Marble is a natural material which although hard wearing can easily be ruined by a strong chemical such as acid. In this case my client’s kitchen floor which was laid with black Marble square tiles was etched due to the accidental spill of a corrosive agent and the subsequent attempt to clean it up.
The property was in the historic city of Winchester and as you can image my client was horrified by the state of their Marble floor which was now ruined. Desperate for a solution that didn’t involve the expensive tiles being replaced we were asked to take a look.
After surveying the floor, I recommended resurfacing the stone with a set of diamond encrusted floor burnishing pads which would remove the etching and hone the stone back to its original appearance.
Happy to discover there was a solution to the problem we were given instructions to go ahead with the restoration.
Honing Acid Etched Marble Floor Tiles
Our first task was to remove the kickboards from underneath the kitchen units, this ensures they are not scratched during the cleaning process and it also allows our buffer machine to get right to the edge of the floor.
I then started the burnishing process by applying a 400-grit coarse burnishing pad lubricated with a little water to the floor. This coarse pad will remove the etching and dirt from the Marble. It does generate a fine slurry on the floor so after each pad it’s best to rinse the slurry away with water and then extract it off the floor using a wet vacuum.
Following this, I worked my way through the remaining burnishing pads repeating the process with 800-grit medium and 1500-grit fine grit burnishing pads. I also used some small hand-held burnishing blocks in the difficult to reach corners and edges.
The floor pads struggle to reach into the recesses of the grout lines so halfway through the burnishing process I stopped to apply a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean along the grout lines and give them a scrub with stiff hand brushes repeating the process in stubborn areas.
After a final rinse the floor was left to dry off overnight.
Sealing Black Marble Floor Tiles
The next day I finished the polishing process by applying the last of the four pads in the set which is a very fine 3000-grit pad which refines the polish even further. This last pad is applied dry with only a little water sprayed onto the floor using a technique we call a ‘Spray Burnish”. The one of the advantages of this method is it leaves the floor dry so is ready for sealing.
Now that the appearance of the Marble had been restored it was time to protect the stone against future dirt, stains and damage by applying a sealer. On this occasion I chose Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a colour enhancing product that really improves the depth of the black Marble tiles and increases the contrast with the white veins in the stone. Two coats of Colour Grow were applied allowing time for each coat to dry in-between coats. Once the sealant had hardened, I ran over the floor with a white buffing pad to further enhance the look of the Marble floor.
The Marble tile and grout was completely transformed much to the relief of the owner.