How Do You Polish Stone Slabs?
It might not be something that you think about all the time. In fact, it might not come to mind very often. But the thought of polishing stone is something that must take place for a stone surface to be turned into a kitchen counter top, table top, or even a work surface. In fact, polishing a stone slab occurs multiple times throughout the life of the surface. And interestingly there are different reasons why a surface made of stone might need polished. In this article, we will examine reasons why stone is polished as we discuss the answer to the question, "how do you polish stone countertops?"
Why Stone Countertops Are Polished
in the raw, natural stone surfaces are rough in appearance. For the most part, they have no luster or shine. And actually, some consumers don't want a counter top to be shiny per se. However, there are many people that prefer the glossy, shiny look of a polished stone surface. And that is a very basic reason as to why stone counter tops often times get polished. Namely, because the owner of the surface likes that kind of finish. But in what ways does a counter top get polished? And are there other "reasons" why stone surfaces are polished?
Stone Slabs Are Polished By Fabricators
In cases where consumers choose to have surfaces that are polished, they order a counter top with a polished finish. Thus, the fabricator, when he or she does the work, polishing becomes a part of the fabrication process. How this kind of polishing is done and what types of equipment are used is determined by various factors. For example auto-edge inline polishing tools may be used in conjunction with large machines made for performing one or more tasks. But there are other tools used as well.
During fabrication stone might be polished using handheld tools which are equipped with diamond polishing pads for use on natural or engineered stone surfaces. These pads consist of a bond material that have diamonds embedded in the material. There are a number of types of diamond polishing pads used for polishing stone surfaces. Let's look at some of the more common types.
Polishing Stone Using Wet Polishing Pads
One of the more common ways fabricators polish stone is by using one of the polishing tools to apply a polish to the surface of the stone. This tools may be fitted with one of the wet polishing pads for stone. Using a hand polisher, the fabricator can polish virtually any part of the stone until the finish meets the shop requirements.
Dry Polishing Stone Surfaces
There are times when massive amounts of water just aren't practical. For instance, what if the surface that needs polished has already been installed and is just being repaired or touched up? Well, the answer to "how do you polish a countertop?" would need to take this factor into consideration. This is a time when choosing one of the many dry diamond polishing pads would probably be among the choices considered. The process of how you would actually polish the stone would be similar to what was explained above when discussing the wet pads. It just would be dryer.
So one of the reasons stone slabs get polished is because it is part of the fabrication process. And by extension, fabricators may actually repair stone surfaces for customers. Either way, it is part of the workload of a stone fabricator.
Stone Polishing is Part of Restoration
We have already touched on this a bit. But stone surfaces do wear - even though they are very durable. As stone slabs wear, they acquire very small, surface scratches in the finish. These itsy bitsy scratches aren't visible to the eye as "scratches". Rather, they make the stone's surface look dull. When a stone surface loses its luster and shine, the temptation is to just replace it with a new countertop. But, in many cases the appearance can be restored by simply polishing the surface of the material using polishing pads as mentioned above.
Polishing the Edges of Stone Surfaces
Surface polishing is just one of a number of answers to the question, "how do you polish stone countertops?" Another one is edge polishing. Edges of natural and engineered stone surfaces are polished using a variety of equipment. Polishing a stone's edges is done using machines equipped with auto-edge inline polishing pads but they are also polished using edge polishing wheels. Likewise stone surfaces can be polished using inline surface polishing pads.
Maintaining a Stone's Polish Through Routine
There is one more method of polishing stone that we need to consider in our discussion. This manner of stone polishing does not require special tools. Rather, it is accomplished by making use of a product that gradually, ever so slightly keeps the polish of the stone maintained by periodically spraying on and wiping off. Using a fortified polish for natural stone a couple of times a month in conjunction with a natural stone cleaner that is not harsh is a routine for cleaning and stone care that has proven effective for many owners of natural stone surfaces.
As we have seen in this article, there are a number methods for how to polish stone surfaces. And there are various reasons why surfaces are polished. Being aware of at least some of these equips those working with stone for a number of scenarios.