If you’re looking for contractors capable of natural stone restoration in Washington D.C, you likely have floors, countertops, or pathways you’re thinking of refinishing. While natural stone can become damaged over time, particularly if it is exposed to the elements, there are ways of restoring your stone surfaces so your investment glistens like new again!
Stone is a beautiful, durable material that has been used for centuries in flooring and countertops. Over time, it can become stained or scratched, making it look dull and outdated. If you have a natural stone floor or countertop that needs restoration, don’t worry! There is a process that can bring your stone back to its former glory. In this article, we will discuss what natural stone restoration is and how the process works. We will also answer the question of whether natural stone can be recycled as well as how much natural stone restoration costs.
What Is Natural Stone Restoration?
While stone is an incredibly durable natural material, it is not impervious to wear and tear—particularly if it is left outside where it can encounter wind and abrasion, acidic rain, or even just basic chips from impact with other hard objects. The process of restoring natural stone surfaces is one of making the worn or damaged stone appear new again.
What Is the Process of Restoring Stone Floors or Countertops?
There are several steps for restoring natural stone surfaces such as countertops or floors that remain the same regardless of the type of stone. The first step in this process requires the use of a diamond grinder to render the surface of the stone completely flat and free from bumps or divots. This process also creates a slightly abrasive surface which can make for better adhesion if repairing chipped or cracked areas.
Next is the rehoning phase. During this part of the stone restoration process, the stone is buffed using a fine, abrasive powder and water to remove any surface scratches or stains. This can be applied on an as-needed basis to the floor or countertop or across the entire surface.
After rehoning comes the polishing phase. Polishing the natural stone brings it back to its original shine and color, which may highlight the natural character of the stone itself, such as patterns or natural coloration.
Once a natural stone surface has been ground, rehoned, and polished, it must be sealed using special impregnators or sealers. This adds additional protection from further damage or wear and adds a level of shine to the finished product.
Can Stone Be Recycled?
Part of the beauty of choosing natural stone as one of your primary materials when designing a home or business is that it can easily be recycled or reused in an array of new applications. What’s more, the “patina,” or natural character of the stone, is only accentuated with age, making it the perfect material to repurpose and give a “second life” both aesthetically, and in the fact that it costs much less than purchasing brand new materials.
Can Natural Stone Countertops or Floors Become Damaged?
While it is possible to give stone floors or countertops a second life by grinding, honing, polishing and sealing them, natural stone itself is not impervious to damage. There are several ways that natural stone countertops or floors can become damaged, including:
· Scratches: Especially common if you are dragging furniture over stone floors, scratching occurs when abrasive materials harder than stone are dragged across it. In this case, the natural stone will have to be resurfaced.
· Chemical etching: If an acidic substance is exposed to the stone surface, it will eat away at the area and leave dull, discolored marks on the natural stone. If your natural stone surface has been impacted by chemical etching, the only way to remedy the situation is through re-polishing and sealing the stone.
· Stun marks: When a blunt or heavy object falls on the stone surface, it is likely to leave a white, discolored area at the point of impact. This weakens the stone and can cause it to fracture or break over time, depending on the scale of the impact. Stun marks can be superficial or completely run the full depth of the stone.
· Temperature changes: Stone is not impervious to extreme fluctuations in temperature. For example, high heat can “shock” the stone and cause it to crack—whereas any exposure to ice may create fissures in the stone, depending on the porosity. Natural stones with a higher porosity, like sandstone, are more sensitive to changes in the elements.
· Discoloration or stains: Should your stone become exposed to certain oils, rust, or extremely acidic or basic solutions, it may become discolored in the affected area. Water itself can stain stone, through the gradual buildup of deposits.
· Cracks: Even if you are able to find a low-porosity stone able to withstand weather extremes, there are some instances in which cracks are bound to happen. Examples of this include tree roots growing beneath the stone surface, a poor paving base at the foundation, or unskilled jointing efforts.
· Salt deposits: While these can usually be rinsed away with water, natural stone exposed to the outdoors often accumulates efflorescence—a chalky, white substance composed of a buildup of salt deposits. The good news is, while this is an eyesore, it does not permanently damage the stone in any way—but it is good practice to wash it away.
How Much Does Natural Stone Restoration Cost?
One of the reasons that homeowners and business owners opt to use natural stone as a building material for their space is that it is durable and can be repurposed and restored. But how much does it cost, exactly, to refinish your stone surface?
Stone restoration and polishing tends to cost between $5-$8 per square foot, depending on the scope of the project and the depth of cleaning, polishing, and sealing required to bring the stone back to its original state.
Natural Stone Restoration Washington D.C.
Using natural stone as a building material in your next construction project offers a classy, timeless look to your space that is both durable and able to be refinished, recycled, and repurposed. How often you will need to have your natural stone restored depends on many factors, including whether the stone is inside or outside, the porosity, and exposure to damaging elements like rust or acidic solutions. Natural stone is not only an aesthetically pleasing option for building material, but it is also a more eco-friendly option as well—and can even save you countless money on a large-scale project!