A reader writes: “I believe that any floor can be improved with a few good coats of wax. Why do you recommend against this when it can really make the customer happy?”

Happiness is like beauty; it is in the eye of the beholder. The same customer who wants a “shiny high gloss” floor needs to understand that he/she will be paying additional dollars for maintaining this high gloss irrespective of the floor in question. Some floors that can accept floor finish (wax or seal) is VCT (vinyl composite tile), VAT (vinyl asbestos tile – go to www.osha.gov ), terrazzo, most linoleum floors, rubber floors, some polished concrete and other surfaces that the manufacturer/installer identifies as requiring finish, burnishing and maintenance. Hard floors that should not have water based finish applied include ceramic, quarry, glazed, unpolished concrete and other surfaces that do not respond well to these type applications and usually only require sweeping, mopping and scrubbing the bare surface.

People forget that VCT is relatively inexpensive to install, yet expensive to maintain over time; whereas a ceramic or quarry tile floor is relatively expensive to install but far less expensive to maintain (if maintained correctly). I oftentimes encounter customers who install a low maintenance floor such as ceramic floor that has a built-in glaze and then want it shiny and high gloss. Not only does the grout get damaged in most cases but they do not understand that the water based floor finish cannot soak/seep into the impervious tile surface and just sits there smearing and causing unnecessary labor and waste of product. Sometimes they can be satisfied by use of a soft bristle brush and the correct floor cleaner.

It is my humble opinion that a truly happy customer is an educated customer who trusts your judgment and advise on what products and processes to use in order to achieve an attractive, safe floor.

Your comments and feedback are always appreciated. 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.