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Adding stone floors allows homeowners to include a natural addition to their homes while enhancing the aesthetic quality of their indoor space. Marble, granite, terrazzo and travertine are just a few of the popular natural stone materials that homeowners utilize in their home renovation projects. The average cost to restore and polish stone floors can vary depending on a number of factors.
Factors that Affect Cost
There are a number of variables that can have a direct impact on the cost. In addition to the labor costs that vary across the country, some of the other factors that affect the total price of the project are explained below.
"Stone floors" incorporates a large number of products. This may include a granite tile, which may need to be replaced if it has been chipped. Marble floors may be more expensive to repair than limestone. Other types of stone that may need to be restored are granite, sandstone, travertine and slate.
Level of Grime
The level of cleaning and build-up is another important factor in determining the cost of the overall project. For floors that have gone decades without restoration, the cost will be much more than the cost associated with restoring a floor that is in relatively new condition and is only a couple of years old. Professional restoration companies will factor in the number of coats, number of steps and amount of time that the project will take as part of their estimate.
Type of Restoration Needed
Restoring stone floors can also take a number of forms. For example, a stone tile may need to be replaced. Professional restorers may be able to restore floors that have chips, cracks or discoloration. Each stone is different. As such, each floor restoration will also be different. However, some of the common aspects of restoring a stone floor are included below.
Professional restorers will first clean the area. They will sweep up any dirt or debris. Then, they will focus on cleaning any stains on the floor. The particular cleaning technique depends on the source of the stain. Sometimes the color of the stain will help pinpoint its cause. For example, oil-based stains like grease usually darken the floor. These types of stains should be cleaned gently with a liquid cleanser or ammonia. Biological stains like mildew should be cleaned with a diluted combination of water and bleach or ammonia.
Polishing and Resurfacing
The polishing process begins with rinsing the surface. A new polishing pad should be used for each job. A special polishing product may need to be used for deep scratches. The polishing product should then be applied to the stone with the use of a hand buffer or buffer machine. The floor should be continuously wet while polishing to protect the floors. A neutral pH cleaner should then be applied to the stone floors. A product that is specific to the type of stone should be utilized.
Professional restorers will finish the project by adding a sealer to the floors. The sealer will help prevent stains from occurring in the future. The professional restorer may have to apply multiple coats to the floors, but this ultimately depends on the condition of the floors and the instructions included with the particular sealer product. Each coat must fully dry before another coat is applied.
In order to avoid the expense of restoring stone floors and the significant time commitment associated with restoration, there are several steps that homeowners can take to reduce their likelihood of having to restore their floors.
Sand and dirt can damage stone floors because of their abrasive nature. To avoid this damage, homeowners should frequently sweep with a non-treated dust mop.
To avoid dirt and sand from getting on stone floors, homeowners should include mats at the entrances before they or visitors will step on the floors. Removing shoes before walking on the floors can also help prevent this dirt and sand from accumulating.
Stone floors should be washed periodically with neutral pH cleaners, specifically cleaners that do not contain soap in order to avoid causing streaks or film build-up. The floor should be sealed according to the manufacturer's instructions. Using the proper sealer can help prevent further staining. If a homeowner notices a spill, he or she should immediately wipe up the surface.
Avoid Harsh Chemicals
Topical finishes or coatings should not be utilized to attempt to produce a shine because they tend to dull and discolor stone over time. The alkalinity of these products can only increase the need to maintain floors. Instead, homeowners should use products specific to their stone type.