Tile Polishing Tools

Written by duane craig
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Tile Polishing Tools
Polished tiles have great reflectivity. (ceramic tile image by Karin Lau from Fotolia.com)

You can polish tiles of various materials to bring back the lustre after they have been cut or damaged. Powered, tile polishing tools consist of a motor-driven tool like an angle grinder, and disks or pads coated with diamond or silicon carbide abrasives. There are also polishing tools that can be used by hand for small spots or to bring out a very fine finish.

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Wet Stone Grinder

These angle grinders are set up to grind or polish using water. They have built-in ground fault circuit protection for operator safety. Single speed models operate at 3700 RPMs and weigh in at about four pounds. Heavy duty versions of these tools come with multiple speeds. They have more powerful motors so they achieve a more consistent RPM speed. These tools also have built-in ground fault circuit interrupter protection.

Angle Grinder Water Attachment

When polishing tiles, you often want to use water to keep surface temperatures lower and to minimise dust. A water attachment converts a standard angle grinder to a tool that delivers water to the polishing surface. These attachments move water to the centre of the bit or wheel.

Diamond Polishing Pads

You can buy these pads in sets that go from 50 grit to 3000 grit. You can also buy individual pads. These fit standard grinders and work with water or without. You can polish tiles of granite, marble, terrazzo, travertine, ceramic and composites.

Buffing Pads

You use these pads as the final step in polishing. They are 10,000 grit. Use a black pad for darker toned tiles and a white one for lighter tiles.

Dry Polishing Disks

Many of these disks, called PVA disks, are made with a silicone carbide abrasive. They are primarily used for marble and glass tiles. Water is not required and you can buy these to fit any standard grinder. A complete set consists of 10 disks ranging from extra course to extra fine. You can also buy individual disks.

Surface Polishing Wheels

You use these disks as the final step in polishing with PVA disks. The black disk is for dark coloured tiles, while the white disk is for lighter coloured tiles.

Diamond Hand Pads

These pads are for quick polishing touch-ups on glass, ceramics and stone tile. They are available in an assortment of grits. You can get these hand polishing pads electroplated or resin bonded. These terms refer to the way the diamond material is attached to the pads. Resin bonds are widely used on both wet and dry diamond tools. Electroplating is used where more accuracy is desired in the coating process. Electroplated tools cut cooler in both wet and dry use.


Sandpaper disks fit angle grinders and come in an assortment of grits. They are waterproof. The cutting material is silicon carbide abrasive.

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