Q: The marble table we’ve been using daily for the past 35 years once had a glossy surface. Now it has fine scratches and shows dullness in some areas. I am assuming it has a heavy coat of polyurethane or varnish. What is the best solution? Is there any spray available that we can use to bring back an even glossy finish?
A: Although it is possible that your table has a polyurethane or varnish finish, it’s much more likely that the marble was polished to a high gloss that has become scratched and dull. That’s the conclusion of both a saleswoman at Columbia Tile and Marble (410-796-4666; columbiatileandmarble.com), which has a showroom in Elkridge for a wide array of stone and tile products, and Hunter Dasch, vice president of Rose Restoration International (800-413-9893; roserestoration.com), a company based in Merrifield, Va., that restores marble surfaces throughout the Washington area.
Rose Restoration can visit and assess the situation. If polishing is what your table needs, Dasch’s crew could do that and seal the surface with a silicone impregnator for $300 to $600, depending on the table.
Q: I am writing to request assistance in finding someone to clean, repair and re-grout tile in my shower stall. There is some mildew, primarily near the floor, and the grout in some areas is worn and needs to be replaced. I plan to have the sliding glass doors replaced with a frameless door. The company I am thinking about using suggested that I first have someone clean and repair the tile and remove the current sliding door and clean and repair the exposed tiles, as there will be holes in the tiles and most likely some mildew. I have called several companies, but so far I haven’t had any success in finding anyone to do the work. How do I find someone?
A: Sometimes the best way to find a repair person is to talk to companies that sell the products involved. They often focus on retail aspects but maintain a list of tradespeople who can install and repair their products. And although their recommendations aren’t foolproof — they probably don’t go out and inspect the jobs, for example — there’s a pretty good chance that if the work isn’t done well, they will hear the complaints and stop making the recommendations.
Morris Tile Distributors in Tuxedo, Md. (301-773-7000; morristile.com), recommended calling Ray’s Home Improvements & Repairs in Accokeek (301-248-8729; rayshiar.com). And sure enough, after the pictures you sent were emailed to Natasha Campbell, the office assistant, she said that the company would be happy to do this work for you. To estimate the cost, however, someone would need to visit and assess the job. You could make an appointment, and someone would probably be able to visit within a week.