Marble is a very versatile material suitable for floors in bathrooms, foyers, kitchen, hallways, shower walls, counter tops, walls, fireplaces and pretty much anywhere.
However, a good understanding of the stone is a must in order to keep the stone in good shape and colour.
Marble is very sensitive to acidic products such as vinegar, lemon juice, wine, soda, general purpose cleaning products, toothpaste and many more such products.
When marble is exposed to such acidic products, it causes the calcite minerals in the stone to react leaving a dulled light gray spot on the marble surface called etching.
Marble is also very porous. This means that it will absorb liquids during a spill. These liquids can cause the marble to stain making it impossible to clean with normal household cleaning products or methods.
Although marble is a rock, it is very soft compared to granite. It scratches very easily and with everyday use, wear patterns will begin to show in high traffic areas making the marble dull and uninviting.
So, how do we bring the shine back? Well, we need to understand that the polish of the marble is a result of light being reflected back. With this in mind, the marble has to be free of scratches or soiling.
To remove the scratches a series of diamond abrasive grits need to be used along with the right equipment to drive the diamonds.
The normal sequence for restoring a worn marble floor involves grinding the entire surface with very coarse diamond abrasives. The grinding is followed by honing the previous grit with a finer grit and finally, polishing with finer and finer diamond abrasives.
Most floors need the entire process when they are restored for the first time. The reason is that getting a marble installer to install a marble floor perfectly flat is almost impossible. Sometimes, a new marble installation is ground, honed and polished after the installation. This will give the new installation a perfect even flat floor.
Marble floors with light scratches can be repaired by just honing and polishing. This means that the floor will not need to go through the entire process of grinding.
By skipping the grinding process, the owner of the marble floor will save time and money if the restoration job is being done by a stone restoration professional.
After the restoration process is completed, the marble floor should look clean and inviting with a deep glossy natural finish.
It is recommended that the finished floor be protected with a penetrating stone sealer. Sealers, penetrate the stone surface and seal the open pores in the stone surface preventing any liquids from penetrating and staining the stone.