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Marble is an iconic stone and it is most popular in its polished form. One of the key services that we provide is marble polishing. We have specialist machinery that can polish marble floors, walls and worktops. When it comes to the finish of any natural stone, there are always options, but for clients that are looking for a highly polished finish here’s an insight into the process involved.

Levelling the floor

Achieving a polished finish is all about enabling light reflection. This means that the surface must be as flat as possible. Often when a tile is laid there will be a small amount of lippage between the tiles. This refers to a slightly uneven height of the tiles either side of the grout line.

Before the stone is installed, each tile is mechanically polished in a factory using industrial machinery. Over time, the floor will dull, may scratch and the polished finish will begin to fade.

In order to re-polish the floor, often the lippage that was present from installation will need to be addressed. For this we would use diamond abrasives that have been bonded to metal. These are the most aggressive abrasives that we use and means that we can grind deeper into the stone to even out the surface.

Polishing the stone

The next stages of marble polishing or restoration are all about resurfacing the stone and bringing back that polished finish. After the metal bonded diamonds have been used, the floor will be left looking rough and dull. For stone that has not required the initial levelling, we might start with the processes below. The first stages will remove any stains, scratches and worn areas of the stone by gently removing the top layer of the stone surface.

For the resurfacing stages we use resin bonded diamonds. These are attached to a planetary drive board attached to the rotary machine with a weight of up to 160kg. The rotation and the pressure created will scratch the floor providing a light abrasion.

The process is all about creating tighter and tighter scratch patterns that reduce the size of the pores and capillaries in the stone, creating a natural shine.

We refer to ‘grit level’ as a measurement of the segments that we are using, starting with 60 and going up to 1500. Grit is a measurement of ‘scratches per square inch’. The more scratches per square inch, the higher the grit level and the higher the shine. Lots of very fine scratches refract light in more detail, much like the way diamonds are cut in jewelry.

The end result

The aim is always to get the closest polish that we can to the factory finish when the stone was first installed. This will always depend on several factors and is something that we will discuss with clients on a case by case basis. We love to transform a marble floor whether it has just been installed or hasn’t been touched for 15 years. For our client in London we transformed a newly laid marble floor to bring a long -lasting shine through the full process described above. The photos here show how the stone changed with each process.

To see the equipment for yourself, check out our YouTube video.

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