One of the most notable benefits of tile flooring is its pristine appearance. When they’re well-maintained, tile floors can create a glossy expanse that reflects light and delivers a clean, refreshing aesthetic. Shiny tiles make a room look bigger, reflect light to brighten dark spaces and clean up with a quick wipe. In this article, we explain how to make a tile floor shine so that you can maximize the benefits of this flooring material.

Sweep Them Regularly

While mopping with a wet cleaning solution can instantly bring back the sparkle in your floors, that won’t happen if you aren’t sweeping first. People and pets track in dirt daily. Dust constantly settles on the flooring. If you don’t remove these particles before wet mopping, they’ll combine with the cleaning solution and leave a dull, muddy film on the tile. 

Sweeping is essential before mopping. It should also be a daily habit. Keeping your floors clear of abrasive debris protects the shine by preventing scratches. If you don’t sweep, grains of dirt will wear away the surface of the tile. This leads to dullness that is tough to restore.

When you’re sweeping, make sure that you get into the areas where dust and dirt collect. Don’t neglect the corners or under furniture. Dirt buildup in those areas will make the floor look dull. That might not matter if the floor is hidden, but it becomes evident when you move your furniture around.

Mop the Tiles

Mopping regularly is an excellent way to make your tile floors shine. Using the proper technique when wet mopping removes dirt and soiling that leads to grime buildup and dull tiles. 

Start by going over the floor with a dry mop or broom. If you skip this step, you’ll just end up smearing dirty water around the tile. It will create a film when it dries, making your floors look dingy.

Use a cleaner that is intended for use with your tiles. A small amount of soap diluted in at least a gallon of water creates a simple and effective solution for how to make a tile floor shine. You can also purchase a dedicated product to use for cleaning your floors.

Some tips for how to make a tile floor shine when you mop it include:

  • Use a chamois cloth or rag; sponges deposit dirty water back onto the floor and into the grout.
  • Hot water cuts through grime better than cold water, allowing you to use less cleaning product to create a natural shine.
  • Work in sections, and follow a specific pattern so that you don’t miss any spots. 
  • Change the water frequently as you mop.
  • Rinse the floor with fresh water to avoid leaving residue behind.
  • Use a clean, dry rag to remove all moisture from the floor; water droplets that dry on the tile can create matte spots.

Get Rid of Grime

If you don’t mop your floor or use the wrong techniques and products, grime will build up on the floor. One sign that this residue is present is that your floor doesn’t get shinier after mopping and drying it. Your regular floor-washing detergent might not cut it; you may have to use a cleaning solution that cuts through the film.

Here are some recipes for homemade grime-busters that can bring out the shine in tile floors.

Distilled White Vinegar

White vinegar cuts through grease and grime effectively. It contains acetic acid, which eliminates soap scum, dirt, oils and mineral deposits. Vinegar disinfects and leaves behind a gleaming shine.

It’s also affordable and relatively safe to use on most tiles. Avoid using vinegar on natural materials, such as terracotta and marble. However, you can use this solution on ceramic or porcelain tiles.

Mix one cup of vinegar with one gallon of hot water. Mop the floors with this solution. Rinse with warm, fresh water before drying the tiles.

Baking Soda

This method requires you to make a baking soda paste and apply it meticulously to the surface of the tiles before wiping them clean. Start by mixing 2 to 3 cups of baking soda with ½ cup of dishwashing soap. Add warm water, a small amount at a time, to create a paste.

Apply the paste to the tiles, scrubbing gently with a soft toothbrush or cloth to remove deposits and stains. Allow the paste to sit on the tiles for about 10 minutes.

Rinse off the baking soda with a mop or rag dampened with fresh water. If you want an even better shine, dampen the cloth or mop with a solution of vinegar and water. This will make the baking soda fizz as you remove it. Follow up with a freshwater rinse before drying the tiles thoroughly.

Lemon Juice

The acidity of lemon juice works wonders for restoring shine to your floor. Simply blend some lemon juice with water in a spray bottle. Apply it to your floors, wiping them with a damp cloth as you go. Finish the job by going over the floor with fresh water before drying it. If you leave traces of lemon juice on the floor, they’ll be sticky and attract dirt that quickly dulls the tile.

Deal With Stains

Your tile floor may look shiny, but surface stains can blemish the appearance. Removing stains helps to create a flawless finish that sparkles from wall to wall. You can use any of the methods above to create a cleaning solution to remove stains. Apply it by hand, using a toothbrush or sponge to work the stains away.

Waxing a Tile Floor to Restore Shine

Wax creates a clear layer over tile flooring, which protects the surface from stains and abrasion. It can also be buffed out to a glorious shine. 

Because you can’t wax every type of tile, you should check with your flooring manufacturer before using this method for how to make a tile floor shine. Follow the instructions on the product to get the best results.

If you have been waxing your floors and they still seem dull, consider stripping the wax and refinishing them. You could also use a buffer to make the surface shine.

What About the Grout?

Dingy grout can spoil the appearance of any freshly cleaned tiles. Prevent them from becoming dingy by sealing the grout when the tiles are installed. If the grout has already become discolored, try cleaning it with a baking soda paste and toothbrush. More stubborn stains and efflorescence may come off with a steam cleaner. 

In severe cases, you may need to re-grout the tiles. Sealing the floor properly after this project will help it retain its shine.

How Shiny Will Your Tiles Get?

Not all tiles are meant to be shiny. Natural materials, such as terra cotta, aren’t glossy. Even ceramic and porcelain tiles may have a matte finish. Unless you seal them with a glossy coating, these materials will never have a glass-like appearance. 

Therefore, when you’re trying to make a tile floor shine, remember that you can only get it back to its original state. If you’re not happy with the natural appearance of the flooring, you can often use varnish to add gloss. However, you must use the right product and technique for the material to achieve the best results. You might be better off installing a high-shine tile from the beginning.