Believe it or not, natural stones are relatively soft stones. Over time, the surface of these stones on floors can become scratched and abraded from foot traffic causing it to lose its original shine. The scratches on the surface of the stones also cause light rays to refract in all directions adding to the dull appearance of the floor. Countertops become dirty, scratched and sometimes etched due to spills that have a high acid content. Walls and showers also become dirty, build up hard water stains and soap scum, and collect pollutants within the air. All of these issues are correctible through professional restoration services.
The level of service your natural stone will require depends greatly on the type of stone you have and condition of that stone. Our approach is a very traditional one that includes the use of diamond infused pads and discs. Since a diamond is the hardest stone known to man, we use these pads and discs to remove a microscopic surface layer of the stone to get out any scratches. Natural stone tile is different than manmade tile in that it is the same exact design and composition from the surface of stone to the bottom. That is why scratches can be removed without changing the appearance of the stone.
The diamond discs and pads used are constructed from very small diamond particles that are suspended within the plastic disc or pad. These pads are placed on the bottom of a rotary machine which then moves them across the surface of the stone, removing any scratches. The key to the whole process is choosing the right grit to hone the surface. It is a multistep process starting at a lower grit and ending with a higher one. A grit is a measure of abrasiveness. A 50 grit diamond is a very aggressive grit, whereas 1500 grit is very fine. The depth of the scratches on the surface of the stone will determine the appropriate grit with which we need to start the restoration process and where we need to finish.
Some stones will not require a diamond honing at all. They may simply require a polishing compound. We find it is best to have one of our experts speak with you first about your flooring and even do a site visit to formulate a better idea of the best approach for your project. If your natural stone does require some level of diamond honing, the final step will be applying a polishing compound. This will give you that deep shine and almost “wet look” appearance to your stone. Different levels of sheen can be achieved based on your desired look and the type of stone you have. For example, a marble can have a very high gloss and a travertine a matte finish.