Terrazzo Floor. Nightmare job?

Overly Cleaning Service

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Oct 22, 2014
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Travis Overly
My fathers friend lives 70miles away from my service area. He has this ancient terrazzo floor that he can’t find anyone who knows how to clean this floor. I have been wanting to get in to stone polishing with diamond pads. This job would be a perfect way to get my feet wet. But the job is 70 miles from my house and I don’t want to be driving back and forth a bunch of times if something doesn’t go right. He sent me these pictures. The floor has a bit of floor finish of on it and I have read that can be a big pain. I have a 175 and a truckmount. What would need to be done to get this floor back to what it looked like originally where the cabinets used to be?

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Dafloorman

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That has to be diamond grinded, polished, buffed, and sealed. Don’t make any promises as some marks/stains will not come out, but it will look 100% better. The floor wax can be stripped off during the grinding process, just add some stripper to your water tank on your 175. Use weights on your 175 as well.
 

Todd the Cleaner

Todd Cottino
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I bet you will find just stripping and cleaning it will make a huge improvement just by itself. Then if you do like Gerald said above you can bring that floor back to looking just about like new.
 

Overly Cleaning Service

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Travis Overly
I talked to the owner today and I’m going to try a sample area. I have been wanting to get in to stone polishing and this is my perfect opportunity to try it. Which diamond pad sets would be the best for my 175? I need 17inch and I guess 5 inch pads for a grinder on the edges?
 

Todd the Cleaner

Todd Cottino
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I talked to the owner today and I’m going to try a sample area. I have been wanting to get in to stone polishing and this is my perfect opportunity to try it. Which diamond pad sets would be the best for my 175? I need 17inch and I guess 5 inch pads for a grinder on the edges?
Are you going to be using diamond resin discs or diamond impregnated pads? Both work, the discs are a bit more aggressive and will repair scrapes and scratches easier than the pads will. If there’s no scrapes that you can feel with your fingernails then the pads will work fine.

I recommend cleaning first using stripper and a red or black pad. Once you have removed all the wax you can assess what needs to be done. You may find it looks excellent by just stripping and cleaning. If there’s etch marks or dull areas then you move on to the diamond work.

Are you planning on re-applying a topical finish or are you just going to use the diamonds to polish it up? Do one or the other but not both. I generally try to stay away from topical finishes with a few exceptions such as Saltillo and other floors that need a finish.

After cleaning if you move on to diamond work I would probably recommend using diamond impregnated pads (D.I.P. Pads) as they are easier for a beginner to use. Start off with an 800 DIP pad, then a 1500, then 3000. I would then use a polishing powder as the last step, Easy Stone Care makes a dummy-proof polishing powder which I use all the time. It’s cslled MB-22. I’ll post a link below. Be sure to work in small sections and don’t let the floor dry before you rinse the MB-22. I usually do about 40-50 sq ft at a time keeping it plenty wet.

MB-22:
http://www.easystonecare.com/MB-22-Marble-Terrazzo-Polishing-Compound-p/mb-22.htm

After using the MB-22 and rinsing the floor clean and drying it you will want to run a dry white pad over the floor to do a final buff. This will remove any haze left behind.

To do the full process from stripping to dry buffing you should be between $3 to $4 a sq ft.

I highly recommend taking a class and learning how to use the diamond resin discs. Nothing is really all that difficult, it’s just knowing what process will Work best on the particular floor you are working on. Sometimes I use DIP pads and other times resin discs, it just depends on what the floor needs.

One thing I’ll say about stone, EVERY job will be a little different. Some customers want a shine that looks like a mirror while others will want a honed finish or somewhere in between honed and mirror like. Every job will present different challenges.
 

PistolPete

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DIP work great for most situations. Rarely I find a floor so damaged it needs full restoration.
Pads are very easy, but expensive per use Vs resins, but the cost of buying a resin set up is higher initially.
I love stone polishing
 

Overly Cleaning Service

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Travis Overly
Thanks Todd for taking the time to write that awesome explanation!
I’m pretty excited about the job. It’s a 2000 sq ft job if the first room goes well. He wants it polished. I offered to just strip and wax it but he seemed to want it polished.

This is the second customer in a month that has come to me saying they can’t find anyone who knows how to polish stone. I am hoping to get out of this saturated carpet cleaning market a little. I like the idea of not having to use my truckmount or push a carpet wand.
 

Scott W

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Any recommendations for a diamond pad manufacturer?
Stone Pro makes diamond impregnated pads under their own brand. They also custom make our Spinergy pads. Both very good quality.

This may be a good learning opportunity, but I don't like the idea of learning a new skill on the customer's floor. This is not a hard job, but it could have problems for a first time stone job with no experienced stone person on hand to help guide you. I would suggest some training first.

Here is a link to a set of pads. It shows the grit for each color. You can get the set or pick the pads you need to get to the desired level of gloss. Use lower numbers to correct deeper scratches. Use higher numbers to get more shine. Sometimes just one pad will do what is needed. On other jobs, you may go through 3, 4 or 5 steps.

https://interlinksupply.com/index.php?item_num=ASP17