A wet-sanding process used on Travertine
What is Travertine honing (also called diamond honing)? Travertine honing is a sanding process to remove a thin layer of the stone. The thin layer may be equivalent to the thickness of a fingernail. All natural stone is mined from the earth and put through a diamond honing process to create a type of hone or polish look. Over time, the stone will wear down much like wood floors. We repeat this same process with the diamonds to restore your floors.
What are the advantages of Travertine honing? Travertine honing will remove light scratches and wear, stains, and smells impregnated into the surface of the stone. Travertine floors become discolored over time. This discoloration will hide the natural colors and movement within the stone. Additionally, light scratches or wear can cause a floor to look dull and dirty. However, these scratches and wear cannot be removed without diamond honing (sanding) past the scratches. Note that deep scratches can be removed with a diamond grinding process.
Will the Travertine honing create dust? No, the travertine honing process is done with water to eliminate dust.
Do all companies use the same method for honing travertine? No, most companies do not invest in diamond pads because they are very exspensive. The use of these diamond abrasive honing pads is what sets us apart from our competition.
What are the advatages to using diamond abrasive pads? Diamond abraisive pads cut the travertine floors flat and perfectly. At the stone quarry, they use these same diamond abraisives to create the finish and look of Travertine. With the process of using these pads to restore travertine to new, we can ensure that your travertine will look as good or better then new and will last as long as a new installed floor.
What if my floor has sever lippage (uneven Travertine tiles)? Unfortunately, we can not run diamond abrasive pads accross a floor that has too much lippage (uneven tiles). Since diamonds pads need to cut flat and smooth to get the best look, we will need to remove the lippage first or consider other options.
I had a company do my travertine floors and they did not look as good as those in your pictures, Why? What was the difference? (I get this question alot) As more companies begin offering Travertine cleaning services, the quality of the finished product has dropped in recent years. The main reason is the introduction of diamond impregnated pads, and polishing powders. Although diamond impregnated pads and polishing powders are not bad by themselves, many companies rely on them alone to restore floors. These pads and polishes use resins to pop shines and make a floor look good for a few months. Since we use diamond abraisive pads designed for travertine, your floors will actually wear like a new floor.
What is the difference of Diamond-impregnated Maintenance pads and the original diamond pads? Diamond-impregnated maintenance pads buff the surface of your floors. The original diamond pads remove a thin layer of the stone. We use diamond restoration pads to ensure your floors look the best they can possibly look when we are finished.
Will diamond honing remove my lippage? (Lippage is the term used to describe the unevenness of the tiles. Typically, travertine and marble tiles should not be higher than the thickness of a credit card.) No, diamond honing will not eliminate lippage. However, using the same process, we have more aggressive diamond pads to eliminate the lippage. In summary, our diamond honing process will remove about a fingernail’s thickness of the stone. Our diamond grinding process can flatten out a floor.
- Here we are diamond honing a marble floor to remove a thin layer of the floor in Arlington.
Marble, Travertine, Limestone, Onyx and Granite surfaces can be polished.
What is Polishing? Polishing is the final step used to bring a marble, travertine or other stone to a high polish (like new). There are many different ways and approaches to polishing a stone. However, polishing at its basic level is bring a floor up to its highest level of shine.
What are the different ways of polishing?
· Crystallizing – Crystallizing is the most common form of polishing. Most polishing compounds (compounds include liquids, pastes, and powders) are a form of crystallizing. Crystallizing is simply the process of densifying the surface of the stone by using friction (heat) combined with an acid to react with the calcium in the stone. The purpose of this process is to densify and harden the surface of the stone, thus helping polish the stone. However, most crystallizing products sold contain large amounts of wax. We do not use these types of crystallizers to polish a floor.
Like anything in life, too much of a good thing can become a bad thing. In homes, crystallizing is a great option as the last step in polishing a floor because most floors will only require crystallizing 2-3 times in the time a homeowner lives in a house. Crystallizing takes lots of experience and understanding to become proficient. We know how to use the these polishes to strengthen, expand the life of a floor and proctect it from loosing its luster.
Many companies repeat what they read on the internet about crystallizing without becoming educated. These same companies will tell customers that crystallizing is bad for marble, while they are using a modified or hybrid form of crystallizing themselves. However there polish will not hold up since there polishing compounds contain larger amounts carnaba and resin wax to compesate. The result is these waxes will wear done or off the floor in a very short period of time.
Can crystallizing be harmful? The way we use crystallizers is good for the stone and your floors. However most companies use crystallizing incorrectly. Continued use of crystallizing a stone floor without properly diamond honing the floor (known as over-crystalizing). Secondly, using too much wax with the crystalizer. Thrid, many companies would only use crystallizing without diamond honing or cleaning floor first. In a home, over-crystallizing can cause a problem if this is the only method used to polish the floors over an extended period of time (for example, crystallizing a floor yearly can cause problems after about 7-8 years of continued polishing). Over-Crystallizing is mostly seen in commercial settings. In hotels for example, contractors will crystallize a floor weekly for years with tons of wax. The results can be a build up of waxes that keep the stone from breathing.
· Non-Acidic Polishes – These types of polishes work great for a final buff. These types of polishes are much like the type of wax used to buff a car. They contain carnauba wax and other resin fillers that will help pop a floor's shine. However, these types of polishes will only last about 6 months.
· Waxes and Floor finishes - Floor finishes are not recommend for natural stone. Floor finishes are commonly sold in a gallon container and look like milk. They are applied with a mop. These products are commonly used to polish marble since they are the least expensive way to make a floor look good. Some of the negatives are as follows: The finished product can look streaky or have mop stroke marks. The finish scuffs and scratches up very easily. The cost to remove the finish can be expensive to get the wax finish off the tiles, out of the grout and off perimeter of the room. Strippers used to remove the wax finish can cause painted baseboards to need touch-ups.
What Polishing process does Bizaillion Floors use on floors? We use crystallizing process and a hybrid of Acid-based polishes and Non-Acidic polishes to give our customers the longest possible wear ability. We use a diamond honing process that cuts the stone up to a 3,500 grit level before we start polishing. The result is we use less polishes then our competitors to give our customers a much longer lasting shine.
I was told acid will etch marble. Can I polish out these acid marks on my own? No, is the best answer. Since the process of polishing takes one of our technicians a full year to become proficient in the use of acid-based polishes. And in some instances, acid can etch deep enough into the surface of the stone, requiring diamond honing sand past the etching. In very rare cases, homeowners may try non-acidic polishes to buff out these etches in the marble.
Will polishing remove the scratches or wear in my stone? In short, No. But sometimes a diamond-impregnated maintenance pad can be used in conjunction with a crystallizer to remove some light wear in the stone. This process will typically result in the floor having a plastic look since the wear is just being polished. The only way to truly remove scratches and wear in marble or travertine is with the use of Diamond honing pads.
How do I know if the company polishing my marble did a good job? Since so many homeowners do not know or do not remember what their floor looked like when it was new, many companies will skip steps or use the cheaper polishes and diamond pads to bring a floor back to life. When the floor is completed, ask the company to measure the shine with a marble shine instrument. And easier way is to look for clarity in the reflection. Marble floors should have a nice clear reflection. Think of your granite countertops. In the reflection, one should be able to see the details of the reflection.
Travertine Care Guide
- Dust Mop frequently. Dust and grit are the number one reason a floor begins to look dirty.
- Damp Mop routinely with less soap and clean water. (Normally 1-2 ounces of cleaner per gallon of water)
- Spot Clean with a marble cleaner for immediate spills.
Did you know?
- Vinegar and other acid cleaners damage the surface of the stone.
- Topical sealers (wax, mop n glow, floor shine products) last 1-6 months and must be stripped to restore floors.
- Impregnating sealers are great at repelling oil and water. But they are only oil and water resistant. Application effects performance.
- Sealers will not prevent scratches, acid burns (etching), rusting. Sealers will keep these effects at the surface of the stone, but cannot prevent.
- Place walk off mats at all entrances. Routinely clean mats to ensure they are effective.
- Use protective pads on moving furniture. Furniture that moves frequently tends to wear scratches and holes into stone quickly.
- Ensure area rugs and mats can breathe. Folding a rug over for a couple hours a month can prevent rug stains later.
- Do not set acidic drinks (wine, coke, juices) on Travertine surfaces.