While laying the flooring for your home is just one part of the story, you must ensure that it is polished properly. Polishing the stone and ensuring that it looks shiny and bright is not an easy job and requires the services of experts to do the job. However, it would be interesting to learn something more about this subject matter and try and find answers to the question how to polish stone flooring. While there is no doubt that the entire process is complex and lengthy, there are basically four methods that are used for creating that shine on the natural stone floors. They are
- Buffing with the help of polishing compounds and powders
- Using diamond abrasives for grinding
- Process of crystallization
- Application of Barrier Coating
However, it should be left to the experts to choose the right method taking into account the types of stones. One cannot straight jacket the above four methods and use it for all types of stones. The right polishing method has to be used taking into account the type of stone. We will have a brief look at the four methods of stone floor polishing below.
1. Polishing Powders and Compounds
These are basically fine grains of aluminum. Alternately, tin oxide powder that is abrasive in nature could also be used. These grains and powders are rubbed or in other words buffed on the surface of the stone. This is done carefully and by experts and it does take some time and it could even continue for a few days. This is done to remove the top abrasive layer of the stone floors and expose the shiny part. This process is almost the same as that of sanding with the used of diamonds. But the powder or buffing compound is much finer as far as abrasion properties are concerned.
The process could get an augmentation with the addition of oxalate or oxalic acid with the purpose of creating a reaction that is similar to crystallization. The powder is sprinkled on the stone floor surface and combined with water. This results in a paste or slurry like compound. This is then buffed into the stone with the help of a 175 rpm weight floor machine. The machine is fitted with white pad or hogs hair.
2. Polishing with Diamond Abrasives
Using diamond abrasives and for polishing and grinding is also quite common. This is done by using different types of industrial grade diamonds of various grits. The diamonds come either in three to four inch diameter discs or pads. Around three to six discs are attached to the drive plate of a flooring polishing machine. It is held on with the help of a Velcro. The speed of the floor machine is just around 175 rpm. This drives the plate and sands the stone surface with the help of the diamonds. It helps to remove scratches. The process has to be continued and repeated using finer grits of diamond till the desired levels of mechanical shine is achieved.
3. Coatings of Crystallization
Crystallization is another commonly used procedure for polishing stone floors. This is done using a chemical called fluorosilicate. It is sprayed on the stone. Once this has been done, the stone is buffed with the help of steel wool pads. This results in shiny, glassy and new crystals to be formed on the surface of the stone flooring. This is done with the help of a standard 175 rpm floor machine. A heavy drive plate is used for creating the heat and the required friction to forming and then polishing of the crystals.
4. Barrier Coating
This is the last of the four types of methods used for polishing of stone floors. This is also referred to as waxing of the surface. It helps to create an artificial shine. A semi-liquid or liquid form of wax, urethane, acrylics or other types of polymers are applied. The application on the stone surface is done with the help of a mop, sprayer, lamb’s wool applicator or roller. While some of the wax materials have to be buffed, the others are left as applied. This helps to achieve the required level of shine. The application process is done with the help of a high speed burnishing floor machine. These have either hogs hair or fiber as pads. The process is however, not suitable for stones that are porous in nature.
The above four are the common methods used for polishing stone floors. We are sure it would have give the right answer to the question, how to polish stone flooring.