This is the third of a four-pronged approach to winning a flooring bid.

One reader is hoping to win the opportunity to strip and wax about 1,975 square feet of VCT (vinyl composite tile) at a church. Here we are going over some advice for the best way to bid this job and do the work.

I am making recommendations based on the tools you have on hand and not necessarily best practices. It is very important that you partner with a knowledgeable distributor that can guide you through the correct steps. Many of them will have videos, job cards and other aids that can bring you up to speed on how to conduct correct floor work. Some will even go on the job site to assist.

I highly recommend you invest in stripping a small test area (possibly the end of a hallway or small room) where you can go through all the steps before attacking the entire floor. Although this may take a little longer, it could possibly save you from having to re-perform the entire job based on unsatisfactory outcomes. It is very important you mix the chemicals correctly to emulsify the finish. Always rinse all tools. You also need to use dedicated mops for stripping/pick up, rinsing and finish application to avoid poor outcomes. Remember that the stripper mop and even the rinse mop are contaminated with chemicals that can ruin the floor finish. Drying time after you have stripped and neutralized the floor is very important since applying the finish too soon can cause it to flake and powder.

Strip a small area (possibly 10 x 10) by applying the correct stripper solution and allowing 3-5 minutes dwell time. Then use the floor machine with a clean, black stripper pad to remove the old finish. Remember that the floor will be very slippery so slip resistant shoes are a must. Once the floor has been stripped (including baseboards and corners), pick the slurry up (preferably with a wet vacuum cleaner) and promptly apply a mix of rinse water with neutralizer.

We will look at applying floor finish in a future article.

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