5 Ways to Make Stone Floors Shine

Steve Hanson
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The first question we need to ask when talking about making 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 is 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. But if you look over the side of the boat with calm water (even stone), then you can see your reflection. That's 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?

  1. 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.

  2. Polishing - Polishing stone floors using diamond pads on your slow speed floor machine will add a highly reflective gloss to stone floors.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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. The best way to keep stone floors shiny is to maintain them regularly by vacuuming and mopping to keep dirt and grit off the floor. This will not only keep you from having to perform more aggressive stone floor services too often, but will save your customers money in the long run.

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