Marble Care For Scratches

by Bonnie Kelly
(Chicago,IL, )

Marble Repair Scratches

Marble Repair Scratches

QUESTION:

I have black marble floor tile with streaks of gold, white and gray in it I forget the name.

But I was told that marble should be sealed right after installation and I didn't.

So, now I have scratches and dullness in my tile.

Please tell me what I can do to repair the marble and at least the dullness out because you really can't see the scrathes because of the pattern. I've tried almost every cleaner.

ANSWER:

Okay... I'm going to clear up a couple issues for you.

First, marble tile is not as porous as you might read on the internet. In fact, polished marble is NOT very absorbent and may not need or even capable of being sealed.

The way you determine (the only accurate way) if and when a stone should be sealed is to test it. Very simple and will give you the correct answer every time.

Sealing does not prevent scratches or dullness. Applying a sealer decreases the rate of absorption making the stone harder to stain... that's it.

Experimenting with all sorts of cleaning products is no bueno. Most typical household cleaning products you buy at any store will damage your marble. In fact, these products may be the reason your marble is dull. They are just too caustic.

That's what they do... the wrong products ruin the shiny marble surface and make it dull. It's called "etching."

You should ONLY use products safe for cleaning marble & granite.

Marble is much softer than granite and will scratch, so you shouldn't use a vacuum cleaner on it and of course, try to figure out how you got the scratches to prevent future occurrence.

The good news is that the dullness/etching and scratches can be fixed using this ETCH REMOVER / Marble polishing paste.

This paste is specially designed to restore the color and shine on mildly etched and/or scratched marble, travertine, limestone, onyx.

However, if this is a large area and/or the scratches are deep, then you should call in a marble repair professional.

I'd use the paste first, since it is way cheaper and you're likely to get great results unless severe damage, but I'm just letting you know that you may need a pro.

Good Luck,
Ryan

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Protecting Marble Table From Scratches

by Shamin Qayyum
(U.K.)

QUESTION:

Hi, I bought a natural stone marble table. It is in the kitchen and is used a lot. How can I protect it from scratches?

It also is starting to get small holes in areas. The table is very matte and I would like to keep it that way, it is only 8 months old?

ANSWER:

The only way to protect any surface from scratches is simply to be careful. Marble is not "easy" to scratch, but it is much softer than granite and will scratch more easily.

Of course, it is still stone and if you are getting a lot of scratches then you are just being too rough with it.

Now, that's fine really... you certainly aren't going to break it or ruin it, but it will age and acquire a more worn and rustic look with heavy use.

I'd suggest you consult the marble cleaning Do's & Don'ts page and get the Cleaning Marble Secrets Guide, which will teach you everything you should know about cleaning marble, maintenance and marble repair including solving problems like scratches.

Good Luck,
Ryan

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Dull & Scratched Polished Marble Fireplace Surround

QUESTION:

Marble fireplace surround is St. Laurent polished. Gas logs only, Marble above the fire is dull and discolored and appears to be scratched. How do I restore or do I need to hire a professional?

ANSWER:

It really depends on how severe the dullness and scratching is. Also, it would be helpful to know why and how it got that way.

Dull spots on polished marble is either from etching or from wear and tear. which is usually seen only on floors from foot traffic.

And discoloring often occurs with etching... the marble gets lighter in color.

I'd guess that the area above the fire sometimes gets dirty and at some point someone tried cleaning marble with a caustic cleaner on the area and maybe an abrasive pad too thereby etching and scratching the marble.

Or it could be that the discoloring is from the gas fire. In this case using this MOLD & MILDEW Remover will help clean any grime. This product is excellent for removing tough dirt and surface grime (in addition to mold and mildew).

If it looks pretty bad... very rough, with deep scratches that you can feel, then you probably should call a marble maintenance professional.

On the other hand if the scratches are mostly just visible and the surface is still somewhat smooth to the touch, then using Etch Remover-Polishing paste (link above) may do the trick for you.

This paste is designed to repair and remove both etch marks and light scratches. It will restore the shine and color.

I usually recommend to try the paste first. If the damage is too severe for the paste to yield good results and you need to call a pro, then you're only out a little money.

However, if the damage is mild enough that the paste can be effective, then you've saved yourself a bunch of money on professional help.

Also, most cases of etching and scratching is not severe and can be restored by the paste. You may have to make several applications though as the process is progressive like sanding wood.

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Deep Scratches in Green Marble

by Julia
(Nevada)

QUESTION:

How do I get deep scratches off green marble?

ANSWER:

Just to be clear... scratches are not "on" the marble, so you cannot get them "off".

A scratch is an area where the marble has been gouged out and removed, so now you have a line where the surface is lower.

For light scratches that are visible, but can't really be "felt" (surface scratches) using the Marble Polish / Etch Remover (see links to product above and below) is effective.

Marble repair for a deep scratch can be problematic. You can't really "remove" a scratch.

It's like asking how do you "remove" a doughnut hole? Well, you can't remove the hole, but you can eat the doughnut to make the hole disappear!

You need to lower (grind away) the rest of the marble surface down to the level of the scratch... if that makes sense.... in order to eliminate it.

But you have two options:

The first option... if you want to truly repair a deep scratch you'll have to hire a marble repair professional to re-surface the marble. Most likely the entire surface. Expensive! That is if you want a pristine marble surface.

A faster, easier and far cheaper option is to simply fill the crack with a clear acrylic "chip repair" product like this Marble & Granite Repair Kit for Chips/Pits that we highly recommend. The "gel" is for level surfaces and the "paste" for edges and vertical surfaces.

The scratch will still be noticeable at certain angles, but it is nearly invisible since it allows the natural color and pattern of the stone to show through and you can get the repaired surface level. Much better than using say the old-school color-matching epoxy.

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Dull & Scratched Outdoor Marble Table

by Marmie
(Colorado)

QUESTION:

I just bought a marble topped coffee table at a garage sale. I have no idea how old it is.

The marble slab just sits on top of cast iron legs that have a sheet of wood screwed on to them. The marble is totally dull and lifeless. It was outside, but on a covered patio.

I will be putting on my patio, but it is not covered.

So - 1) how do I smooth out the scratches and bring at least some sheen back to this table top?

2) Do I need to protect it from the weather - ie. the modern problem of acid-rain? I do plan on putting it in the shed over the winter so snow/ice does not harm it.

ANSWER:

Chances are that the marble was never polished and shiny to begin with. Or it was polished, but exposure to weather has worn away the polished surface over time.

If it was never polished to begin with, there's nothing you can do to make the marble polished and shiny unless you hire a marble maintenance professional to re-finish the surface.

Why? Well, the shiny polish on any stone is the result of intense friction with special abrasives on big machines. It can be polished by hand, but that is a job for a pro.

If the polished layer has just been worn down, you may be able to revive it using Etch Remover Marble Polishing paste referenced above.

However, since you plan to leave the marble table outdoors, I'd suggest leaving the current dull/honed surface. If you have it polished or are able to bring back the polish, you'll be fighting the elements (like acid rain) to keep it shiny unless you cover it.

Honed marble is a classic look and will require less maintenance to keep it looking good.

For light scratches, use 400 grit metal grade sandpaper and/or 0000 grade steel wool on a honed surface that you intend to keep honed.

If you are going to try to restore the polish, the the marble paste noted above will remove scratches also.

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Scratched Composite Marble Tiles

by Glenda Lowe
(Shropshire, England)

QUESTION:

Hi, Last year we purchased black composite marble floor tiles for the bathroom. We asked about sealing and were told by the salesman that because they were composite they didn't need to be sealed.

Now after 12 months they have become very scratched and there a water marks on them. Is there anything we can do to remove the scratches and marks. Many thanks!

ANSWER:

Composite marble floor tiles are made using a thin marble veneer glued to a ceramic backing.

The process makes the tile cheaper, yet you still get the look and feel of real marble. And since it is real marble on the surface, proper marble repair, care and cleaning must still be performed.

Sealing

While it's true that the tiles probably did not need sealing the reason given is wrong. The fact that the marble tiles are a composite has little to do with sealing (unless these particular tiles had some type of topical coating applied at the factory).

Marble is a dense stone and does not stain easy. It etches quickly and this people confuse with staining. Especially polished marble.... often virtually stain-proof and cannot be sealed.

For more detailed info check out the marble and granite sealer pages.

Or utilize our Questions page.

Scratches

Marble is softer than granite and will scratch much more easily. And dark marbles will show the scratches even more.

For deep scratches the Marble Chip Repair Kit (link above) is the easiest product to use, with by far the best results and inexpensive.

"Water Spots"

The dull, cloudy, ghost spots you have are not actually caused by water. They just seem like a clear "stain" like from water.

However, these are not stains where something absorbed into the marble. So, sealing has nothing to do with this as sealing helps prevent staining only.

These water spots are "etch marks" caused by an acidic or too alkaline product of some sort. Marble is sensitive to acids. Acids will corrode marble, which leaves dull and discolored spots where the marble was damaged.

Again, it's composite, but still real marble on top, so all the typical characteristics and requirements for cleaning and marble repair still apply.

To repair etching and scratches you can use a specialized paste like ETCH REMOVER / Marble polishing paste, which will polish out light surface scratches (again "deep" scratches require chip repair product) and restore the shine and color to etch marks.

You also may find the comprehensive and detailed information regarding the proper methods for cleaning marble and marble repair available in our Marble maintenance ebooks helpful.

And using decorative trays or shelves to store products on (rather than directly on the marble surface) will help decrease scratches and etching in the future.

Good Luck,
Ryan

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