"Restoration" is a word which has been misrepresented much over the past few decades. The world is full of "Restoration Experts" who have identified a market and declared themselves an authority, whether the objects to be restored are appliances, houses, millwork or even toys & sports memorabilia. For HILGARTNER, our goal is to restore a piece of natural stone such as marble or granite to the quality and appearance closest to that of its initial fabrication. Restoration can generally be categorized as either "Contemporary" or "Historic". In Historic Restoration, the stone may be repaired with methods similar to a repair from the era when the original work was produced, using the tools and materials available at that time. For "by any means" Restorations, please see our "Contemporary Restoration" page. The key to a successful Repair or Restoration is communicating to our clients what methods are available and putting the decision of repair method in their well-advised hands. At HILGARTNER, we pride ourselves on investigating the options, educating our customers and collaborating with them to deliver the appearance they prefer.
Since stonework is so valued and long-lasting, we are often asked to restore items that HILGARTNER fabricated decades ago! In the 1980's, The Marble Institute of America (now known as the Natural Stone Institute) introduced an industry-standard manual for the use of Natural Stone. In the first published edition, fully 50% of the original drawings for the manual were HILGARTNER project drawings, reprinted to display techniques and practices. We keep meticulous records and our Apprenticeship Program continues in the traditions of old-form training such as molding stone by hand - rubbing one stone against another, followed with burlap and acid to achieve form and finish - as well as using contemporary methods when appropriate, using diamond grit pads and electric hand tools to create finished products.