Floor Tiles: Are porcelain tiles glazed?

The majority of porcelain tiles are glazed, unless they are polished porcelain in which case they are not glazed.

How can I tell which other floor tiles are glazed? All ceramic tiles, regardless of whether they have a matt, satin or shiny gloss finish will be glazed and of course non-polished porcelain floor tiles.

Are there any other unglazed floor tiles?  Yes, all floor tiles made from a natural stone will also be unglazed – such as terracotta floor tiles, granite floor tiles, quarry tiles, limestone, basalt, quartz, slate, travertine and marble floor tiles.

Do I need to do anything different if fitting a non glazed floor tile? Any non-glazed floor tiles and natural stone tiles will most likely require sealing after fitting using an impregnator, such as HG Impregnator or the HG Marble Impregnator .

You can do a quick marker pen test to check whether you need to use an impregnator on the tiles.  Simply draw on the floor tile with a marker pen, let it dry and then try and wipe it off.

For a glazed tile the mark will completely wipe off leaving no trace whatsoever, any unglazed tiles will leave a mark below the surface which cannot be removed, these tiles need sealing.

If in doubt, ask your local tile shop – any independent retailer will be able to tell you this information, along with details about aftercare and maintenance of your floor tiles.


About Susan

Joined Creative Tiles and Laminates as Marketing Manager in 2005. Complementing the senior management team containing 30+ years experience of fitting, flooring and customer services.
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3 Responses to Floor Tiles: Are porcelain tiles glazed?

  1. Airy Kitchens says:

    Jeez. It’s been a long time I actually pulled out a piece of printer paper to take notes on a blog post lol. Thanks for this. You’ve earned yourself a new reader!

  2. Trish says:

    I have shiny porcelain tiles on my bathroom floors. How do I know if they are polished or just glazed? I need to know because they are 30 years old and I’m wanting to clean the grout and I’m sure the tiles need sealing after all these years..? HELP!

    • Susan says:

      Hi Trish
      I’d love to be able to tell you but after 30 years…… If the tiles have water stains within them, then they are probably polished porcelain and will need sealing. But if they are a glazed ceramic or glazed porcelain tile they do not. I’d suggest going to your local tile shop and ask to see a glossy ceramic tile and a polished porcelain tile next to each other. If you look at the finish you should be able to compare them to the ones in your home. The glossy glazed tiles looks as if it has a coating on top of the tile and has a less crisp finish to that of a polished porcelain.
      If you have glossy glazed tiles this will make it easier for you to clean the grout without worrying about staining the tiles.

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