Stone restoration is essentially the polishing of worn stone– marble, travertine, granite, etc. — to its original, glossy state. It may also include the modification of the stone’s surface to match a desired finish according to the installation’s owner or management. In some cases an owner may desire a polished surface to be honed or vice versa.
Restoration is a process that can only be done by a professional cleaning and maintenance company as these companies would have the right chemicals and equipment to carry out this task. Hence, it is not advisable to attempt to restore your marble floors on your own. The investment of knowledge, equipment and experience needed to understand and work with stone properly is much more comprehensive than the average household cleaning.
Without the proper equipment and polishing chemicals, it is likely you’ll end up with unbearable scratches on your precious marble’s surface, which would look extremely worn down and invaluable.
What is involved in stone restoration?
Restoration of polished marble or natural stone involves the removal of scratches and/or damage from the surface of the stone through a process called mechanical abrasion. Which is also known as diamond grinding.
Natural stone reflects light and does not need any coating or wax on top of its surface to achieve the desired finish. Instead, It only needs a series of diamond grits, applied in a correct sequence by a master technician who is experienced in the process of stone restoration including the right techniques to carefully apply the diamond grits which can only be learnt through experience.
Restoration of a honed finish involves using a series of diamond abrasives up until the desired finish is achieved.
A flamed finish can be restored using the same technique used in the processing of the tile or slab. This technique involves a controlled burning process on the stone’s surface so that the crystals “pop” creating the unique finish.
As mentioned above, the restoration of each separate stone surface will involve several different methods and techniques.
A restoration professional will also take precautionary measures to protect the surrounding surfaces from damage. The diamond grinding technique involves large amounts of water and this could be damaging to wood floors and wool carpet if measures were not properly taken to ensure the amount of water used was kept to a minimum and avoiding the water from splattering across the wood surfaces. Whereas, the flaming technique uses a large open flame tool, similar to a blowtorch. One must ensure that flammable materials are not around and that ventilation was adequate.
How is the job charged?
Stone restoration jobs are usually charged by the job. Often, the pricing structure would be dependent on the square footage, the type of stone, and the desired finish by the customer/owner/management . This is because every type of stone presents its own unique challenges as will the consumer’s desired result for each surface. Regardless of the cost, it is always less than the price of replacement and most times you will have an installation that looks as good as, if not better than new.
How long does it take?
This depends on the type of stone, the desired finish, and also the total square footing of the job. Generally speaking, If you are looking to restore over 300 sq ft of any stone, it’s highly likely that you are looking at more than one day realistically. More can be done in one day, but not with the proper set-up and protection of other surfaces.
What can I expect?
You can expect to have your floors looking like new again and to be provided with proper maintenance instructions for long term care. Scratches, etch marks and wear will be removed. You should also ask your service provider for advice on how to avoid any future need for complete restoration.
What is required to schedule service and how soon can I expect service?
Usually, your stone restoration professional will ask for a minimum charge deposit. Without a commitment (deposit), customers often decide to change days or not show up for appointments. Because of these lost days of work, it costs professional cleaning & maintenance companies too much money to reschedule work without deposits. Generally your scheduled service date will be within 2 weeks. Often, however, depending on the urgency and sizing of the area, you may receive earlier services/appointments from your service provider.