It’s no secret that ceramic tile can be a pain to keep clean. The glossy surface seems to attract dirt and dust like a magnet, and even the slightest scratch or scuff can make it look downright shabby.

But what if you could take the shine right off that ceramic tile? With just a few simple steps, you can rough up your tiles, so they’re less slippery and more resistant to dirt and scratches.

This article will show you how to rough up ceramic tile quickly and efficiently so it looks better than ever.

What is Ceramic Tile And Why Rough It Up?

Ceramic tile is a manufactured product made up of clay, water, and heat. After the tiles are fired in kilns, they’re glazed and baked again for durability.

The shiny surface of rough ceramic tile not only makes it attractive as part of your decor but also helps keep the floor clean. But sometimes, too much shine can be a bad thing.

If the surface is too shiny, it can become slippery when wet, leading to injury in some situations. For example, if you have ceramic tile in your kitchen or bathroom, this slippery surface could cause severe problems if someone falls when they’re getting out of the tub or shower.

Also, because there’s usually a high gloss finish, the tiles will show every scratch and scuff. This often makes them look shabby and can make your contractor or landlord liable for repairs.

How to Rough Up Ceramic Tile: The Easy Process?

How to Rough Up Ceramic Tile

There are actually several different ways to rough up ceramic tiles. All involve using either sandpaper or an electric sander (with coarse grit) to roughen the surface of your porcelain tile paint. Here are some of the more common methods:

1. Use Sandpaper

You can use regular sandpaper (150 grit or higher) and either put it in your electric sander or hold it up by hand. Make sure you work over a large area, not just in one spot, so that you don’t create deep scratches.

2. Use an Electric Sander

Of course, you could always use a power sander instead of sandpaper if you prefer. The main difference with this method is the speed at which the job gets done and how easily it can be done in tight or awkward areas where hand-sanding would be difficult.

3. Use an Orbital Sander

This is another great option. An orbital sander will allow you to work faster, but it also creates much less heat than a handheld or belt-style sander. If you have a ceramic wall tile surface that’s very glossy, then the heat produced by these other sanders could discolor your old tile. So be sure you’re using the right tool for the job.

4. Use a Grinder or Rotary Tool

A submarine is another excellent option if you’re looking for something that will help you quickly rough up ceramic tile. It’s perfect for areas where an orbital sander can’t reach, like glazed tile on walls or ceilings, under cabinets, and in other hard to get at areas.

5. Use a Wire Brush

You can also rough up your ceramic floor tile with an angle grinder or a wire brush. This is very useful for removing paint and rust from your tiles, but it can also be used to take the shine off and create a more matte look.

6. Use an Acetone Wipe-Off

This is another good option, but it’s only practical if you’re working on a very small area because of the chemical odor and possible hazardous fumes.

7. Use Muriatic Acid

At the other extreme, you could use muriatic acid instead of sandpaper. This would be great for removing paint or rust or for creating unusual artistic effects on your tile.

No matter which method you use, roughening up the surface of ceramic tiles has many benefits. It’s safer for tiled areas that are wet frequently, like bathroom floors and kitchen counters, because the less slippery surface is much easier to maintain.

The Benefits of Roughing Up Your Ceramic Tile

The Benefits of Roughing Up Your Ceramic Tile

There are several benefits to roughening your ceramic tiles. Here’s a look at some of the most common reasons:

1. Increased Safety

Because the rougher surface is easier to stay on top of, it’s much safer to walk on wet ceramic tile. Also, if you have slippery primer tiles, you risk someone slipping and falling when using your shower or tub.

2. Long-lasting Finish

Even high-quality glazes wear off over time. That’s just the nature of the paint ceramic tile. The glaze on your tiles will eventually scratch and scuff, making them look old and worn.

3. Improved Appearance

If you have shiny tiles, then your stone tile will scratch very easily. This makes them look worn even when they aren’t. Roughening up your ceramic tile won’t make them look new again, but it will make them appear more like the rest of the floor.

4. More Grip for Rugs

The rougher surface also gives more traction to runners and rugs. This helps make sure they don’t slip or slide easily, which can lead to accidents too.

5. Easier Cleaning

Now that you’ve roughened up your tiles, it’s also much easier to clean them for the same reasons above. The less slippery surface is much easier to keep clean.

How to Protect Your Freshly Roughed-Up Ceramic Tile?

How to Protect Your Freshly Roughed-Up Ceramic Tile

After you roughen your ceramic tile, it’s important to know how to protect it from damage caused by moisture and scuffing. There are a few things you can do that will help with this:

1. Sealing your Tiles

If you roughen up the surface of your ceramic tile, then sealing them afterward is very important. This helps create a protective layer, so they aren’t easily scratched or dinged by the soles of your shoes.

2. Using a Non-Skid Area Rug

This is another good way to protect your tiles from being damaged by water and from scuffing as well. It also helps with safety because it adds an additional layer of friction between you and the floor.

3. Adding a Small Amount Of Water As You Clean

If you’re using a mop or broom to clean up your tile floor, then adding a small amount of water is actually good for the tiles. It helps prevent them from drying out and helps protect against damage too.

4. Using Solvents Sparingly

Any harsh chemical can quickly remove the surface of your tiles. If you decide to use something like muriatic acid to rough up your ceramic tile, then make sure you follow it with lacquer or another type of sealant.


Roughening up your ceramic tile can be a great way to protect it from damage and make the surface less slippery. It’s important to seal them afterward, so they don’t scratch or scuff easily, but also using non-skid runners on top of the floor is another good idea. The more roughed up your tiles are, the easier they will be to clean because there is no need for scrubbing.