Porcelain floor tiles are excellent, durable materials to use in any home. They provide a unique, stylish appearance by including various colors and patterns to match your decor.
However, with steady foot traffic and regular cleaning, your shiny tile floors can start looking dull and begin exhibiting a matte finish over time.
So, you want to know how to make matte porcelain floor tile glossy. Is it even possible to give your matte tiles a more glossy finish? Yes, it is possible to restore your porcelain floor tiles to their original glossy state.
Because your tiles can lose their shine for different reasons, we have multiple methods to help you bring back the smooth, glossy look. So, with some preparation and the right supplies, you can have your porcelain floor tiles shining again.
Reasons Why Your Porcelain Floor Tiles Have a Matte Appearance
Before you can solve your problem and get a glossy finish back on your floor tiles, you need to determine why they are dull and what has caused this. Once you pinpoint the issue, you will be ready to tackle it with the right approach. Here are the top four reasons why your porcelain floor tiles look dull.
1. You Have Matte Tiles Installed
If your porcelain floor tiles have always looked dull to you, it could be because they are not a glossy tile product. Some manufacturers offer matte tiles for homeowners who prefer a subtle look rather than a bright, smooth, and polished appearance.
Luckily, you still have options to get a glossy porcelain floor, even with matte tiles.
2. Cleaning Products Have Dulled the Glossy Appearance
Unfortunately, only some cleaning products are ideal for porcelain tiles. Even so, various products explicitly state you should rinse the floor by mopping again with a fresh bucket of clean water to remove any leftover residue. Skipping this step can leave a dull, cloudy finish.
Thankfully, with proper cleaning products and methods, it’s easy to bring back the shine on your porcelain floor tiles.
3. Excessive Foot Traffic Has Worn Down the Gloss
Busy households will eventually show wear and tear. For example, if you have porcelain floor tiles, excessive foot traffic in common areas can wear down the glossy finish, leaving sections that appear dull with a matte appearance.
Hallways, entrances, and kitchens are some of the most highly-used places in a home and can begin to look dull after time. Although restoring the glossy finish is possible, it can take some work.
4. There Is Dirt, Dust, and Debris Trapped on the Surface
Dirt, dust, and debris on the surface of floor tiles will cloud the gloss and keep it from appearing shiny. This situation can happen when you use a dirty mop to clean your floors or they are overdue for a thorough cleaning.
Fortunately, using the right cleaning items when necessary will make your floors look great again.
How To Make Your Matte Porcelain Tiles Glossy: A Step-by-Step Guide
Following this helpful step-by-step guide will make your porcelain tile floors glossy in no time.
Step 1: Determine the Finish on Your Current Tiles
This step will save you a headache later, depending on if your porcelain tiles are glazed or unglazed.
Some glazed floor tiles don’t allow you to apply a liquid gloss product to enhance the shine. Therefore, your solution to shining up your matte finish will only be limited to cleaning methods.
Alternatively, if your tiles are unglazed, you have more options for bringing a glossy look to your tile floors.
Step 2: Prepare the Area
Bringing a shine back to your porcelain tile floor can be challenging if the area is full of furniture or other items. However, the entire space you want to work with should be clear and free of obstacles.
Next, sweep or vacuum the space to remove loose dust, dirt, and debris from the tiles’ surface. In addition, if there are adjacent doors or windows you can open, these will help circulate the air later if you apply liquid gloss.
Step 3: Deep Clean the Tiles
Use a clean mop, rag, or a sponge, with a bucket including a solution of:
- 2 gallons of hot water
- ¼ cup of distilled white vinegar
- A few drops of mild dish soap
- ¼ cup of baking soda (for stubborn stains or deeper cleaning)
Thoroughly wash the porcelain tiles, ensuring you cover all surfaces, including the corners and hard-to-reach areas. You can use a hand sponge to pay closer attention to stubborn spots or to help dislodge grime buildup in the grout or corners of the room.
If your floor tiles are dull because of a buildup of other cleaning solutions, you can quickly restore their shine by cleaning them with this simple solution. Then, ensure you don’t make the same mistake again and only clean your floors with the best products possible.
Once the floor is completely clean, repeat the process with a clean mop or rag and a fresh bucket of clean water to rinse away any residue. Let the tiles dry naturally before moving to the next step.
Step 4: Use Protective Equipment
If your porcelain tile floors are still not glossy enough for your liking, and you want to apply liquid gloss, it’s critical that you use the proper protective equipment. This product contains harsh chemicals that can irritate your skin and airway.
Heavy-duty rubber gloves, eye protection, and an N95 respirator mask are necessary when handling liquid gloss products. Also, don’t forget to use a fan or open windows and doors to help circulate the air before you start.
Step 5: Read and Follow the Manufacturer’s Directions
Read through the application steps before attempting to apply liquid gloss to your porcelain floor tiles. Although many products are similar, you must know how to use the brand properly.
Some considerations with these products include the amount of glaze needed to cover the tiles and the room temperature for an optimal drying time. If you don’t follow the instructions, you may not see the glossy results you want for your floors.
Step 6: Apply the Glossing Fluid to Each Tile
Although some product applications will differ slightly, you will generally need a small, hand-held bucket with a durable brush with stiff bristles or a sturdy wax applicator pad.
Start at one end and apply a small amount of glossing fluid to the tile in small sections. Do not use too much liquid gloss, or it will take too long to dry. Try to avoid splashing any product around while you work, and carefully clean up any drops or splatter you notice.
Continue this process with each floor tile until the entire area is complete.
Step 7: Allow the Floor the Adequate Amount of Time to Dry
You don’t want to ruin your hard work so far by not waiting for the tiles to dry completely. The manufacturer’s product and the thickness of the liquid gloss on the floor will determine how long you should wait.
However, porcelain tile floors typically need at least 30 minutes to dry entirely before moving to the next step. After 30 minutes, check the tiles for any visual signs of moisture or wet areas. If you notice these, continue to wait until the entire floor is dry.
Sometimes, having a fan in the room can help circulate air and speed up drying time.
Step 8: Apply a Second Coat of Liquid Gloss Product and Let Dry
Once the first application is dry, you can move on to the second coat. Follow the same application procedure as before, ensuring you apply an even amount of liquid gloss product and work through each floor tile separately.
This next layer of gloss will need enough time to dry also to help bring more shine to your tile floors. You can apply a third or fourth coat if you feel your porcelain tiles need more brilliance, but each layer must dry thoroughly between applications.
If you try to put on another coat on a wet floor, you will not get the smooth, glossy finish you want.
How To Care for and Maintain the Glossy Finish on Matte Porcelain Tiles
Once your porcelain tile floor has the glossy finish you want, knowing how to care for it will extend its appearance. In addition, regular maintenance and care will keep your space looking great, so you aren’t spending all your spare time applying more liquid gloss to the tiles often.
Some tips for keeping your glossy finish on porcelain tile floors include:
- Use protective covers on the legs of chairs, tables, and other furniture pieces to minimize scratches or scuffs
- Never use bleach or harsh chemicals to clean your porcelain tile floors
- Follow a regular cleaning schedule, and don’t let dirt or debris accumulate
- Perform a deep cleaning once a month
- Clean up spills as soon as they happen to avoid stains from forming
- Use area rugs in high-traffic areas to cut down on wear and tear of the glossy coating
Matte Porcelain Floor Tile FAQs
If you are purchasing a home with matte porcelain floor tiles or want to renovate and include them, read through these frequently asked questions for more insight on this common flooring material.
How do you make matte ceramic tile glossy?
It is possible to make your existing ceramic floor tiles glossy if they are dull. Ceramic tiles can shine with a cleaning mixture of warm water, a few drops of mild dish soap, and some white vinegar. However, if they still have a matte appearance after cleaning, you can apply a glossy sealer to achieve this shine.
Why is my porcelain tile not shiny?
There can be several reasons why your porcelain tile is less shiny than you would like. A lack of shine can stem anywhere from a dirty surface to a buildup of cleaning products. Its style can also affect how they look.
Another attribute that affects how your floor material shines is the perceived lighting in the room. If, after cleaning and glazing, your floors still appear dull, you may notice that adding extra light fixtures can help produce the shine you want.
Does matte porcelain tile need to be sealed?
Sealing porcelain tiles isn’t typically necessary due to their non-porous nature. However, the grout between floor tiles is concrete-based and highly porous.
Therefore, you can use a minimal amount of sealant to fill any micro-holes in the tile and coat the grout to make cleaning more manageable.
Will vinegar add shine to tile floors?
Vinegar is an excellent natural product for porcelain and ceramic tile floors due to its acidic properties. It is inexpensive, harmless, and will leave a streak-free shiny floor. However, other materials, like granite, marble, or terracotta, should use a less abrasive solution with a lower pH concentration.
How do I make my floor tiles sparkle?
You can easily make your floor tiles sparkle by cleaning them with a solution of hot water, white vinegar, mild dish soap, and baking soda. The combination of vinegar and baking soda will strip away any grime or dirt while removing any discoloration or stains in the grout, leaving a shiny, streak-free floor.
Should you use wax on porcelain tiles?
You can put wax on porcelain tiles to make them stain-resistant and waterproof and add a layer of protection.
However, wax wears off quicker than sealant, making it a more high-maintenance way to maintain your porcelain floor tiles. In addition, some wax products can discolor the grout, giving you adverse results.