Author Topic: Polishing marble floor  (Read 4677 times)

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Offline bellchippy

  • Posts: 173
Polishing marble floor
« on: March 01, 2013, 01:38 AM »
A badly grouted marble floor has been laid where I'm working and was wondering if anyone knows of a way to restore the surface the grout appears to have been absorbed by the marble leaving a dull Matt appearance also it was done with a metal trowel so is full of fine scratches.

Thanks for any ideas

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Offline Tinker

  • Posts: 3717
Re: Polishing marble floor
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2013, 08:13 AM »
I never got into cleaning marble when i was doing masonry.  I would try using water and sponge first. Don't try it out in the middle of the floor, but in a corner. wait until it dries before going further. Whatever you use could be soaked deeper into the stone. That is what you will be watching for in the sample area.

There are a whole lot of new products on the market since I retired.  I cannot advise what to use.  The best you could do is check with a marble/tile supplier.  They know what to use for any specific stone.

Usually, when this question is brought up, there will be some who advise using muriatic acid.  On marble and granite, that can be the worst thing you could use.  The acid will "burn" the stone.  If you have not used acid before, stay away from it inside.  It can do a lot of damage to nasal passages, lungs and eyes.

If the damage is only to the immediate surface, it might work to try a RO 90/125/150 sander with very fine grit.  Again, don't try out in the middle for the trial run.  Again, I never got into cleaning marble, but the RO sanders might work over a small area. Just a guess.
Tinker
Wayne H. Tinker

Offline jacko9

  • Posts: 2380
Re: Polishing marble floor
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2013, 06:20 PM »
I posted a similar question a while back and since my marble was a green/black variety I used my RO90 with Platen2 polishing pads 500 - 4000 grit. 

There are a few experts (like Tinker) on here that will hopefully offer more professional advice.  Good luck,

Jack

Offline Tinker

  • Posts: 3717
Re: Polishing marble floor
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2013, 05:07 PM »
I posted a similar question a while back and since my marble was a green/black variety I used my RO90 with Platen2 polishing pads 500 - 4000 grit. 

There are a few experts (like Tinker) on here that will hopefully offer more professional advice.  Good luck,

Jack

If you want to know what I would do to clean marble, i will tell you what I did when i was called to clean marble OR granite:
I recommended consulting/hiring an expert in cleaning expen$$$$$ive stone.

I never used acid on any of the ,masonry jobs that I had done after my first experience.
(Read my first comment above and you might find a clue)

There were other cleaners on the market that were safer to use AND safer on the masonry.
That was nearly 30 years ago since i was involved.
There are dozens of products on the mrket now that are even better. and probably even safer.
I'm sorry, i don't know what they are.

A problem with marble and granite (or any other masonry materials) is they are very pourous.
much more porous than you might think. Even with polished surface.
Any thing that will leave a stain on the surface will be soaked into the stone like a blotter soaks up ink.

I really can't give any better advice without going into a lot of research.
Sorry about that.
Tinker


Wayne H. Tinker

Offline Tinker

  • Posts: 3717
Re: Polishing marble floor
« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2013, 05:33 PM »
A little story about using muriatic acid on masonry.
i had been invited to dinner at my friends house.  It would be the first time i was to meet his newly married wife and i had hoped to make a good impression.

Since we were planning to do some painting prep on his front porch, i did not go home from work to get all dressed up. 
I had been helping another friend earlier to do an acid wash on a slate terrace he had built.  He had made quite a mess and somebody had given him the advice to use muriatic acid on it.  When I found out, he had already gotten the acid.  I had swung over to help and maybe be sure he did not burn his masonry; more importantly, i did not want him to breath any acid.  I showed him how to dilute and started out the door when he just sloshed a whole bucket out onto the floor.  Luckilly, i had some heavy rubber boots in my truck so i grabbed them and a stiff bristled broom and a bucket brush. I started in with the brush and broom while i told him to get a couple of full pails of water to wash away the acid quickly.  I was working the joints and instead of getting the water, my friend grabbed the broom and started sweeping.  If he had used the broom to sweep as a broom is meant to sweep, all might have been ok.  BUT, he started pushing with the broom as if it were a shovel or scraper.  Acid was flying everywhere.  i just jumped up and ran for the water myself.  With several trips to the faucet, we got the floor flushed without too much burning.  Luckily, the entire fiascco was going on outside on an open terrace so we did not get any in our eyes, noses or breath in any fumes.  My pants had gotten a little wet, but i thought nothing of it and told my friend i would come back next day or so and clean his terrace WITHOUT HELP.

I continued on to me friends house and enjoyed good company, good beer and good food.  I enjoyed getting to know his new wife and had some great conversation.
All was going great and after dinner, my buddy and i went into the living room to watch Thursday nite fights.  Somewhere along the evening, i got up to get us some more beer and as i walked from the room, he and his wife started laughing. 

As i had gotten up from my chair, my pants had stayed where I had been sitting.  Luckily, the chair was not dammaged, but it took a long time before my friend's wife would let me forget about "undressing" in her living room.

Tinker



 
Wayne H. Tinker

Offline Brice Burrell

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Re: Polishing marble floor
« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2013, 07:16 PM »
..............As i had gotten up from my chair, my pants had stayed where I had been sitting.  Luckily, the chair was not dammaged, but it took a long time before my friend's wife would let me forget about "undressing" in her living room.

Tinker



As always, Great story Tinker! [thumbs up]
Check out my new blog, The Green and Dark Blue Blog.

Offline RL

  • Posts: 3040
Re: Polishing marble floor
« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2013, 08:38 PM »
Have things changed since I was at school?

In England, muriatic acid is known as hydrochloric acid. I seem to remember it was quite commonly used in chemistry classes but apart from goggles, I don't think we used any other protection.

Maybe that's why I was never very good at chemistry!?

Offline Tinker

  • Posts: 3717
Re: Polishing marble floor
« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2013, 07:57 AM »
Have things changed since I was at school?

In England, muriatic acid is known as hydrochloric acid. I seem to remember it was quite commonly used in chemistry classes but apart from goggles, I don't think we used any other protection.

Maybe that's why I was never very good at chemistry!?


Just don't try playing with either one while in an enclosed space with no ventilation.  Cut it with water.  Don't add the water to acid, especially if "hard" water. Add the acid, with care, to the water.

Whenever working with Muriatic acid (that may have been a trade name for hydrochloric acid.  I am not a chemist either.) I made sure my eyes and nose were well protected.  I only used it a very few times.  I found other more benighn (sp?) "organic" acids that were less active.  For me, it was more important to do my work with care rather than to expect a need to do any type of acid wash.  As mentioned in previous post, i steered away from muriatic acid.  The one time i tried it extensively led to an interesting adventure.  Even the other "organic' acids i occasionally used were also somewhat dangerous in that eyes and respiratory damage was a possibility.  They were by far, safer to use, but precautions were necessary. Muriatic acid could "burn" and discolor masonry, or any other materials they might come in contact with.  The "organic" acids were not strong enough of reaction to burn much of anything. Even so, they were capable to do damage.

I got myself into a situation with muriatic acid, just once, where i became concerned for the safety of my lungs.  From that time forward, with the exception of my above story, I strictly avoided use of the muriatic acid inside of any enclosed structure, or any place else, inside or out. 

One of my first extensive use of one of the "organic" acids, I managed to spatter a little on an asphault shingle roof.  (I had constructed a pink marble fireplace and used the same material outside for the chimney.) I had been told explicitly that the material would not damage anything except the masonry to which it was to be applied to.  Some suppliers will tell you anything to make a sale.  I was quite skeptical and even tho i used care in the application, i ended up with some roof repair before i could present my billing.  The very white shingles had ended up with some very black patches on the area immediately adjacent to the copper flashing. One could not see the spots from the ground, but one never knows when some hotshot will fly low with a helicopter.  ;)  The copper flashing got the patina of aging and the owner stopped me from making a repair to the copper while i was re-shingling the small patch of roof. Any material capable of cleaning masonry will have some sort of acid base and therfore, will have an inherant danger, no matter how slight, to he/she who uses it.  The danger is always present to cause damage to any other materials that gets spattered around the area, no matter how slight.

The periods covered by my mistooks were well noted by yours truly. I was in my early to mid twenties, somewhat reckless of 'tude and maybe just a bit unheedful of those who advised caution with any thing i might have ventured in to.  i will continue to forward such warnings as long as I am in a situation to forward such.  in many cases, there will come forth a story of my own misadventure.  As in the above story, they often have ended up with a twist of humor.  I have always been very fortunate in that respect. 
Tinker


 
Wayne H. Tinker

Offline RL

  • Posts: 3040
Re: Polishing marble floor
« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2013, 08:04 AM »
I looked into this further out of interest. It appears as if we used a heavily diluted form of the acid in chemistry classes.

Offline Peter Halle

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Re: Polishing marble floor
« Reply #9 on: April 02, 2013, 09:48 AM »
Because of one of my OTHER expensive hobbies I have to have both Lye and muriatic acid on hand for water purification.  The amounts used are small, but unfortunately it seems that you have to purchase the muriatic acid in gallon jugs.  I store the jugs outside and unfortunately the sun fades out the labels and they end up looking just like jugs of cleaners I use for pressure washing.  I made the mistake ONCE of opening up the caps and doing the deep sniff test.  Now there is a piece of twine with a laminated tag on the muriatic acid bottle.   [eek]

Please don't do what I did.

Peter

Offline Tinker

  • Posts: 3717
Re: Polishing marble floor
« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2013, 07:54 AM »
Because of one of my OTHER expensive hobbies I have to have both Lye and muriatic acid on hand for water purification.  The amounts used are small, but unfortunately it seems that you have to purchase the muriatic acid in gallon jugs.  I store the jugs outside and unfortunately the sun fades out the labels and they end up looking just like jugs of cleaners I use for pressure washing.  I made the mistake ONCE of opening up the caps and doing the deep sniff test.  Now there is a piece of twine with a laminated tag on the muriatic acid bottle.   [eek]

Please don't do what I did.

Peter

That is one of those mistooks one never makes a second time. [scared]
Wayne H. Tinker