How to Remove Scratches From Cement Tiles

by Drew Henry

Learn How to Remove Scratches and Scuffs from Cement Tiles With Help From the LiLi Tile Team 

Did you scratch your cement tiles? Don’t worry! The occasional scratch or scuff is just a part of life. Whether you dragged a piece of furniture across the room, dropped a glass, or turned the living room into a roller rink (hey, that one sounds fun!), we can help you remove the scratch and get your cement tile looking good as new. Learn how to remove scratches from cement tiles in just a few easy steps with the help of the LiLi Team.  

Why You’re Able to Buff Out Cement Tile Scratches

While cement tiles are incredibly durable, they aren’t impervious to the occasional scratch or scuff. Luckily, you can easily buff out most surface-level cement tile scratches. So, why are you able to remove scratches from cement tile when you can’t fix scratches on painted or glazed tile? Well, it has to do with how cement tiles are made

The unique cement tile manufacturing process was developed in the 1850s and hasn’t changed much since. At LiLi Tile, our cement tiles are handmade by pouring pigmented cement into cookie-cutter-like molds. Unlike painted or glazed tiles, the colored pigment goes through the cement tile rather than just sitting as a thin layer on top. Thanks to this unique construction, you can buff the tile — removing any scratches without affecting the surface appearance. Being able to buff out scratches is just one of the reasons why cement tiles are so easy to maintain.  

10 Easy Steps to Remove Scratches From Your Cement Tile

Let’s get your cement tile looking as good as new. Here are our 10 easy steps to remove scratches and scuffs from cement tile. 

1. Locate the Scratches 

First, take the time to locate every scratch. Scratches are typically easier to see on darker colors. So, if you have a black and white cement tile pattern, it may be harder to see the scratch on the white parts of the tile. Remember to identify every scratch, so you don’t have to redo the job later. 

2. Get a Sandpaper Buffer

Next, you will want to get a sandpaper buffer if you don’t already have one. An electric buffer will not only speed up the job, but it will also deliver better results than sandpapering by hand. 

3. Use 220 Grit Sandpaper

We recommend using 220 grit sandpaper for buffing away scratches from cement tile. The 220 grit is the best option for gently sanding away the scratch without damaging the tile. 

4. Wet the Tile 

Before sanding, make sure to wet the tile. Wetting the tile will prevent dust buildup and act as a lubricant to prevent the sandpaper from getting clogged with cement particles.  

5. Gently Buff Away the Scratch

Gently buff your cement tile until the scratch is no longer visible. Take small breaks to monitor your progress. 

6. Add Water as Necessary 

Depending on how deep your scratch is, you may need to apply more water throughout the wet sanding process to wash away debris and prevent buildup on your sandpaper. 

7. Rinse and Wipe 

Once you’ve buffed out the scratch, rinse the tile with more water and wipe it clean.  

8. Watch the Scratch Disappear

Wa-lah! Watch the cement tile scratch disappear before your eyes. While you’ve removed the scratch, the process is not quite done. Make sure to follow the next two steps to preserve your cement tiles. 

9. Wait for Tiles to Dry 

Cement tiles are porous and can take 24 to 48 hours to completely dry after wet sanding. Give your tiles time to dry before moving on to the final step — resealing.


10. Reseal 

While wet sanding eliminates scratches from your cement tile, it also removes the sealer. You will need to reseal your cement tiles after buffing to protect them from future scratches and spills. We recommend STAIN-PROOF Original sealer, which is suitable for various indoor and outdoor applications in residential and commercial buildings. This sealer will protect your tiles without altering their appearance. 

Watch Us Buff This Scratched Cement Tile

Watch and learn! Watch the LiLi Tile experts buff out a scratch from this cement tile. 


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Keep Your Cement Tiles Looking Beautiful 

We’ve been installing cement tiles in our homes since the 1850s because they are beautiful, durable, and easy to maintain. After all, how many types of flooring can you repair with just some sandpaper and a free afternoon? With the proper maintenance, cement tiles can last for decades. In fact, many of the original 1850s tiles still look just as beautiful as the day they were installed! In addition to buffing out the occasional scratch, reseal your cement tile as necessary and clean regularly with pH-neutral cleansers. With these simple maintenance tips, your cement tiles will look beautiful for years to come! 

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