Earlier this year I was working on the restoration of a floor in Oxford and the client asked if I would look at the Marble Countertop in the bathroom. I often get asked to look at additional items whilst on site and always happy to see if I can help.
Unfortunately, the stone had been cleaned with an unsuitable cleaning product (probably bleach based) and this had etched the surface leaving what appeared to be an unsightly splash mark ruining its appearance.
You do have to be careful with household cleaning products around Marble, always read the label first and check to see if it is safe to use on natural stone before application. Many products are acidic and will etch into Marble as was the case here. I explained to the client what I could do, and she agreed to add the cost onto the quote for the floor I was already doing. I took photos but it is quite hard to see the damage on the images.
My base in Chalgrove is only 11 miles outside of Oxford so it’s not a problem to pop back and pick up some extra materials if I need them. In this case I was able to bring them along on day two of cleaning and sealing the floor.
Polishing an Etched Marble Vanity Countertop
The only way to restore a polished Marble surface like this is to use a set of diamond encrusted burnishing pads to slowly hone the stone and rebuild the polish. We do this all the time for Marble floors however the pads are the large 17-inch type, for this you need the smaller 6-inch pads which fit a hand buffer and the smaller handheld burnishing blocks.
I started with the handheld diamond blocks and water, starting with the coarse grit to remove the etching, and then working through the grades to leave a smooth but dull finish. I then followed this up with the 6-inch diamond pads in sequence from 800 grit up to 3000 grit to give the top the desired finish.
Sealing a Marble Vanity Top
When it was dry, I sealed it with a coat of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal which is almost invisible. This product is a no-sheen, natural-look, solvent-based penetrating sealer. It gives maximum protection without a shiny finish, so perfect for this vanity top as we wanted the natural colour of the marble to shine through without a shiny finish.
The client was not only over the moon with the work on the floor I had carried out, she was also delighted that I had been able to restore the vanity top in the bathroom as it had been annoying her for some time.
I discussed with the customer the best way to maintain the Marble surface was to use Tile Doctor Stone Soap cleaner, this is pH balanced and nice and gentle on the marble and helps maintain the patina. It’s supplied as a concentrate so you only need to use a small amount, it can also be used to clean their newly cleaned and sealed floor.