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Wax on, Wax off – The Process of Buffing Floors

shiny hotel lobby floor
March 1, 2021 7:22 pm

There is something satisfying and dependable about walking into a clean space, whether it is a business or a home. The words: clean, shine, and order make you think of places associated with success, admiration, and respect. A wax layer on your flooring enlivens its depth of patina with a rich gloss. As a sacrificial layer that is buffed, eventually stripped, reapplied and polished again, wax prolongs the life of your floors. It stops staining and helps prevent minor scratching of your original floors. As a coating, it visually blends present slight imperfections. Like most people’s, your eye tends to alternate between looking forward and looking down, making your floor an important component of your business’ first impression. Let’s look at the types of floors to wax and what’s required to spruce up and make your floors the envy of your competition.

The Kinds of Flooring to Wax and Buff:

There are a few types of floor-coverings in your place of business that benefit from the look and protection of waxed floors. Authentic linoleum, vinyl, unfinished cork, unvarnished hardwood and concrete will give an impressive shine after being waxed and buffed. Wood: There are caveats considered when waxing hardwood; some contemporary flooring finishes cannot be waxed; rather, use a water-based polish instead. Some waxes will impede future wood varnish applications. Your raw, natural wood floors should be left unwaxed as discolouration probably will occur otherwise. Linoleum and Vinyl: Linoleum floors use a particular wax. Vinyl floors are not typically waxed and are referred to as no-wax floors. Concrete: Concrete is susceptible to scuffs and black heel marks. You only need first to seal your concrete floors, then layer a sacrificial wax coating on top to protect the surface from scuffs, dirt and scratches. The wax will make your concrete floor shine with an attractive depth. As with all floors, you need to match the type of wax to the concrete sealer you are using. Some urethane sealers do not allow an added wax layer. Unfinished Cork: Wax adds a strong protective layer to your natural cork floors. In commercial applications, cork is extremely popular; your high-traffic areas require a special heavy-duty finish that wax can provide. Ceramic Tile floors: Wax can make ceramic tiles waterproof and stain-resistant while imparting a deep shine.

When Should Your Old Wax be Stripped?

At some point, the wax coating on your floors will wear thin and be insufficient to buff. Grit will be embedded in the remaining wax layer. This is the time when you prove how much you love your floors, fully committing to the somewhat laborious undertaking of stripping the old wax before applying the new wax layer. Shiny hospital floor corridor with blue chairs

The number of times your floors can be re-buffed before you need to strip the old wax depends on two aspects:

  • The type of wax you used: paste wax, although more work to apply, lasts longer than thin, liquid wax.
  • The amount of wear the traffic-heavy areas of the floor receive.

A Quick Primer on stripping and re-waxing floors:

The Stripping Part: Empty the room of furniture to help the efficiency of stripping the old wax layer and the subsequent re-waxing. Make sure the room is sufficiently ventilated and try to accomplish this on a less than humid day. Sweep the whole floor to pick up loose grit and debris. Your baseboards will either be stripped separately just prior to that of your floors or, in the case of painted and softer woods, should be taped off to prevent damage from splashed floor stripper. Various strippers have been developed for different strengths of wax. Add the stripper to a mop-bucket allowing its’ application with a heavy-duty mop. Wait fifteen to twenty minutes to allow the stripper to soak in and use a scrubby style of mop to work at the old wax removal. It would help if you rinsed the stripper and re-mop until the floor is clean before applying the fresh coat of wax. The Waxing Portion of Your Project: Use a flat mop to apply a liquid wax and allow it to usually dry a half hour to an hour. The Satisfying Last Stage of Buffing: You will need a commercial buffer that you can rent from various places. Add a buffing pad and go in one direction with the buffer. You will likely add another layer of wax so it will be thick enough for subsequent polishing. A buffed and polished floor stands out, exhibiting your detail of care. However, not everyone can commit the time it takes to set up and maintain the process. Do you love the high-end look of a polished floor and wonder if such a look is within your budget? You may be surprised to learn that we, at JDI Cleaning Systems, buff and maintain floors as particular and as important as yours every day. We hope you have found this post helpful. We are here to answer all your questions about buffing floors. Contact us any time.

This post was written by JDI Cleaning Systems