This is a process by which the surface is aggressively abraded to remove large amounts of the stone surface. This process is usually recommended when stone tiles are uneven. Lippage is the term given to uneven tiles that are set higher than one another. This is not an uncommon occurrence, as it is extremely difficult to lay a perfectly flat and level floor. Grinding is recommended when the lippage exceeds 1/8 inch or if one desires to have a completely flat floor. There are some very good benefits to using the grinding process, when performed correctly, it will eliminate recessed grout joints - the grout will be flush with the tiles's surface so that dirt and grit can not accumulate, reducing surface wear. A completely flat floor eliminates all unevenness, giving the floor the appearanc of being monolithic. Just as there are several good reasons for grinding, there are also some minor inconveniences. Grinding is a very time consuming and expensive process. With some stones, like granite, it can take an entire day to grind 100 square feet. Some of the softer stones can be ground as fast as 1000 square feet a day. The grinding process is also somewhat messy. In some cases large amounts of water needed to lubricate the diamond abrasives and create a slurry instead of a dust cloud. Our technicians are equipped and trained to protect and drape all architectural surfaces such as faux finished baseboards, silk wall coverings, white wool carpet
This is a process if smoothing the stone with the use of abrasives. Although not as aggressive as grinding, it does require the use of water, and can also be messy. Honing is performed to remove scratches and/or to achieve a matte finish instead of a high shine, and will not remove lippage(uneven tiles). It can, however, round the edges of the stone, giving a smoother finish to the edge. The honing process is usually achieved with the use if diamond abrasives, although some contractors prefer silicon-carbide bricks or screens. Which abbrasives are used is not as important as the skill level of the craftmen. Honing can leave a stone floor with very little shine, although some stones will acquire a satan like luster at very high hones.
The high shine observed on stone is the result of smoothing it with fine abrassives. Most craftsmen will use diamond abrasives to hone the stone, then switch to a powdered abrasive to achieve the final polish. Powdered abrasives contain superfine crystals of aluminum oxide or tin oxide. These powders are usually white, but can be yellow, brown gray. The abrasive powder is worked into the stone with a floor machine (buffer) uising water and cloth or polyester fiber pads. The powder is worked into a slurry intil a polish us achieved. The craftsman removes the slurry with a wet-vac or mop and rinses the floor to remove excess powder. It's a relatively simple procedure, but it requires a good deal of practice for several reasons. Many polishing powders contain a compound known as oxaic acid, which is used to speed the polishing process, and if too much is used, the stone can burn and have etches in the surface. On the other hand, if too little powder is used, the final polish may not be achieved. A good craftsman will be familiar with the powder technique.
This process is common for removing scratches, wear patterns and etches that come from normal traffic or during the construction process. This process is not as aggressive as grinding but can remove decades of wear including deep scratches, it will not remove lippage. It can, however, round the edges of the stone, giving a smoother finish to the edge. Diamond abrasives and water are utilized for the resurfacing process. Once the floor is resurfaced, it is polished to a high, mirror like finish.