A reader writes:  Our school district work is mostly vinyl composition tile and it is in our contract to wax the new VCT after install. I am looking for a penetrating sealer or something in that range that would hold up longer than wax. 


Response: Whenever possible, use the term “finish” or “seal” rather than wax to avoid confusion with a customer who may actually be requiring a carnauba type paste or liquid wax, which is totally different from the current products on the market.  Almost all water based seals and finishes are considered “penetrating”.  Beware of solvent type products that promise more than they can produce.  Being old school, I always differentiated between seal and finish although today most manufacturers market so called “sealer-finishes” that do quite well.  My understanding is that there is a difference in the molecular size as well as chemical composition between the two.  The seal fills in the larger pores of the VCT (or other surface that takes finish) and allows the finish to sit on top.  A water based seal was traditionally applied first (one or two coats) and then 2-4 coats of buffable finish was applied to give it wearability and shine. 


Question: I am hoping that you can direct me into the best product and procedure so I can do a presentation to the county after we have tried the product. 


Response:  We are not allowed to endorse or recommend a specific company or product.  Always test out a new product first for application ease and removability since some of the products today can be very difficult to apply correctly and even worse in trying to remove.  Beware of urethane containing products unless you KNOW for certain how to apply, maintain and remove.  Double check the “solids content” of water based floor finishes and make sure your distributor explains that higher solid content is not always the answer but should be taken into account.  


Hopefully this addresses some of your concerns.  More questions and answers in the next 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.