When it comes to the construction or renovation of commercial and public buildings, managers face tremendous pressure to control short-term costs while delivering sustainable value.
So it’s no surprise that artificial “faux” stone materials like ceramic or porcelain tile have grown in popularity. Manufacturing technology has produced realistic-looking man-made materials — to the untrained eye, at least — that typically cost less to install than natural stone surfaces like marble or granite.
But as we’ve previously seen with faux metals like aluminum, sometimes an upfront investment in the “real thing” gives you a much better return in the long term.
Let’s take a look at the advantages of natural over faux stone flooring, and how professional stone floor restoration maintains the condition of your facility long after the project is complete.
Long-Term Advantages of Real Stone Flooring over Faux Stone Materials
All floors suffer damage that accumulates over time:
- Luster wears off
- Surface becomes worn, dull, scratched or stained
- Traffic patterns become visible and wear down the surface in high-traffic areas
- Cracks appear
- Tracked in grit from people’s shoes acts like sandpaper
- Acidic substances leave water and etch marks that reduce reflectivity of the surface
- Floors develop lippage where two stones or tiles meet, causing a trip and fall hazard
This is where the advantage of genuine stone materials really comes through.
The reality is that faux stone materials are much harder to maintain once the decorative surface is damaged. Often they must be replaced, which generates unnecessary costs and waste. Real marble, granite or other natural stone surfaces give you a much longer service life, as they can be restored through honing and polishing then protected to maintain acceptable levels of function and appearance.
Benefits of Stone Floor Restoration
Proactive floor maintenance keeps authentic materials like terrazzo, marble and concrete in superior condition, often at a fraction of the cost of replacing faux stone materials like ceramic or porcelain.
Professional restoration involves stripping away old coatings followed by diamond honing to remove lippage, scratches and other damage. A stone floor protection system minimizes future wear and tear, while ongoing maintenance includes periodic polishing and burnishing depending on the amount of foot traffic the floor receives.
- Boost floor safety. Poorly maintained floors are responsible for over 2 million slip-and-fall injuries each year, and neglecting your floors can expose you to liability claims in the event of an accident on your property. Proactive floor maintenance gives you higher traction which reduces the risk of slip-and-fall accidents.
- Retain distinctness of image. Distinctness of image (DOI), which has emerged as the gold standard for assessing floor appearance, measures image clarity, or how crisply images are reflected in the surface. High quality stone floor restoration methods increase your DOI scores and help you make the right impression on all visitors to your facility.
- Remove pollutants. Floors take lots of abuse from tracked-in substances on people’s shoes. This can include anything from crumbs or spilled beverages to rain, mud, snow, ice or ice melt chemicals during the winter months. Along with prompt removal of tracked-in debris, stone floor protection can reduce the damage to your floors and facilitate easier clean-up.
Do you have questions about choosing flooring materials for your facility or keeping them in proper condition?
Contact Mid America Specialty Services and put our expertise to work for you!