Yes, the Greeks and Italians/Romans were the first to use marble as a decorative and structural material. Yes, they showed us the way when it comes to quarrying, milling, and fabricating. Yes, they introduced us to the beauty of terrazzo. Restoration of polished stone flooring? Fugetaboutit! Until recently the term marble restoration, when spoken by an Italian, meant something along the lines of cleaning a sculpture with erasers and toothpicks. A polished marble floor was not only unreal to the Italians, they continuously told us in America that we were crazy for even wanting such a thing. “Polished marble is for walls, not floors. A floor should be installed as a matte finish and foot traffic should keep it a matte finish. ” These quotes are what the Italians told us time and time again for the last half of the 20th century.
The truth is that polished stone flooring and the maintenance of it is truly an American demand and accomplishment. The Italians, and other European countries, have only gotten on board in the last decade or so. Most restoration diamond abrasives come from the US, Canada, China, and Japan. Most stone restoration polishes come from Spain and the US. Most restoration equipment comes from Canada and the US. I can only think of one single product commonly used by restorators that comes from Italy, the classic 5X polishing powder. It was originally developed to be used by mills and fabricators but American restorators quickly adapted it to restoration.
Let's give a hand for good ol' U.S. ingenuity!
– Jason Johonnesson, Chief Stone Solutionist