Crystallization of Marble

Crystallization of Marble
The bad, the worse and the ugly.

by Glenn Kiyan of Advanced Stone Restoration Hawaii
edited by Steve Patrick

It has come to my attention that there are still companies in the "restoration" of natural stone that use the process of Crystallization in Hawaii. One of them is a major franchise service. I often receive calls from customers that have had their stone crystallized and are disappointed with the results.

What is Crystallization?

The crystallization or re-crystallization method is the use of a chemical with a steel wool pad to create friction and heat on the surface of marble. This method produces an effect that could be called a "shine" to the stone.

The main chemical used are fluorosilicons. These fluorosilicate compounds contain an enamel wax. The chemical also contains an acid to break down the calcium carbonate within the top layer of the stone, attaching the fluorosilicons and creating a new compound called calcium fluorosilicate. This imperious film blocks the pores of the stone which later results in spalling and cracking.

While the immediate results have produced a shine, The end result also leads to a list of many problems and issues.

The first issue is that the scratches that were present before restoration are still there, just shiny. As you may know, whether polished or not, these scratches and pits collect dust, dirt, and grime during the course of the day.Especially when you run your swifter mop to clean. These little grit grinders eventually sand off the surface shine. So the restoration company using crystallization needs to come again.

The second issue is financial. Since re-crystallization consists of wax, it is easily worn off and needs to be re-applied. The shine never lasts. Thus leading more business to the original unorthodox company. Don't worry... they usually have you sign an annual contract for them to service month to month.

The third issue is more scratches. Yes more. Not only from the dirt, but from the company's steel wool pads that they used to re-polish. Look closely and you will find lots of swirly scratches.

The fourth issue noticed is "Why is my marble turning orange-red and getting darker?" The reason is that the steel wool pads are leaving iron behind, which of course turns in to rust. Unfortunately it is embedded into your stone.

The fifth, and hopefully the last issue, is that the stone will dry out and begin to crack and chip easily. This is an expensive repair, but if re-crystallization were to continue, there is no use to have any repairs done.

If the re-crystallization process continues, the stone deteriorates and falls apart. Thus leading to the replacement of marble or calcite based floors.

For the alternative, correct and natural process for stone restoration, please read our Go Green! article.


Case Study 1 & 2

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Travertine Floor Polishing

Our experienced stone specialist can identify problems and  have corrective solutions. Learn more...

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Granite Restoration

Advanced Stone can restore badly maintained flamed granite floors. Learn more...

Case Study 3 & 4

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Limestone Polishing

ASR Hawaii resurfaced the limestone floors to remove etch marks & stains, then polished to a better-than-factory shine.   Learn more...

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Marble Floor Polishing

The standard phases of professional marble polishing include: prepping, grinding, honing, polishing, & sealing. Learn more...

Case Study 5 & 6

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Travertine Etch Removal

For calcite based floors, whether sealed or not, etching occurs when the acid reacts to the calcium in the travertine.       Learn more...

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Travertine Rust Removal

Pots and plants with metal holders can leave rust stains. Resurfacing and/or chemicals are needed. Learn more...

Case Study 7 & 8

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Granite Repair

Granite repairs come in all shapes & sizes. The good news is granite can be repaired to factory condition, if not better. Learn more...

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Marble Chip Repair

Accidents happen. Luckily, if its natural stone, it can be repaired.  Learn more...

Case Study 9 & 10

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Re-leveling Marble

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Travertine Restoration

Advanced Stone Restoration flattened the floor to remove extreme lippage between tiles.   Learn more...

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