What is Grinding? And do I need it?

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If you have a stone floor that has un-even tile installation, you may want to consider having your travertine, marble or limestone floor ground flat. There are many reasons to flatten your floor including aesthetics, stays cleaner longer, less maintenance and easier to clean. The key here is to hire a company that is knowledgeable and has experience. You may only have 1 chance to grind a stone floor flat, as most stone tiles are only ½- inch thick. Read below to better understand the process.
Picture 1 shows a close up shot of grinding of a travertine floor flat. There are 3 important things this picture shows that should be considered if you decide to have your floor ground flat.

1) Deep scratches left from the grinding first step. This is normal. A controlled scratch pattern and systematic procedures provides predictable results. The aggressive nature of the diamond allow floor to be flattened in a timely manner.

2) Rigid, Rigid, Rigid. I still remember these words spoken by the late Maurizio Bertoli during a training class. His Passion for stone was contagious. You will notice to the left of the red pen tip, there are no scratches. This is because we are running a rigid diamond set up on our Italian Klindex machine. This ensures the flattest floor possible. It also lets us know when the floor is flat, when there are uniform scratches on the entirety on all of the tiles, the floor is flat. Some floors that may have some sunken or negative depressed tiles may not be able to be “ground flat” without compromising the structural integrity of the floor. This is where our experience comes in. Failure to use a rigid grinding apparatus to grind a floor flat, like a wood sander, will cause softer minerals of the stone to be “sanded” out a faster rate, causing an undesirable dimpled appearance.

3) Holes. As you can see, when you grind a travertine floor, it will inevitably open up holes naturally found in travertine. Depending on the grade of travertine will determine the how many holes and how large the holes are. Some travertines, after grinding, you will not readily see any holes. However, believe me, they are there, and if they are not filled, they will quickly fill with soil.

Picture 2 shows a floor in the middle of a restoration; you can see how the tiles have been flattened to one another. This picture shows a floor where the original grout was removed due to the wrong color was used and the customer wanted to have grout lines filled with an epoxy. This picture was taken after 800 resin diamond grit, so at this stage a epoxy filler will exhibit a higher shine than the travertine.

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