Stone Restoration: Beauty Is In the Eye Of the Beholder

We at Sungloss Marble Restoration Company have worked with thousands of customers over the years, and have seen everything when it comes to our clients’ aesthetics.  It is our highest goal to satisfy our customers and provide eco-friendly processes to restore natural stone.  In our 20-plus year history of polishing, cleaning, buffing, grinding, sealing, and honing natural stone, we’ve seen a whole spectrum of customer perspectives.  Some customers’ high expectations can begin to enter realms of impossibility, while others are satisfied from the most basic of restoration.  We even had a customer who asked us to actually rub dirt into his grout, so the new grout color wouldn’t stick out so much next to the old grout.

Part of the reason our residential, commercial building, government building, construction company, and developer clients differ so much in their expectations of stone beauty, is because there is a huge amount of variety in stone, but very little foundational knowledge to assist owners when choosing stone, or to instruct owners on how to care for it.  I don’t know how many times I’ve visited with a client who utters a few disparaging words about the stone that they have also grown to love.  They say they love the stone, but if they had known what the properties of the stone (and thus, the best practices for maintenance), they definitely would have chosen another type of stone, or none at all.  Stone Source, a stone provider literally down the road from us here in Chicago, provides their own anecdote about choosing marble versus granite (in terms of the aesthetic versus maintenance) on their web FAQ:  “As you well know, each client’s tolerances are different. Some love the aged look of a Carrara kitchen and others… we’ll just call them granite people.”  Their information is practical, and worth reading for those who are interested in learning more about the stone they have, or soon plan to buy.

Another reason for people’s occasional love/hate response to living with stone comes from the variance in the quality of the product available.  There is stone being sold out there that is very low grade, and not a lot of up-front information to dissuade innocent buyers from installing it.  We’ve seen many writings on the subject, the most recent on an Australian website (the Australian Stone Advisory Association):

“All but six of the listed green marbles are likely to require some form of repair… before installation.  A number of minerals [added to the stone by manufacturers] have been found to be detrimental to the performance of building stones due to their dimensional instability, solubility, loss of strength when wet (clays in general), reactivity (carbonates), instability, or color change.  This very general advice is remarkably similar to a corresponding clause in an architects’ 1996 specification for a Sydney building now the subject of protracted dispute over poor performance of its green marble floors….”

We’ve also written before about ‘fake’ black granite in this blog, which can throw professionals who maintain and restore it (us!) for a loop.

Our goal is to help educate our customers on what to expect with their stone, while delivering the highest quality, environmentally-friendly restoration, cleaning, polishing, honing, and sealing.  Though beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, Sungloss Marble Restoration Company strives to meet the beholder’s expectations fully on every stone restoration project!