A quick online search for automatic scrubbers indicates that the average price for these machines is about $4,000. Smaller, traditional machines averaged about $1,200, while more complex and larger scrubbers reached as high as $8,000. This makes selecting a floor cleaning and scrubbing system potentially one of the most costly expenditures a cleaning manager can make.

Because of this, Kaivac advises custodial professionals on the 10 things to consider before purchasing a floor machine:

1. Lifetime cost of ownership of the machine, which includes the initial purchase price, ongoing maintenance, and worker training
2. Cleaning effectiveness
3. Ease of operation
4. Ease of maintenance
5. Speed of repair - to avoid costly extended downtime
6. Productivity rates
7. Multipurpose efficiency - the ability to handle a variety of flooring needs
8. Transportability - how easy it is to move the machine from one location to another
9. Customizability - the ability to be altered to accommodate a facility's specific needs
10. New floor care systems and technology
The last item, requires some clarification.

In the past few years, manufacturers have introduced entirely new types of floor cleaning and scrubbing systems, according to Matt Morrison, Communications Manager for Kaivac.
"This means [cleaning] professionals have many more options and types of machines to choose from and they should investigate."
Morrison adds that of the 10 things to consider, probably the most important and most often overlooked is the total cost of ownership of the machine.

"No cleaning progressional wants to be in a situation where they have purchased a costly floor machine but can't keep up with the repair bills,” he says. “Be sure and look into cost of ownership issues before making a floor scrubber selection."