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How to Polish Floor Tiles

How to Polish Floor Tiles
January 10, 2022

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Ceramic tile floors require regular cleaning to preserve their visual appeal and quality, especially in rooms with high foot traffic. Although you mop and sweep regularly, it may not be sufficient to preserve the tiles’ protective layers and shield them from long-term damage. Professionals recommend polishing your floor tiles every two or three months. High-traffic rooms may require monthly polishing. Polishing your tile flooring yourself is an excellent way to save money, keep your rooms in the best condition possible and restore your floor’s shine and appearance for a fraction of the cost of a professional cleaning service.

mop cleaning a dirty tiled floor

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Floor Preparation

Before you begin, it is crucial to measure the exact square footage of your tile flooring.This allows you to gauge the amount of polish you’ll need for the job. One quart (32 oz.) of polish is enough to cover approximately 500 ft² and one gallon (4 qt.) should be enough for 2,000 ft². Once you have the measurements of the rooms that need polishing, buy the quantity of polish you need to cover that space, plus a little extra, to ensure you’ll have enough to finish the job. You will need the following tile tools and cleaning agents:

  • Broom or mop
  • Tile floor cleaner
  • Hand brush or tile brush
  • Tile polishing pads (preferably microfiber)
  • Tile floor polish

If you have previously waxed or sealed your tile floors, you’ll need to apply a wax stripper to remove the old coating. After scrubbing with the was stripper, mop the floor with clean, warm water to eliminate any chemical residue. Allow to dry for at least an hour before polishing.

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Clear and Clean

Clear the furniture out of the room and sweep the floor to remove debris before thoroughly cleaning with tile floor cleaner. Clean the grout using a hand brush, tile brush, or similar tool using your tile cleaner if the product is rated for grout cleaning. Alternatively, you can make a DIY grout cleaner using baking soda and distilled white vinegar. After cleaning your tiles and grout, allow them to dry completely for at least an hour. Once dry, your floor is ready for polishing.

blue cleaning mop

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The Polishing Process

Prepare a dry microfiber tile polishing pad to be used explicitly for polishing and no other applications. Avoid reusing a previously employed pad to reduce the risk of re-contaminating the floor with dust and particulates, which can scratch and dull your tiles’ finish. Attach your microfiber pad to your mop head, and apply or spray your tile floor polish solution to the pad’s working side.

Divide the floor into smaller sections. Start with the section farthest from the door to give yourself an exit. In each floor section, start by applying the polish on the floor in an S pattern. Use the mop and pad to apply the solution evenly across the entire section. Make sure to work methodically and gently. Don’t spread the polish too thin; it should form an even layer throughout the room. As you progress through the space, your pad may dry quickly. Dampen it with some polishing solution every few sections to avoid streaking the tiles.

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Drying and Completion

Once you have applied the polishing solution to the entire floor tile surface, exit the room and do not allow other occupants or pets to enter. After approximately two hours, you may re-enter the room wearing socks or soft slippers. However, you should still keep pets out of the room, as the polishing solution hasn’t yet fully finished curing into your tiles. On average, it takes 18-24 hours for the polish to fully apply, after which you can replace the furniture and resume access for pets and regular foot traffic.

Post-Polishing Maintenance Tips

Follow these tips to minimize staining, dullness, or damage and keep your floor looking as clean and shiny as possible:

  • Dry sweep or vacuum your tile floor daily.
  • Clean your tile floor with a wet mop and a water and vinegar solution every week.
  • Clean any spillages as quickly as possible to prevent your tiles from becoming stained.

Protect Your Tile Floors with Tools from Contractors Direct

Cleaning and polishing your tile flooring yourself can be an involved, time-consuming process, but it is also a very economical solution that saves you money. The tools required are inexpensive, and you can even make the cleaning solutions at home with natural ingredients you already have in your pantry. Contractors Direct is your trusted supplier of tile, stone, and concrete tools, equipment. From cleaning and maintenance supplies to power tools and personal protective equipment, we carry the best products at affordable prices for contractors, DIY enthusiasts, and retailers nationwide.