I remember back in the early 70s when I lived in Orlando as a teen. We moved into a new house and it had terrazzo. I thought it was a beautiful floor. We used to put our socks on then get a running start and slid across the floor. Those floors were ground to around 200 grit and a finish was applied. Today we see a lot of those floors around Florida. If you look at one of those old floors today the floors tend to look much darker. Years of a topical finish make them look scratched up and very dark. Today we can get those floors to look great, never needing a topical finish and if you tried to slide on them in your socks you would likely have trouble due to the grip a correctly restored floor will have on the sole of your foot. That is because diamond polished floors are not slippery. Not all terrazzo floors are diamond polished these days. If you call companies to restore your terrazzo floors you might get a great difference in price. That is due to the economy and the fact that though many have neither the money, nor the knowledge to properly restore your terrazzo, they may have the sales savvy to convince you they can.
One customer I had given an estimate to a few weeks earlier called me and said though I had given him an estimate he had gone with another company. I did restore his brother’s terrazzo. He told me he saw that floor and he had made a mistake. Now he wanted me to fix the floor the other company had restored. The company had told him that there was no need to go higher than 800 grit to restore his floor. 800 grit is an unfinished floor. We polish the floor with five grits after 800. He had talked to that company and talked to me and believed the other person. He gave his brother my number before his floor was done and his brother went with me.
When we went back to give an estimate to fix the bad job we saw that the floor did not look even and the edges seemed to have never been done. Do not fall for this line of thinking. Short cuts will cause the floor to look bad. Before we ever put our penetrating sealer on a floor the floor looks great and has a solid shine. If a floor does not have a high shine before the sealer, then the sealer is making the floor shine. True diamond polishing gives you the best and longest lasting shine possible. Another customer called and asked if we could check out his floor.
He had his floor done a few months ago. The person who did the floor tried to hand grind stains and treat them with acid. The stains were oil based and did not respond. When the restorer was done and ready to seal the customer asked he not seal the floor as he was not happy with the stains. He said he would probably tile the floor. While the home owner went into another room the tech poured acid onto the floor. When the customer walked out and saw the liquid he asked why he had done this. The tech responded, “Well you are going to cover the floor so why should you care?” This was nothing less than vandalism. When I looked at the floor I noticed the floor had a very low shine. The customer paid for the whole job, but was going to get a topical finish.
For years I restored terrazzo with a buffer and diamond pads. A few tears ago I leaned about planetary grinders. I bought a 400 pound HTC grinder for SafeDry and never looked back. What this new heavy grinder did was diminish some of our major problems in terrazzo restoration and almost, if not completely, eliminate them. Pad glue was always something we struggled with. In the past three years I have completely eliminated this glue over 95% of the time. Pad damage from very old padding can leave many terrazzo floors with staining that is permanent. Though we rarely eliminate it completely we remove most of the staining and leave the floor so shiny that our customers tell us it is not noticeable. Our HTC grinder also gets out three times more stains than a floor buffer. Fact: floor buffer weighs up to 150 pounds. The HTC grinder we use weighs around 400 pounds. Fact: A floor buffer spins at around 175RPMs. The HTC grinder spins up to 1300RPMs and counter-rotates. That means as the three heads spin up to 1300RPMs they are connected to a large head that spins in the opposite direction. This makes the grinder much more aggressive and even helps to make your floor flatter. Only a planetary grinder can make your floor more flat.
I could tell these stories and fill page after page. Terrazzo restoration is not cheap. If you have a topical finish on your floor it will yellow, scratch and need stripped and redone every year or so. If the terrazzo floor is not restored to a high shine it will likely look uneven and have a low shine. If the floor is not properly ground, the unseen problems as well as stains, glue, and years of dirt will still be evident. Our pricing is very competitive. We spend more money to restore your floor than any other company. SafeDry has an A+ rating with the BBB and is an Accredited Business with the BBB. We have an A rating with Angie’s list and won the Super Service Award 2 years in a row. I hope this blog is helpful. If you have any questions please feel free to give us a call. By Joe Martin, SafeDry President.