Floor pads are common in any cleaning arsenal, but as product offerings evolve, there are still a number of questions that plague facility cleaning managers. In this roundtable discussion, we’ve asked industry manufacturers to comment on those floor pad queries submitted by managers.

What are the advantages between the round and the rectangular pads?


The advantages are not so much with the pad shapes as it is the machines and the processes used. It is true that with orbital machines using rectangle pads that an operator can get right up to an edge or corner, whereby eliminating the need for manual cleaning that would be required when using a round pad.
The biggest advantage, however, is in the work performance of a rectangle pad on an orbital machine vs a round pad on a traditional round machine. Due to the aggressive nature of the orbital motion, an operator does not need to make multiple passes as they do with a traditional pad. This is a major benefit when deep cleaning, scrubbing and stripping.
— Rory Beaudette, VP Sales/COO, ACS Industries, Inc., Lincoln, Rhode Island

There’s no advantage between round and rectangular pads. It’s really the customer’s preference of machine type that dictates the pad shape. Both rotary and oscillating machines have distinct advantages and disadvantages in certain applications. Whatever the pad configuration, it is very important that it properly fits the machine. Oversized or undersized pads may negatively impact the overall performance of the machine operation and cleaning performance.
— John Miller, VP of Executive Sales and Marketing, Americo Manufacturing Company, Acworth, Georgia

Both pads are made of the same material and work equally as well. Of course, with a rectangular pad you can get into corners or under the edges of shelves etc. that you may not be able to get into with a round pad. However, it is suggested to use a hand tool with a scrub pad and holder to do detail work.
— Randall Flowers, Vice President of Corporate Accounts, ETC of Henderson, Inc., Henderson, North Carolina

Round pads represent 90 percent of the overall business and are used on most floor machines/application in the market today. They work in a circular rpm speed motion with machine weight and appropriate chemical to clean/polish a commercial floor. Rectangle pads are designed to be used on specific machines that have an oscillating holder action similar to controlled vibration. These pads do very well in wood preparation "sanding" type action and also stripping/cleaning commercial floors. We have not seen too much in Polishing/Buffing/Burnishing with rectangle pads. But both Round and Rectangle pads do very well in their intended task.
— Dennis Knapp, Director of Product Development, Impact Products, Toledo, Ohio

What are the advantages of floor pads compared to brushes?


Floor pads have a horizontal fiber formation, which cleans/polishes the surface quicker and more uniformly. Only brush advantage is on uneven surfaces such as tile and grout — or rough cement surface. Brushes represent only 10 percent of overall commercial floor cleaning and that has remained fairly constant for the last 40 years.
— Dennis Knapp, Director of Product Development, Impact Products, Toledo, Ohio

Floor pads are a fraction of the cost of brushes. After a period of time, the bristles in brushes will lay over and become ineffective, especially if left on a floor machine after it is been used. Also, floor pads do a superior job for burnishing and daily cleaning of floors when compared to brushes.
— Randall Flowers, Vice President of Corporate Accounts, ETC of Henderson, Inc., Henderson, North Carolina

Cleaning professionals are always looking for ways to cut costs and improve their results. As brushes wear their effectiveness is quickly reduced whereas high quality floor pads maintain consistent results throughout their life. When floor pads need to be replaced after thousands of square feet of use, they are far less costly to replace than brushes. Floor pads maintain constant contact with the floor surface and even absorb soils for more consistent cleaning results.
— John Miller, VP of Executive Sales and Marketing, Americo Manufacturing Company, Acworth, Georgia

Brushes are more expensive, requiring more labor to maintain. They also require more passes because brush tips contacting the floor are far less than the even distribution of floor pad fibers. Floor pads, on the other hand, allow for increased contact area, which will make cleaning, shining and stripping faster and more effective.
— Rory Beaudette, VP Sales/COO, ACS Industries, Inc., Lincoln, Rhode Island