Shifting From High-Gloss To Matte Finish
Many contract specifications call for “strip/wax” monthly or “high gloss finish” or some other requirement that is not only dated but definitely not sustainable and green. As to the “strip/wax” monthly requirement, we are usually hesitant to correct the prospect by informing them that real wax (as in paste/carnauba) has not been used in over 30 plus years except in very limited cases. The product was applied similar to shoe polish (if you can remember that process you are older than you think) with different types of pads (including wool blankets) to spit shine the floor. Floor finish is often referred to as “wax” and may actually supplant the original definition over time.
As to a “high gloss finish” I am finding that even though many companies are facing serious budget cuts they seem to have become addicted to equating a high gloss with clean. Some of us from military days can remember that a floor might actually be dirty but it was a high gloss shiny dirt. I believe and sincerely hope that the era of the high gloss finish are receding as we realize the environmental as well as financial cost associated with achieving this objective.
Take a moment to calculate the labor, chemicals and equipment involved over a period of 1-5 years on 50,000 square feet of flooring, be it VCT (Vinyl Composite Tile), Terrazzo or other hard surface. Some areas will require stripping/scrubbing/recoating/polishing more often than other areas but the goal seems to always be to keep it shiny regardless of the cost. How much labor does it cost? Where does the slurry go? How much does a good quality seal/finish cost? What is not getting done in order to keep the floor shiny?
When your specifications call for high shine, ask the prospect why and see if they can give you a valid answer.
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.