How is Marble Polished?
Polishing is an important part of caring for marble surfaces. How often this is necessary is dependent on how much a surface is used. A heavy traffic area of marble flooring will need a refresher much more often than a countertop in a little used bathroom.
Clean Marble Surfaces First
Before any restoration or polishing can be attempted on marble, it should be cleaned and inspected for deep scratches or any other damage. Floors can be expected to be much dirtier than countertops are, so cleaning is a very large part of the polishing process. Cleaning is not a difficult job when it is done with enough regularity to keep heavy buildup off the marble.
Neutral cleaners are best for all natural stone surfaces and do not damage the polish or dull the surface. Wax buildup will take away from the luster of the marble’s shine, as will soaps. Thoroughly cleaning and buffing marble will keep it looking good for a long time.
During cleaning, it will be obvious what the condition of the marble is. A visual inspection may reveal the stone to be in need of attention.
Removing Scratches from Marble and Polishing
No matter how well marble is maintained, there comes a time when it needs a refresher. It is always best to use a professional for resurfacing and bringing back the beauty of floors, countertops, and other marble surfaces because marble polishing takes special equipment and expertise.
In many cases, refinishing and polishing returns a better floor or countertop than was installed originally. For instance, if the installer allowed the corners to be mismatched so that some were higher than others (lippage), grinding and polishing can feather those corners to match exactly.
Generally, marble must be refinished because of small scratches that have slowly worn away the shine. Floors especially have this problem because of grit from foot traffic. In some cases, heavy items pulled across the floor will dig deep grooves into the natural stone.
The professional refinisher uses diamond abrasive grinders to restore the surfaces to one uniform level and prepare them for polishing. The amount of damage that the surface has suffered determines the extent of the grinding. After grinding the surface to remove scratches, honing buffs the surface smoother and prepares it for the final polishing.
Materials to Add Shine to Marble
The professional has natural finishes to apply that restore the shine marble had originally. Using the correct products for the polishing is critical to the longevity of the finish and the marble itself. Some contractors use a crystallizing agent that looks fine at the start, but eats away at the marble over time. This is one of the primary reasons to have a trained professional polish your marble floors and other natural stone surfaces.
Some acrylic finishes may be safe to apply to a marble floor after it is polished, and these may help to maintain the shine longer and keep some of the scratches from reoccurring, but any such materials should be approved by the contractor who refinishes the marble.
Polishing marble makes it look great and brings out its natural beauty and shine. Deep scratches and areas where the finish has become dull require a professional to restore and polish them to the same look they had when they were new.