A reader asks: "We have an old marble floor that the customer wants us to wax to give it a shine. What are your thoughts?"

Although marble is a natural stone and is considered non-resilient, it is on the softer side of the hardness scale. Talc is 0, granite is around a 6, a diamond is a 10 and marble is close to a 4. Due to its chemical composition it is sensitive to acids and can also be damaged by strong alkalis/ bases as well. It can be gouged and scratched which can be very expensive to repair.

As I mentioned before, the best option is a professional honing but let's consider some other possibilities that may be less expensive but probably will not produce the ultimate results. Applying the appropriate floor finish is an option and will give an instant shine. Do not put more than 2-3 coats down and remember to stay at least 6-10 inches away from baseboards and corners. If the marble is in an entrance, be sure to maintain quality walk off mats and be prompt in removing sand/grit, ice melt, etc. since these should not be allowed to damage the surface.

Since hard floor care (non resilient, natural stones) is not your specialty, you can take this as an opportunity to at least learn the basics. Once you have successfully stripped the floor, consider hiring a marble care specialist to either crystallize or use a powder/paste system. Each has its own benefits although crystallization may be the best route if you choose to go it alone.

We will look a little closer at both processes in a future article. Your comments and questions are important. I hope to hear from you soon. Until then, keep it clean...

Mickey Crowe has been involved in the industry for over 35 years. He is a trainer, speaker and consultant. You can reach Mickey at 678-314-2171 or CTCG50@comcast.net.