What is Natural Stone Restoration?
Restoration of stone is the restoring of worn stone to the state in which it was installed. It may also entail the altering of the stones surface to match the desired finish of the installation’s owner or management. In some cases, an owner may desire a polished surface to be honed or visa-versa.
Restoration is a process that can only be done by a professional stone restoration company. Travertine cleaning, marble polishing and granite cleaning done by unreputable companies will often do more harm than good when it comes to restoring your natural stone. The investment of knowledge, equipment, and experience needed to understand and work with granite, travertine, terrazzo and marble is greater than what your average janitorial company can afford to pay for qualified technicians to stay with the company.
A qualified stone restoration technician will, on the other hand, be too busy to do routine maintenance work which pays much less than they can make working with stone. It is like asking a Ferrari mechanic to fix bicycles for the same wages.
Looking at it from reverse, would a bicycle shop owner pay to keep a Ferrari mechanic on duty until a customer with a Ferrari came in? Only a Ferrari dealer (or specialist) is going to be able to warrant keeping a technician with the specialized knowledge, tools, and equipment on the payroll as customers will be more regular and make the investment worthwhile.
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What is Involved?
Restoration of polished marble or natural stone involves the removal of scratches and/or damage from the surface of the stone by means of mechanical abrasion. This is also known as diamond grinding.
Natural stone reflects light and does not need a topical coating or wax to achieve this desired finish. It only needs a series of diamond grits used in the proper order by a master technician who is experienced in their use. This followed by a careful polishing technique that can only be learned from experience.
Restoration of a honed finish involves using a series of diamond abrasives up until the desired finish is achieved.
A flamed finish can be restored using the same technique used in the processing of the tile or slab. This is a controlled burning of the stone so that the crystals “pop” creating the unique finish.
As you can see, the restoration of each separate stone surface will involve several different methods and techniques.
A restoration professional will also take care to protect the surrounding surfaces from damage. The diamond grinding technique involves large amounts of water and this could be damaging to wood and carpet if measures were not properly taken to ensure the water’s use was kept to a minimum and protection against splatter used. The flaming technique obviously entails using a large open flame tool. One would want to ensure that flammable materials were not around and that ventilation was adequate.
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How is the Job Charged?
Stone restoration jobs are usually quoted by the job. Square footage pricing is not practical. Each type of stone will present its own unique challenges as will the consumer’s desired result for each surface. Many aspects need to be taken into consideration, such as where in the building the stone to be restored is located, water and electricity supplies available, etc. Regardless of the cost, it is always less than the price of replacement and most times you will have an installation that looks as good as, if not better than new.
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How long does it take?
Each type of stone and the desired finish for each as well as the size of the job will set the pace for the length of time needed to complete a project. If you are looking to restore over 300 sq ft of any stone, chances are you are looking at more than one day realistically. More can be done in one day, but not with the proper set-up and protection of other surfaces.
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What can I expect?
You can expect to have your stone looking like new again and will be given the proper maintenance instructions for long term care. Scratches, etch marks and wear can be removed. Also advice on how to avoid any future need for restoration for a considerable length of time.
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What is required to schedule service and how soon can I expect service?
Generally, your stone restoration professional will ask for a minimum charge deposit. Without a commitment (deposit), customers may decide to change days or not show up for appointments. Lost days of work cost professional restoration companies too much money to schedule work without deposits. Generally, your scheduled service date will be within 2 weeks. Often, however, the greater the need, the sooner technicians can be scheduled.
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