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?"

Based on the pictures and description of the marble floor, my recommendation is that it be professionally honed by a service that knows what they are doing. This can be expensive and I realize the customer does not want to pay for it so let's look at some options.

The marble has not been maintained for years and is showing signs of deterioration that will only get worse with continued abuse. It appears that the floor has been "waxed" with products that do not allow it to breathe thereby causing cracks and faults to appear. Although there are some finishes that could be used on the floor, you need to specify to your vendor that you need a product specifically designed for marble and/or terrazzo so that it allows some ventilation.

My first recommendation is that you thoroughly remove any finish (wax) on the floor taking care not to use anything acidic (pH less than 7) and nothing over 10 on the alkaline/base side. Remember that marble (hardness of around 4 out of 10) is very sensitive to acids of any type. I also suggest you consider what types of pads that you use and avoid any stiff brushes that could gouge the marble surface even more that it already is.

Once the floor has been cleaned it will have a dull, scratched appearance due to past abuse. I highly recommend you protect it until you are ready to go to the next step which will be covered in greater detail later.

We will continue this topic 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.