How to Make & Keep Matte Floor Tile Glossy

Newly installed matte porcelain tile has a gorgeously muted, and yet still glossy, appearance that anyone would love. Chances are, if you’re in this early phase of enjoying your matte tile floor, making it glossier is the last thing on your mind. On the other hand, while matte porcelain tiles may have their place, glossy ones will make a room look bigger and brighter.

Unfortunately, nothing lasts forever, and that includes the glossy appearance of that porcelain tile. Over time, the appearance will turn dull and become marred by stains. This might possibly affect even the design of your tile. Don’t be afraid, though; there are plenty of things you can do to circumvent this problem and keep your floor tiles looking brand new and freshly installed.

To turn the dull matte of your floor tiles into a beautiful shine, you’ll need to apply a number of solutions, including a specialty gloss fluid. You will then have to leave it to rest for a while before coming back with a second coat.

If you want to make matte porcelain tile shiny all over again, we’re here to help. Read on below to make sure you do it right & bring your floor tiles back to perfection!

how to make matte floor tiles glossy

Can You Make Matte Floor Tiles Look Shiny?

You absolutely can make matte porcelain tile shiny, and it won’t take you as much money or time as you probably think that it will. To achieve that shiny finish on your porcelain flooring, you will just need a few hours (or days, depending on the number of matte finish tiles you’re working with) and some gloss fluid.

Continue reading below to see the steps that you need to take to get the unglazed tiles turning into a beautiful floor shine!

Why Make Matte Tiles Glossy?

There are a lot of benefits to adding a gloss finish to your matte porcelain tiles. One difference is purely aesthetic; when you add gloss to your tiles they take on a shinier appearance that some people prefer.

Another benefit to making your matte porcelain tile shiny is that the glossy tiles have a smoother feel. Matte porcelain tile left alone is very rough to the touch and lacks the smooth surface that a glossy tile floor will have. It will feel good underneath your feet, socks or not.

Adding a layer of liquid gloss to your matte porcelain tiles can also help with stain resistance. The layer of penetrating sealer, once it has been applied and given time to properly adhere to the tiles, can make it easier to clean stains before they have a chance to set.

It will also make it simpler and quicker to remove stains that are already on the tile. You’ll be able to clean your tiles using only a mild detergent and a scrub brush as opposed to fighting each and every mark that appears on your floors.

Pros and Cons of Gloss-Finish Tiles

There are benefits and drawbacks to both gloss tiles and shiny tiles. Keep reading to understand both so that you can make an informed decision when you choose to make matte porcelain tile glossy again.

1. Pros

There are a lot of benefits to making your tiles glossy. Here are just a few.

Aesthetic

Porcelain tile that has been made glossy can reflect more light around the surfaces. This can have the benefit of making a room look brighter and bigger.

This is particularly nice in kitchens where the room is often full of appliances and surfaces that you need for functionality. The smaller the kitchen, the more important it is to make it look bigger, even if it’s just a clever trick.

Cleaning

Once you have made your matte porcelain tile glossy, to clean it all you have to do is take the cleaning solution, some warm water, and your trusty mop.

Spills, stains, and dirt will all easily lift from the tile floor!

Modernization

Floor tile that is glossy is a very in look right now and can be found in a lot of homes that advertise themselves as modern.

This can bring added value to your home if you are trying to resell, rent, or plan on reselling it in the future. Even if you’re keeping your home, isn’t it nice to live in a trendy, stylish place?

2. Cons

Nothing is perfect, not even glossy floor tiles. Let’s take a look at some of the possible drawbacks you need to be mindful of before you jump in head-first.

Shows imperfections

One downside to gloss tiles is that the shine of the tiles will make it obvious when there are messes around. The shiny surface will show footprints, fingerprints, dirt, and spots of dampness more easily than the matte finish tiles would.

If you have kids and/or pets, your cleaning solution of choice will become your best friend as you try to keep your kitchen looking pristine.

Slippery

Glossy floors can also pose a mild safety risk. The gloss tiles have a tendency to become slippery when they are wet.

If you have small children or senior citizens with mobility issues around, you may want to reconsider if you want to make matte porcelain tiles glossy in high-traffic areas.

Making Matte Tiles Look Glossy Step-by-Step

Congratulations—if you’re reading this, that means you have decided to add a glossy look to your matte porcelain tiles! First, you should gather a few supplies that you’ll need along the way. When that’s done, all you need to do is follow our guidance closely, and then sit back and enjoy the results!

Materials You’ll Need

To turn those ceramic tiles into beautiful glossy tiles, you will need the following:

  • Vinegar solution or white vinegar
  • Mild detergent
  • Cleaning pad
  • Foam rubber brush
  • Wax applicator
  • Topical sealer
  • Gloss fluid
  • A bucket
  • Rubber gloves
  • A dry mop/broom or a vacuum
  • A fan

Step 1 – Identify the tiles

The first thing you need to do in this process is to figure out if you can actually put the glaze on your tiles or not. If your tile floors already have a glaze covering, then applying the gloss will not make a difference. You can skip doing that in that case.

Identifying the glaze on your tiles is very simple. Simply give them a clean with a ceramic tile cleaner. If your tile is shiny once you’ve cleaned it, it means that there is already a coat of glazing on the tile.

Once you’ve established that you have unglazed matte porcelain tile, you can proceed with treating that unglazed porcelain tile and, as a result, turn your matte tiles glossy!

Step 2 – Clean and clear

Before you can get to work, you need the space to work. If you have furniture in the room, make sure it’s all safely removed so it won’t be in the way.

Once you have an open workspace, you need to make sure that the tile you’re going to work with is clean. You can use a vacuum cleaner or you can sweep, but either way, you need to make sure that there isn’t dust or debris on the floor that will cause imperfections in the finished product. A dry mop is another good option to clean the tile.

Step 3 – Protect yourself

You will be dealing with chemical solutions, so it is important to take measures to protect yourself. Gloves are a must, because the chemical solutions can aggravate your skin. Any standard safety glove will do.

You’ll also need to wear safety glasses or goggles to keep the chemical solutions from going into your eyes. After all, if something happens to your eyesight, how are you supposed to appreciate those glossy tiles when you’re finished?

The last item on your safety checklist is ventilation. You will be breathing in chemical fumes, so it is important to keep doors and windows open throughout the entire process.

Don’t forget to make sure that air can circulate not only while you’re applying the gloss to the matte porcelain tiles, but also for a period of time afterward.

Step 4 – Deep clean

By this point, you should have already swept or mopped the area when you were moving furniture around. Now it’s time to really get on your knees and scrub. To get the matte porcelain tiles ready to be treated with gloss, they will need to be cleaned with a mixture of two gallons of warm water and a quarter of a cup of white vinegar. Any brand of white vinegar will do!

Once you have the cleaning solution mixed together, take your mop and use it to get any scum or stains off the tile. This should be a thorough cleaning. If you need to, you can use a scrub brush or an abrasive pad to remove stains and any grout discoloration that you see.

Only proceed to step five once you have thoroughly cleaned the grout lines and rinsed away any leftover soap.

Step 5 – Read the instructions

This one might seem like a no-brainer, but enough people skim past the manufacturer’s instructions that it seems worth pointing out. You should always check the instructions because different types of gloss, as well as different brands, can come with different guidelines.

Some may require the room to be at a certain temperature, for example. Following the instructions is the quickest and easiest way to make sure that you are getting the most out of the product you paid for. Work smarter, not harder!

Step 6 – Apply gloss fluid

Step six is where you really get down to it. In this step, you will apply gloss fluid to the matte floor tile. To begin, take the bottle of gloss fluid and pour some into the bucket you have waiting.

After you’ve put the gloss fluid into the bucket, take a brush and polish the tile with it. You may use any brush of your choice, but a brush with strong bristles is recommended. If you do not have one of those handy, you can also use a foam rubber brush or a wax applicator.

At this point, you don’t want a heavy layer of gloss fluid on—opt for a thin coat instead. If you add too much, you’ll see that the ceramic tile application begins to turn white instead of clear. White is a sign that you’ve added too much!

You can use a mop or a clean foam-rubber brush to remove some of the excess liquid. If your finish is still clear and you suspect you haven’t done enough, you can add gloss a few drops at a time and apply them in thin layers.

Be careful and watch for puddles. If a puddle forms on the porcelain tile and is not wiped away, it will dry in an unappealing manner.

Step 7 – Take a break

This isn’t just a suggestion—it is a step in the process! Once the first layer of gloss fluid is on, you need to give it at least half an hour to cure before you can move on.

To aid this process, you can use a fan that will blow over the surface of the tile floors. It is very important that the matte porcelain tile is completely dry before you continue.

If you are making your tiles shiny in multiple rooms, you can also take this opportunity to start on a second area of the flooring. As long as the tiles are the same, you can use the same steps.

The most important thing is to make sure you’re keeping track of the time so that each section will adequately dry. They must air dry completely—no exceptions.

Step 8 – Add more gloss fluid

Are you completely sure that the (now slightly less) matte porcelain tile you’ve been working with is dry? Perfect! You’re ready to do it all over again.

At this point, you simply repeat your actions from step six. A second coat of the glossy fluid will ensure that the porcelain tile floors are going to have exactly the shine that you’re looking for.

Step 9 – Dry again

Once your second application of gloss fluid is on and you’ve given it plenty of time to dry, then congratulations! You’re finished!

Unless, of course, you look at your floor and think to yourself that it could be a little shinier. In that case, you’re welcome to start from step six again and repeat the process with a third coat until your porcelain tile has the level of a shiny look to it that you want.

Non-wax Options

You may be trying to figure out how to make matte floor tile glossy without wanting to use wax. Rest assured that there are a few things you can do!

However, keep in mind that unlike with the more permanent solution of wax or a gloss fluid, these will need to be done on a very regular basis.

Soapy water

You can use detergent and liquid dishwashing soap or other solution on your porcelain tiles to remove dirt that might be marring their surface.

You can scrub at stains dulling the shine of the tile with a sponge or a soft brush. Needless to say, this helps, but it won’t make your tiles shiny permanently.

Baking soda

365 by Whole Foods Market, Baking Soda, 16 Ounce

Much like the soapy water approach, baking soda will help you clean your tiles to their shiniest potential even without wax. Use a fourth of a cup of baking soda and a fourth of a cup of white vinegar, along with one tablespoon of whichever liquid dishwashing soap you prefer.

If you would like your floors to have a more pleasant scent, you can also add essential oils to this mixture. Apply it to the tiles and then allow it to set for at least ten minutes before you rinse it off with warm water.

Ensure that you have completely dried it and that there isn’t any baking soda residue left on the tile floor.

Ammonia water solution

Household Ammonia Solution, 500mL - The Curated Chemical Collection

Ammonia is one of the best cleaners for tiles, but only for porcelain tiles that have not been treated with wax. If you want to use it on your unglazed tiles, mix it with warm water and stir thoroughly.

After mixing, proceed to mop your floor with it as you would normally do with any cleaner. When you are finished, make sure there isn’t an ammonia-water solution standing on the floor.

Vinegar

Heinz All Natural Distilled White Vinegar with 5% Acidity (32 fl oz Bottle)

Vinegar-shine tile floors can be accomplished by mixing a vinegar solution together. You will need half a cup of white vinegar and two gallons of water. The water can be warm water or cold water; both should work the same.

Mop the floor with the white vinegar solution, and then dry it with a towel. It’s important not to leave the vinegar solution on the tile indefinitely, so make sure that when you dry it you are completely drying the porcelain tiles.

You should also make sure that the area you’re cleaning in is well ventilated before using the vinegar solution or the ammonia water solution. Both have a very strong scent.

What You Can do to Keep Your Matte Floor Tiles Glossy

how to clean matte floor tiles to keep them glossy

Once your floor tiles have the gloss that you want, it’s important to keep them clean. For normal cleaning situations, you can use a cleaning solution, like liquid dishwashing soap, along with warm water and a soft mop.

Just soak the mop in the cleaning mixture and then gently wipe it across the surface of your floor tile. This will help keep matte tiles glossy and shining like new. Frequent cleaning with a thorough process will help you avoid stains.

Before we leave you to set off on your quest to make matte porcelain tile glossy, we’ll give you some parting knowledge that will help you give your tiles some much-needed regular TLC.

Sweep

A good first step to taking care of your glossy porcelain tiles is to sweep the floor regularly. This will stop the dirt, dust, and debris from accumulating and make further cleaning an easier process.

Vacuum

Use a vacuum across the tile regularly to pick up what your normal sweeping process may have left on the porcelain tiles.

Wash

You should wash your tiles using a cleaning solution and warm water, but be sure that you are using a detergent that is gentle. You can take the cleaning mixture and cover the floor in it with a cleaning pad. Leave the solution on for approximately five minutes before using a clean mop to get rid of the cleaner.

Mop over the area again with warm water once clean to make sure that you haven’t left any detergent behind. Detergent that dries on glossy porcelain tiles will take on a milky or splotched appearance.

Stain removal

If you have a particularly nasty stain that you’re trying to get out of the porcelain tiles, then you may spot treat that specific area. You can start with something like baking soda on the smooth surface of your tiles, and then see if that will work to clean stains.

You can also use another household item, namely vinegar, to increase the shine on your floor after removing stains. Vinegar-shine tile floor mixtures are proven very effective to keep matte porcelain tile shiny. White vinegar is acceptable for this.

Avoid harsh chemicals

If the previous approach fails, you can use a stronger chemical substance. However, be aware that anything too strong will potentially erode the matte finishes, so keep things gentle.

Things to Know to not Damage Your Matte Tiles

In order to not damage your beautiful glossy tiles, there are certain substances to avoid during your subsequent cleaning process. Let’s take a quick look at them all.

Corrosive Materials

Do not use a strong chemical cleaner on your previously matte floor, even when trying to remove stubborn stains. Chemicals can erode the tile sealer.

Once the thin layer of gloss making your matte porcelain tile shiny has come to erode, you may see the grout begin to change color.

The group will change color because the chemical has begun to let water through. This will loosen the grout eventually, and water will get beneath the tile.

Here are some things to avoid using to clean your porcelain tiles:

  • ammonia
  • bleach
  • acid

Rough Cleaning Tools

Much like using the wrong detergent, using a rough tool can hurt your tiles—sometimes permanently. It’s okay to give them a good scrub, but avoid hard bristles and things like steel wool.

If you have stubborn stains that normal spot cleaning isn’t helping with, you can get a more fine-tuned clean by using a toothbrush and a cleaning solution.

If you do this, follow the same previous steps and heed the same warnings. Using too corrosive or strong of a chemical cleaner can end in water damage.

Verdict

It isn’t hard to make matte porcelain tile floors shine. The most high-quality and longest-lasting option for you is to use a wax sealant or a gloss fluid. Applying a few coats of either of those to porcelain tiles will keep them shining for a long time!

You can accomplish the shiny look to your matte tiles even without a permanent solution, though. Cleaning matte porcelain tiles regularly and mopping them will give them an everyday shine.

Good luck on your shiny adventures, and enjoy your good-as-new floor tiles!

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