As flooring evolves to meet changing needs, so must the procedures and products used for maintenance. Although the recent innovations such as longer-lasting coatings and no-wax floors have made floors easier to clean, they have also created technical changes that cleaning personnel must be trained on, says McGarvey. For example, conventional floor finish and burnishing used on traditional VCT may not be necessary and can actually be harmful to certain types of hard-surface materials.

“With some of the linoleums and things like that, if the custodial staff hasn’t gotten the proper training, and they start to perform some traditional methods, they could ruin that floor on the first try,” says McGarvey. “A lot of our most aggressive methodologies that we’ve used historically on VCT, some of those will ruin some of these newer floors. They typically require a different type of maintenance than what we’ve done historically.”

Flaherty says he’s noticed some facilities are incorrectly adding floor finish to no-wax flooring.

“VCT or marmoleum is the major choice in the back of the house in the major casinos, and even though marmoleum isn’t supposed to be coated, if you get a product like forbo flooring, it doesn’t matter what the manufacturer recommends, the vice president of hotel operations or the general manager says make it shine. Put floor finish on it,” he says. “Now, once they do that, they really now have to go in and maintain it, and scrub it, and burnish it, strip it and recoat it. So, it’s just a never-ending battle.”

As more facilities continue to install natural stone floors, facility cleaning managers should be prepared to have a game plan in place in order to meet the expectations that building owners have. Training personnel on proper maintenance and preventative measures are the keys to a floor’s longevity, appearance and cost savings.  

Nick Bragg is a freelance writer in Milwaukee. He is a former Deputy Editor of Sanitary Maintenance.


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