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Old 12-21-2018, 11:12 AM   #16
A.Fox
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I've attached two pictures, one with and without flash, since one of the joys of winter is never being able to see my home in daylight. The one with the flash I think makes the spot look lighter than it really is like the stone changed color, but I think it just lost it's shine. The non-flash photo is truer to life but sort of blurry. Note in the flash photo running off to the left is a white foggy stripe where there was a liquid river running out from the vomit pile.

I definitely know that the sheen should be coming from the polishing, and that's what we were expecting to get. But such gloss sealers do exist correct? And at this point I wouldn't put anything past these guys for the things that they might have done, as they are the same people who couldn't get a stain out of a marble wall (or maybe they didn't try?) so they dry brushed it with white paint or grout colorant. Also when I was reading back through our correspondence, at one point during the process they sent us a photo asking if we were satisfied with the polish. But I hadn't noticed at the time that they wrote that they had wetted the floor to show what it would look like sealed.

I haven't been too concerned either way, with the assumption that the spot will go away when the floors are refinished. But I'm curious if this will be the same effect if this happens again in the future.

Thank you all for your thoughts. As someone who already knew a decent amount about stone on the installation side, I've enjoyed learning more about maintenance and refinishing.
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Old 01-02-2019, 05:18 AM   #17
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I know this is old but you should use some baking soda or diluted ammonia on the spot to stop further etching unless you have already cleaned it well.As mentioned those two stones are pretty close in structure given they are marble and granite,the marble being a dolomitic stone and needs to be polished like granite they should come out pretty well if polished.
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Old 01-02-2019, 08:16 AM   #18
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Old 01-02-2019, 03:41 PM   #19
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Old 01-02-2019, 05:25 PM   #20
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Old 01-24-2019, 11:48 AM   #21
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Folks,

We do this type of job.

Absolute Black granite is not acid sensitive in general, so possibly that may be marble even though it looks like Absolute.

You can test that with lemon juice. If drops of lemon juice make etch marks, it ain't granite.

Solution to original problem is to flatten the floor starting with metal bonded diamonds. Slow. Aggravating. Expensive. Then go all the way up the grit scales. More slow. More Aggravation. Then hand touch up what low spots you inevitably missed. Then powder polish, slowly. Then enhancer or plain penetrating clear sealer, wiped off the surface before it dries.

Oh, and be an expert before you start, because, as has been mentioned, mixed material floors take more work, granite (if it really is granite) requires triple the work of marble and black is the hardest color to polish.

This would be a job that separates the hombres from the muchachos, imo....

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Old 02-18-2019, 09:33 PM   #22
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Clay, as we are seeing this is anything short of simple.

Another update everyone, and I could sure use everyone’s help to continue to determine what’s reasonable and what we should expect.

Back in October we brought in a new company. He was very knowledgeable, mirrored some of the advice from this forum, did a sample for us that looked really good. He started work last week, and has been at the floors almost 7 days. He left a note tonight saying that work would be done tomorrow and to please leave payment on the counter. We looked around, saw that the edged still needed some work because the polish stopped a good 4” from the wall in some places,and that there were a couple noticeable blemishes in the middle of the floor. Ass7ming that’s what he would be working on tomorrow, I sent a text saying it looks like there is more work to do and we would be more comfortable paying after we see the final product.

He follows up with a call: I guess the floor is all done and that only the fireplace hearth is left to finish up. And I think we really offended him that we weren’t overjoyed with what he accomplished with the condition of our floors. His statement was there would be no way to get closer to the wall without taking out the baseboards, the door jambs, and with his offset distances I would say probably the plaster too. Or that he would be there for three weeks making it as perfect as we expect it.

During the initial walk through his initial figure was 5-6k and that it would take a lot of hand work. When the actual proposal came in it was only $4500. So maybe he deleted some of the hand work because on day 6 he was still using the floor machine. His price worked out to $10 per sq ft or roughly $80 per hour. He’s coming out to meet on Wednesday morning, but I don’t know what should come out of that meeting. That is why I wanted to see here what we should be expecting, and what it would entail to get where we want to be.

I’ll attach pics in the next post.
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Old 02-18-2019, 09:50 PM   #23
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Here are some examples. It turns out it’s actually kind of difficult to photograph. The polished floor stops about 4” from the wall. Then there is a 3” sort of hazy honed zone, then an inch of the regional polish. When we had the initial discussions and he said it wouldn’t be possible to get all the way to the wall I expected that meant we might see a line at the original polish in the last 1” but not the 3” of stone with a completely different finish. What could be done to rectify that? Based on the areas where the paint is rubbed off the baseboards but the finish still doesn’t make it to the wall, it does seem like he was hitting the limits of his techniques.
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Old 02-19-2019, 04:52 AM   #24
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Andrew, I feel the pain.

Mixed feelings. Obviously if he's spent that much time on it, he wants it to come out well. Ditto for you on the time/inconvenience/checkbook side of the equation.

Does the middle of the floor, the major part, look good? Solving the original problem, in other words?

Even the best restoration guys can't typically get mixed black granite to shine with the same clarity, gloss and consistency of a factory polish. That being said, we still aim for good overall results.

He's correct that you can't go all the way to a wall with a large floor machine and heavy grinding. You're correct that a handheld machine would get you closer than 4-6 inches. So there will be a visible line of haziness. And yes, removing baseboards would push that line closer to the wall, but only by the thickness of the baseboards, so not always worth doing. And whether or not he said it, the shine/results from the handheld machine actually won't match the exact look of the large machine anyway, most of us try to blend it in, but it's still discernible if you look for it.

I never recommend paying for work if the job's not done. Demotivates a guy.

I'd be inclined to talk face to face on site. Makes communication clearer. Does he believe he underestimated? ($80/hr is not the upper range of what we charge in this trade). Importantly, does he have confidence that he CAN, in fact, finish the work to your satisfaction? Did he schedule another job that starts tomorrow and he's afraid of losing it if he postpones by a week or so? Are his knees in tough shape and he can't stomach the concept of days on hands and knees?

I know you don't have to take any of those factors into account. But knowing what's going on in his head can help you decide which approach to take going forward.

Incidentally, video mode on a smartphone shows shine variations much better than camera mode, you're right that it's hard to get it to show clearly.

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Old 02-19-2019, 09:27 AM   #25
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Clay, thank you for another great response! In general the floor is much improved. Four months out whatever was applied to the floor previously was turning into a smudgy, dirty, streaky mess. Now it is pretty consistent in shine and I can wipe things up like anyone would expect to do with marble or granite. I attached some zoomed out pictures in the same areas as my detail shots.

There are a few inconsistencies that I've noticed. There are probably a dozen or so of the picture frame edges left among the three rooms, but they are generally much less visible. One tile has circular scratches, one tile is a little more matte than the rest, some tiles have etch marks, and some of the solid black (that may or may not be granite) has what seem like permanent water spots. I asked in our note if the contractor was aware of these and if he was still working on them, and he took that to mean that he wasn't going to be paid until the floor was perfect. But really we are just trying to understand our floor and what things can be fixed. I'll post a few pics on the etch marks next.

Removing trim, plinth blocks, and door casings in most places I think would be a nonstarter. In most cases the tile is built up in front of the trim, since the tile was done in the last 20 years and the trim is almost 100 years old. I can only imagine the cost to remove, replace, and repair the damage to all of that woodwork would probably exceed the cost of even replacing the tile in the most offensive areas. Only place it might make sense is the applied 1x3 trim that's essentially a giant shoe around the bottom of our kitchen cabinets.

Overall, I'm trying to step back, look at the floor from a normal perspective, and consider where rugs and furniture will be. The most bothersome areas are then in the corner of the kitchen that I have pictured and in the door frames where it can't be covered and is visible at long distances. Between those areas it might work out to about 20 linear feet of area. What would be a reasonable amount of man hours to expect to improve the edges in that much length?

I went back and looked at the proposal. The quote was for 6-7 days of work which is what we got. We are only on day 8 now because we added another separate project. The disclaimer sheet that accompanied the proposal stated "Edges: Not all surface edges and perimeter can be reached by our machine/equipment. These areas are rarely affected by majority of surface damage, however restoration to any damaged edges will be attempted by hand when or if possible." This seems like where the disconnect lies. When we had the initial walk through we pointed out how the last work done stopped short of the wall. Theirs was even worse: the last 4" before the wall was all covered in diagonal scratches. This contractor noted it was because they only used a machine and no hand work, and that our floor would require a lot of hand work to look good. He was clear that even then he wouldn't be able to get right up on things, but it seemed clear that the critical areas would be done by hand.

We have the face to face meeting set up tomorrow. But after the call last night, I'm not sure that I expect the contractor to arrive with a level head and an openness to come up with a workable solution. I was actually kind of shaken by how personal and emotional that call was, when I thought we were just pointing out what we saw and asking questions.
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Old 02-19-2019, 03:27 PM   #26
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As mentioned earlier, I uploaded some photos of the defects noticed. One is on one material, two on the other. The one's from the veining are hard to see at certain angles and will probably get covered by the rug, but the one on the black is right in the middle of the half bath doorway. My apologies that the photos again could be better, but any guesses at what these might be? Is it an etch, or a natural defect? Is this something I should expect to be taken care of in polishing with either normal or extra effort?

Also to summarize my last two long posts, the two other things that would be most useful going into tomorrow's meeting:

1. Is the haze that I am seeing in the photos above due to only using a floor machine in these areas? I think Clay has confirmed this.
2. Would handwork be able to remove the less polished stripe in entirety, even if the polish is slightly different from the rest of the floor? How close can hand polishing reasonably get to a vertical surface?
3. If we tried to accomplish hand polishing the most visible and obtrusive areas, say for the sake of estimating 20 linear feet, how many man hours would that reasonably take?

Thank you to everyone for the insight as always!
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Old 02-21-2019, 03:12 AM   #27
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Andrew, 20 linear feet, done well, can be several days on knees. Could all be done in 1 day if there were no issues of quality, but that isn't possible here.

It's difficult to tell from the photos. I'd be lying if I said it's clear what the defect is, or if it's a defect.

Do you see heavy individual scratches, slightly curving, in those areas you highlighted? That could come from the coarser grits if they weren't covered by the next level up.

Can you do a short video or two on a smartphone and post that the same way you post a photo? Or link to an iCloud or Google Photos album if you aren't able to post it here?

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Old 03-05-2019, 06:28 AM   #28
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Being marble....im curious if any of the hazing will go away with time? Like when you have marble in a shower...it darkens due to moisture...then returns to normal when it dries.

When it dries...hit it with a enhancing sealer?
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Old 03-05-2019, 10:09 PM   #29
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I doubt that the hazing will go away on its own over time. If it's what I bleeve, it's mechanical, not a surface coating like grout haze that could be 'cleaned away'.

But I'd agree that on darker stone, black in particular, stone color enhancing sealer is the way to go. While it won't do anything for white sections, it can help darken the black stones. It won't visually fix a bad polishing job, but it adds the last final tiuch to a good one.

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