One of the quickest things a customer can judge a facility on is the condition of their floors. For this reason, the quality of your floors really can make or break the feel of your facility. The most common floor finish that is used today is acrylic wax, but many people aren’t aware that a wax finish may not be the best choice for their floors.
There are other options for your floors, and after reading this, you may decide that it’s time to make some changes. Many facilities have been switching to polyurethane floor finish, which provides greater durability with less maintenance, resulting in a longer lasting, superior shine without all the labor.
Let’s dig into a few reasons why you might want to re-think the way you maintain your floors.
#1. Maintenance Cost – Save 20% or more per year
The first thing to consider when choosing your floor care methods is the cost of maintenance. Typically, wax finish on a floor will need to be completely stripped off and refinished once per year. Once the floors have been stripped and refinished, in order to keep them looking good, a facility will need to either buff or burnish the floors sometimes as often as once or twice a week. Every 3 or 4 months, the floors need to be scrubbed and top coated with more finish. As we all know, wax floors require virtually constant maintenance in order to keep them looking good. Although the material costs are not very high, the labor costs add up quickly. In addition, the cost to buy, operate, and maintain floor equipment can be significant.
With a polyurethane finish, floors will become far easier to maintain, because many of these steps are eliminated. The process of maintaining a polyurethane floor consists of the initial application, which is a one-time stripping of the previous finish, and the application of the polyurethane finish. Polyurethance floor finish does not need to be buffed or burnished and it never needs to be stripped . The finish only requires normal surface cleaning to maintain its high quality appearance for years. In many cases the use of polyurethance floor finish can lower maintenance costs by 20% or more per year.
#2 Consistency of Appearance
The reason floors finished with wax require so much attention is that wax is a non-durable finish. As a result the appearance of the finish deteriorates quickly in higher traffic situations. It is the decline in appearance that necessitates buffing or burnishing, topcoating and stripping and refinishing. Throughout the process the wax finish goes through peaks and valleys of appearance resulting in inconsistent quality of the floors.
Polyurethane eliminates the ups and downs of quality and delivers and long lasting, consistent, high quality appearance every day.
#3. Sustainability – Eliminate waste, reduce water, reduce VOCs, save energy
Another reason to be considering your choice of finish is sustainability. With all of the work that is required to maintain wax finish, the usage of energy, water, and lots of chemicals really begins to add up.
According to the Office of the Federal Environmental Executive, the average building uses more than 2,000 pounds of chemical product for finishing, stripping and cleaning every 100,000 square feet of hard-surface floors each year. Of that amount, approximately 19 percent is considered to be hazardous material that is harmful to people and the environment. In most cases, all of that product is stripped from the floors and discarded down the drain.
Also, wax floors must be stripped and refinished once per year, and the stripping process requires about 20 gallons of water per 1,000 square feet of floor finish. With a polyurethane coating, this number is reduced to about one gallon per year, because they only need to be touched up once every couple of years. Switching to a polyurethane finish means a 95% reduction in water usage from floor finishing.
#4. Facility Disruptions
The next thing to consider is the amount of facility disruptions that are accompanied by the maintenance of a wax finish. Because wax finished floors need to be either buffed or burnished once per week (or more), your facility is almost constantly being disrupted by the maintenance crew trying to keep up with the low durability of the floors. On top of that, larger disruptions occur once every couple months when the floor must be scrubbed down, and more wax is applied, and once per year when the floor must be completely stripped to reapply the entire wax coating. These disruptions can be a huge pain in the neck, because they usually mean that certain areas of your facility must be blocked off for many hours at a time. With polyurethane finish, there will be only one disruption per floor area every couple of years. Facilities with polyurethane floor finishes, for the most part, only have to worry about surface cleaning like sweeping and mopping. This fact alone can save you many headaches over the course of a year.
#5. Preserving the Life of Your Floors
Lastly, switching to a polyurethane finish has the potential to greatly extend the life of your floors. The processes that are required to maintain wax can actually be damaging to the floor itself. With all of those chemcicals, and large machines involved to buff, burnish, scrub, and strip. The surface of the floor can begin to wear away, and, over time, you may find that you’re looking to have your entire floors replaced, which not only costs money, but it also produces waste, requires energy, and is a massive disruption to a facility. Applying a polyurethane finish to your floors can ultimately extend their life, because it serves as a durable coating over the surface of the floor, and it never needs to be stripped or removed.
Performance Finish from Finish Line Floors his a highly durable, long lasting polyurethane finish that has the potential to save your facility huge amounts of time, money, water, and reduce its production of chemical waste from floor stripping by 100%.