This is another Home Flooring Pros How-To guide and follows directly on from our last guide on how to clean marble floors. This time out we’re going to take a look at marble floor polishing and how to restore the shine.
The gleaming appeal of freshly installed marble floors is unsurpassed. With time and foot traffic, the glory fades, and homeowners wonder if it can be restored. Yes, it can!
So let’s begin this step by step guide and show you how to polish marble floors yourself.
We’re going to show you how to polish marble floors using two different methods. First, we discuss dry polishing for small rooms with tight spaces like bathrooms and move to wet polishing for larger areas with few obstacles.
We conclude with professional marble floor polishing options and costs for those that want to ensure factory-fresh results.
How to Restore a Marble Floor (Dry Polishing)
Marble’s opulent sparkle is still there, hidden beneath a scuffed and murky surface but waiting to shine again.
Here’s how to make that happen using a dry polishing method.
DIY tip: Wet polishing (our second method below) using water and polishing powder, is an option too, but it takes practised technique to be successful plus makes additional mess that must be cleaned up to avoid staining the marble. The first-time marble polishing DIY homeowner will achieve better results with the dry polishing method, but it is labour intensive for large areas.
Step 1: Clear the Room
Perhaps this goes without saying, but working in an empty room, rather than moving furniture as you go, is easier. It will allow you to focus on the job, keep track of what’s been polished and prevent you from tracking polishing dust into adjoining rooms.
Step 2: Gather your Tools
Safety first! Dry polishing marble flooring creates dust you certainly don’t want to breath. Wear protective goggles and a respirator. This affordable combo kit contains both.
Wearing leather gloves, long pants and knee pads is essential to keeping fine marble and diamond dust from agitating your skin when you contact the floor.
An orbital sander: While a standard drill (worst) or angle grinder (better) can be used, an orbital sander is best designed for this type of work. If you’re not familiar with this tool, one look at it will demonstrate that it offers superior control and the ability to exert firm and steady downward pressure. You can see why an orbital sander is also called a palm sander.
DIY tip: A corded orbital sander is a better choice than a cordless unit. While keeping the cord out of the way is a slight nuisance, you will appreciate having continuous power for many hours of polishing. There won’t be interruptions switching batteries or waiting for a battery to charge. This Bosch model is both affordable and highly rated with many reviews.
A palm sander can be rented at Home Depot and elsewhere, but the charge for a single weekend is about half the cost of buying the unit. DIY enthusiasts will find many other uses for the sander, so owning rather than renting is our recommendation.
Diamond polishing pads for marble: You want a set of diamond marble polishing pads ranging from quite coarse (50 to 100 grit) to very fine (3000 grit). Most kits have a backer pad too, the piece that fits into the sander and grips the Velcro backing of the pads.
We like this Change Moore set because it includes all you need including the most common grits plus a buffing pad to really bring out the sparkle. Additional pads in all grits plus buff are available and easy to order.
DIY tip: Buy a second set of diamond polishing pads, especially if doing a marble floor larger than a bathroom. You won’t run out of pads in the middle of the job, and the extras can be used for touching up small scratches, saved for your next marble floor polishing project in a few years or used to refinish things like metal cabinets and more.
Shop vacuum with a soft-brush head: Make sure the filter is in place, because you’re about to make a lot of fine dust.