Today, we deal with new floor products that are designed to be environmentally friendly by being anti-microbial, recyclable, biodegradable and the list goes on. Although many of us are dealing with these new floors by simply checking out the manufacturer’s website and following their guidance. We also struggle with determining the composition/construction of old floors that can be easily damaged by the wrong products and procedures.

So often we tend to react with all the information and “Fire, aim, ready” instead of thinking through what is the appropriate thing to do. I recently worked with a company that was struggling with how to maintain what they thought was marble flooring tiles. Upon closer investigation, it turned out that the floor (manufactured in the 1930’s) was a concrete matrix with a thin coating of colorant with a glaze. The glaze had long since worn off in certain areas along with deteriorating grout lines resulting in discoloration, seepage of the mastic (glue) as well blemishes in the flooring where the color had faded. All this was trapped under multiple coats of finish.

Once we figured out the actual composition of the floor tiles, we were able to work with the local distributor in determining the most appropriate process and chemicals for restoring the floor. It turned out the cleaning service needed to remove multiple coats of finish first and before proceeding, have the landlord repair/seal the grout lines. Once that was completed the cleaning service applied 3 to 4 coats of a finish that allowed the concrete tiles to “breathe” and so far, so good.

I will address some basic definitions of floor types in a future article. 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