The first decision to make is whether to repair or replace the stone in question. In almost all cases, repair work will be significantly cheaper than replacing a stone floor or worktop. Some problems can be resolved at home while others require the assistance of an expert stone worker. Below we’ve listed some common problems and one solution.
Restore dulled polish
This common problem can sometimes be solved at home. Cleaning the entire surface and applying a polish that is designed for your particular stone will often revitalize a slightly dulled polish. If large areas are affected or home polishing isn’t enough, it’s possible to refinish a worktop or stone floor. This process involves stripping a millimetre or so off the stone to create a new finish, so may not be appropriate for stone tiles. If done by an amateur, results can be uneven so its best to hire a professional.
Often seen together, scratches and chips have similar solutions. Small chips and cracks can sometimes be hidden by a thorough clean and polish, using ordinary stone cleaners and polishes. However, more extensive damage, for example furniture damage to a stone floor, may require professional intervention. In this case, an expert stone worker will create a paste using natural stone and adhesives. This will be carefully matched to the colour of your existing stone and used to fill any gaps or chips. Once the filling is complete, fine sanding and polishing can completely restore the stone. As the adhesive has its own colour properties, the paste may not appear to match until it is completely dry and polished.
Dealing with cracks
Usually a sign of significant damage, cracks are one of the most worrying problems to spot. As stone is largely self-supporting, a crack usually indicates that excessive force has been applied somehow. While it can be obvious how the damage occurred, this isn’t always the case. As an example, you’ll often see cracked stone tiles in city centres due to trucks mounting the kerb, but you can see a similar damage pattern in a stone floor or bathroom tiling where subsidence is occurring as the weight of the house shifting causes significant pressure. Likewise, a cracked stone worktop usually indicates that it’s not been properly supported. For this reason, while cracks can often be repaired as though they were chips, their cause should be investigated.
Replacing stone tiles
Tiled stone floors and walls are the exception to the ‘repair not replace’ rule. If you have a well-matched tile, then replacing a damaged tile is often easier, cheaper and more effective than attempting a repair. Finding matching stone tiles can be difficult, as natural stone has patterning that is unique on each slab. This is why we always recommend that customers order a few more tiles than they need, and store them in case repairs are required in the future.