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.