How to buff tile floors

Updated April 17, 2017

Tile floors in schools or hospitals lose their shine over time as they get overwhelmed with foot traffic and scuff marks. Use a floor buffer to restore the gloss with efficiency and ease.

Clear pathways by removing items cluttering the floor such as mats, boxes, chairs or trashcans.

Sweep the floor, clean with a vacuum, then mop it down using a neutral pH floor cleaner mixed with cool or cold water.

Choose a pad for the buffer. Buffing pads are colour coated, transitioning from light to dark and fine to coarse. Therefore, dark-coloured pads are coarser than light-coloured ones, so select a fine-grade pad such as white.

Spray cleaning solution in front of the buffing areas. Spray a section at a time to prevent the solution from drying out before buffing. Do not spray onto baseboards.

Buff the floor moving back and forth with the buffer rather than side to side. Move over the same area at least twice.

Remove the pad from the buffer and clean for future use.

Clean the floor as dust may have settled after buffing. Vacuum or sweep once again.


Do not aggressively buff tile floors as the protective coating can be damaged.

Things You'll Need

  • Vacuum or broom
  • Mop
  • Water
  • Neutral pH cleaner
  • Fine-coarse buff pad (white)
  • Floor buffer
  • Spray cleaner solution
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About the Author

Nikki Cash graduated from UCLA with a bachelor's in film/TV, where she won an MPAA Scholarship. Since graduating, she has written and produced an independent feature film starting her career as a writer in 2005. Cash enjoys writing eHow articles with topics ranging from home improvement to crafts.