One challenge many floor techs face is how to avoid baseboard build up. The best time is in the prep of a new floor such as VCT (Vinyl Composite Tile) which has a factory finish (think plastic coating) in need of removal before any seal or finish can be applied. Of course, the floor should have had time to set (cure) before any flooding or heavy moisture is allowed on the floor.  


Following are suggested steps for a new floor surface:

• Using a 350 RPM floor machine, remove the factory finish with a red/blue/green pad and neutral detergent that requires minimum rinsing.

• When possible, use a quality wet vacuum system with a good squeegee to pick up the slurry and hasten drying time.

• Allow the floor to completely dry before applying any seal/finish.

• Break the floor into manageable segment to apply finish which can be based on the finish system used. The goal is to apply even coats in an area before proceeding.

• When applying the first coat, stay 6-12 inches from the baseboards and corners realizing that no one walks along the edges therefore there is little wear compared to the main area.

• Allow sufficient time to dry before applying the next coat since it is easy to seal in moisture resulting in shortened life of the product.

• On subsequent coats of finish, stay the same distance from the baseboards and cross hatch each coat.

• Only on the final coat should finish be applied close to the baseboards without touching them.


If this guidance is followed, there will not be future labor lost on removing finish from baseboards or corners. The floors will scrub/strip out easier and the baseboard life will be extended by many years.

Realize that there is cause and effect when poor practices are followed by allowing multiple coats of finish be applied to baseboards and corners. Much labor and resources can be saved by working smart when it comes to floor maintenance. Remember, anything that goes down eventually has to be removed. Make it an easy job rather than a difficult one.  

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