Stone Care: Coatings vs Cutting

Published on
March 11, 2024 at 3:55:50 PM PDT March 11, 2024 at 3:55:50 PM PDTth, March 11, 2024 at 3:55:50 PM PDT

Many of the buildings, especially schools, here on Long Island were built in the 50’s and 60’s and many of them use a composite flooring substrate known as terrazzo. Every floor care technician is tasked with the same objective: seal, finish, and clean the floor. Whether its terrazzo, marble, or concrete, we have a choice about the short term cost to maintain this floor as well as the long term sustainability.

One option is to treat the stone as you would a normal VCT or vinyl tile by using a self-sealing finish and maintaining it with neutral cleaners, etc. Since stone is much more porous than VCT tile, a special stone finish will be required. Once this finish is applied, the floor can be treated and maintained like any other floor. This option offers simplicity to floor care while also returning the expected results you are used to.

The other option, which is gaining traction in the market, is to hone and refinish the stone floor. Rather than applying conventional floor finish, we will use diamond discs to cut and smooth out the stone surface. This is a labor intensive technique, but only needs to be done once. When the stone is smooth and glossy, just apply an impregnator sealer to protect the stone from staining. This option has the potential to provide a financial return on investment because there isn’t the need to strip and finish the floors ever again!

Verdict: If it is financially feasible to hone and seal the floor, this is the much better option for two reasons. One, it provides a fantastic gloss look with a virtually chemical-free process. And secondly, the financial return on investment may come in as little as 1-2 years.