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Unread 04-02-2022, 10:01 AM   #1
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Order of operations for restoring marble floor

Hi All-

My house has a powder room with 12x12 white marble tile. Tile is about 30 years old and is scratched and dingy. The grout sits way below the face of the tiles and is also yellow and missing in places.

I want to re-grout it and get the floor looking better- specifically remove the scratches and buff it up to a honed look (I don't need mirror finish or anything). What is the order of operations?

Is it:
1. Remove grout
2. Use diamond pads from 400-xx00 grit (using some type of orbital machine)
3. Clean up from polishing
4. Seal marble
5. Use non sanded grout (grout lines are 1/8)
6. Seal again?

Or do I grout before the polishing/grinding portion?

Thanks in advance,
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Unread 04-02-2022, 08:03 PM   #2
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An orbital sander and silicon carbide sandpaper would be the easier route. Clean it first, sand and the regrout.
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Unread 04-03-2022, 07:44 AM   #3
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thank you
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Unread 05-17-2022, 10:58 AM   #4
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Diamond pads on some type of orbital machines is where all your failure and success for your project will come from and it's in this one line that a good stone person will spend most of their time making minor changes with huge results based on the stone type and damage.

Although it's doable by someone untrained, it isn't advisable. Tiny changes in pad maker, force applied, equipment used and time spent on each grit will make significant differences in your final product.

Let's say you want to give it a go

400 is too soft to remove scratches. Depending on how badly scratched start with 1XX or 2XX but probably 1XX for most marble scratches that are that old. If you start at 400 you are shining the scratch up which makes it look worse as the contrast between shiney stone and scratch gets more pronounced.
I think you said it was a floor. How large? A handheld polisher will take a very long time on a floor and is great for countertops. The polisher should be variable speed and start at 0 so you can go slower than the number 1 on the speed guage. Ideally going the speed the correct floor polisher rotates is what you are shooting for in almost every grit of polish. Going higher burns most marbles. So there are a few polishers specifically used in stone restoration that go the speed you require. Each grit you are looking to erase the grit marks from the prior grit. There is an audible change in sound when you have done enough passes to move on to the next grit. Go slow and if using a hand polisher you want to apply weight to the machine. If you use a floor machine there are weighed plates you can add to the machine and usually a weighted pad driver will help also. Use quality impregnated resin diamond pads all in the same brand for consistency.Buy quality diamond pads so you have better quality scratches. Go slow and don't allow your machine to ramp up and down. Keep the machine very flat.
There is a reason a professional charges what seems to be ridiculous amounts to repolish your floor. Each stone is different and requires different things to get polished properly. Good luck
Your order of operations is good.
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