Asked on Nov 09, 2019

How can I lighten ceramic floor tiles?

My kitchen floor ceramic tiles are dark and darken the whole room. I dont feel like taking them off and I wonder if there quick and non invasive way to lighten up my floor.

I used to love the color but now its darkness drives me crazy.

  9 answers
  • Kelli L. Milligan Kelli L. Milligan on Nov 09, 2019
    I gave those same tiles. I finally for on my hands and knees and scrubbed them with soft scrub. Rinsed thoroughly and sealed them once again with tile grout sealer. I was amazed how much lighter they they became. Didnt realize how dirty they actually were. Don't paint. It will wear off and look awful.
  • Mogie Mogie on Nov 09, 2019

    Be sure to use primer first. At least 2 coats of paint and to keep it from peeling and several coats of water based poly of that to protect the paint job.

  • Morgan McBride Morgan McBride on Nov 09, 2019

    You could paint them! Rustoleum sells a tile painting kit.

  • Dee Dee on Nov 09, 2019

    Do NOT paint, especially in Kitchen or bathrooms. High traffic areas will peel off and look awful. You could try Clorex Outdoors. It is very strong so make sure there is plenty of air circulation. Or got to an auto store and get engine cleaner/degreaser.

  • Debi53 Debi53 on Nov 10, 2019

    I have painted just about any surface you can think of, but I would not paint these tiles. It will not hold up and you will have an ugly mess on your hands. I agree with others who have said to clean them. I truly believe that your floor is not the problem creating darkness, but possibly your paint, cabinet, or countertop color. Painting your walls and cabinets a light (even white) color can transform a space. You can also put down runners over the tile, but they will get dirty quickly.

  • William William on Nov 10, 2019

    Painting is the only option without replacing.

  • KB KB on Feb 17, 2020

    Do not paint them. No matter how many people tell you this is a good idea, high traffic areas will always end up peeling... especially wet areas like kitchen and bath. I cleaned my foyer entrance tiles and was astounded at the change of color. It went from a Grayish tan to cream! I’ll try to look for my Before and After pics. I tried a number of products but the one that made the biggest difference was clingy bleach toilet cleaner. Sounds crazy, but it stays in place which is the key to getting ALL the grime up. You will need to make sure you ventilate extremely well or the bleach smell will over-power you. You may want to wait for a season when you can open windows and doors and run a few fans to direct the fumes out. You will also want to work in sections so the bleach doesn’t dry. Buy a good tile brush with plastic bristles and a long handle. Doing it all on your hands and knees will kill your knees and back... though you will still probably need to do any especially dirty sections on all fours.

    My process:

    1) Squeeze the gel toilet cleaner into the grout lines so it covers the grout.

    2) Leave it to soak for about 15 minutes.

    3) Fill a bucket with water. Dip your tile brush into the water and shake off any extra drips. You really just need enough water to barely wet the gel and scrub the cleaner around to coat the rest of the tile. Be aware of any floor molding and baseboards. You don’t want to get them wet since it will damage them. Wipe away any moisture on them as you work.

    4) Leave it for 20min to soak again.

    5) At 20min, rinse/wipe one tile completely clean with a wet rag. Let it dry completely. Compare to tiles you haven’t cleaned yet. If it isn’t completely clean, you may need to leave the gel cleaner on longer.

    I have now used this process in our foyer and a bathroom and it looks like I replaced the tile completely! Good luck! The areas I cleaned have been small. A kitchen will take a long time. It may take a full day... or 2 depending on the size of your kitchen. So plan accordingly and do not forget to have REALLY good airflow. I can’t stress this enough for your own safety.

  • Chloe Crabtree Chloe Crabtree on Sep 02, 2022

    This is a wonderful tutorial showing you how to paint your tile floor: