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?"

I always enjoy working with old abused floors since I can usually make them look a lot better and satisfy the customer to one degree or another. Old abused marble is especially challenging and can give unexpected results when approached carefully. I will not admit to some of the "tests" I conducted on marble floors in my early years since I would probably be banned from the industry for profound ignorance and disregard for science.

Just remember that although marble is "hard" as a natural stone, it is sensitive to any acids and some harsh alkaline products. Never, never mix an acid with an alkaline in an attempt to speed up the cleaning process since it can result in not only damage to the surface but also possible injury to yourself and others. Remember that pH is based on aqueous chemicals that can be diluted with water. Mixing various products of unknown pH is not recommended.

My recommendation is that you consider speaking with your distributor about crystallization to restore and maintain a floor that is not too far gone. Your distributor should be able to guide you on what chemicals and pads to use so please take these general suggestions in light of the reality that your situation is different. It may require your purchasing/renting a weighted floor machine that can apply more pressure to the floor. You also need to look at steel wool pads or possibly some of the newer pads available for 2-4 stage polishing.

Research the crystallization process and test it on a small, inconspicuous area first. Proceed with caution.

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.