Marble is known for its premium quality, toughness and aesthetic, making it a very popular choice for bathroom countertops, such as this one at a house in Northampton. However just because it’s tough doesn’t mean that Marble can be cleaned with the usual household cleaners. Like all natural stone, Marble is acid sensitive and unsuitable products can have a very damaging effect on its appearance.
In this situation, the property owner had used a limescale remover to remove some unsightly marks from the countertop. Unfortunately, the product was acid-based and instead of making an improvement it just made it worse and caused severe etching.
The first photo above shows the limescale marks from where toiletries have been placed on the side whilst wet. Since Northampton is a hard water area, the limescale deposits over time caused these marks to appear.
Burnishing a Damaged Marble Bathroom Countertop
The only way to effectively remove the Limestone deposits – while at the same time rectifying the damaged caused by the botched cleaning attempt – was to use a system of hand-held diamond encrusted pads and hand help blocks of various grits to cut back the stone and re-polish it, a process we call burnishing.
Before officially beginning the burnishing process, I ran a few tests to determine the type of pad I would need to use to achieve the best results. I found that, in most areas, I would need to use the Tile Doctor 400 Grit (Coarse) pad to resurface the tile and remove the damaged layer of stone, but in some areas where the etching was worse, I would need to use the 200 Grit (Very Coarse) pad.
After burnishing the affected areas with the Coarse and Very Coarse grit pads, I started to incrementally polish the stone to achieve a high-quality shine, working my up through the Medium, Fine and Very grit pads.
No chemicals were used during this process – only water for lubrication, combined with the six-inch diamond encrusted burnishing pads fitted to a hand-held buffing machine.
Sealing a Marble Bathroom Countertop
The final part of the restoration was to seal the stone to maintain a long-lasting, deep polished appearance. To do this, I used Tile Doctor Shine Powder, which is a crystallising sealer in powder form. The powder is applied directly and combined with water, before being worked into the stone to seal it.
The customer was very happy with the results and the level of shine achieved. I gave the customer a complimentary bottle of Tile Doctor Stone Soap, which is our aftercare cleaner for polished natural stone, along with instructions on periodic maintenance to help maintain the finish we had achieved for as long as possible.