Old dull porcelain floor tiles are often an eyesore, making a home look dated.
The good news is you can make these tiles glossy and new-looking again with a little elbow grease and the right product.
For glazing the porcelain or ceramic tiles, using glossing fluid will work best, provided you have cleaned the area well and have applied thin coats carefully.
You can purchase these fluids at any home improvement store, and you don’t need any special skills or expensive tools, just a little patience and the willingness to get down on your hands and knees!
Making Your Matte Porcelain Tiles Shiny Again
If your porcelain tiles are looking dull and lackluster, don’t despair! There are a few things you can do to make them look new again.
Here is a complete process on how to make your porcelain tiles in the bathroom shine:
Step 1- Detecting the Tiles
This is an important initial step where you need to check if you can actually put the gloss over the tiles or not.
Certain porcelain tiles come with a glass covering pre-coated over them, and adding further shine will not only be challenging but will make it look weird.
If your tile is one of those, then you might have to give this project a miss.
Other than that, if your tile is unglazed or has a porous surface, then move on to the next step.
Step 2- Cleaning Your Tiles
Once you have confirmed that you can apply the gloss fluid, start by giving the floor a good cleaning.
Sweeping or vacuuming up any dust, dirt, or debris and then mopping the floor with a mild soap and water solution is enough in most cases.
But if your unglazed porcelain tiles are too old, there may be heavy stains, scum, and wax build-up that need to be cleaned with a mixture of warm water and white vinegar.
- Mix 1/4 cup of white vinegar in a bucket filled with 2 gallons of warm water
- Dip the cleaning sponge or an abrasive pad into the mixture and then gently scrub the tile
- Rinse the tiles with clean, fresh water and let them air dry or wipe them down with a soft, clean towel
Make sure you get into and wash all the cracks and crevices to remove any dirt that might be lurking there.
Step 3- Applying a Tile Glossing Fluid
Once the floor is clean and dried, apply a glossing fluid to your tiles.
GlazeGuard gloss sealer is what I have tried personally for porcelain tiles. And I think it’s one of the best in the market.
You can find it easily in any hardware store or online. Another plus point is that it’s very affordable.
There are many other different brands and types of glossing fluids available on the market, so make sure you choose one that is designed for use on porcelain or ceramic tiles.
Most products will come with instructions on how to apply them, but in general, you will want to:
- Pour a small amount of the fluid onto the floor and then spread it around with a sponge or mop, working in small sections
- Make sure you don’t apply too much of the fluid as it will take longer to dry and might leave streaks
- Once you have covered the entire floor, let it dry for the amount of time specified on the product label
- After it’s completely dry, apply a second coat if you feel like it’s necessary
And that’s it! Your tiles should now be glossy, shiny, and looking like new.
If you are not happy with the shine level, consider applying a second layer of gloss after the floor is dry enough.
Make sure the top layer of paint is even and uniform. If it isn’t completely uniform, it won’t look good.
Tips and Warnings
Do NOT use bleach on your unglazed porcelain tiles, as it will damage them.
Bleach can also weaken the tile grout making it vulnerable to getting water damage and deteriorating early.
Also, do not scuff the surface of the porcelain tile with abrasive substances, as this will create tiny scratches that will be visible once you apply the gloss.
Why are My Porcelain Tiles Matte and Cloudy?
Unlike ceramic tiles, porcelain floor tiles are made from denser clay material and fired at a higher temperature, making them harder and more impervious to moisture.
The downside is that they can become dull and lose their shine over time, especially in high-traffic areas.
This can happen due to a variety of reasons, such as:
- The tile might not have been properly glazed.
- The wrong cleaning products were used on the tile.
- The tile in your bathroom was not sealed properly.
- The tile was not properly maintained.
Can You Make Glossy Tiles Matte – Removing the Shine
There can be a few explanations for why you need to remove shine from porcelain tiles.
It could be that you didn’t like the glossy look after all, or the tiles might have become too slippery and dangerous, especially in a bathroom.
Whatever your specific reason is, there are a few ways you can go about making your tiles matte again:
1- Use a dulling agent
You can find dulling agents specifically designed for use on porcelain tiles. These products work by creating a haze on the surface of the tile, which then needs to be buffed off.
2- Use sandpaper
Sandpaper to create a matte finish on your tiles is another excellent option. Start with coarse-grit sandpaper and then move to a finer grit until you are happy with the results.
3- Use acidic cleaners
Using acidic cleaners like vinegar or lemon juice to dull the shine on your tiles is another great alternative.
To use that, simply apply the cleaner to a cloth and rub it onto the tile in a circular motion.
Once you have achieved the desired results, rinse the tiles with water and dry them with a soft cloth.
4- Use a matte sealer
If you want to make sure your tiles stay matte, you can also use a matte sealer.
These products work by creating a barrier on the surface of the tile that prevents light from reflecting off the surface.
Can You Mix Matte and Glossy Tiles During Installation?
When you are installing porcelain tiles, you can mix both matte and glossy tiles to create an interesting and unique look.
Just make sure you lay out the tiles in a way that is pleasing to the eye, and don’t mix too many different colors or patterns.
If you are unsure of what to do, consult with a professional tile installer. They will be able to help you create the perfect look for your space.
Can porcelain tiles be buffed and polished?
It is simple to polish porcelain tile floors using a soft cloth or porcelain tile polishing pads.
The pads do not need a buffing solution, and you may polish the floor tiles in a circular motion to restore them and get their original luster.
How do I make my porcelain tile look wet?
To make your porcelain tile look wet, you will need to use high-gloss penetrating sealers or enhancers.
This type of sealer will darken the tile and make it look shiny and wet. You can find these products at your local hardware store or online.
Do matte porcelain floor tiles need to be sealed?
Porcelain tiles are non-porous, meaning they don’t need to be sealed.
However, if you want to protect them from dirt and stains, you can apply a premium tile sealant.
Just make sure you use a sealant that is specifically designed for porcelain tiles.
The bottom line
Porcelain tiles are a popular choice among homeowners because of their durability and easy maintenance.
But like all types of tiles for floors and walls, they can lose their shine over time.
Don’t be frustrated if your porcelain tiles seem dull and uninteresting because there are a few easy steps you can try to bring them back to life.
If all else fails, consult with a professional tile installer or flooring specialist. They will be able to help you choose the best course of action for your particular tile situation.
Jack Luis is a semi-retired painter who loved painting his clients’ ideas on their walls.
He had worked as a painter for more than a decade to serve the customers in areas such as Charleston, Mount Pleasant, Beaufort, Georgetown, SC (South Carolina). Today in his free time, he likes to read and write about the newer techniques that are being implemented in his profession. You may read more about him here or get in touch with him here.
Just in case you want to hire pro painters in your local area, you can click here. We can instantly send you free quotes from trusted painters based on your specific requirement.