Polish tiles properly


Many tiles lose their shine over the years or appear unintentionally greasy or even dirty. Below we explain the polishing of tiles. There is also information about the different tile materials such as ceramic or porcelain stoneware.

Polished tiles are not the same as polished tiles

First of all, one thing must be said in advance: a distinction must be made between the subsequent polishing of ceramic tiles and the polishing of porcelain stoneware tiles during the manufacturing process. When talking about polished tiles, they usually mean porcelain stoneware tiles. However, there are enormous differences and not every supposed dirt can be easily removed. But it is important to know how porcelain stoneware tiles are made and what happens during polishing. Because later not all tiles can be polished to a high gloss. Especially with porcelain stoneware tiles you have to be extremely careful here.

The peculiarities of polished porcelain stoneware tiles

Porcelain stoneware emerged in the 1980s. All older tiles can therefore not be porcelain stoneware tiles. In order for these porcelain stoneware tiles to receive a beautiful shine, they are polished after firing. However, the pores are closed during firing, with the polishing these pores are opened again. An untreated stoneware tile absorbs dirt deeply. A surface cleaning is often no longer possible. Likewise, a new polishing, because certain soiling just penetrate far too deeply into these tiles.

Exclusively polished, hot impregnated or glazed porcelain stoneware tiles

Therefore, some porcelain stoneware tiles are hot-impregnated after firing and polishing. Especially with cheaper stoneware tiles from the Far East, this sealing technique is often taken into account in the manufacturing process. However, in the bright light of day, this creates an undesirable gray haze, while the tiles in well-lit light look great. This impregnation is difficult or impossible to remove in many cases. For some tiles, the effect can be neutralized with chlorine cleaner. The situation is different with glazed stoneware tiles. But they are no longer as unbreakable as non-glazed stoneware tiles.

It is imperative to periodically seal exclusively polished fine-grained tiles

Many polished porcelain stoneware tiles are polished, but not treated further. This is usually done after laying. However, you can not use many common sealants, as aggressive tile cleaners would immediately remove the impregnation. That's why porcelain stoneware requires special porcelain stoneware impregnation. However, you should not leave polished tiles untreated, because soiling would penetrate deep into the pores. Polishing porcelain stoneware tiles is always only the last step, if no other cleaning techniques have helped.

Polish ceramic and clay tiles

For all other tiles, such as glazed ceramic tiles, there are different polishes. These can be polished with either a sponge or a polishing machine. Then the tiles get their shine back completely. You can also polish glazed porcelain stoneware tiles. However, during the manufacturing process, you are not allowed to work exclusively on polished porcelain stoneware tiles with these polishes. Because it can happen exactly the opposite of the desired effect and the tiles are significantly dull in the polished areas. In addition to polishes, you can also use different detergents. Basically, these should be sour.

Tips & Tricks

Glazed tiles can also be polished with scouring cream. By no means, but as already mentioned, exclusively polished porcelain stoneware tiles!

There are special tile polishes that can be used to polish porcelain stoneware tiles to try to sand out dull areas. However, the chances of success are rather low. In non-glazed porcelain stoneware tiles often only helps to renew the affected tiles. Whether the sanding of polished porcelain stoneware tiles is still possible or the tiles should be replaced, explains a tile expert.

Purchase polished porcelain stoneware tiles, be sure to check that the tiles are hot-soaked. Many people find the gray haze visible under certain light conditions disturbing.


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