A reader writes: “I was asked to bid on approximately 12,000 square feet of granite floors that need cleaning and sealing. My question is how much should I charge per square foot? 


Your question requires a multifold answer and I am not sure what system (Side to side, rider, etc.?) as well as pads/screens that you are using for an area of this size. Are there obstacles in the way? Also, what is your experience level in this type work? How old is the floor? What products are on it now: water based finish, urethane, etc.? How bad are the baseboards? How much handwork is involved? Are you doing the work yourself or have a crew? Is this a onetime deal or will you be maintaining it over time? Day, night, weekends? All of these factors can impact your cost and ultimately your profit. 


That said:


1. The “going rate” is will vary based on the area, wage rates, benefits, competition, etc. so be careful of anyone outside your area quoting a going rate that may or may not fit.


2. If you are making money at a rate you have developed then stick with it but realize there will be others quoting higher and lower for a multitude of reasons.


3. It would be wise to check into the rates quoted by others in your area and you may be surprised at the range due to many factors beyond the market.


4. As to density and square footage you need to determine what works for you and be consistent to avoid confusion. The reason for my suggesting that approach is that if your baseline is predicated on taking into account the total square footage regardless of obstacles in the way then continue with that approach. If you factor out SF that you cannot clean due to obstacles that you do not move then stick with that approach. 


5. I suggest you partner with an experienced distributor/manufacturer who can suggest the best processes, chemicals, tools, etc. for this type floor. 


6. Please note that granite is a relatively hard stone but still needs to breathe so make sure you are using the correct products. 


Hope these comments help and good luck. 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.