Floor stripping vs. scrubbing … which service do you really need? These terms are easily confused because the end goal is basically the same. You want a squeaky clean, stain-free floor with a shiny, mirror-like finish, right? But in reality, these are very different processes and they each play a distinct role in your floor maintenance plan. Do not make the mistake of thinking your floors only need routine mopping. They also need Floor scrubbing and stripping.
Floor scrub & recoat – a regular maintenance service that uses a scrubbing machine to deep clean the surface of the floor. The machine scrubs away dirt and stains and removes the top layer of floor finish. Once the floor has been thoroughly scrubbed, it is resealed with a fresh top coat. This is an economical option compared to fully stripping and refinishing your floor every time it begins to look dirty and worn down.
Floor strip & refinish – a restorative care service that uses a strong chemical solution to dissolve all the layers of existing floor finish down to the bare surface. After the floor is stripped, multiple layers of new topcoat are applied. This process resets your floor as close as possible to “like new” condition. This is a more expensive service compared to a scrub and recoat. But it will be necessary eventually and it’s the best choice when you’re looking for that high-shine finish.
Note: you may have heard this service referred to as a “strip and wax.” Oil or wax-based floor finishes aren’t used much anymore, but the terminology remains. Modern floors are typically finished with an acrylic topcoat.
Add scrub & recoat service to your routine cleaning plan
In addition to daily sweeping and mopping, your hard floors will need a regular deep scrub and recoat service to maintain their protective finish and shiny surface.
How often should you schedule a floor scrub and recoat?
The minimum interval we typically recommend is once every 12 months. However, we only recommend that schedule for minimal-use areas or very low-density buildings. For medium to high-density buildings and busy areas (think restrooms, hallways or entryways), we recommend a scrub and recoat at least twice a year and possibly as often as once per quarter.
The scrub and recoat process is much simpler and faster than a full strip and refinish. It’s also significantly less expensive.
How do you know when it’s time to strip your floor?
If you’ve been keeping up on your scrub and recoat routine, you should be able to put off a full strip & refinish for at least 12 months, if not longer. That’s the benefit of having a regular, ongoing maintenance plan in place!
Here’s a simple guideline: for a medium-density building, plan on 3 machine scrubbings for every 1 floor strip. If you’ve already scrubbed and recoated 3 times, then you should probably get a strip and refinish on the calendar.
You may start to notice deeper stains and ground-in dirt embedded in your floor’s finish that can’t be removed with a scrubbing machine. Also, you can’t keep adding topcoat indefinitely. If you do, you’ll start to notice yellowish discoloration and flaking in the floor’s corners from all the old layers of finish.
Stripping and refinishing a floor is a time-intensive process. You’ll need to completely close off the area being worked on and limit the number of people in the building as much as possible.
Follow manufacturer recommendations for the best results
New floor installations come with warranties and recommendations for cleaning and care. Following the recommended maintenance routine will get you better results and maximize the lifespan of your flooring.
Want to save time & money on hard floor care?
Invest in regular floor maintenance. It’s tempting to skip the scrub and re-coat routine and try to get by with mopping. But you’ll end up spending more time and money on frequent floor stripping. Preventative care is less expensive than trying to reverse the damage after the fact.
We would love to help you develop an efficient, cost-effective cleaning plan for your facility. Schedule a consultation today!