All About and How To Marble Floor Polishing

marble floor cleaning and polishingWhat is marble

Marble Floor Polishing is the process of sanding the marble surface with diamond abrasives starting with very coarse grit, then to a medium and finer grit until the desired polish is obtained.

In order to properly polish marble floors, first we need to understand what is marble, what can harm it, the extent of the damage, installation, tools, equipment, and materials used in the marble floor polishing process.

Marble is a naturally occurring rock that started as a sedimentary limestone in lake beds or riverbeds and then exposed to extreme heat and pressure as it moves deep into the earth causing the minerals in the rock to crystalize.

At first glance, marble looks just like any other stone as it is quarried.  Marble is extracted from the earth in large blocks of rock and then cut into slabs for countertop or further cut to be used as floor or wall tiles.

Causes of Marble Damage

One of the most important aspects of marble to keep in mind is that it is calcite, this means that marble is composed mostly of calcium making it very sensitive to acidic products or chemicals.

Everyday home cleaning products and food products can cause severe damage to polish or unpolished marble.  Chemical such as general purposed cleaners and vinegar are examples of harmful products.  When in contact with marble, the acid causes the calcium to react and fizz leaving a dull grayish spot.

These spots are called etching and can only be repaired by sanding it with diamond abrasives and polishing.

Anyone that owns marble would probably agree that knowing what to use for cleaning marble and how to keep their marble clean can be challenging.  Using the wrong products can harm the marble surfaces.

A second aspect is that marble is very soft and prone to scratching.  Everyday traffic, dragging heavy items on it or unprotected chair and table legs can cause severe damage.

In addition, marble is very porous, and it stains easily.  It is recommended to properly seal marble often or as needed.

Knowing that marble is sensitive to acid, porous and soft, we can expect damage such as etching, staining, dullness and wear to occur to a marble floor.

Determine the Extent of Marble Damage.

The three most common types of damage on a marble floor are scratches of dullness, etching, and staining.

  • Scratches are caused by sand trapped in shoes and dragging heavy items on marble.
  • Etching is caused by acidic spills such as vinegar, soda, wine, and general purposed cleaners.
  • Staining is caused by coloring spills such as coffee, ink, or any product that can penetrate and unsealed marble floor.

Installation plays an important role in the condition of the marble floor. Since marble is usually tiled with very tight grout lines a certain amount of lippage is expected.  Lippage is the vertical difference between adjacent marble tiles.  In short, when some tiles are higher than the others.

Depending on the extent of damage on the marble floor and amount of lippage, will dictate the proper course of action, tools, and equipment for restoring or properly polishing the marble floor.

Tools, Equipment, and Materials for Polishing Marble Floors

Having the right tools and equipment along the know-how is an essential part of the marble floor polishing.  Tools needed For Polishing Marble Floors are:

Marble Floor Polishing Machine

Two important specifications to keep in mind when selecting a floor buffer for polishing marble floors are:

  • Speed – For the small commercial or residential project a swing type floor buffer with a speed of 175 rpms will do. For larger areas, a heavier machine will perform better.
  • Horse Power – Most swing type floor polishing machines are equipped with a 1.5 hp motor. For larger jobs and faster performance, 2 to 5 hp is preferred.

Wet Vacuum

A strong wet vacuum is a must-have when polishing marble floors.  They are used to vacuum the excess water and stone residue produced when grinding and honing the marble surfaces

Other Tools

such as floor squeegee, mops, and towels are also needed to complete the marble floor restoration project.

Materials and Supplies

Diamond Polishing Pads

Marble Floor Diamond Polishing Pads are indispensable in the marble floor polishing project.  Selecting the right polishing pads is just as important.  Diamond pads are available in several grits.  The low grits are used for grinding, medium for honing and fine grit for polishing.

Polishing Powder

The fine grit marble polishing pads can provide a very nice finish, but with the use of marble polishing powder, the results are a deep and beautiful natural final shine that will last forever.

Polishing marble floors the right way is not easy and requires skill and experience.  It is not a project that a homeowner untrained building maintenance crew can handle or attempt.  The equipment, materials and supplies are expensive.

It is best to seek the expertise of an experienced marble polishing company.  The have the knowhow, experience, proper tools and equipment to effectively return your marble floors to their original glory.

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