HomeownerEducational: A-M

Marble Polishing & Restoration

Marble Polishing & Restoration

Common Uses for Marble

Marble is a beautiful, highly prized stone that has remained a sought-
after building material for centuries. This stone comes in a wide variety of colors, from classic white to gray, black, and even green, depending on where in the world it is mined.

Used for flooring, walls, architectural elements, countertops, tabletops, and backsplashes, marble makes an elegant statement in almost every area of the home. Compared to other popular stones, however, marble is quite soft and is more prone to stains and scratches.

The hardness of stones and minerals is indicated using the Mohs scale, which rates a stone’s hardness on a scale of 1 to 10. A stone with a Mohs rating of 1 is very soft; marble is rated between a 3 and 5.

In comparison, granite typically rates an 8 or 9 on the Mohs scale.

Marble Polishing

A newly installed marble countertop or floor will shine and reflect light beautifully. After years of use, however, marble is likely to lose its luster. Dull marble can be caused by dirt buildup, but the real damage is done by abrasive and acidic cleaners and other solutions that etch, or eat away at, the stone’s surface.

Fortunately, stone is a forgiving material, and even the cloudiest, dullest marble surfaces can be polished to a shine by a professional. Stone polishing experts use special polishing powders, pads, and industrial equipment to achieve a mirror-like finish.

Once polished, marble resists stains, but spills should be cleaned up promptly to avoid further damage.

Marble Restoration

Light etching and dullness is to be expected over the years when you have marble floors or countertops, but if your marble is very old or has been severely stained or damaged, it will likely need restoration work.

Stain removal is the first step in marble restoration. Your stone technician will use a pH-neutral solution to fix discolored areas.

Stone repair may be necessary if the marble is cracked or otherwise damaged. If the surface is made of marble tiles, your technician will most likely need to remove the grout from the damaged section to repair or replace the tiles.

After the repair is complete, your technician will hone the marble surface. Honing doesn’t create a shiny finish, but it does even the marble’s surface and remove any rough areas.

After honing the marble, your stone technician will polish it to a shine using polishing powders and a large rotary buffing machine.

Finally, the surface should be sealed to prevent future damage to the marble. Most stone experts recommend resealing marble on an annual basis.