How to Repair a Marble Floor

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When marble flooring is in tip-top condition, it can make a bold statement. But neglect can take a big toll on its appearance. Even marble floors that are simply dirty require special attention; they will not look clean with ordinary cleaning agents, which can actually harm marble floors and make restoration difficult. However, from minor scratches to broken and cracked tiles, it is possible to restore a marble floor to its original appearance.

Things You'll Need

  • pH-neutral cleaner
  • Cotton wet mop
  • Bucket
  • 17" 175-rpm floor machine
  • 17" red cleaning pad
  • 17" white buffing pads
  • Wet/dry vacuum
  • Tin oxide
  • Felt polishing cloth
  • Acetone
  • Epoxy glue or marble repair cement
  • Marble dust
  • Wash the marble floor with a cotton mop using a pH-neutral cleaner. Change the water in the mop bucket frequently to prevent reapplying dirty water to the floor. Work in small sections to prevent the floor from drying out before it has been thoroughly cleaned and rinsed.

  • Buff the floor with a 17" red cleaning pad mounted onto a 17" 175-rpm floor machine. Once a small section has been washed and buffed, vacuum the dirty solution from the floor using a wet/dry vacuum. When a section of the floor is done, move onto an adjoining section and repeat until the entire floor has been cleaned and scrubbed.

  • Rinse the floor using a clean mop and clean rinse water. Vacuum the water from the floor and allow the floor to dry. Once the floor is thoroughly dry, use a felt polishing cloth and tin oxide to hand buff out minor scratches in the floor.

  • Clean out any areas with acetone where marble pieces have broken off to insure bonding. Glue the broken pieces back into place with epoxy glue or marble repair cement, being careful not to get excess glue on the marble's surface. If a broken piece cannot be found, make a slurry of marble dust and marble repair cement or epoxy; shape it into the hole and allow it to dry. Purchase marble dust that matches as closely as possible the color of the marble flooring. Repair cracks in a similar manner by working the slurry into the crack. Use tin oxide on a felt polishing cloth to polish the newly repaired section.

  • Rinse the floor a final time to remove all the tin oxide and marble dust. After the floor has dried, a final buffing with a white polishing pad will give the floor a lustrous shine.

Tips & Warnings

  • Before beginning any work on a marble floor, dust mop to remove as much surface dirt as possible.
  • Never use any cleaner stronger than a pH-neutral cleaner on a marble floor. Acid cleaners will etch the surface and require re-grinding and polishing to restore the floor.
  • Marble needs to breathe so putting any kind of a wax on a marble floor will prevent moisture from escaping and will eventually cause the floor to crack.

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References

  • "The Complete Book of Floors"; Alan Berman; 2000
  • " Flooring: The Essential Source Book for Planning, Selecting and Restoring Floors"; Elizabeth Willhide; 2005
  • Photo Credit Marble texture image by Viacheslav Anyakin from Fotolia.com
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