When choosing a terrazzo restoration company always remember that cost and value are not synonymous. There are plenty of companies out there that will do the job for a cheap price, but you will be lucky if you get what you paid for. When comparing terrazzo floor restoration companies always consider what you are getting for your money. Much of what I will share in this article was covered on the Terrazzo Cost page. I wanted to give more clarification, so I added this page.
Many companies pretend to restore terrazzo by stripping and applying a finish. This is very inexpensive for the company and has a great return. You can expect to pay around $1.50 per square foot for this service, but even $1.00 might be too much. This service will leave you with a floor that needs servicing every year or so and will scratch and yellow quickly. This is the lowest form of restoration and will leave you with most, if not all, of the stains and problems you started with. The next step is a partial grind or hone.
When companies do the partial grind or hone they follow this with a sealer and finish, or polishing powders. If the floor is finished and sealed you might have fewer stains, but you end up with the same maintenance program as the first. You will need to strip and finish and will have scratches and yellowing on your terrazzo floors in between. If you use polishing powders you will get some rocks to shine, but with polishing powders it is nearly impossible to get every rock to shine.
No system will shine every rock evenly, but polishing powders can leave some rocks with little or no shine. This is the nature of polishing powders. Different marble needs different amounts of polishing. Too much polishing and you will burn the marble and need to start over. Too little and you will not get a good shine. Some stone, such as green rocks, do not respond at all to polishing powders. The problem with a terrazzo floor is that you can have many different kinds of stone in the floor. While you might succeed in making one or two colors shine great, others may be burned, while still others may not yet be polished. Some floors respond very well to polishing powders, but we have given up on this technique as we feel it cannot produce the best results possible. Still, this is a viable way to restore terrazzo that will last. Remember the final results with terrazzo restoration often depend on where you start in the grinding process. If the floor is not properly ground, then the final results will always be deteriorated. This form of terrazzo restoration usually costs around the same as the one used by SafeDry. Another form of restoration uses diamond grinding like ours, but does not use a large grinder.
Many reputable terrazzo restoration companies do terrazzo restoration using a swing machine, or buffer. That is the way we restored terrazzo for many years. This system uses a Velcro pad driver and five disks on the bottom to restore terrazzo floors. This system is very effective and is the most used, true restoration form, today. The swing machine, with added weights is around 150 pounds. It spins at 175RPMs. This system has limitation with glue removal and does little to address discoloration. My experience is that it can activate an uneven floor and the motion can cause lines, from great loss in the floor. These lines were a big problem when we used the swing machine. The swing machine also does nothing to even out an uneven terrazzo floor. Our system totally removes glue from terrazzo floors over 95% of time.
The last form of terrazzo restoration we will talk about today is the one we use at SafeDry.
This machine weighs around 400 pounds and spins up 1,300 RPMs. This grinder is planetary, so it has three heads that spin up to 1,300 RPMs while the entire head counter rotates. This gives our system a lot of advantages in glue removal in dealing with discoloration. We leave every floor flatter then when we started. We grind down the floor with 40 grit metal bond diamonds, so we can get an even shine. Our terrazzo restoration system costs much more per square foot then all the rest, but we charge around the same price as the other respected companies. We use three different diamond polishing systems on every job to get the best shine. We never have to resort to topical products to achieve a brilliant looking terrazzo floor. Give us a call today, so we can start you down the road to a great looking terrazzo floor. This article did not cover terrazzo floor recrystallization that has been covered on another page in this blog. By Joe Martin, SafeDry President