A form of ceramic tile made from a fine clay, porcelain tile is highly resistant to moisture, wear, gouges and freezing. It comes in a variety of colors and surface shine. Many porcelain tiles are coated in a glass “glaze” fused to the top of the tile that prohibits absorption or fluids or the addition of a gloss. Unglazed tile, however, can be given the shiny, high-gloss look of a newly waxed floor with some time and a bit of effort.
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1 Remove any furniture from the flooring to create an unobstructed work area, and thoroughly vacuum or sweep the porcelain tile floor to remove any loose dirt or debris.
2 Mop the porcelain tile floor with a clean mop dipped in a bucket holding 2 gallons of warm water and 1/4 cup white vinegar. Allow the floor to completely dry.
3 Read the manufacturer’s directions completely on the gloss finish prior to application; special conditions, such as room temperature, may be required for best results.
4 Pour a portion of the gloss fluid into a clean bucket for easy access during application.
5 Pull on the rubber gloves to keep the gloss from coming into contact with your hands. Use the foam rubber brush, wax applicator or mop to brush the polish over the flooring. Apply a thin coat of gloss, making sure that it appears clear rather than white as it is applied. Smooth out any puddles that attempt to pool on the porcelain tile flooring.
6 Place a fan to blow across the floor to assist in quick drying. Allow the floor to completely dry for at least 30 minutes.
7 Apply a second coat of gloss after the floor is dry to the touch. Allow this coat to completely dry. Evaluate the level of shine now on the floor, and if necessary, repeat the process with a third coat for a higher gloss.
Things You Will Need
- Vacuum or broom
- White vinegar
- Clean bucket
- Rubber gloves
- Foam rubber brush, wax applicator or clean mop
To determine if the porcelain tile is unglazed, look closely at the tile. Glazed tile can come in unlimited colors, but only on the top layer of the tile. Further, glazed tiles are stain resistant but easily show wear. Unglazed tiles are limited to natural colors and can easily stain, but do not show as much wear from foot traffic because the color is distributed throughout the entire tile.
Remove any stains from the unglazed porcelain tile prior to glossing with a scrub brush or abrasive cleaning pad dipped in a cleaning solution for porcelain tile. Rinse and allow to dry. Repeat as necessary to remove difficult stains.
Start application in a far corner of the room and work toward the door to avoid being trapped inside the room after the gloss is applied.
Always keep the area well ventilated — open doors, windows or fans, for example — to avoid inhalation of fumes while working with chemicals.
Glossed porcelain tile floors show smudges, scratches and dirt more readily than unglossed tile floors.