1. WHAT CAUSES MARBLE & GRANITE FLOOR BREAKDOWN?
Typical damages from high traffic on marble flooring can cause dulled surfaces with crater-like scratches, or snow-white spots with lines running across the floor. The friction created by foot traffic and dirt will usually wear down the marble surface overtime. The dull look happens when the factory finish has been worn off, leaving bare, unprotected stone, which is extremely vulnerable to further dulling and damage.
Our stone craftsmen are extensively trained, and it typically takes many years for a technician to develop the depth of knowledge to effectively restore a floor and bring back its’ original shine.
2. WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN RESTORING AND CLEANING / POLISHING YOUR FLOORS OR NATURAL STONE SURFACE?
NATURAL STONE CLEANING involves simple wiping, mopping, polishing and possibly Sealing
However - STONE RESTORATION is different as it refers to the process of fixing the damages of your natural stone. The restoration process will usually involve the use of professional or commercial low-speed buffers to remove scratches, stains, flatten uneven surfaces, and use proper solutions in each step to reclaim the original beauty and shine of your marble, travertine, granite, terrazzo, quartz surfaces.
The restoration process is a complex process that requires experience and it involves multiple steps to restore the natural stone to its original beauty and shine.
3. HOW TO ACHIEVE A HIGHLY POLISHED GLOSS?
Step one in achieving a highly polished floor is to make it very smooth and remove scratches and lippage or uneven surface.
With both marble and granite, the only effective means of smoothing the surface is honing. “Honing” is an industry term that refers to abrasively smoothing a surface. For all intents and purposes “honing” a stone floor is synonymous with “sanding” a piece of wood. The honing method involves either stone grinding or machine honing with diamond pads. Diamond pads are circular pads with industrial diamonds attached to the bottom - that enables the honing process to be done more efficiently. The honing process involves the use of different sets of "grits" multiple times until the desired level of smoothness is achieved.
The second step in achieving high quality sheen is to polish the honed finish with an acid (“acid polishing”).
(The typical method is to use oxalic acid with a buffering agent of aluminum oxide. The acid to which is relatively mild, nevertheless serves to) The typical method is to use the PROPER solutions to melt the very top layer of the stone, while the rotary action of the buffing machine smooths the surface. The result is an extremely smooth finish.
((While there are other many ways to polish a natural stone floor, acid polishing is the method of choice for a truly brilliant polish, and it is the most commonly used method in factory applications and by industry professionals))
Step three - After polishing the floor, the residue of the polishing solution used is then thoroughly rinsed and neutralized. A floor polished by an expert stone technician using the general methodology described above will look dramatically superior to its former appearance.
Step 4 – Final step: Vitrification or crystallization for higher gloss and protection.
Except slates and Gabbros (black granites) it is recommended that all stones should be sealed with an impregnating sealer to help delay or impede staining. A silicone-based impregnating sealer fills the pores of the stone and gives you time to wipe up spills.
How is marble formed?
Marble is a metamorphic rock that’s formed when limestone comes in contact with high pressure and intense heat. Under these conditions, the calcite in the limestone recrystallizes into a denser rock. Other minerals present in the limestone impact the color and appearance of the marble. Mineral impurities such as clay, sand, or silt create the veins and swirls characteristic of marble.
Is sealing marble necessary?
Sealing is definitely recommended because marble is a porous material, which means any liquids that come into contact with the surface tend to leech into the body of the stone. This can cause discoloration and staining.
Sealing marble can help make sure that materials remain on the surface of the marble until they are cleaned off. This is the best way to retain marble’s original appearance for as long as possible. As always, talk to a professional and read the labels of the products you plan to use, take necessary safety precautions, test the product first and apply on a smaller area, and follow instructions carefully.
How do you clean marble tile?
Regularly remove dirt, grit, and other materials tracked in from outside. These materials can cause tiny scratches on the surface of marble, which can become more noticeable with time. Clean the surface with a damp cloth, soft broom, or vacuum quite often.
Spills should be cleaned immediately, especially if they’re acidic in nature. Fruit juice, coffee, and red wine are particularly problematic because of their tendency to stain. Even if your marble is sealed, it’s best not to take any chances. Also, don’t clean with bleach, vinegar, or any harsh acidic cleaners as these will degrade the marble’s surface over time.
How do you remove stains from marble?
Stains can be removed from marble by using a procedure called poulticing. This procedure draws the stain up from marble and into another material – a mixture of a reducing agent soaked into a cloth or paper towel is the most basic type of poultice. Depending on the type of stain, you may have to apply a generous amount of poultice, cover it with a clear plastic wrap and tap around the area to allow the poultice to work and to keep the air out. There are many videos on YouTube that are very helpful.
Since the best stain removal methods should always be measured against the type of stain you have, it’s always a good idea to seek advice from an expert if you’re unsure what procedure to use based on the type of material that has stained your marble.
Natural stone care and maintenance
(Marble, Travertine, terrazzo, onyx, quartzite…)
Do not use or pour any type of acid, all cleaners must be PH Neutral.
Do not use abrasive cleaners as dry cleaners
Do not use acidic cleaners such as bath cleaners or ceramic cleaners
Do not mix bleach and ammonia, this combination creates a toxic and lethal gas.
Tip – do not use sealants on black marble