Challenges To ‘Waxing’ Floors
I use the term “waxing” on purpose, but understand that we normally use “floor finish” these days. Many of our customers will always expect the floor to be “waxed” and it may end up that we will accept the term for their convenience. Floors that normally should be “waxed” include VCT (vinyl composite tile – 12 inch squares), terrazzo, some polished concrete and a few other surfaces that can be buffed/burnished.
There are specialty chemicals for rubber flooring and other specialty synthetic floors that require a product that allows them to breathe. They usually cannot endure high pH strippers.
Floors that should NOT be waxed include hard surfaces such as ceramic tiles (porous and glazed), marble and most other natural stones. I must admit that on certain occasions I have had to wax an abused, worn out marble floor to get a shine to satisfy the customer’s demands although I warned them that this was not best practice. Marble and other natural stones should be honed, polished and maintained with a neutral cleaner in most cases.
I am challenged with a customer expects me to wax VCT or terrazzo floors in a restroom or kitchen area since it can really create a lot of work for a floor that if handled correctly, can be low maintenance. Ceramic tiles (both porous and glazed) do not accept waxes (or any floor sealant) well since the product either cannot penetrate the glazed surface and sits on the top or soaks into the porous tiles make it difficult to maintain. Have I mentioned that the grout (think sand/Portland cement) that is between the tiles can accept a penetrating (think water proofing) seal that can protect the subfloor from water penetration? Applying basic wax to the floor simply compounds the problem since such products eventually have to be removed usually at great expense.
Whether you call it “wax” or “finish” please learn when to use and not to use on hard floors. We will discuss wooden floors in a later article. Your comments and questions are important. I hope to hear from you soon. Until then, keep it clean...
Mickey Crowe has been involved in the industry for over 35 years. He is a trainer, speaker and consultant. You can reach Mickey at 678-314-2171 or CTCG50@comcast.net.