How To Shine Stone Floors From Drab to Fab: The Magic of ASTRO Diamond Polishing Pads on Floors

How to Restore Your Stone Floor's Shine, Even a Beginner Can Follow

Stone floors, whether marble, granite or another type, often start as the centrepiece of a room. However, over time, they can become dull and lose their shiny look. Good news! With some simple steps, the right tools, and a bit of time, you can make them look shiny and new again.

This guide will walk you through the steps of using diamond polishing pads to bring back that original shine.

Understanding Diamond Polishing Pads

Diamond polishing pads are like specialized tools for your stone floors. They contain tiny bits of industrial diamonds that help smooth and refine stone surfaces. Picture these pads as the sandpaper for stone. Just as sandpaper has different roughness levels, so do diamond pads, known as “grit.”

  • 100 to 200 Grit: Think of a really old piece of furniture that needs a rough touch to remove the old paint. For stone floors with visible wear and scratches, you’ll start with this coarse pad.
  • 400 to 800 Grit: Once the major imperfections are gone, you’ll switch to this medium pad. It’s like using a smoother sandpaper to prep a surface for painting. This grit starts to bring out the shine in your floor.
  • 1500 to 6000 Grit: By now, you’re just adding the finishing touches. This fine pad is all about giving your stone floor a glossy, reflective finish.

The higher the grit number, the smoother the pad. So, as you move from a low grit to a high grit, you’re moving from a rough pad to a smooth one. By the time you reach the high grit pads, your floor will be shining and looking like new!

Types of Stone Floors Suitable for Diamond Polishing

Many natural stone floors can be transformed with diamond polishing, including:

  • Marble: Known for its beautiful veins, polishing makes marble’s intricate patterns stand out even more.
  • Granite: Durable and diverse in appearance, polishing accentuates granite’s rich colors.
  • Limestone: A softer stone, polishing smooths out limestone’s texture, showcasing its understated beauty.
  • Travertine: With its unique pitted surface, polishing brings out travertine’s earthy charm.
  • Slate: Polishing this layered stone emphasizes its multi-colored appeal.
  • Terrazzo: This composite material gets a smooth finish from polishing, highlighting its embedded pieces.

However, be cautious: manmade tiles like ceramic or porcelain should never meet diamond pads. These tiles have different properties and can be damaged or scratched by the diamond pads. Always ensure you’re working on natural stone to achieve the best polishing results.

Before You Start…

Like any project, restoring stone floors requires preparation. Here’s a checklist to ensure you’re geared up for the task, covering everything from initial considerations to the necessary equipment.

1. Assess the Floor’s Condition:

  • Scratches and Stains: Got deep scratches? Starting with a coarser grit and using resin diamond pads might be the way to go. However, for this guide, we’re focusing on floors that are dull with general wear, not those with deep scratches.

2. Setting Up Your Workspace:

  • Ventilation: A well-ventilated room is essential. It aids in drying and ensures you’re breathing clean air.
  • Safety First: Before you dive in, scan the area for potential tripping hazards. Make sure you have a safe, obstacle-free space to work.

3. Equipment Ready? Check!:

  • Floor Machine: You’ll want a standard floor machine, ideally running at 175 RPM.
  • ASTRO Diamond Polishing Pads: These come in different grits. Depending on your floor’s needs, you might start with medium (400 & 800) grits and then move to higher (1500, 3000 & 6000) grits.
  • Weights: Attach these to your floor machine to ensure even and consistent pressure during the polishing process.
  • Clean Water and Mop: These are essentials for wet polishing and for cleaning the floor between different grit transitions.
  • Wet-Dry Vacuum: This is your best friend for quickly cleaning up water residue after wet polishing.
  • Air Dryer: Helps speed up the drying process after wet polishing, ensuring the floor is ready for the next step more quickly.
  • Polishing Paste and White Polishing Pad: The final duo that will bring out that brilliant, reflective shine on your stone floor.

The 6-Step Diamond Polishing Process

Step 1. Inspection and Cleaning:

  • What: Before starting, inspect the floor for deep scratches, stains, and any lippage (when tiles are at different heights). Clean the floor thoroughly to remove any dirt, dust, or debris.
  • Why: Dirt or debris can get caught under the pads and cause additional scratches. A clean and well-inspected surface ensures the best polishing results.

Step 2. Selection of Starting Grit:

  • What: Based on the floor’s condition, select an appropriate starting grit. If the floor has lots of light scratches or significant wear, you might start with a coarser pad (e.g., 200 grit). If the floor is in decent shape, starting with a mid-range grit (e.g., 400 or 800) might suffice.
  • Why: Coarser grits remove more material and can eliminate deeper imperfections, while finer grits refine the surface.

Step 3. Wet Polishing vs. Dry Polishing:

  • What: Wet polishing uses water as a lubricant to reduce dust and cool the pad and stone. Dry polishing is used less frequently but can be suitable for certain stones or situations.
  • Why: Wet polishing generally provides better results as it keeps the dust down, makes the pad last longer, and prevents the pad and stone from overheating.

Step 4. Polishing Process:

  • What: Start with your selected grit, moving the machine in a side-to-side motion, ensuring even coverage. After finishing with one grit, clean the floor to remove any residual grit or slurry with a wet & dry vacuum, and inspect the results.
  • Why: Moving to the next grit without proper cleaning can reintroduce coarser particles, resulting in additional scratches.

Step 5. Progressing Through Grits:

  • What: After the initial grit, progress to the next finer grit in the sequence (e.g., from 400 to 800, then 1500, and so on). Each successive grit will refine the finish further.
  • Why: Each grit level removes the scratches and imperfections left by the previous one, gradually achieving a polished surface.

Step 6. Achieving the Final Shine:

  • What: The final stages might involve using pads with grits of 3000 or even higher, depending on the stone and the desired finish. Once you’ve achieved that near-perfect finish, bring out the white polishing pad and team it up with some polishing paste. This duo will give your floor that dazzling, final touch.
  • Why: These ultra-fine pads impart a mirror-like shine to the stone.

Potential Issues and Solutions

  1. Swirl Marks: Sometimes, the polishing process can leave behind swirl marks, especially if the machine is moved too quickly or if there’s uneven pressure.
    Solution: Slow down the polishing process, ensuring even movement and pressure. Re-polish the affected area if necessary.
  2. Inadequate Shine: If the stone doesn’t achieve the desired shine, it might be necessary to spend more time on a particular grit or even drop back to a coarser grit to address any overlooked imperfections.
    Solution: Inspect the floor closely after each grit and adjust the process as needed.

Additional Pro Tips for Polishing Stone Floors

  1. Consistent Overlapping Passes: When using the machine, ensure you overlap your passes by about one-third of the machine’s width. This ensures no area is missed and gives a uniform finish.
  2. Regularly Check Pads: Examine your diamond pads for wear and tear. A worn-out pad won’t be as effective and might even cause uneven results.
  3. Monitor Water Usage: For wet polishing, it’s essential to keep the stone adequately lubricated, but not flooded. Too much water can cause the machine to hydroplane, while too little might not provide effective polishing. Use a machine with an onboard water tank.
  4. Polish in Sections: Break the floor into manageable sections. This allows for focused work and ensures you don’t miss any spots.
  5. Lighting: Good lighting is crucial. Portable LED work lights can help you see the floor’s condition better, ensuring you catch any imperfections.
  6. Test First: Before doing the entire floor, always test a small, inconspicuous area first. This helps you ensure you’re using the right grit and technique.
  7. Clean Between Grits: After each grit level, clean the floor to avoid cross-contamination, which can lead to deeper scratches.
  8. Respect Drying Times: If you’re sealing the stone after polishing, ensure the floor is completely dry before application.
  9. Regular Maintenance: Once you’ve achieved that beautiful shine, regular maintenance with the right cleaners can prolong the polished look. Avoid acidic or abrasive cleaners on polished stone.
  10. Seek Expert Advice: If unsure about a specific stone or facing a particularly challenging situation, don’t hesitate to seek advice from industry experts or forums.


Polishing stone floors using diamond pads is both an art and a science. The key lies in patience, attention to detail, and understanding the nuances of each stone type. When done correctly, the results can be breathtaking, restoring the natural beauty and shine of the stone for years to come.

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