Granite provides a resilient surface for floors and countertops. It's harder than virtually any other stone, including marble. But that durability can make granite tougher to polish than other stone surfaces. Granite's hardy qualities don't protect it from scratches, stains or dirt build-up. You can wash granite surfaces with chemical cleaners, but you'll need granite-polishing tools to buff out scratches and leave your granite with maximum shine. A broad range of polishing machines can help you maintain your granite surfaces.
Use hand-held electric polishers for wet polishing, core drilling and light grinding. If you buy an electric polisher, verify that it comes with interchangeable casters so you can polish irregular or hard-to-reach areas including staircases and corners. If you have a large area to shine, your electric polisher shouldn't weigh more than 5 or 6lbs. or vibrate too much. Before you buy an electric polisher, ask the manufacturer's representative if the company can provide replacement parts. Some manufacturers don't offer spare pieces, so you'll have to buy a new polisher if a component wears out.
Air polishers weigh less than even the lightest electric polishers, so these machines are better suited to bigger jobs that will require several hours of buffing. Air polishers also vibrate less than electric versions, reducing the odds of mistakes. Air polishers have just one drawback: They require an air compressor to run, and you'll have to cart the compressor with you as you move across the space you're polishing. Buying an air compressor with a capacity of 38.6 to 43.1kg. per square inch will generate a higher polishing speed than electric polishers can offer, and that will enable a smoother buffing process.
Because you're likely to use granite-floor buffers more frequently and over a larger area than you'll use other surface polishers, your primary purchasing consideration should be the machine's durability rather than its cost, power consumption or weight. Opt for a flexible floor buffer that can deliver multiple functions, including cleaning with detergents and applying wax. Choose a machine that you can switch between brushes and diamond polishing pads. Granite floor buffers that don't need water tanks are also an option.
Portable chamfering machines let you create smooth or bevelled granite edges on-site as you install the stone in a home or office. Because they can be heavy, look for chamfering tools that you don't have to hold as you cut and polish the surface's edge. Some chamfering machines allow you to fix the tool at a certain angle and rest it on the surface as you guide it through the edging and polishing process.
To protect your granite floors from additional scratches and stains, and to extend periods between required polishing treatments, cover your granite with a sealant after polishing. Despite its hard surface, granite sports thousands of tiny pores, and even the toughest granite will deteriorate over time with sustained exposure to water and abrasive dirt. You can choose between sealers that coat the granite's surface, or sealers that penetrate the granite's pores. Experts say the latter, pore-penetrating sealers protect granite's surface shine and stave off deterioration for longer periods.