Marble Polishing for Dull Floor Tile Spots

by Marilyn Nguyen
(Houston, TX)

QUESTION:

I have a question about polishing marble. I have marble floor tile in the kitchen. Now it lost the shine.

The marble color is grey with some white strips and I don't remember the name.

I would like you tell me what products I should buy for polishing marble and marble cleaning?

ANSWER:

If the entire marble flooring is dull it was most likely caused by using the wrong cleaning products.

Most typical store-bought household cleaning products that you are familiar with will damage marble tile and make it dull. It's called "etching."

Therefore, you must use only products made specifically for cleaning marble and stone.


So, if the whole floor is dull, then you'll need to hire a marble cleaning & restoration professional to make it shiny again. The shine is not from a chemical or product.

Marble tile and slabs are made shiny with high friction diamond abrasives on a big marble polishing machine or by a skilled professional.

If the marble floor tile is just slightly dull or you just have some dull spots, then you can use the ETCH REMOVER / Marble polishing product to bring the shine back.

This is meant to bring back the shine on marble flooring (or tile or countertops) that is mildly etched and dull, but was once shiny. It will not make severely damaged, very rough or raw marble shiny and it is not meant to be used on a honed or matte finished marble floor.

You can use this product over the entire floor to polish marble as well, but you'll need a lot of it and you may get uneven results over a large area since it requires a fair amount of skill to do large areas and it will take A LOT of work unless the floor is very small.

For general marble cleaning of floor tile we recommend using the Tile Floor Cleaner.

As noted, do not use any type of generic cleaning agent like vinegar, ammonia or bleach and brand-name cleaners are just as bad and will also etch marble floor tile.

And if you really want to know how to keep your marble is optimum condition and learn proven, inexpensive solutions for all problems then I suggest the Cleaning Marble Secrets e-book.


Good Luck,
Ryan

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Restoring Marble Floor Polish

by Julie
(Forest, VA)

QUESTION:

I have black with white grain and tan variegated marble floor tile in my foyer where it gets a lot of traffic.

It has completely lost it's shine and polish and has some scratching. It only looks shiny when it is wet.

I have tried some commercial marble polishers and restorers purchased from floor and countertop stores specializing in marble, none of which did anything to restore the shine.

Is there any way to restore the shine on this floor and if so, how can I protect it in the future? Thanks.

ANSWER:

The reason your marble floor tile has lost its shiny polish is precisely because of all the foot traffic it gets.... it simply got worn away.

Stone can be surfaced with several different styles of finish... polished, honed, tumbled, flamed, etc. depending on the desired look and use for the stone.

A shiny polished marble finish is NOT the result of some chemical application. It is achieved by grinding and essentially sanding the surface so smooth that it shines. But it can become rough and dull again with constant wear and tear.

Most marble floor tile is honed (matte finish) rather than polished for this exact reason. Polishing marble floors repeatedly is HIGH maintenance.... and polished marble shows dirt, dust and smudges far more readily than honed floor tiles.

Marble polishing creams and pastes like the ETCH REMOVER / Marble polishing paste are designed to address only mild to moderate damage/dulling of the surface (etching, scratching) in small areas.... not entire floors.

You don't have to worry about staining too much since polished marble is pretty stain resistant, but etching from spilled soda pop or wine is much more noticeable on polished stone and, as noted, the polish will wear away as the surface is removed little by little with foot traffic requiring regular marble polishing.

Nothing can truly "prevent" the wear unless you cover the high traffic areas/paths with rugs, clean the rugs often and sweep often. But even then, the marble polish will eventually wear away from friction of the rug and dirt in/under the rug.

To restore and polish marble you will need the services of a marble repair professional. I'd suggest that you have the pro "hone" the surface rather than re-polish it.

Honed marble will not show the wear nearly as much as a polished surface if at all. That will save you the constant irritation of the marble looking worn and the inevitable need and expense of maintenance marble polishing.

Or just leave it and let it age naturally. The great thing about marble, especially on floor tile, is that it still looks great when worn (many like that look even better) and it will last forever with near zero expense unless you want it to look perfect, shiny and new every day. Then it's a constant battle.

But if you want it shiny, then find a reputable marble polishing expert because you'll need 'em again. And do not even consider marble re-crystallization.

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Polishing Marble Tile Dull Spots

by Clara Wagner
(Blenheim, On)

QUESTION:

I have a dark marble tile kitchen countertop, which has water stains from bottles which took the shine off.

The countertop has been sealed with a marble sealer.

How can I restore the shine on my tiles again?

Your suggestion would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

ANSWER:

Clara, the "water stains" aren't actually marble stains and they aren't from water, but they do look like that and that's what most people call them or... "glass-rings," "water spots."

The dull spots are caused by corrosion of the marble surface from contact with acidic foods/drinks (coffee, soda, juice, wine) and harsh alkaline cleaning products (most common household cleaners will damage marble).

It's called "etching." A stain occurs when something is absorbed into the marble causing a darker spot. Etching eats away a bit of the marble which destroys the shiny surface layer creating a dull and sometimes lighter spot or ring.

Not to worry though... etching can be repaired and the shine/color restored using a good Etch Remover compound (see links above for this product).

Very easy to use and far cheaper marble maintenance than professional restoration!

In the future, you need to use coasters, trivets, mats, etc., to avoid contact with acids.

Sealing has nothing to do with etching. Completely different issues. Sealing protects against absorption/staining.

Avoiding contact with acids and using ONLY cleaning products specifically for marble is the only way to protect against etching.

Good Luck,
Ryan

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Dull Marble Flooring

by Nancy
(Pasadena TX)

QUESTION:

My marble flooring has a dull look after i mopped it with only warm water.

How can I restore it's shine?

ANSWER:

Certainly warm water won't damage marble floor tile at all.

So, if your floor was once shiny and now dull, then something else is to blame.

Was your floor shiny because it has a "polished" finish?

Or....

Was it shiny because a topical wax or some other product had been applied at some time?

If your marble flooring is suddenly dull all over 99% of the time it is because a caustic, damaging product was used for cleaning marble.

Most common and brand-name household cleaning products will etch and dull marble. It's very important for good marble maintenance to use only products safe for cleaning marble.

If your marble floor tile had a wax applied at some time, know that it takes regular marble maintenance to keep waxed marble looking good.

The wax easily scuffs and scratches and looks dull quickly. It can turn the marble yellow. Eventually it builds up and must be stripped off.

Waxing also keeps the stone from breathing properly, which can lead to other damaging problems.

We do not recommend that wax be applied to any marble. It's just more trouble than it's worth.

If your floor is waxed, then I recommend you strip it off using this De-Greaser / Wax Remover / Stripper, which is safe for cleaning marble of course.

If your marble flooring is dull only in some areas it is likely due to foot traffic that has worn down the shiny polished layer.

If this is the case, then you'll need to hire a marble repair and maintenance professional to re-polish the floor.

Although, you may consider having the floor honed instead, since a honed floor is much easier to maintain and doesn't show wear so readily.

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