By Mike Marsoun

Replacement VS Restoration
It is important to understand that an existing stone floor is a renewable resource!  There is no waste product from a tear-out going into the landfill, and there is no need for more materials to be quarried/processed.  There is also a substantial savings of financial resources (below.)   Stone is timeless and once restored can have a “better than new” appearance. 
RESTORATION  (options)
Stripping (tear out)                                              $40m2
Clean/Refinish (limestone)      $20m2
Installation                                                            $40m2
Marble Polishing                      $25m2
Tile/Stone                                                              $70m2
M/L/T Resurface            $40m2
Sealing                                                                   $10m2
M/L/T Flatten                           $60m2
Total                                                                       $160m2
ONE of the above


 Finish Coating VS Naturally Restored Finish
Toxic waste products from finish coat stripping introduced into environment:
                Stripping Chemicals:  2-butoxyethanol, EGME, ammonia, monoethanolamine (MEA), sodium hydroxide
                Acrylic Finish Coatings:  VOC’s, glycol ethers, zinc
Remember, all of the above go into the environment when a floor is stripped, and this will need to be done once or twice a year.  That’s a massive amount of toxic, non-biodegradable waste product going into the environment over a 10 year period.  This is representative of a maintenance program involving water-based acrylic coatings, which is the least toxic of the three types of finish coatings. Solvent-based acrylics , epoxy, and urethanes, have a much higher rate of VOC’s and require very dangerous solvents for removal when it comes time to refinish.
Finish coatings will also leave the floor with a “plastic” appearance, easily scratch, yellow, and flake.  The high alkalinity of the strippers can lead to efflorescence, and the coated the stone cannot breathe (transmit water vapor.)  The stone is then venerable to various forms of deterioration (hydrostatic spalling, decomposition, and salt attack.)  
Cost & Value:  Initial cost of a finish coating maintenance program is low, therefore it is an attractive option for property managers.  Long term cost however is much higher than that of having the stone naturally refinished.  There is also the consideration of the floors immediate devaluation due to aesthetics and feel, going from a valuable natural material to a synthetic material, on par with vinyl tiles and linoleum. 
Daily Maintenance
Spray Buffing (x12)
Strip/Re-coat (x2)
*Savings of $18.50m2 per year. All data is at volume pricing (10,000sf), per square foot/year.  Courtesy of Fred Hueston.
Outer Island Stone Care has non-toxic methods to produce beautiful results, at a competitive price.  Based on restoration costs ranging from $30-50m2 the payback will be anywhere from 1.5 to 3 years.  After this point, the savings will multiply per annum, because maintenance costs will be substantially less.