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What you need to know about cleaning a VCT floor

Vinyl composite tile flooring (VCT) is a popular choice for high-traffic areas because it is durable, attractive and will last a long time with proper maintenance. But how much life you get out of a VCT floor depends on how committed you are to cleaning and caring for it. 

Remember—it’s the routine maintenance plan that makes the difference.

If you wait until your VCT floor is in really bad shape, you’ll need to pay for an expensive restoration process to fix the damage and you’ll also have to replace the floor sooner than expected. It’s much less expensive to work with your professional cleaning partner on a regular cleaning and maintenance plan. 

Trust us—your floor and your budget will thank you! 

How to maintain and clean a VCT floor

The cleaning routine for a VCT floor does not have to be complicated or interrupt your business operations. Follow these simple, money-saving tips to protect your VCT flooring and get the most out of your cleaning plan! 

Before you start

Remember to check with the flooring manufacturer regarding any warranties or cleaning recommendations. 

Choose the right entry mats

This is our #1 tip for customers who want to maximize their floor’s lifespan! The best way to keep your floor clean is to make sure that the dirt stops at the door. There are two key types of entryway mats to look for:

  • Scraper mats: Place outside your building, directly in front of all exterior doors. Scraper mats are your floor’s first line of defense, so look for quality, commercial-grade mats with hard, rubber ridges that are designed to trap large bits of mud and debris. 
  • Wiper mats: Place inside your lobby and cover 10-15 feet, if space allows. This might seem excessive, but the more matting you have, the less time and money you’ll spend cleaning the floors! Wiper mats typically have a softer, carpet-like feel and are designed to trap residual water and dirt from the soles of shoes. 

Need help sourcing commercial-grade floor matting at an affordable price? We work directly with wholesale suppliers and get our customers the best deals on entry mats. Schedule a consult today to learn more! 

The daily routine: sweep, dust mop (or vacuum) & damp mop

This is your baseline cleaning routine. Ask your cleaning partner about using a HEPA filter-equipped vacuum with a hard floor attachment, rather than the traditional broom/dust mop combo. Choosing the vacuum option will reduce labor costs, saving you money on your cleaning bill! This type of vacuum service removes larger bits of debris and also eliminates the smaller particles that are difficult to pick up with a basic broom.

This is important because constant foot traffic can grind those tiny dust particles into your VCT floor which dulls the polyacrylate topcoat and may permanently damage your vinyl tiles. 

Once all the surface dirt is removed, use a damp mop to wipe up any surface stains. For buildings with very busy lobbies, hallways and bathrooms, consider adding a day porter service. Day porters keep an eye on these high-traffic areas and work onsite during business hours to mop up puddles, muddy footprints, coffee spills, etc.

Schedule a machine scrubbing service at least once per year

A common concern that we hear from customers is that their VCT floors look dirty, even after mopping. Why? Over time, tiny particles of dust and dirt get ground into your floor’s polyacrylate topcoat, which is what produces that dull, dingy appearance. As your floor’s finish deteriorates, it acts almost like Velcro, trapping the dirt and making it impossible to sweep or mop effectively. The only way to remove the deep-down dirt is with the help of a special floor scrubbing machine. 

Once your floor has been thoroughly scrubbed, your cleaning team will apply a new layer of topcoat to restore the floor’s shiny, mirror-like finish and help repel dirt and water effectively. 

Think of this scrubbing/topcoat process as preventative medicine. The goal is to prolong the life of your VCT floor and minimize the time and expense of frequent stripping and refinishing. It’s much less expensive to schedule a proper sweep/mop/scrub routine than it is to fully strip and refinish your VCT flooring. 

What’s the best schedule for cleaning a VCT floor? 

Every building’s needs are different (depending on foot traffic and occupancy), but here’s a sample VCT floor cleaning schedule that you can use as a starting point: 

Daily or weekly: sweep/dust mop or vacuum, then damp mop. Low-traffic areas may not need to be damp mopped every day, while high-traffic lobbies may need a touch-up multiple times per day. 

Quarterly or annually: machine scrubbing and fresh topcoat. Remember—this is the critical step that will reduce your need for frequent and expensive floor stripping! 

Protect your VCT floors & save money on cleaning! 

Cleansolution specializes in cleaning and maintenance for all flooring types including VCT, hardwoods, concrete, carpet and more! Schedule a video chat with us today to get started with the best floor cleaning routine for your building!