How To Repair Scratched Tiles
Your cleaning and maintenance regime has been effective since you had your floor tiles fitted and sealed three years ago, then disaster strikes and something sharp gets dragged across them and scratches the surface. It may be time to call in the professionals.
All natural stone tiles are porous, which is why they require sealing as part of the installation process. Although the sealer is effective at protecting the tiles from stains, when something sharp cuts across the surface, heavy duty action is required.
The structure, and therefore the scratch resistance of stone tiles varies considerably between different types of stone. For example, the structure of travertine resembles that of honeycomb, taking a look at travertine tiles from the back, you can clearly see holes which makes the material more susceptible to damage.
When you compare this to marble tiles which are much denser having been formed by pressure and heat, the particles in the tile are much smaller making the surface less prone to damage.
Polished porcelain tiles are also vulnerable to scratching as the shiny surface, at a microscopic level, shatters when punctured by a sharp object applied with pressure.
Repairing The Scratches
The good news is that scratches on both polished porcelain tiles, and natural stone tiles can be repaired and the surface restored to showroom condition. To resolve the issue, you have the choice of either DIY or hiring a professional tile restoration company. To give your floor the optimum finish and protection, restoring your floor to its former glory is a three-part operation:
- Remove any impurities from the floor
- Repair and polish the floor
- Reseal the floor
Hiring a professional can cost the same as the initial cost of installation but is generally the best option as a professional will have the equipment, knowledge, and experience to complete the job to the best possible standard.
A professional will come equipped with machine fitted with diamond pads and set to work restoring your floor. The diamond pads come in a set made with of varying grades of diamond grit, much like sandpaper but considerably more expensive, from rough to smooth. The size of the grit particles determines the grade of pad, the bigger the grit particles the lower the pad grade.
Starting with the lowest (roughest) grade, the machine grinds away the damaged surface, higher (smoother) grade pads begin to polish the affected area until shine matches that of the existing floor across the rest of the room. The entire floor is then given a thorough clean before a protective sealer is applied.