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We received a call from a homeowner who asked us to come take a look at a possible and hopeful marble floor restoration in Santa Barbara that had extensive water damage due to a flood. The question to be decided was either to rip out and replace the marble tile or find out if there was hope to restore it if it had not been structurally damaged (ie thin set/bond issues with sub flooring). Upon inspection, we noted some grout issues and small cracking, along with the expected mildew and chipping, but we believed this was a floor which still had its structural integrity and was a good candidate for stone restoration as opposed to replacement. Namely this was because there was no apparent sub floor issues or tile bonding issues (loose tiles) and the flooring was structurally sound. If I only had a camera on me to capture the clients relief at our findings given that restorative work represents a major cost savings!

The Marble Restoration Process

Take a look at the before and after (left and right) stone restoration photos above. On the left, we removed the ramboard and protective paper revealing the condition of the floor prior to our restorative work representing extensive darkening due to water and particulate absorption and staining. What is not evident in the photo documentation is the loose or missing grout, minor chipping and micro cracking, all of which would be readily addressed through the marble restoration process. Notice, too, the lack of reflectivity from the lights on the left as compared to the overhead light reflection on the floor on the right.

Overall continuity of surface luster is a customizable option in natural stone polishing, and in this case the homeowner wanted it polished but not overly polished.  You will also notice the lighter appearance of the marble floor on the right allowing for the natural colors and “veins” of the marble tile to be far more eye popping. Our process involves diamond abrasion technology in sequence and literally only a spray bottle of water. This allows for the cleaning of the marble tile’s surface while reducing the pore size of the surface of the tile allowing for increased reflectivity:  marble polishing. Post polishing of the marble floor we applied Dry Treat Stain proof sealer at or in excess of the recommended application rates for this type of stone and a warranty was issued to the homeowner for 15 years specific to water and oil repellency. All grout issues were addressed and any chipping or pits or cracks were color matched and resin filled to match the surrounding marble tile color so it blended.

The Overall Marble Floor Polishing Results

Overall results: a completely satisfied homeowner who saved a lot of money. It’s also relevant to mention, that had the structural integrity of the tile and floor been in question at all, we would have recommended a tile installation professional without reservations.

For more about natural stone care and restoration, marble polishing service and much more, please visit our other blogs, see our website or call and ask for Skip!

Santa Barbara Stone Masters

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