How do I get the shine back on a glazed floor tile?

QUESTION

How do i get the shine back on a glazed tile floor?

ANSWER

ANSWER - If it is a true glazed ceramic tile then the surface is a fired on glass-like material.  If it originally had a sheen to it and is no longer there then it must have worn off or someone used an acidic solution that etched the tile surface.  There is nothing you can do to restore that finish.  Although you might be able to apply a wax or a surface sealer of some sort to give it a shine, but it will wear off and require regular maintenance to maintain it.

If you have an unglazed tile with a sealer on it that has worn off, then you can reseal it.  You may need to strip the old sealer off before you apply the new sealer.

If you have a polished porcelain tile or a polished natural stone that has lost its sheen, they can be re-polished by a professional stone restoration company.

8 thoughts on “How do I get the shine back on a glazed floor tile?

  1. Tina says:

    I have white porcelain tile installed 2 months ago. It started showing wear in the center of the tiles within two weeks. It seems to be in the high traffic areas. The glaze is wearing off, and it can be felt with the hand. Dirt seems to be embedding itself in it and some tiles can not be cleaned of this dirt. Why is the glaze wearing off?

    • Donato Pompo says:

      Normally glazed porcelain tiles are fairly durable in terms of wear. If it were an unglazed (throughbody) porcelain tile it should be very durable as well.

      There are limits to everything so depending on what kind of traffic it is being subjected and to what extent it is possible to cause wear, but not normally within 2 months.

      Perhaps there is a sealer coating on the tile that is wearing? If it is an unglazed porcelain tile it is possible to re-hone the surface to make it smooth, but you need to further investigate it first to determine if that is possible.

      Perhaps this isn’t a porcelain tile or a Chinese tile that doesn’t meet the USA porcelain standards.

      For cleaning, generally speaking if you use a detergent with a scrub brush and it should clean up any embedded dirt. Use a wet vacuum to pick up the dirty water.

    • Tina oman says:

      Thank you Donato for your time and help. My tile is made in India. I believe that my porcelain glazed polished tile experienced some grout in the tiny caverns on its surface, as the glaze does not seem to seal it completely. Perhaps the tile was made a little defective on the surface, but without grouting I never would have known. That would explain why the tile seemed to show the gray spots immediately after grouting. Interestingly enough the gray spots are the same exact color as my grout! My thoughts now are: Can the tile be sealed? Would that prevent my tiles from attracting more dirt and grime? How would I get the tile clean enough to prior to sealing it? I have already used the grout haze remover to try to clean it without any luck.

      • Donato Pompo says:

        Some tiles intentionally or unintentionally have a crackled finish meaning that there are fractures in the glaze surface. When you grout over this type of tile the grout can get inside the fractures giving it a spiderweb look of stains.

        You could have used a grout release prior to grouting to help prevent this. You can try to remove the staining with a light acidic diluted, but you have to be careful because it could harm the glazed tile. You can then seal the tile with a penetrating sealer buy you have to buff it dry right after applying it to avoid a sticky surface.

  2. Noreen Maine says:

    I have a similar problem to the two people above. Except mine is a porcelain floor tile that looks like wood. It’s base color is a cream color with taupe color for the wood grain and there are a lot of indents to look like dents. This light colored tile had just a light sheen to it but within six months I noticed all kinds of stains on it. I think either a lot of haze was left possibly causing this or since it was made to look dull, not enough glaze on it. Might be a little of both. Also it appears as though some of the imprint is coming off. The tile is by American Olean. Tile is less than two years. The other tiles in the same line appear to be very shiny which I realize now just have more glaze on it. The salesman pointed out that my color choice is more dull but never said that could be a problem. I thought it was an attempt to make it look more wood like and foolishly assumed they used a different kind of sealant. It really did look most like wood compared to the other colors in the line. In addition I put a wool rug under the sink and a very thin rug pad. When I took it up to clean the floor I notice a light imprint of the pad on the floor which seemed to come off after a little scrubbing but each time I put it down it got worse and harder to remove.

    • Donato Pompo says:

      The wood looking ceramic porcelain tiles are produced with the ink jet technology utilizing CAD computer aided software. Some wood series are intentionally trying to look like distressed wood so you might might some portions having more of a sheen than others.

      So it is unlikely there is not enough of a glaze. There are mat glazes and there are various levels of glazes that give a sheen appearance. Some use the word glaze as synonymous to shine, and that isn’t what it means in the tile production world . A glaze is a glass-like substance that is applied over the surface of a clay based tile that can be a porcelain clay tile to provide color, texture, and can have differently levels of performance.

      I have had a couple of cases where it looked like the glazed wood coating on a porcelain tile was abrading off from foot traffic wear. I have not had the opportunity to substantiate this with laboratory testing, so it is inconclusive as of now. I would think that the tile manufacturer should further investigate this to determine if their tile has some deficiencies in this regard.

  3. Anne says:

    Hi I had my glazed porcelain tiles installed 3 years ago over time some stains appeared on it I tried almost everything and anything to get the stains removed I had no luck please can you help

    • Donato Pompo says:

      Glazed porcelain tiles are normally very durable tiles that have an impervious surface . For glaze tile surface to stain it has to have porosity or it could get etched by a highly acidic substance that will alter the tile surface and is not removable. Or maybe it is a paint or coating that is bonded to it. You have to experiment to see what it is. Paint strippers remove most coatings, but be careful and experiment first before trying anything.

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