1. Determine the type of floor.
Resilient tile – includes vinyl tile, asphalt tile and asbestos tile.
Aggregates – includes marble, terrazzo and concrete surfaces.
Wood Floors – call for the use of special protective finishes.
2. Routine Cleaning
– Sweeping with a broom or dust mop.
– Damp mopping with an all-purpose cleaner.
Strippers are formulated to remove old floor finish and are diluted before use.
– Use two cotton mops and two buckets. The stripping solution is mopped on first from the first bucket. Follow with an automatic scrubber or single-disc floor machine.
– Once the floor is stripped, the solution is removed with an automatic scrubber, a wet/dry vac or cotton mop.
– Completely rinse the floor with clean, cold water, using the second bucket and mop.
– Allow the floor to air dry.
Stripping may be followed by application of a neutralizer/conditioner, which removes any alkaline residue that may dull the final finish, and conditions the floor before application of a sealer and finish.
– Dilute the solution and apply with a cotton mop.
– Allow to dry completely.
*Some finishes contain sealing properties, so this step may not be necessary.
– Apply at least two coats of a sealer with a rayon mop.
Which type of finish to apply depends on the floor surface, what equipment is available for buffing or burnishing, and how you want the floor to look.
Metal Interlock and Acrylic Finishes – most commonly used on resilient tile floors. They offer a high gloss shine.
Urethane and Epoxy Finishes – used most frequently with wood floors or those made with aggregates – concrete, terrazzo, marble and others.
Floor Wax – much less commonly used because wax finishes are less durable, and scuff more easily than the others.
– Apply floor finish using a rayon mop and a bucket with wringer. The wet mop should be thoroughly saturated with finish.
– Allow each coat to dry completely before applying another one.
– Buffing or burnishing, according to the finish instructions, should follow once the final coat has dried completely.
Two types of enhancers are used to improve a floor’s appearance without stripping and refinishing the floor.
Spray-Buff – typically used after sweeping or dust-mopping the floor and damp-mopping with an all-purpose cleaner and cotton mop. It both cleans and enhances the shine.
– When the floor has air-dried, the spray-buff chemical is sprayed on in an even mist with a spray bottle.
– The sprayed area is then buffed or burnished with a soft pad until desired gloss results.
Restorer – usually diluted and applied with a rayon mop, allowed to dry completely, then buffed or burnished to the desired gloss. Restorers enhance the shine.