From the Floor Up

3 Low-Fuss Polished Kitchen Tile Ideas

Posted by Daltile Team on Mar 20, 2015 6:00:00 AM

Granite in Tropical Brown

High-gloss finishes make for a sleek, modern kitchen that screams luxury. The polished look gives the impression of high-maintenance and elegance. But that doesn’t have to mean you spend hours taking care of your polished kitchen. Get the look without having to put in the time.

Here are some low-maintenance ways to enjoy the gloss without the fuss.

Natural Stone

Granite in Absolute Black and Travertine in Mediterranean Ivory

There is no match for the polish of natural stone. It can hold its brand-new shine for much longer than other surfaces. Some natural stone tiles are more scratch resistant than ceramic or porcelain.


Granite is one of the toughest natural stones available. It stands up to daily use with grace and can even withstand occasional accidents. It has been the top choice for kitchen countertops for several years and continues to hold a place in the top 5 natural stones for kitchens.

Caring for granite is pretty straightforward. Simply seal it annually; clean up spills quickly; and protect it from trauma, heat and abrasives and it will look like new for decades.


Marble is a classic that bleeds luxury. It comes in several finishes, but polished marble is the perennial favorite. Use of marble in the kitchen has expanded recently to include far more than the 12 x 12 Carrara white tile. Different colors and tile shapes are emerging as a popular choice. Marble subway tile is on-trend in the kitchen these days in the classic 3 x 6 size.

Marble subway tile is very sensitive to acidic spills and scratches easily. It requires much more care than granite, but is unmatched for its polished look if you are willing to spend a little more time with it.


Limestone has a polished look by nature. Its lack of crystal structure smoothes out the graininess that’s present in other stones. Limestone is available (as are other natural stones) in unique shapes that bring the shine but also offer something different for your kitchen design.

Follow the same maintenance procedures for limestone as for other natural stones. Be aware that limestone is particularly susceptible to water staining and you should clean up spills immediately and dry thoroughly after cleaning to avoid stains.



Elemental Glass in Rootbeer Float 3/4 x 3/4 mosaic

Glass is a highly reflective surface and while it doesn’t have that mirror polish to it, it can have a similar effect with the right finish. Caring for glass tile is about as simple as it gets. Use a mild soap or vinegar solution to remove tough dirt or grease. You can even use a soft bristle brush. The only threat to your highly-reflective glass tiles is water spots. Dry thoroughly with a soft cloth to get the shine back.


Your classic glazed mosaic doesn’t dull over time and often is tougher than natural stone or ceramic. It is prone to breakage, which is why it’s not recommended for floors. But it can make your kitchen walls or backsplash sparkle.


Some glass tiles are finished with an iridescent coat that not only reflects light, but adds a little color to the shine. It attracts the attention you want from your highly-polished kitchen.



Urban Metals™ Bronze 1 x 2 brick-joint mosaic, trimmed in 3/4 x 12 Ellipse wall liner in Bronze. Tumbled Travertine in Baja Cream 6 x 6 field tile and Bronze 4-1/4 x 4-1/4 field tile complete the backsplash.

Metals have a polish of a different brand. Metallics add richness to your kitchen but still allow you to enjoy high-gloss look. Metal can be so reflective that it quickly becomes overwhelming. Here are a few kitchen tile ideas that introduce the sheen of metal without becoming overpowering.

Most metallic tiles are ceramic tiles made to look like metal. Use a mild, non-abrasive cleanser and dry it well. For medallions you may want to use a soft-bristled brush to get the grime out of the nooks and crannies. Sealing can protect special finishes from scratching and dulling.

Brushed Metal

Even a brushed-type finish reflects light and gives you the polished look without overdoing it. Lighter metals like stainless-steel offer more of the polished look than darker metals like gunmetal. Brushed metal also gives your kitchen a more aged sensibility without sacrificing the shine.


Highly-polished look tiles add the polish in small amounts when you use them as an accent instead of a main feature. Try a tile chair rail, liner, or medallion to add some shine to your design. Your accents become points of interest in your space so you get the drama you’re looking for.


Many metallic tiles have granules of highly-reflective material on their surfaces. This gives you the shine of metal without blinding anyone. Opt for a tile that has the glittery effect for a high-polish look.


The polished look doesn’t have to mean worrying over your kitchen tile day and night. Get the shine without the trouble at Daltile.

Topics: Remodel, Redesign, Kitchen Tile Ideas, Mosaic, Trends

Imagine What's Possible
Get Inspired

Daltile doesn't just manufacture quality ceramic, porcelain and natural stone products for everything from the floor up. We put a lot of effort into providing materials that meet--even anticipate--your design expectations. 

Join us as we explore the world of design, style, and trends.Gather ideas for your new home or remodel and get advice from the experts.

Architects, builders, designers and contractors can benefit as well from our occasional industry feature.

Turn to the experts for tile success no matter the application.

Subscribe to Email Updates

Recent Posts