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Problem and Solution:

Clean, crisp lines and natural materials create the modern style of this Manhattan apartment. Custom features, such as the stairs, and the need to utilize every square inch of space create many areas that are difficult to work on. There are many inside corners that machines with round pads cannot reach. There are many areas that extend under low projections where machines will not fit. In many places, the limestone floor is right next to wood cabinets or plaster walls which must be protected from the cleaning residue. Working on the floor in this apartment is a case study in careful preparation and attention to detail.

The location was right and the apartment had a view of the Empire State Building, so about a year ago the residents undertook a complete renovation of the space. The limestone floor was laid and sealed, but it was marred with smudges and streaks. The problem is all too common with new installations: failure to thoroughly clean the new floor. New stone can have residue from the fabricating process, it can acquire spills, smudges and smears from the setting cement and the grout, and of course everyone doing any other work in the area contributes another layer of debris. In the case of this floor, some of that installation residue was protected under a coating of sealer, beyond the reach of household cleaning.

In order to remove the old sealer and the smudges and streaks that it was protecting. HartzStone needed to resurface the limestone. This is the skill at which HartzStone excels: performing an essentially industrial process in a pristine, residential environment without damaging the surroundings or compromising the results. If you had ever seen the inside of the factory where the limestone was fabricated, you would be surprised that this process could be performed inside of a home, and that the only evidence that HartzStone had been there would be the perfect limestone floor. HartzStone uses as much plastic sheeting, painter’s tape, drop cloths and other materials, as it takes to protect the surroundings while they work. HartzStone craftsmen know the correct materials and the correct processes to produce the best result without creating a mess. They constantly clean up after themselves. They use hand tools when power tools may create splatter, and they always work right into the back of corners.

When you look at the photographs of this project, notice the walls in the pictures taken before HartzStone began work and again in the photographs taken after HartzStone completed the work; there are no splatters, streaks, fingerprints, smudges or stains. Also notice the tight clearances, the projecting cabinets and overhanging fixtures. Finally notice that the limestone next to walls, under the cabinets and in the corners is just as clear and clean as the center of the room.

After cleaning the limestone floor, HartzStone repaired several areas of grout that had voids just below the surface. These areas had cracked and some of the grout was now missing. When the floor was dry, HartzStone sealed and conditioned it to protect it from spills and to facilitate routine cleaning.

Finally the perfect apartment has the perfect limestone floor, without any signs that HartzStone had been there.

Before, the stairs present every obstacle: low clearance, adjacent walls.  

Before, the stairs from the top.

Before, installation residue mars the limestone.  

Before, more residue blemishes on the limestone.


Before, tight spaces.


Preparations, protecting the walls.


Preparations, isolating the stairs.


Preparations, isolating the stairs.


Using the floor machines.


Using the hand machines.

Cleaning up as we go.  

Cleaning up every inch.


After, perfect under cabinets and in corners.


After, not just clean, a shine.


After, corners, edges and grout, all perfect.


After, the stairs float against a pristine wall.


After, a closer view of the limestone.


After, a closer look at the wall next to the limestone treads.


After, a closer look under the cabinets.


After, another closer look under the cabinets.

For more information on limestone restoration and care, contact us at 203.885.3717.

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