Not every business out there offers the same service. This is why when looking for a contractor prices can vary so much. Here are a few things that you should know about the different services being offered to the public, as well as what to ask a contractor on the initial call.
Apples and Oranges…
At first glance, two polished, terrazzo floors may both look amazing… Six months down the road, however, one starts showing dark, worn patterns in higher traffic areas. Why?
There is a major difference between simply cleaning a Terrazzo floor and restoring and polishing a Terrazzo floor. You may receive bids that seem almost too good to be true for “terrazzo restoration”. What these companies typically offer is to either clean the floor or do a pass over it with a very course diamond abrasive and finish it off with several coats of ”Professional floor sealer”…this is just the finish you might see on the floor at your local grocery store, which must be stripped and recoated on a regular basis. (For more on why you never coat Terrazzo click here) This type of service may make your floors look bright and clean at first, but before long the floor finish yellows and wears away. In addition, this type of service leaves the floor far more porous, allowing dirt and stains to easily penetrate the surface. Many times these contractors have only a background in commercial floor cleaning and don’t even know how to address the cracks, pits and stains that are often associated with Terrazzo Restoration.
In the two-step scenario above, you may be charged between $1.00 and $2.00 per square foot. An even worse alternative to this is Crystallization, a damaging process that is employed by many local terrazzo and marble refinishers.
Now compare that with the proper way to restore terrazzo…The “Terrazzo Guy” way!
First, any stains are tested to see what type of stain they are and if they can be treated, either by mechanical or chemical processes (can’t let our secret method out on the internet). The floor is ground using a set of metal bonded diamond abrasive discs on a planetary floor polishing machine designed specifically for working with stone floors. At this point all pits and cracks are addressed. Pits are filled with matching marble chips, color-matched resin, ground flat with the floor and then polished. Edges are addressed as followed, only using a handheld polisher. Next, resin bonded diamond abrasive discs are used to bring the floor up from a course grind to a very high polish. Ten grits in all are used, making two passes on the floor per grit. Polishing 1000sf of floor in this manner is equivalent to 20,000sf of the “other guys” work! Once the floor has been diamond honed to 8500-grit, The next step gives the floor it’s final shine and is what REALLY separates us from the competition (can’t let his one out on the internet either) The floor is then sealed using an impregnating, non-topical stone sealer. What you are left with is an almost mirror-like shine that can last the life of your home without the use of slippery acrylic coatings or damaging crystallization. There is really no comparison between our method and the other guys . The price? Between $3.00 and $4.00 per square footing depending on several factors.
The benefits of having the job done right far outweigh the small amount saved to have the job done poorly…
To make sure you are getting what you deserve from your contractor, make sure to ask these questions:
1. How do you address stains, cracks and pitting.
2. What is your entire process, start to finish?
3. Do you use diamond grinding and polishing pads, if so, what grits?
4. How do you address edgework?
5. Do you coat the floor or seal the floor? There is a difference.
6. Do you perform crystallization?
6. Are you willing to perform a free, in-home sample? (Because we are…:))
No matter what you decide to do it is our goal to help you make an educated decision. Terrazzo Restoration doesn’t just beautify your home, it’s a long term investment and understandably should be treated as such.