5 Ways to Make Stone Floors Shine
The first question we need to ask when talking about making your customers stone floors shine is "why does stone shine?"
When light hits uneven stone, it scatters. But if the stone is even, the light bounces off the surface and that makes it shine. Think of it this way -- imagine yourself on a boat on rough waters (uneven stone). If you look over the side of the boat you can't see your reflection, right? But if you look over the side of the boat with calm water (even stone), then you can see your reflection. Why? Because the light is bouncing off the water the same way it bounces off an even stone floor.
So how do you make stone floors shine?
The best way to keep stone floors shiny is to maintain them regularly by dust mopping (non-treated rayon), vacuuming (no beater bar) and damp or wet mopping (use neutral pH floor cleaner) to keep dirt and grit off the floor.
Diamond Floor Pads
Diamonds are a cleaning technician's best friend! Diamond floor pads are simply traditional floor pads but have a coating of microscopic diamonds on one side. These pads can be used to clean and polish stone flooring on a regular basis. The diamond is the hardest natural substance on earth. This is how diamond pads can delicately polish the top of the stone surface rather than grind or sand the surface, which can cause significant damage.
Stone Floor ‘Shining' Techniques
- Add a coating or finish - Although coatings or finishes add gloss to stone floors, this is not a recommended way to add shine to granite or marble floors. Natural stone needs to breathe, and adding coatings or finishes blocks the floor from breathing. Travertine or Terazzo floors are better suited to adding a coating or finish.
- Polishing - Polishing stone floors using diamond pads on your slow speed floor machine will add a highly reflective gloss to stone floors.
- Honing - Honing is a more aggressive procedure that smoothes the stone by using a more abrasive diamond disk that grinds imperfections on the floor surface.
- Grinding - Grinding is the most aggressive way to add shine to stone floors. This procedure will take care of lippage (uneven tiles). Grinding should only be done by experienced stone floor technicians.
- Crystallization - Crystallization is a chemical polishing process that is used in heavy traffic areas. In this situation you would use a crystallizer polish to add shine to the floor.
What to AVOID when it comes to stone floor care
- Avoid using cleaners containing acids on marble, onyx, travertine, or limestone. The cleaners used to clean grout, bathrooms, or tube/tile usually contain harmful acids that can damage the stone floor
- Avoid vinegar, bleach or lemon juice
- Avoid abrasive cleaners or ammonia based products
High end stone natural surfaces are expensive and require safe and efficient cleaning methods for polishing. Understanding your customers' stone floor cleaning requirements and proper maintenance will help preserve its natural beauty and achieve a high gloss for years to come.
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Steve Hanson helps owners of commercial cleaning companies build a more profitable and successful cleaning business through his online community at TheJanitorialStore.com. For more tips on owning a profitable cleaning business, watch the popular Web TV show CleaningBiz.tv and sign up for the newsletter, Trash Talk.
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Stone Floor Care: Packet
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