Assessing the Stone’s Current Condition

Knowing the current condition of the stone is another critical first step. It is recommended that you develop a checklist of questions to use in your routine examination of the current conditions. Your checklist should include questions such as:

Are the tiles flat and even?

Are there any cracked tiles?

What type of stone finish exists?

Has the stone been coated with any waxes, acrylics, enhancers, or other coatings? If so, which type and manufacturer?

Is there any evidence of staining? What type?

If the stone has been sealed with a topical sealer, are there any signs that the sealer has worn off?

Your answers to these and other questions will help you pinpoint your next step. For example:

Uneven tiles (a sign of lippage) may result in the floor needing to be ground flat, honed, and then polished.

Cracked tiles will allow dirt and other debris to accumulate in the cracks. This may require that the tiles be replaced, or at a minimum, filled.

Knowing the type of stain (organic, oil-based, etc.) will help identify the proper stain removal technique needed. Also, the level of stains or spills the stone can be exposed to will play a role in determining if an application of a sealer is appropriate.