How to Repair Damaged Marble Floors?

This article was originally published in Cleaning & Maintenance Management.

I just took over the housekeeping in an old office building. The last cleaning service used floor finish on rough and smooth marble squares, leaving a darkened and chipping finish. Can this floor be stripped and cleaned properly without floor finish? I know marble should only be ground and buffed with a light mopping to clean.

Many times we have to continue to do what has been done in the past because changing processes would be too time consuming and costly. Normally, you should and can maintain marble flooring without the use of a topical sealer. The challenge, in your case, may be the difficulty of removing the existing finish as well as the condition of the floor.
Testing in a small area, such as one square of each texture, may be the best bet.

If you can get the existing finish off the floor and end up with an acceptable appearance, there may be hope. I'm not sure why there is a rough finish; it could be by design or just the result of improper maintenance over the years. Prior to making a decision, you may also want to consult several local stone maintenance and restoration specialists to see what they would recommend.

If you do use a stripper, it is important that you rinse extremely well so no alkaline residue remains on the surface or in the stone. Once the floor has dried for at least 12 hours, one or two coats of a penetrating sealer should be applied.

This answer was supplied by Bill Griffin, president of Cleaning Consultant Services Inc.

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