Restoring Historic Terrazzo Floor In Downtown Boston Office Building

If you have terrazzo floors that were installed way ‘back in the day’, then you know that they can handle years of foot traffic and general abuse without cracking or wearing away.

But then again, after a long time, they can look …tired, to say the least. Worn, soiled, dull, and just plain old looking. Maybe the floor has paint drips on it from previous years remodeling, scratches from things being dragged on it and stains and spills that you can’t clean out no matter what you or your cleaning company tries. You might wonder if the terrazzo can ever be revived again so it looks fresh.

Answer: In almost every case, terrazzo can be refinished and look fabulous all over again!

Terrazzo is made of chips of marble embedded in either cement (the old way) or epoxy (the newer way). And marble can be diamond honed, polished and sealed…and cement and epoxy can be diamond honed, polished and sealed. So the whole job is doable as long as you use a contractor who knows marble polishing and concrete polishing.

An example was an old downtown Boston office building with terrazzo floors in the elevator lobby and main hallway of an upper floor. The building was built in 1903, and the original terrazzo was showing its age. The General Contractor called us in while getting the space ready for a new company to move in on one of the upper floors.

A few problems right from the start:

1. Some of the terrazzo had been covered over by thinset cement and ceramic tile on top. Tile had been removed, but thinset cement is very hard to scrape off without damaging the terrazzo
2. Over the years, painters had dropped tons of paint drips and splatters all over the surface – no drop cloths for these ‘craftsmen’!
3. Large heavy objects like appliances had been dragged across the floor, leaving heavy scratches that aren’t always possible to grind out.
4. Grout had corroded in multiple areas, requiring regrouting for a finished look.
5. The construction schedule was a bit behind, so in order to get done on time, we really needed to do this job at night so the construction company could have a full crew working each day with no delay.
6. Oh, and by the way, there was no real running water, so we had to buy bottled water and bring gallons of it up the elevator to wash the floor! (Hey, it’s probably the only floor in town that can claim to be ‘washed in natural Poland Spring Water’!)

The before and after photos are posted above. If you click on each photo, you’ll get a larger screen view so you can see more detail.

We worked nights only, scraped old thinset off, honed the floor, gently removed about 4,932 paint spots (!), regrouted the joints and polished it up to a good shine, ready for business, on time, without causing any delay in the construction schedule and with no extra charges.

If you have a terrazzo floor you’re considering covering over or removing, why not give us a call or fill out the form to get a quote on refinishing it instead? You might save a lot of money and time and retain the original look of your property.

If you’d like to get a quote, you can call us at 617-838-0795 or simply fill out the form below.

Towns where Act One does terrazzo polishing, marble polishing, ceramic tile regrouting, cleaning and grout line color sealing, re grouting showers, marble regrouting, and tile repair: Boston, Back Bay, Beacon Hill, Financial District, Waterfront, Brighton, Brookline, Milton, Wellesley, Newton, Weston, Wayland, Dover, Carlisle, Concord, Acton, Lincoln, Lexington, Bedford, Westford, Cambridge, Somerville, Arlington, Winchester, Belmont, Brighton, Woburn, Waltham, Ashland, Framingham, Sherborn, Holliston, Hopkinton, Medway, Millis, Norfolk, Walpole, Norwood, Westwood, Sharon, Stoneham, Foxborough, Foxboro, Canton, Stoughton, Needham, Ashland, Chestnut Hill, Waban, Newton Corner, West Newton, Thompsonville, Newton Centre, Newton Center, Natick, Sudbury, Maynard, Stow, Watertown, Dedham, West Roxbury, Roslindale, Jamaica Plain, Randolph, Weymouth, Braintree, Holbrook, Quincy, Rockland, Hanover, Hingham, Medway, Franklin, Medford, Malden, Everett, Revere, Bedford, Burlington, Reading, Lynnfield, Wilmington, Middleton, Wenham, Hamilton, Essex, Manchester, Gloucester, Topsfield, Boxford, Boxborough, Boxboro, Rowley, Georgetown, Groveland, Andover, North Andover, Haverhill, Carlisle, Billerica, Ayer, Harvard, Lawrence, Methuen, Pepperrell, Westford, Salem, Beverly, Salisbury, Marblehead, Amesbury, Newbury, Newburyport, Harvard, Lancaster, Bolton, Franklin, Mendon, Newtonville, Hopedale and Milford
Call Act One for free estimates – 617-838-0795
Or, if you’re more into zipcodes, 02138, 02139, 02140, 02141, 02142, 02141, 02141, 02140, 02140, 02163, 02108, 02109, 02110, 02111, 02113, 02114, 02115, 02116, 02118, 02119, 02120, 02121, 02122, 02124, 02125, 02127, 02128, 02133, 02163, 02199, 02203, 02210, 02215, 02222, 02283, 02284, 02126, 02129, 02130, 02131, 02132, 02134, 02135, 02136, 02128, 02127, 02215, 02128, 02127, 02420, 02421, 02458, 02459, 02461, 02462, 02464, 02465, 02459, 02460, 02461, 02462, 02464, 02465, 02459, 02461, 02462, 02464, 02466, 02467, 02468, 02459, 02459, 02465, 02478, 02446, 02445, 02447, 02493, 02143, 02144, 02145, 01801, 01890, 02155, 02155, 02155, 02148, 01803, 01730, 01731, 01821, 01862, 01862, 01862, 01810, 01845, 01845, 01742, 01742, 01742, 01741, 01720, 01718, 01719, 01720, 01720, 01776, 01776, 01776, 01864, 01867, 01701, 01702, 01701, 01701, 01752, 02184, 02184, 02184, 02184, 02184, 02169, 02170, 02171, 02171, 02171, 02171, 02169, 02169, 02169, 02186, 02186, 02067

Our contact information:
Act One
15 Main Street #138
Watertown MA 02472
617-838-0795

Solving ‘Marble Mysteries’ – Regrouting Marble Shower Floor and Walls

Marble shower Hingham before regrouting - green copper leaching

Marble shower Hingham before regrouting - green copper leaching

Marble shower Hingham with green copper leaching close up before regrouting

Marble shower Hingham with green copper leaching close up before regrouting

Regrouted and cleaned marble shower bench Hingham - green copper gone

Regrouted and cleaned marble shower bench Hingham - green copper gone


Sometimes stone maintenance can be a little bit hard to figure out – a ‘marble mystery’.

We got a call from a homeowner in Hingham, a suburb on Boston’s South Shore, who was frustrated with the look of his marble shower.

You can click on the before and after pictures to get a better resolution photo.

It was a beautifully installed stone shower, but he had noticed that some sort of green residue was showing on grout lines near the shower bench and onto the floor of the shower. It wasn’t mold, it wasn’t any form of cosmetic dye…at first we couldn’t figure out what it was at all.

Then the homeowner recalled that the original installers had run the copper shower pan liner up to and under the shower bench as a waterproofing measure. This is not the standard way to do it, but we have seen it done that way on occasion.

So over time the green copper ‘rust’ had leached through the grout lines and permeated the grout. Fortunately the marble itself wasn’t discolored. Technically, copper doesn’t ‘rust’, but it ages with a green color – think of the Statue of Liberty.

The marble didn’t need any diamond honing or polishing, so that was not part of the solution.

The plan of action was this:

1. Clean the marble shower surfaces with non acid, marble safe cleaning liquids
2. Regrout the walls of the shower with traditional non-sanded grout
3. Recaulk corners and edges
4. Regrout the sanded grout floor of the shower to remove the green discoloration
5. Apply clear penetrating sealer to protect the stone and grout

Regrouting shower walls is fairly standard work – we do it every week. But regrouting shower floors with sanded grout is not something that always needs to be done; the sanded grout is difficult to remove without using special grinding tools with diamond tipped blades. Still, we’ve done enough of them to know the process and it came out looking nifty and clean – no sign of green, just fresh new grout, clean marble and a ‘new’ look to a beautiful marble shower restored to its original appeal!

If you have a ‘marble mystery’, feel free to give us a call at 617-838-0795 or just fill out the form below with your contact information.

Towns where Act One does marble polishing, ceramic tile regrouting, cleaning and grout line color sealing, re grouting showers, marble regrouting, and tile repair: Boston, Back Bay, Beacon Hill, Financial District, Waterfront, Brighton, Brookline, Milton, Wellesley, Newton, Weston, Wayland, Dover, Carlisle, Concord, Acton, Lincoln, Lexington, Bedford, Westford, Cambridge, Somerville, Arlington, Winchester, Belmont, Brighton, Woburn, Waltham, Ashland, Framingham, Sherborn, Holliston, Hopkinton, Medway, Millis, Norfolk, Walpole, Norwood, Westwood, Sharon, Stoneham, Foxborough, Foxboro, Canton, Stoughton, Needham, Ashland, Chestnut Hill, Waban, Newton Corner, West Newton, Thompsonville, Newton Centre, Newton Center, Natick, Sudbury, Maynard, Stow, Watertown, Dedham, West Roxbury, Roslindale, Jamaica Plain, Randolph, Weymouth, Braintree, Holbrook, Quincy, Rockland, Hanover, Hingham, Medway, Franklin, Medford, Malden, Everett, Revere, Bedford, Burlington, Reading, Lynnfield, Wilmington, Middleton, Wenham, Hamilton, Essex, Manchester, Gloucester, Topsfield, Boxford, Boxborough, Boxboro, Rowley, Georgetown, Andover, North Andover, Haverhill, Carlisle, Billerica, Ayer, Harvard, Lawrence, Methuen, Pepperrell, Westford, Salem, Beverly, Salisbury, Marblehead, Amesbury, Newbury, Newburyport, Harvard, Lancaster, Bolton, Franklin, Mendon, Newtonville, Hopedale and Milford

Call Act One for free estimates – 617-838-0795

Or, if you’re more into zipcodes, 02138, 02139, 02140, 02141, 02142, 02141, 02141, 02140, 02140, 02163, 02108, 02109, 02110, 02111, 02113, 02114, 02115, 02116, 02118, 02119, 02120, 02121, 02122, 02124, 02125, 02127, 02128, 02133, 02163, 02199, 02203, 02210, 02215, 02222, 02283, 02284, 02126, 02129, 02130, 02131, 02132, 02134, 02135, 02136, 02128, 02127, 02215, 02128, 02127, 02420, 02421, 02458, 02459, 02461, 02462, 02464, 02465, 02459, 02460, 02461, 02462, 02464, 02465, 02459, 02461, 02462, 02464, 02466, 02467, 02468, 02459, 02459, 02465, 02478, 02446, 02445, 02447, 02143, 02144, 02145, 01801, 01890, 02155, 02155, 02155, 02148, 01803, 01730, 01731, 01821, 01862, 01862, 01862, 01810, 01845, 01845, 01742, 01742, 01742, 01741, 01720, 01718, 01719, 01720, 01720, 01776, 01776, 01776, 01864, 01867, 01701, 01702, 01701, 01701, 01752, 02184, 02184, 02184, 02184, 02184, 02169, 02170, 02171, 02171, 02171, 02171, 02169, 02169, 02169, 02186, 02186, 02067

Our contact information:
Act One,
15 Main Street #138
Watertown MA 02472
617-838-0795

Refinishing Brown Marble Vanity Counter Top

Emperador Brown marble vanity left side before polish dull

Emperador Brown marble vanity left side before polish dull


Emperador Brown marble vanity overall before polish dull

Emperador Brown marble vanity overall before polish dull


Emperador Brown marble vanity left side shiny after polish

Emperador Brown marble vanity left side shiny after polish


Emperador Brown marble vanity overall after polish shiny

Emperador Brown marble vanity overall after polish shiny

Recently we got a request to polish a brown marble vanity top for a homeowner in Cambridge. The stone was a variety of Emperador, which can be fussy to polish. Photos are above – you can get a better resolution photo by clicking on each image one at a time to see detail.

The process was a one day event – the homeowner removed the faucet spigot and handles herself to allow us to do a better job. We recommend this, but it’s not always critical, depending on where the gloss needs to be restored.

First we use diamond abrasive disks to remove etching, so called ‘water spots’, and then smooth out the stone, eliminating scratches and allowing light to reflect better. Then we use a polishing powder made for marble countertops, buffing it to a shine.

The final step is a clear penetrating sealer to protect the marble, and then it’s ready to enjoy and use again!

If you have a kitchen or bathroom marble counter top that you’re not happy with, feel free to get in touch with us to get free quote for restoration and refinishing. You can fill out the form below or just call us at 617-838-0795. The list of towns where we work is below as well.

Towns where Act One does marble vanity and counter top polishing, granite polishing, diamond honing, marble honing, ceramic tile cleaning and grout line color sealing, regrouting, tile installation, and tile repair: Boston, Back Bay, Beacon Hill, Financial District, Waterfront, Brighton, Roxbury, South Boston, Dorchester, Brookline, Milton, Wellesley, Newton, Weston, Wayland, Dover, Carlisle, Concord, Acton, Lincoln, Lexington, Bedford, Westford, Cambridge, Somerville, Arlington, Winchester, Belmont, Brighton, Woburn, Waltham, Ashland, Framingham, Sherborn, Holliston, Hopkinton, Medway, Millis, Norfolk, Walpole, Norwood, Westwood, Sharon, Stoneham, Foxborough, Foxboro, Canton, Stoughton, Needham, Ashland, Chestnut Hill, Waban, Newton Corner, West Newton, Thomsonville, Newton Centre, Newton Center, Natick, Sudbury, Maynard, Stow, Watertown, Dedham, West Roxbury, Roslindale, Jamaica Plain, Randolph, Weymouth, Braintree, Holbrook, Quincy, Rockland, Hanover, Hingham, Medway, Franklin, Medford, Malden, Everett, Revere, Bedford, Burlington, Reading, Lynnfield, Wilmington, Middleton, Wenham, Hamilton, Essex, Manchester, Gloucester, Topsfield, Boxford, Boxborough, Boxboro, Rowley, Georgetown, Andover, North Andover, Haverhill, Carlisle, Billerica, Ayer, Harvard, Lawrence, Methuen, Peperrell, Westford, Salem, Beverly, Salisbury, Marblehead, Amesbury, Newbury, Newburyport, Harvard, Lancaster, Bolton, Franklin, Mendon, Newtonville, Hopedale and Milford

Call Act One at 617-838-0795 for free estimates

Our contact information:
Act One
15 Main Street #138
Watertown MA 02472
617-838-0795

Marble Stains, Water Spots, Hard Water Stains on Marble or Granite…..Can They Be Cleaned Away??

Every week we get asked this question: “Can you clean away the stains, water marks, water spots or rings on my marble vanity, marble floor or granite countertop?”

THE ‘BEFORE AND AFTER PICTURES’ OF MARBLE STAINS AND ETCHES

(If you click any of the pictures, it will take you to a full size photo page)

The answer, in almost every case, is “Yes, we can get the marble stains out and it can look beautiful again!” For example, the photos up top are ugly on purpose – see below for the ‘after’ pictures. One was a brown vanity top in Wellesley with ‘water rings’, one was a shower in Sudbury that a maid service had diligently sprayed acid based cleaning chemical all over and one was a commercial bathroom in Cambridge where the cleaning company had been using an acid based toilet bowl cleaner for years without realizing that the chemical always drips outside onto the marble floors.

It’s not usually a matter of just ‘cleaning’. In almost every situation I’ve encountered, what looks exactly like a hard water spot or a stain on the marble is not a true stain that can be scrubbed away. Instead, it is more often an etch caused by acidic chemicals. To add insult to injury, many times the acid was inside a liquid or spray cleaning chemical used to keep the marble or granite clean. Ouch!

The process that works is to hone down the marble or granite by using diamond abrasive pads. Then we go over the area with a marble polish that builds back the shine. If there is any soil on the surface, this also removes it and achieves cleaning at the same time.

If you have a ‘water mark’, a ‘water ring’ or an etch or ‘hard water stain’ on your marble or granite, whether it be a shower wall, shower floor, marble floor, granite countertop,  or marble vanity, give us a call at 617-838-0795 or fill out the form at the end of this page and we’ll get your stone back into shape!

Towns where Act One does marble polishing, ceramic tile regrouting, cleaning and grout line color sealing, re grouting showers, marble regrouting, and tile repair: Boston, Back Bay, Beacon Hill, Financial District, Waterfront, Brighton, Brookline, Milton, Wellesley, Newton, Weston, Wayland, Dover, Carlisle, Concord, Acton, Lincoln, Lexington, Bedford, Westford, Cambridge, Somerville, Arlington, Winchester, Belmont, Brighton, Woburn, Waltham, Ashland, Framingham, Sherborn, Holliston, Hopkinton, Medway, Millis, Norfolk, Walpole, Norwood, Westwood, Sharon, Stoneham, Foxborough, Foxboro, Canton, Stoughton, Needham, Ashland, Chestnut Hill, Waban, Newton Corner, West Newton, Thompsonville, Newton Centre, Newton Center, Natick, Sudbury, Maynard, Stow, Watertown, Dedham, West Roxbury, Roslindale, Jamaica Plain, Randolph, Weymouth, Braintree, Holbrook, Quincy, Rockland, Hanover, Hingham, Medway, Franklin, Medford, Malden, Everett, Revere, Bedford, Burlington, Reading, Lynnfield, Wilmington, Middleton, Wenham, Hamilton, Essex, Manchester, Gloucester, Topsfield, Boxford, Boxborough, Boxboro, Rowley, Georgetown, Andover, North Andover, Haverhill, Carlisle, Billerica, Ayer, Harvard, Lawrence, Methuen, Pepperrell, Westford, Salem, Beverly, Salisbury, Marblehead, Amesbury, Newbury, Newburyport, Harvard, Lancaster, Bolton, Franklin, Mendon, Newtonville, Hopedale and Milford

Call Act One for free estimates  – 617-838-0795

Or, if you’re more into zipcodes, 02138, 02139, 02140, 02141, 02142, 02141, 02141, 02140, 02140, 02163, 02108, 02109, 02110, 02111, 02113, 02114, 02115, 02116, 02118, 02119, 02120, 02121, 02122, 02124, 02125, 02127, 02128, 02133, 02163, 02199, 02203, 02210, 02215, 02222, 02283, 02284, 02126, 02129, 02130, 02131, 02132, 02134, 02135, 02136, 02128, 02127, 02215, 02128, 02127, 02420, 02421, 02458, 02459, 02461, 02462, 02464, 02465, 02459, 02460, 02461, 02462, 02464, 02465, 02459, 02461, 02462, 02464, 02466, 02467, 02468, 02459, 02459, 02465, 02478, 02446, 02445, 02447, 02143, 02144, 02145, 01801, 01890, 02155, 02155, 02155, 02148, 01803, 01730, 01731, 01821, 01862, 01862, 01862, 01810, 01845, 01845, 01742, 01742, 01742, 01741, 01720, 01718, 01719, 01720, 01720, 01776, 01776, 01776, 01864, 01867, 01701, 01702, 01701, 01701, 01752, 02184, 02184, 02184, 02184, 02184, 02169, 02170, 02171, 02171, 02171, 02171, 02169, 02169, 02169, 02186, 02186, 02067

Our contact information:

Act One, 15 Main Street #138 Watertown MA 02472

617-838-0795

 

Can ‘Water Spots’ Come Out of Marble?

Polished marble lobby floor

We often have property owners tell us they have unsightly ‘waterspots’ on their polished marble counters and vanity tops or marble floors.

They DO look like dried spots of water, but the difference is that they have dulled the marble surface, and so they stand out from the rest of the stone.

Are these really water spots?

No, in almost all cases they are small acid etches.

Water doesn’t do that to marble. We use lots of water to hone the marble and granite while removing the etches, so it can’t be caused by water. The only exception is water so heavy in the mineral content that it actually leaves a film deposit on the surface of the granite or marble.

Before you say “Oh, I never use acid on my marble!”, pause and consider:
Many common products or liquids the marble may come in contact with have an acidic component. Do you ever have orange juice? That’s a mild acid. Lemonade? Fairly strong acid. Vinegar? White or red wine? Pickles?

Even cleaning agents can contain acids, especially tile and grout cleaners, toilet bowl cleaning liquids and even some ‘natural’ based cleaners that use natural vinegar.

Even cosmetics like shampoo and hand soap can contain citric acid, so it’s fair to say that in most residential usages, marble is likely exposed to more acid than we think at first.

Solution?
1. Have the marble professionally restored. If you call us at 617-838-0795, we might be able to give you a recommendation on who could do that…. 😉
2. Review cleaning liquids and cosmetics used. Yes, it’s a pain in the neck, but it’s also a one time project.

The good news is that about 99.99% of cases, etches and ‘waterspots’ come out completely, so they’re no longer visible.

Towns where Act One does marble polishing, granite polishing, diamond honing, marble honing, ceramic tile cleaning and grout line color sealing, regrouting, tile installation, and tile repair: Boston, Back Bay, Beacon Hill, Financial District, Waterfront,Brighton, Brookline, Milton, Wellesley, Newton, Weston, Wayland, Dover, Carlisle, Concord, Acton, Lincoln, Lexington, Bedford, Westford, Cambridge, Somerville, Arlington, Winchester, Belmont, Brighton,Woburn, Waltham, Ashland, Framingham, Sherborn, Holliston, Hopkinton, Medway, Millis, Norfolk, Walpole, Norwood, Westwood, Sharon, Stoneham, Foxborough, Foxboro, Canton, Stoughton, Needham, Ashland, Chestnut Hill, Waban, Newton Corner, West Newton, Thomsonville, Newton Centre, Newton Center, Natick, Sudbury, Maynard, Stow, Watertown, Dedham, West Roxbury, Roslindale, Jamaica Plain, Randolph, Weymouth, Braintree, Holbrook, Quincy, Rockland, Hanover, Hingham, Medway, Franklin, Medford, Malden, Everett, Revere, Bedford, Burlington, Reading, Lynnfield, Wilmington, Middleton, Wenham, Hamilton, Essex, Manchester, Gloucester, Topsfield, Boxford, Boxborough, Boxboro, Rowley, Georgetown, Andover, North Andover, Haverhill, Carlisle, Billerica, Ayer, Harvard, Lawrence, Methuen, Peperrell, Westford, Salem, Beverly, Salisbury, Marblehead, Amesbury, Newbury, Newburyport, Harvard, Lancaster, Bolton, Franklin, Mendon, Newtonville, Hopedale and Milford