DIY Home Improvement, Remodeling & Repair Forum

DIY Home Improvement, Remodeling & Repair Forum (
-   Cleaning (
-   -   Cleaning marble tile floor (

Superpack 12-03-2009 03:50 AM

Cleaning marble tile floor
Last year we installed a natural marble floor. From the beginning there has been some cloudiness on some of the tile. I have used all kinds of products that were suppose to take the cloudy residue off but nothing has helped. If you touch the tile you it's very smooth. So it's not like any kind of buildup. I noticed today that it just seems to be on the tile where we walk. The others are still shine a glassy looking. What could this be and how do we clean it? Thanks for the help.


CraigFL 12-03-2009 06:12 AM

Typically, marble is mechanically polished for that shiny look. Some people put a sealer or a wax over it to protect it. If you didn't do this, then the surface may be wearing to that patina. You will have to decide if it's worth repolishing it and/or sealing it. I never liked wax or sealers over my marble because it gave it a "fake stone" look as well as changed the color some.

Nestor_Kelebay 12-03-2009 12:12 PM

I agree 100% with CraigFL that the cause of the whitish discolouration is due to a roughening of the surface of the marble due to foot traffic. Specifically, the tiny bits of grit that become embedded in the rubber or leather soles of shoes that scratch up a relatively soft rock like marble.

If you want to confirm this, simply wipe down the whitish area with a sponge dampened with water. (not a soaking wet sponge. You just want to put a thin water film over the roughened surface of the marble)

Does the whitish discolouration largely disappear and the marble look pretty well as it should when it's wet?

If so, then the problem is that the white discolouration i being caused by the roughness of the marble surface, but you can correct that problem by polishing the marble smooth again as CraigFL says, or by cleaning the marble and putthing a clear acrylic sealer over it to restore the appearance.

I disagree with CraigFL on the use of a sealer over the marble. I put an acrylic sealer on both of my sister's VCT floors, and it typically lasts 7 to 10 years before it needs attention, and the attention can be done in one day, two days max. And, both nephews of mine were using their roller blades to play ball hockey on that VCT tile floor, so it's not like that floor didn't see any action.

Post again if you want to know why the whitish discoloration largely disappears when the marble tiles are wet, or if you want to know why you'd probably be better off using an acrylic sealer on your floor as opposed to an acrylic floor finish.

If you're willing to spend $1000 on a floor machine, then you could have those marble floors looking like they've got a layer of glass over them, but that's provided you're willing to move all the furniture off that floors and machine scrub it and apply a new coat or two of finish every few months. Floor finishes are meant to be softer so that they can be machine scrubbed to remove the dirty surface layer and so that they respond better to polishing.

stevensonjames88 12-09-2009 05:58 AM

First, I believe the cloudy things can be attributed to a lot of people using that area. There are costly machines that can do the trick, but I think simple everyday polishing would do the trick. It will eventually fade away with simple polisher and wax.

jasminedicosta 01-29-2010 01:38 AM

wash and clean daily your marble floor.and take one time service of cleaning company then you can also clean it in daily bases.

Nestor_Kelebay 01-29-2010 09:50 AM

There is a technology to cleaning floors that has been used since the 1930's to maintain hardwood floors that can be equally well used for marble floors. In a nutshell, that technology calls for the homeowner to cover the floor with a sacrificial coating of some sort (think "floor wax") that can be renewed periodically to restore the floor to it's original condition. That is, shoe leather never touches the marble cuz there's always a layer of something between the two that wears out instead.

Nowadays, that layer would typically consist of two or three coats of acrylic sealer and 5 to 8 coats of acrylic floor finish. The sealers is meant to be permanent, and it's job is to protect the floor from stains. The finish is what wears down, and it can be repaired or replaced to restore the appearance of the floor. This is what's done on vinyl composition tile floors, which is why vinyl composition tile floors are most often used in commercial settings... the finish on them can be maintained to look like a new for the entire life of the building they're installed in. Since it's only the acrylic floor finish that takes the wear, and this finish is continually repaired or replaced, the underlying flooring essentially lasts indefinitely. It's like asking how long a floor would last if you keep replacing the carpet on it. The answer would be "indefinitely".

Nowadays, no one uses floor wax anymore. It's way too soft, and so it doesn't last long without becoming all scratched and damaged and looking dull in the traffic areas. What people use nowadays are acrylic sealers and acrylic floor finishes which have higher gloss and are harder than Carnauba Wax (real floor wax). Acrylic floor finishes stay glossy longer than floor wax ever did, and so they require much less maintenance. I use an acrylic floor finish called Carefree (made by the S. C. Johnson Wax Company) on each of the apartments in my building.

Basically, you CAN strip all the acrylic floor finish off your floor and replace it to restore the appearance of the floor, but the more practical solution is just to use a floor machine like this one:

to scrub off the dirty, rough and damaged surface of the acrylic floor finish, and then mop down new floor finish to replace what was scrubbed off.

The problem is that a floor machine like the one pictured above will cost about $2000 brand new, but you can get smaller and more basic models for $1000. Generally, there aren't too many used floor machines on the market, but if you can find a used floor machine in good condition, that would be another option.

Eurostone Marble

Without doing the above, about the only way to keep a marble floor looking new would be to keep polishing down the roughened surface of the marble.

Superpack 02-01-2010 04:10 AM

Thanks for this useful information.

Best Regards,

frozenstar 02-24-2010 11:32 PM

I had a good read! :D And I totally agree with CraigFL! :) Thanks for the links Nestor!

itsreallyconc 02-28-2010 01:20 AM

that's why i never wanted soft marble in our homes & there's no hard marble,,, NCL's ONE is a GREAT wax - we use it over our decorative conc floors,,, you can have a specialist come in & repolish which's the best thing,,, any sealer will only protect what's there now & accentuate the wear,,, we have reg tile, wood parquet, & carpet - no marble !

respectfully must post a decent polisher's about $5K on up - runs on single phase 22ov, & will require $2K in diamond tooling to repolish marble,,, this is NOT a task for the diy'er - we sub this work, too

hadiya 04-15-2010 12:01 AM

Fill the bucket with hot water and dish soap. Gently scrub the floor with the sponge so that you don't leave any scratches or other marks. Make sure the sponge is completely drenched in the hot soapy water to get the maximum effect when cleaning. Scrub back and forth in a sweeping motion across the floor.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:53 PM.