How to Restain Roman Tile

What You'll Need
An unglazed Roman tile area, floor or wall
Grout stain marker
Concrete or tile stain
Floor polish
Tile sealer
Tile stripper
Mop
Blue painter's tape
Rag

Roman tile is a beautiful addition to any floor or wall. The rich colors and mosaic detail add a special style and class to any room. However, due to the fact that much of this type of tile is not glazed with a sealer, after a time the tiles will begin to appear worn and dingy. When this happens you have two options, replace the tile, which is highly expensive and time consuming, or restain the surface, refurbishing and recoloring the original tile, a much more cost effective solution which you can often do yourself.

Step 1 - Assess your Floor

Decide whether your tile is made of a porous material or not. If it is not a porous material you will not be able to stain the tiles. For example, terra cotta tiles are porous and can be stained.

Step 2 - Sweep and Mop the Floor

You will need a clean surface to work on. Sweep the floor and mop it well before you move on to stripping the sealer off.

Step 3 - Strip the Floor

design in center of tile flooring

While the floor is unglazed it is not unsealed. You will have to use the tile stripper agent to strip the sealer off the floor, otherwise the stain will not work.

Step 4 - Mop the Floor, Again

You need to mop again to remove all of the stripping agent.

Step 5 - Prepare the Floor for Staining

After stripping the floor it is ready to stain. It is important to note that at this point you need to guard against dropping anything on the floor; the tile is not protected from stains. Using the blue painter's tape, seal off the baseboard and any other areas you want to protect from the stain. If you are using multiple stains for a design in the floor do that design at this point, let it dry, and tape it off.

Step 6 - Apply the Stain

grey Roman tile flooring

This is pretty straightforward. Make sure you test an area first, to make sure that this is what you want. Tape off all the grout before you begin this step. Don't stain the grout. If you do, though, you can use a grout pen to fix the mistake.

Step 7 - Stain the Grout

Tape off your newly stained tiles and re-stain the grout whatever color you choose.

Step 8 - Seal the Floor

Use a durable, strong sealer to protect your new floor for a long time. Matte sealers as opposed to glossy or high sheen will work best.

Step 9 - Polish

Now polish the floor with four or five coats of a good quality floor polish.

Step 10 - Keep it clean

Clean the floor with a microfiber mop often, using a solution of white vinegar and water.


Roman tile is a beautiful addition to any floor or wall. The rich colors and mosaic detail add a special style and class to any room. However, due to the fact that much of this type of tile is not glazed with a sealer, after a time the tiles will begin to appear worn and dingy. When this happens you have two options, replace the tile, which is highly expensive and time consuming, or restain the surface, refurbishing and recoloring the original tile, a much more cost effective solution which you can often do yourself.

Step 1 - Assess your Floor

Decide whether your tile is made of a porous material or not. If it is not a porous material you will not be able to stain the tiles. For example, terra cotta tiles are porous and can be stained.

Step 2 - Sweep and Mop the Floor

You will need a clean surface to work on. Sweep the floor and mop it well before you move on to stripping the sealer off.

Step 3 - Strip the Floor

While the floor is unglazed it is not unsealed. You will have to use the tile stripper agent to strip the sealer off the floor, otherwise the stain will not work.

Step 4 - Mop the Floor, Again

You need to mop again to remove all of the stripping agent.

Step 5 - Prepare the Floor for Staining

After stripping the floor it is ready to stain. It is important to note that at this point you need to guard against dropping anything on the floor; the tile is not protected from stains. Using the blue painter's tape, seal off the baseboard and any other areas you want to protect from the stain. If you are using multiple stains for a design in the floor do that design at this point, let it dry, and tape it off.

Step 6 - Apply the Stain

This is pretty straightforward. Make sure you test an area first, to make sure that this is what you want. Tape off all the grout before you begin this step. Don't stain the grout. If you do, though, you can use a grout pen to fix the mistake.

Step 7 - Stain the Grout

Tape off your newly stained tiles and re-stain the grout whatever color you choose.

Step 8 - Seal the Floor

Use a durable, strong sealer to protect your new floor for a long time. Matte sealers as opposed to glossy or high sheen will work best.

Step 9 - Polish

Now polish the floor with four or five coats of a good quality floor polish.

Step 10 - Keep it clean

Clean the floor with a microfiber mop often, using a solution of white vinegar and water.