may, and more likely than not will, get under the tile and loosen it.

The heat and vibration of the sandblasting tends to loosen tile. Sandblasting will damage the grout. Best case situation the tile will require regrouting.

After all that, a single tile comes loose, or a single piece of old grout comes loose, and you have failed your objective.

Alternatives

Many people like the looks of tile. They don’t like the way tile grout leaks and is hard to maintain. For them I recommend that you remove the grout and regrout it with Epoxy.com Product #225 – www.epoxy.com/225.aspx. Product #225 is a 100% solids water cleanable epoxy that is waterproof grout. This eliminates most leaks and grout maintenance issues.

Thos of you that don’t like the looks of the tile, I recommend removing the tile.  Get down to a sound substrate.  And then proceed. – www.epoxy.com/surfaceprep.htm.

Apply Epoxy.com Product #1W – www.epoxy.com/1W.aspx to the walls. Product #1W is a 100% solids waterproof coating that leaves a ceramic like finish. Product #1W applies much easier than most 100% solids epoxy. It has superior durability and abrasion resistance.

For floors (after the tile is removed) I would level with Epoxy.com Product #12 mortar – www.epoxy.com/12.aspx and then install Epoxy.com Chip Flooring – www.epoxy.com/chips.aspx. Heavy traffic on floors often makes the use of decorative flooring products impossible. Product #315 Seamless Polymeric Multi-Colored Flake Chip Floor Resurfacing System makes this possible. The #315 Chip System creates a beautiful, durable, and affordable floor that is easy to apply by both professionals and do-it-yourself enthusiasts.

For more information on this subject please visit our website at www.epoxy.com or contact Epoxy.com Technical Support at 352-533-2167 or email me – norm@epoxy.com

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