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what materials would I use to paint ceramic tile floor in the basement?

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Posted 2013-09-28T18:31:26+0000  by Tracey5925 Tracey5925

Hey Tracey5925,


Thanks for your question and welcome to the community!


First off, you'll need to make sure that your floor is clean and free of debris before doing any painting on the tiles.

This includes any loose tiles to ensure the paint goes on effectively.


I like using a microfiber mop with a good cleaner to ensure the tiles will be clean. Even a solution of vinegar/water does a great job of cleaning your floors.

Libman Commercial Microfiber Floor Mop

After the floor is clean and dry, you can next use a low-lustre sheen paint rated for porch and floors. You can use a higher gloss finish, but I find the low-lustre look gives it a less slippery finish.

We carry these paints in Behr and Glidden at your nearest Home Depot's Paint Department. Both brands in low sheen come in a water-based finish. They are applied just like any other paint, with a roller and brush for those harder to reach areas.


Click on each can below for pricing and more information.

Glidden Porch and Floor 1-gal. Satin PaintBEHR Premium 1-gal. #6050 Ultra Pure White Low-Lustre Porch and Patio Floor Paint

The brush will definitely be needed for any grout lines that the roller won't be able to reach. Depending on rough the ceramic tiles are will determine how thick, or nap, of roller you'll need. Smooth tiles typically can be done with 3/8" naps for good coverage.


Linzer 9 in. x 3/8 in. All Paints Roller Covers (4-Pack)


Once you do this, allow the paint to dry for least an hour. Recoat if necessary and be sure to clean all brushes and rollers with warm soapy water when done painting.


Let me know if you have any further questions,


Posted 2013-09-28T19:01:56+0000  by Joseph_HD_ATL

If the ceramic tiles are glazed, i.e. have a glass like surface on them, they should be treated as glass, and a bonding primer used. Both Zinser's BIN and  !-2-3, give excellent adhesion to this hard, slick surface. Without a bonding primer, the floors would be highly suseptible to scratching.


The Behr Floor Paint does recommend a primer in any event. The type of primer dependent on the substrate.


The Glidden Floor Paint would not be appropriate over a glazed tile without a primer either, although it does not always require a primer, depending on the substrate.

Posted 2013-09-28T19:59:30+0000  by ordjen

Is there a product that can fill in any uneven surfaces from a missing tile? I was also wondering if the materials you have recommended would work if these basement tiles have asbestos in them? I have been doing some reading on the internet and some people have recommended acrylic paint. What do you think?

Posted 2013-09-29T00:44:46+0000  by Tracey5925



Are you sure these are ceramic tiles? How thick are they? Ceramic tiles will not have asbestos in them, older asbestos tile would. A ceramic tile will be about 3/8ths of an inch thick minimally. Vinyl tiles about an eigth inch.


If you have a missing ceramic tile, the easiest way to fix a mssing one would be to find a similar sized tile and drop it in the void with mastic on it after cleaning the floor surface. The same applies to a missing vinyl tile. You intend to paint the tile anyhow, so a color match won't matter. Tile szes are relatively standard. You should be able to find something suitable to drop in the void.

Posted 2013-09-29T01:23:02+0000  by ordjen

I am not sure they are ceramic but I do not believe they are vinyl. My home was built in the late 1950's and these tiles are original to the house. They are 9x9 tiles and about an 1/8 th inch thick. I would need some sort of product to fill in because some of the corners of the tile have cracked and the edges are gone.

Posted 2013-09-29T01:42:23+0000  by Tracey5925

OK, you definitely don't have ceramic. You probably have asbestos or vinyl asbestos tile. Asbestos tiles were quite hard and brittle. that is probably why you have broken pieces. They can't bend, so they break.


Where whole pieces are missing, I think you should locate some 9 inch tiles and drop them in  As i said, if they are the same thickness and size, they won't show when painted over. The important thing when dealing with asbestos tiles is to not create dust. Old asbestos tile can be pried up if it is heated with a propane torch. The tile inself will become soft and flexible. The black mastic that holds it down will lose its adhesive quality and release the tile. This will take some patience, as it does take a couple minutes to heat through the tile. You have to keep the flame moving over the tile surface. Once thoroughly heated, it should pry up fairly easily.


It would be a very good idea to wear a lead rated particulate mask during this removal, even if no dust is generated.


Where minor corners are missing, you might consider just filling them with Bondo. Bondo is a catalysed filler normally used in auto body work. It does have many other uses, however.  You will want to lay this out as smoothly as possible with a spackle knife. You do notwant to have to sand this product, as to do so would risk raising dust from the tile.


Once your repairs are made, you can proceed as stated in the orignal posts.


Good luck!

Posted 2013-09-29T03:06:05+0000  by ordjen

Thanks for your help. I appreciate the advice!

Posted 2013-09-29T14:29:55+0000  by Tracey5925

Hello Tracey5925!


Sorry to arrive late in the discussion.


Historically, The Home Depot has not sold any product by either Behr or Glidden that was suitable for ceramic tile floors.


I took the time to call Behr Technical Support and Glidden Technical Support on your behalf.


Lori at Glidden and Blanca at Behr both confirm that they still do not sell a product suitable for your application.


Just to be certain, I asked the follow-up question, "Is there a primer that would make your products suitable for application over ceramic tile floors?"


Both said, "Absolutely not!"


If you haven't executed your project yet, I would caution about using Behr or Glidden products sold in our Paint Department.


You may be able to research other suppliers for appropriate paint for ceramic tile floors ... we simply do not sell one.


Again, sorry for arriving late to the discussion!

Posted 2013-10-03T12:48:42+0000  by Pat_HD_ATL
not sure how this all works but.... I sent in question about LINOLEUM tiles and behr epoxy kit for garages. Are we crossing lines?
Posted 2013-10-08T22:36:59+0000  by kentjames



In the past, I had occasion to call RustOleum to ask if  2-Part Epoxy  was suitable over a plywood substrate. Their answer was "no".  The epoxy forms a very hard, brittle surface. Any object dropped on it would crack it, or a high heel shoe breach it.


It is kind of like working with plastic laminate. Only hard, dense  particle board is suitable as a substrate, not plywood ( I learned this the hard way). With plywood, any hard object dropped on the surface cracks or dents the laminate.

Posted 2013-10-10T00:41:10+0000  by ordjen
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