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Flooring and Carpeting/Porcelain Tile - scratches

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QUESTION: Dear Perry Vellenga,
Recently, our master bath was completely renovated; everything was gutted and redone, including tile.  We chose polished porcelain tile (18x18) for the floor.  It looks gorgeous; however, there are a lot of scratches on the floor left over from the construction.  The scratches are highly visible in the light.  Is there any way to buff the scratches out without damaging the tile or replacing it? Replacement of the tile is not an option.  Your help would be greatly appreciated.
thank you,
Betsi

ANSWER: Thank you for your question Betsi,

     Did you do this work yourself or did you hire a Contractor to do this project for you? I guess it is a rhetorical question but why wasn't the floor better protected than it was? It is a very unfortunate circumstance that you now find yourself in with the damaged floor. You might be able to hire a "Marble Restorer" who more often works with Natural Stone for a living but may be able to eliminate or diminish the scratches you now have. There must have been some significant impact going on to damage Porcelain, even polished Porcelain...but you may have a chance to make a correction with this specialized Professional. You can find them in the Yellow Pages (now online) under Marble Restoration. If there isn't one listed you can also find who you need if there is a Marble/Granite yard or distributor in your area. Ok Betsi I hope this helps you with your problem, feel free to return anytime...

Perry V.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hi Perry,
No, I did not do it myself; I hired a contractor to do the bathroom, including the tiles.  The contractor did bring out a marble polishing person, but as soon as he saw it, he said there is nothing he could do about it and left.  In some previous posts I read, something was mentioned about using buffing sponges, and then using either toothpaste, Bar Keeper's Friend, Automotive Compound to rub the scatches out - is that advisable?  
Thank you,
Betsi

Answer
Welcome back Betsi,

     The main problem that one faces with this material (in particular a polished version) is that Porcelain is a far harder material than all Marble and some Granites so perhaps the Professional that came to check things out who declined to even try most likely was weighing the "rewards vs effort" equation of what it may take to get the job done. I would simply search for another Tradesman to have a look and may be willing to take a chance at the process. Do not attempt to employ any of the aforementioned listed options to work on the Porcelains shine as they will only disappoint and possibly add to the damage. I'm sorry Betsi that you find yourself in this position but in this case to be honest you should be asking the former Contractor "why" this floor was not properly protected and how he planned to correct the situation as even a novice Contractor should know to properly protect ANY completed area from construction damage. This is what they have "liability insurance" for, and why people having work done in their home should insist upon it...follow me? Lets bring back the original installer and ask him to fix the floor himself or find someone who can do it at his expense. He must already know/understand that he has made a mistake by bringing out a Professional to work on the problem...I would head that direction before you do anything else, ok? Come again anytime Betsi....

Perry

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Perry Vellenga

Expertise

Ceramic Tile/Marble. I can answer questions about floor preparation, tile selection, layout questions, performance of products, expectations of finish, compatabilities, questions about grout and epoxies, evaluating an installer, asking the right questions to check competence...more? 33 years this August 2012/ many years in commercial application from exterior finishes to Mall store fronts/ interior finishes like floor packages in stores inside Malls examples: The Limited, Lerner/NY, Lane Bryants, Bombay Co., Now involved in Residential new construction covering all types of interior finishes and designs.

Experience

I worked in an exclusive field of floorcovering called "Tenant Development" which is by invitational bid only, by way of a National bid list. These are large floor packages usually over 3500 sq. ft. of 18" x 18" Marble and Granite and many other types of Marble and sizes. They are specialty stores where the floor package can cost upwards of $50,000 for one store. I have also done "Structure" stores and J. Riggins stores, Lane Bryant,Express and Body Shop stores where wood flooring is used. Presently work for a National Flooring Company in the Residential new construction arena that covers most interior design elements..Granite Slab tops/wood flooring both job finished and prefinished ect..

Publications
My response's are published all across the Internet and picked up by multiple Interior Design sites and Industry related web sites where people have questions...

Education/Credentials
too many most of which don't count...

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