If you want to achieve maximum shine on your natural stone floors, it’s important that you understand the four best polishing methods out there.
Buffing with polishing powders and compounds, grinding with diamond abrasives, crystallization and applying barrier coatings.
Let’s understand the basics of these methods and how they apply to your home:
When you polish with powders and compounds, you are using aluminum or tin oxide abrasive powder that are buffed on the surface of the stone for the pursuit of shine. “Buff” is a fancy term that basically means rub. These chemicals are placed on the surface of your stone, wet with water and then formed into a paste that is buffed into the stone using an 175 rpm weighted floor machine. Be sure you or whoever is operating this machine is skilled in using it. If so, it’s quite a fun machine to play with. Just don’t lose control of it and break a hole in the wall.
Grinding with diamond abrasives is achieved by grinding instead of buffing. Various grits and industrial grade diamonds are ground into the rocks until a more mechanical shine is accomplished. This is done by placing three to six discs at the bottom of your floor machine and held on with Velcro. It’s a different shine than what polishing powders can achieve.
When it come stop coating, a more artificial shine is the result, as the surface is waxed into perfection. A liquid or semi-liquid form of wax, acrylic, urethane or other polymer is coated onto the surface of the rock with a mop, roller, lambs wool applicator or sprayer. In order to achieve shine, some of them need to be “buffed out.” However, this is not recommended if you are dealing with porous stone.
The process of crystallization is different from all the others. In it, a chemical called fluorosillicate is sprayed onto the stone and buffed in which causes a new, glassy look. What’s required is your standard 175 rpm floor machine with a drive plate at the bottom. This plate creates the heat and friction used to form and polish the crystals.