The primary purpose of a floor finish is to protect the floor.  The secondary purpose is to enhance its beauty.  And, the third purpose is to help make daily maintenance easier by providing a smooth coating that can be easily swept, dust mopped, cleaned, and repaired.  Following is a list of characteristics that all floor finishes can be rated on.  The type of finish chosen will depend on the needs of your floor surface in relation to these characteristics.  Of course all these steps should focus on floor safety including slip resistance.

When a finish is put down on a floor surface, you want to be able to remove it as it becomes obviously worn, soiled or discolored.  An ideal floor finish is designed with a certain amount of chemical removability in it that allows for regular maintenance.  It should be able to withstand multiple scrubbing and traffic, and then you should be able to remove it with a compatible stripper and pad designed for that purpose.

The finish’s ability to resist the damaging effects of soil and grit on the surface of the film is vital to success and keeping costs low.  Floors can appear dirty on the surface if the finish is not able to keep the dirt from imbedding within the finish’s film.

Slip resistance is a measurement of the coefficient of friction.  The ideal floor finish slip resistance would not be less than 0.5 (measured on a James Machine) and no greater than 0.6, unless it is an unusual situation where a higher slip resistance is desired.  If the slip resistance is less than 0.5, there will be a tendency to slip on the floor.  If the slip resistance is higher than 0.6 or 0.8, there will be a tendency to catch your foot and alter the walking pattern, (i.e., you stumble or stub your toe on the floor).

High Speed Stripping is a concept that you may encounter. Check to see if it is specifically banned in your specs.   It has been attempted, with limited success utilizing propane and electric burnishers.  The slurry thrown from rotary machines can be problematic so a well secured guard is a necessity.  The alternative seems to be migrating to orbital type units that do not have the same issues.

As technology changes you need to identify and utilize the best processes for each floor you service.  

Your comments and questions are always welcome.  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