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Marble restoration ans cristalisation

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MARBLE: THE ULTIMATE MATERIAL
Marble can be laid as a floor or a wall covering, both inside and outside, and in all types of premises. The paradox of marble (marble, marbled stone or limestone, Terrazzo, Granito): it is both mechanically strong and yet very sensitive to chemical aggression. Granite is more mechanically resistant and less chemically sensitive, but generally more costly than marble. Marble is a material where, after sanding, “new can be made from old”. .

LAYING AND 1ST SANDING
The marble is laid “straight from sawing” (chain saw marks visible); in very narrow strips, then sanded in water “ready for laying”. The traces of the saw and the cusps or burrs (difference in levels between slabs when laying) are thus removed. When the floor is sanded during renovation work, this is called “repeat sanding”.

SURFACE FINISHING
Marble is beautiful when it is clear, transparent and free from scratches. For reasons of taste and ease of maintenance, the shiny finish is often preferred to a matt or softer finish.
After laying, the marble is then sanded, then mechanically polished to an increasingly finer degree; the shine is achieved chemically through a reaction between the material and a powder with some acid.
The quality of the final shine is determined by the degree of fineness of the mechanical polishing.
The “increase in shine” is achieved by sealing the capillarity of the material, thus making it less permeable to liquids and more resistant to mechanical abrasion.
For safety reasons, outdoor marble which is exposed to the elements should never have the high gloss finish.

MOTIFS D’INTERVENTION SUR LES MARBRES
Les motivations de rénovation sont fortes quand les marbres sont dépolis, ternes et d’aspect sale.

ORIGIN OF THE PROBLEMS
The problems stem from the physical and chemical properties of the material.
- Its natural capillarity allows any liquid to penetrate its surface.
- Its composition (carbonate crystals, limestone) is very sensitive to acid or alkaline liquids which have a destructive effect and increase its capillarity.
Marbles can be seriously damaged by cleaning chemicals when they are used badly or in too great a dose. Food acids (lemon, cola, champagne) can have similarly devastating effects on the shine.

SHINE IS ALL TO DO WITH REFRACTION OF THE LIGHT
It is the mass of light reflected by the material towards the retina which gives shine. The greater the smoothness and density of the material, the higher the concentration of light rays reflected towards the retina.

AN EVALUATION OF THE SOLUTIONS
For successful long-lasting renovation, the core of the material and the original density has to be found by sanding. Therefore it is necessary to go down as deep as possible (some 10ths of millimetres) even if it appears that the floor is not scratched. All methods, with the exception of sanding but including scouring (resetting the coating to its untreated form), are either maintenance solutions providing residual shine, or economic renovation solutions. They do not remove scratches and so produce a blurred shine.

1° - Scouring/emulsion.
Emulsion = product comprised of polymers and metallic ions. The metallic particles contained in the emulsion produce the shine.
Advantages: - excellent resistance to acids - great mechanical resistance to abrasion - reduced cost and ease of maintenance
Philosophy: Emulsion fills in abrasions, as a substitute for the marble
Disadvantages.- artificial shine, surface effect - need for maintenance
Applications.Protection of flooring in high traffic locations: sanitary areas, gritty environment (sea and mountain) and premises not requiring natural shine: stairs, badly lit sites, high traffic, etc…

2° - Scouring/Wax
Advantage acts as a filler
Disadvantage Needs regular maintenance. Slight greasy aspect
Applications Areas with high volume of traffic receiving daily maintenance as a matter of course

3° - Scouring/spray method
Incorrectly called “crystallisation”, this concerns a shine procedure using metallisation; spraying a product and working the floor with wire wool, without sanding. It is a maintenance method for residual shine, but not a renovation procedure.
Advantages. Quick to carry out - Less costly than the following solutions
Disadvantages. Dull shine on very scratched floor - Renovated shine only slightly durable - 24 hours drying time after scouring
Applications. - Procedure to be used for maintaining the existing shine.

4° - Scouring/Crystallisation .
A true method of increasing shine, it is lead free, and is used when damp, using reactive and polishing acidic powder.
Advantages. Quick to carry out, no waiting after scouring - Intense, natural and long lasting shine
Disadvantages. None.
Applications. Procedure restores intense shine, without sanding, thanks to micro-polishing powder.

5° - Sanding/Crystallisation.
Flagship BASIC SYSTEM® method. Real diamond sanding of material to obtain high degree of fineness of polishing grain. Increase in shine by using lead-free crystallising powder.
Advantages. have NEW marble that is without scratches and is as shiny as new.
Disadvantages. None.
Applications. - true deep renovation method for scratched marbles

Basic System uses all these methods adapting them case by case

Common misconceptions.
- Sanding marble is dirty and generates dust: False: it is done when damp.
- The shine is not long lasting. False The marble has to be cleaned daily with a product which is pH 7 = neutral. BASIC SYSTEM® can provide this. Using alcohol leaves whitish traces..

 

MARBLE
In all its splendour !

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