Regularly waxing and occasionally stripping hard floors is critical to protecting a floor’s finish while maximizing service life. In this post, we examine how stripping and waxing commercial hard floors works, why it matters, and how to simplify the process.
How Floor Stripping and Waxing Works
Over time, hard floor systems like tile, vinyl, and laminate wear down. Since these flooring systems are porous, they absorb dirt and grime that require an increasing amount of effort to remove and restore a clean, shining finish. The process of waxing floors is designed to eliminate these problems. With a protective layer of wax coating, the underlying floor surface remains protected from debris, foot traffic, and everyday wear and tear, increasing durability and longevity.
Eventually, that protective wax layer wears down or becomes embedded with grime and loses its shine. When that happens, the wax can be buffed to remove the top layer of dirt and restore the shine. However, you can only do that so many times before the wax layer is completely removed. At that point, you have to strip the floor of wax altogether and apply a fresh coat.
How long a coat of wax lasts on a flooring surface largely depends on the amount of foot traffic, how much wear and tear the floors sustain, and how frequently floors are buffed. Here’s how floor stripping and waxing works to extend their longevity.
Schedule a Cleaning Consultation. To simplify floor stripping and waxing at your facility, schedule a complimentary cleaning consultation with the experts at Carlson today.
When the wax coating on a flooring system has deteriorated to a level that can no longer be buffed to restore shine, it’s time to follow these steps:
1. Strip Floors of Existing Wax
First, you have to strip the floors of any existing wax before you can apply a new, even coat of wax. The best way to accomplish this is by installing a stripping pad on a floor buffing machine and applying a polish stripper to floors. The goal is to strip away all of the old wax until only the bare floor surface remains. While this is often the most labor-intensive and time-consuming step, it is also the most important. If you don’t take the time to remove all existing wax, you’ll end up with an uneven or cloudy floor surface when you apply fresh wax.
2. Apply Floor Sealer
Before applying wax to the freshly stripped floors, you should first use a floor sealer that protects the underlying floor surface from absorbing wax. Floor sealer helps insulate floor tiles and laminate from wax, and it’s best practice to apply two layers of sealer to prevent any wax from seeping through. However, not all floor sealers are the same, so you should make sure to select the right floor sealer for your flooring system.
3. Apply Floor Wax
With the floors stripped and now appropriately sealed, you’re ready to apply a fresh layer of wax. Depending on the type of flooring system you’re waxing, you need to match the right kind of wax to your hard floors. We recommend applying anywhere from four to 10 layers of wax coating to achieve a durable, long-lasting finish that won’t require immediate stripping after only a few buffing sessions. However, for high-traffic areas, you may want to apply additional layers of wax.
4. Apply Floor Finish
With a fresh coat of wax on the floors, one of the final steps is to apply a finishing layer on top. While this step is optional, the finish helps protect the underlying wax by reducing scratches and dirt buildup over time.
5. Buff the Floors
The last step is to buff the fresh coat of wax. Doing so removes any dust or dirt that may have accumulated on the upper layer of wax while bringing out the shine. When performed regularly, floor buffing increases the life of the wax on your floors while protecting the underlying flooring surface. We recommend that low-traffic areas be buffed monthly while high-traffic walkways may require weekly buffing services to look their best.
How to Simplify Commercial Flooring Waxing
If the above steps sound complicated or your team doesn’t have the necessary equipment or knowledge to strip and wax commercial hard floors, the experts at Carlson Building Maintenance are here to help. We specialize in customizing a cleaning program around your specific needs to deliver results that continually exceed your expectations while simplifying your life. Contact our team today to get started.