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pete
01-14-2003, 10:34 AM
I finished setting my kitchen countertop with granite tiles. It turned out nice but lacks luster. I really expected it to be very shiny and stunning. I used "Venetian Gold" tiles, but I thought the end product would be better. I have sealed the tiles but that did not enhance the shine. Are there any products that I can wipe on that will increase the depth and shine of the counter. thanks, Pete

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John Bridge
01-14-2003, 05:49 PM
Pete,

Get hold of kemguru or KW if no one else comes along here. I don't know of anything that would be longlasting, but I'm not a guru. ;)

pete
01-14-2003, 05:49 PM
where is everyone;) Pete. My drab granite is waiting:D

DCArea Dave
01-14-2003, 06:03 PM
Pete,
I'm in a similar situation - needing to add some lustre to the edges of some granite trim strips for my master bath. There is a great thread on granite sealants over in the Pro Forum that may provide a solution to your problem:

http://johnbridge.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?threadid=4656

There are some good links to sealer manufacturers there and descriptions of types of sealers. Take a look :-)


David S.

kemguru
01-15-2003, 12:47 AM
Pete,

there happens to be some topical products, kind of like car wax, buff it on and let it dry to a haze then buff off. This would be a pain with the joints, it is a different story with a slab. Maybe worth a try however. But the only true fix is to have it polished (that I can think of). Stoneguy (David) might have something up his sleeve here.

David,

if you are talking about the edge, and not the top of the tile, you might get away with a seal. A high solids acrylic/wax finish (janitorial supply)will add some more gloss. A polyester resin (stone supply) could work with some buffing. Clear finger nail polish is easy. But if you feel froggy, and it happens to be a softer granite, try wet sanding with silicone carbide up to 800 or 1200. Once again......HEY STONEGUY!!!

Best

Tim

pete
01-15-2003, 10:17 AM
Thanks David S and Tim. I will check both of those ideas out. Thanks again, Pete

DCArea Dave
01-15-2003, 04:41 PM
Kemguru,
Thanks for the info. Here's some background on my master bath shower installation I'm working on with Rob Zschoche:

I'm creating a frame around a 41 X 34" field of diamond pattern 4x4 beige egeum tile using roughly 15 linear feet of 7/8" wide strips of Giallo Antico Brazilian granite. The 2 cm thick granite is polished on the face, cut smooth on the sides.

I'm planning to cut the strips to ~11" lengths (they're currently around 30" long), then (carefully!!) rip them down to about 3/8" thick on the wet saw. I did some test cuts with a sample a while ago and found that this granite can be cut very thin without crumbling.

When installed, the face of the strips will sit proud of the surface of the tile by about 1/8", so there will be a little bit of the cut edge exposed.

The granite fabricator (Diamond Tile, Sterling VA - great folks to work with) recommended sanding the edges smooth with a sanding block then applying nail polish or polyurethane to get a shiny finish that would match the face of the granite.

My current plan is to:
1. Do a little sanding on the edges of the long strips using silicon carbide wet-sanding sandpaper (180 and finer grit) on a sanding block.
2. Cut the strips down to the appropriate lengths (11" max)
3. Sand the edges of the cut pieces again (220+ grit)
4. Rip the strips down to 3/8" thick
5. Apply high gloss Minwax Spar Polyurethane (rated for exterior use) to the sides of the strips and sand/reapply as needed to get a smooth finish.
6. Install strips using thinset - and some Latapoxy to hold them in place while the thinset cures.

My questions -
Are there any problems with using polyurethane on granite for this type of installation?

I'm planning to use Aquamix Sealer's Choice Gold after grouting (epoxy grout).. are there any problems with using the sealer on top of the polyurethane - other than sealer overkill ;) ?

Thanks,
David S.

Stoneguy
01-15-2003, 05:59 PM
YO!
Somebody call me?

Pete, Correct me if I'm mistaken, but doesn't Venetion Gold have some fairly big crystals, sort of coarse grained? There's so many varieties of granite tiles & slabs I can't keep up anymore.
If so, one characteristic I have seen in most of the coarser grained granites is they don't tend to polish up as nice as a tighter grained stone. The thicker slabs of the same stone, & slabs in general, tend to come through from the factory with a better polish. I'm not in the processing factory end of the business, but here's my guess as to the reason. When big slabs are run through a polishing line, they are ground smoother & smoother with an extensive series of grits, mostly diamond these days, the grits being embedded in a plate ranging from 10" to 15" diameter. The rotateing plates move back & forth across the surface of the typically 5 to 6 ft wide slabs, creating a very level & consistant surface.
On a tile processing line, I believe ( I sure could be wrong here) that the grinding/polishing plates are somewhat smaller, but since the tiles are so small, most of the surface is only touched by one side/edge of the plate, so the uniformity obtained with the back & forth action of a slab line is not there.
Additionally, getting the final high shine on granite requires generating some heat during the final buffing. Generating heat requires a combination of pressure & or high RPM's. Since tiles are thin & break more easily than slabs, less pressure is applied, less heat is generated, & a lesser polish results.

Well, thats my take on it anyway.
Or, the tiles were just processed in a crappy factory, more than likely NOT in Italy.

Man, can I digress or what?

So, how do you get it more shiny?
The best, & most difficult way is to polish them some more. If they were well honed at the plant, you might be able to buff them up a bit brighter using a solid felt wheel on a 2000-3000 rpm right angle buffer. You would have to go to a local stone shop & get some polishing powder from them, preferably tin oxide, or a blended powder that contains at least some tin oxide mixed with aluminum oxide & maybe some other "trade secret" stuff....This is not the kind of thing that just anyone can do successfully, but I maintain this is the best fix.

Anything else you do will only be a 'temporary fix'

The easiest fix is a liquid "marble polish". There's a multitude of brands available. Eastern Marble Supply in NJ sells something called "Italian Craftsman". It's a thin white liquid, which I think contains silicone among other things. This product will slightly enhance the color, & add a bit of shine. The drawback of silicon type products like this is it's difficult to get rid of the sort of greasy haze. Some manufacturer's liquid polishes probably contain some Carnuba wax combined with silicone.

My current choice of liquid polishes is Lithifin brand "Stone Conditioner & Polish", SCP for short. I use this product on all the marble tops that leave our shop, & recommend it to folks for periodic use on polished stone surfaces. It's very easy to use, just like using Meguires to wax your car. It rubs off very streak free with just a cotton cloth. It does not, however, add as much gloss as a 'greasier' silicone type polish would.


The highest "Wax" shine will come from a product named "Pamir", or another manufacturer's similar product. This is a relatively thick paste wax, that applies & acts sort of similar to Butchers wax, only it is available in a very clear, or black. You would apply a reasonable amount to 1 or 2 tiles at a time, let dry to a haze, & buff off with a terrycloth. If you have difficulty getting caked on areas off, 0000 steel wool can be used, followed up with terrycloth. A lot of shops use this stuff on their polished edges, instead of really mechanically polishing the stone correctly, in order to get the product out the door more quickly.

Akemi, one of the longest established manufacturers of adhesives for the stone industy, has a product called Liquid stone polish, or something like that. It can be applied to a smoothed edge to darken the stone & add some lustre. I would be leary of trying to use it on a polished face, for fear of creating a real mess that would be hard to clean up. It would certainly be far superior compared to clear nail polish if you are trying to doctor up an edge.

I recently stumbled into an Italian gentleman who specializes in restoration on another phorum. He sells a line of stone maintainance products, both homeowner & professional grade, over the net. As yet, I have no experience with his products, but literature I have recieved from him indicate he may indeed have some good things. I am waiting for a sample of a new product of his, called MB13, to check it out for myself. You can find him on the NTC phorum, where you will have no difficulty hearing about his products. That phorum is at:

http://www.ntc-stone.com/phorum2/list.php?f=2

There is a pretty good wealth of info related to stone at the NTC site. My first dive into the place resulted in me bumping heads a bit with other posters, but we kind of leveled out.

Stoneguy

Stoneguy
01-15-2003, 06:21 PM
Originally posted by DCArea Dave

recommended sanding the edges smooth with a sanding block then applying nail polish or polyurethane to get a shiny finish that would match the face of the granite.

My questions -
Are there any problems with using polyurethane on granite for this type of installation?

Thanks,
David S.

Nail Polish & polyurethane?
To MATCH the face?
With all due respect to your fabricator, I am ROTFLMFAO.

If you want to MATCH the polished face, you have to POLISH the edge. A little bit of sanding with a block followed with a topical coating is NOT polishing.

To actually polish an edge to match or outshine the face, you will need to do an initial investment of $400 minumum for a centerfed water polisher, a set of diamond pads, & a velcro backup pad.
An initial investment of $600 will get you a good quality setup.

Granite can be polished to a "factory shine" on the edges with a less costly combination of tools. Silicone carbide wheels or belts, followed up with microfine grits of silicon carbide wet/dry papers, followed up with polishing compound on a felt wheel, can bring granite up to a beautiful shine, though more slowly than diamond, when used by someone who knows what they are doing.

Stoneguy

>>>Added next morning<<<<
A topical coating on such a small visible area would probably be just fine, as Tim says below. It won't last long, but most people probably would not notice the unpolished area.
>>>End of edit<<<

kemguru
01-15-2003, 11:23 PM
Dave,

for a 1/8" exposed edge you could probably get away with your solution, and there will be no problems between the seals, just "sealer overkill". but I would like to see ya get froggy, and try to polish, its the "right way". but it is only 1/8"!

Pete,

there ya go, right on Stoneguy:shades:

Best

Tim

pete
01-16-2003, 10:07 AM
thanks you for your reply Stoneguy. I will see what I can find out there. You are right in that the Venitian Gold is a "larger pattern". It doesn't have a lot of movement like some granites but isn't a tight pattern either. thanks again for you advice. Pete

John Bridge
01-16-2003, 10:22 AM
David,

I had to laugh when you were talking about trade secrets. I've used oxalic acid for years to touch up the edges of marble tiles that we mill on the job. Ran out one time and asked a stone guy if I could have some of his, and he gave me the trade secret line. Talked to his buddy who gave me a baby food jar full. ;)

For day-to-day maintenance of marble and granite, my wife has used Pledge for years. I've noticed no ill effects from the citric acid it contains. Not much of it present, I suppose.

kemguru
01-16-2003, 12:18 PM
:eek: PLEDGE :moon: :whip:

what is this place turning into :confused: ;)

John Bridge
01-16-2003, 12:35 PM
yeah, Tim, Windex and Pledge all in the same day. Guess I should have broken it to you a little more gently. ;)