If you want to polish the edge of your granite tile, you will need several specialized power tools, many grits of sandpaper and a buffers wheel with polishing compounds. This is only a job for a serious do it yourself person, it will take a considerable amount of time and the results may not be perfect. If done correctly and with proper diligence, you will be able to achieve a professional grade job.
Things You'll Need
- Belt sander
- Sandpaper--ranging in grit from 40 to 600
- Polishing compound
- Jewelers rouge
- Tile sealant
Use a belt sander with coarse 40 grit sandpaper for your first step. Wet the sandpaper. Use the coarsest grit to grind down the granite to a bull nose or curved contour. This will take some difficult work and sweat. Be patient. Some people prefer to grind the tiles before installing them on the counter to prevent damage to the thinset through excessive vibration. Others, install it first and then bullnose it to make sure the bull-nosed granite tile is flush with adjacent tiles.
Move up progressively to a finer grit sandpaper, always keeping it wet. Use 80 grit, 150 grit, 240 grit, 400 grit, and finish with 600 grit. Keep sanding consistently until the granite seems to be uniformly polished to that level. Switch to the next grit all the way up to 600. This can be done with a disc grinder as well but it is more time consuming.
Once the tile has been bull-nosed, use a coarse cotton buffer with a Tripoli compound. These can be found at your local hardware store or arts and crafts store. Eventually, as with the sanding, you need to work to finer and finer compounds. Jewelers will carry white and red rouge as a buffing compound for the final stages.
Seal the edge with granite tile sealant, available at hardware stores. After you have double checked your polishing for rough spots or inconsistencies, seal the tile according to manufacturer's instructions.
Tips & Warnings
- Get a friend to help in order to give your arms rest from the sanding on larger jobs.
- For a less professional and quicker way, simply coat the edge with a polyurethane coating to make the edge look a little more reflective. If you do not have the time or the patience, take the granite to a local tile vendor who will bull nose and buff out the tile.
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images
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