Over time, the finish on natural stone tiles becomes worn and scratched from chairs, pets and shoes. This leaves the tiles looking dull and unsightly. Buffing removes the scratches and leaves the floor with a renewed shine. Using special polishing pads with a buffing machine is like sanding down all the blemishes and resurfacing the tiles. Because stone tiles are consistently colored all the way through, there is no need to worry about damaging the surface. As your natural stone flooring expert, we enjoy sharing our knowledge with you. If, at any point, the job becomes too difficult, or you need an experienced professional’s help, just give us a call!
- Mop the floor to remove all built-up dirt, oil, and other debris from the pores in the tile. Suction up the water with a wet vac.
- Mix a batch of filler compound according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Use the compound to fill cracks, chips, and holes in the tiles. Pack the compound tightly into the cracks and holes, and apply enough so that it extends above the surface of the tile. Leave the filler to cure as directed.
- Cover the doorways into the room or close the doors. Close the air vents in the room. This prevents any dust from spreading throughout the house. Open windows for ventilation.
- Tape plastic sheeting to any immovable objects in the room. This includes baseboards, cabinets or appliances and is necessary to prevent damages resulting from contact with the buffing machine.
- Check the buffing machine to make sure it is in good working order. Clean any dirt or debris away from the moving parts of the machine as they will interfere with operation.
- Install a 100-grit diamond polishing pad on the floor buffing machine. Uncoil the power cord and make sure it is behind the machine. Fill the well on the buffer with water when using a wet diamond polishing pad. Dry polishing pads do not require you to fill the well.
- Guide the machine over the floor to smooth out any uneven spots, level the patches where you just filled in cracks and remove scratches. Direct the machine in long, even strokes, and do not concentrate on any one spot for too long or you will leave swirl marks. Continue buffing until you finish the entire floor.
- Change the pad on the machine to a 200-grit diamond polishing pad, and make a second pass across the entire floor. Once done, repeat the process with a 400-grit pad, then an 800-grit pad.
- Continue buffing the floor until you reach the desired sheen, increasing the grit of the pad as needed. Replace each grit level of polishing pad as needed. The pads wear out over time and will not buff the floor properly once dulled.
- Mop the tiles with clear water to pick up any dust or debris left from buffing. Then vacuum up the water with the wet vac. Leave the floor tiles to dry completely before sealing to protect them from staining.
We hope our step by step guide on how to buff natural stone tile will help you with your next DIY project….and remember, we’re always one call away for any of your natural stone care needs!