What’s The Best Floor Finish For My Commercial Facility?

25 May 2023

What’s The Best Floor Finish for My Commercial Facility 4 Questions To Ask

Choosing the right commercial floor finish for your facility is essential to achieving your desired facility appearance. There are a few questions you can ask that will help you determine which finish will allow you to achieve the best-looking floors.

Ultimately, the best floor finish will be based on your facility’s specific needs, wants, resources and budget. For example, if you choose a floor finish that requires more time and maintenance than your cleaning team is able to provide, you may find that you have dull, dirty floors.

If you choose a floor finish based solely on the appearance, you might notice that you can’t maintain it due to your facility’s specific cleaning program. In this article, we’ll review the 4 questions you should ask yourself when looking for the right floor finish for your commercial hard floors.

What’s the Best Floor Finish for my Facility?

Floor finish is applied over your bare commercial flooring to protect it from the effects of foot traffic, scuffs, moisture, and other potential damages.

The best floor finish for your facility will provide you with the desired appearance and also adequate protection against wear and tear.

4 Questions To Ask When Choosing A Commercial Floor Finish

  1. What Is Your Current Floor Maintenance Program?
  2. What Floor Cleaning Equipment Can I Afford?
  3. What Are Your Expectations For Your Floors?
  4. What Are Your Sustainability Goals For Your Cleaning Program?

1. What is Your Current Floor Maintenance Program?

Hard floor maintenance consists of three phases: daily, periodic, and restorative maintenance.

How frequently your staff will need to perform each cleaning and maintenance procedure depends on the amount of foot traffic and the type of finish you have on your floors.

All floor finishes will require maintenance, like sweeping, vacuuming, and mopping, to keep the floors clean, but some floor finishes require additional tasks and procedures.

Your cleaning team will need to clean your floors at least once a day, but the specific frequency of cleaning will depend on the finish you have applied to your floors.

What Daily Maintenance Does Low Maintenance Floor Finish Require?

Low maintenance floor finish is made to withstand high traffic without becoming damaged from daily wear and tear.

Most low maintenance floor finishes can be maintained using four daily cleaning procedures:

  1. Clean/Empty Entry Matting
  2. Sweep
  3. Dust Mop or Vacuum
  4. Damp Mop or Clean with an Auto Scrubber

These four procedures will make sure that any loose dirt, debris, or other soils are cleaned from your floors before they can scratch or become ground into your floor finish.

What Daily Maintenance Does High Gloss Floor Finish Require?

High shine floor finish is designed to achieve extremely glossy floors. These types of floor finishes require additional daily maintenance to maintain their shiny appearance.

Daily maintenance is important to maintaining the appearance of high shine floors. They will likely need to be burnished, in addition to the four other daily tasks that are needed to keep your floors clean with a low maintenance finish.

How Does Labor Affect The Floor Finish I Choose?

When choosing a floor finish, you should assess how often your cleaning team can realistically perform each cleaning procedure that your floors need.

For example, if your cleaning team can only perform daily cleaning once a day, you may need to consider a floor finish that doesn’t require additional care to maintain its appearance.

That means that a facility that has a heightened focus on cleaning and disinfecting may not have the time or labor to allot to buffing and burnishing floors frequently.

Facilities that don’t have enough time to perform these additional maintenance procedures will benefit from a lower maintenance, more durable floor finish for their floors.

Choosing a floor finish that requires your staff to burnish your facility’s floors daily when they cannot accommodate the additional maintenance will lead to your floors appearing dull or scratched.

2. What Floor Cleaning Equipment Can I Afford?

The maintenance procedures that you and your cleaning team will need to perform to keep your floors clean will depend on the equipment you have available in your facility.

Traditional cleaning tools, like brooms, dust mops, and vacuums, can be used to remove soils from your commercial hard floors. While these tools will effectively clean your floors, they may require your janitorial staff to spend additional time and labor completing cleaning tasks.

With floor cleaning equipment, like floor buffers and auto scrubbers, your team can achieve clean floors faster and easier. By using powered equipment, you can reduce the amount of time spent cleaning, which will save you money on labor costs.

Some floor finishes will require that you have access to buffers and burnishers to maintain the shine of your floors.

Softer floor finishes, for example, will commonly require that you buff them periodically and burnish them daily for them to retain their shine and avoid scratches.

To maintain a softer, high-maintenance floor finish, you will need a floor burnisher. Floor burnishers use high-speed rotations to restore the shine of your floors in a few passes.

The fast rotations of a floor burnisher are able to smooth out the floor finish using heat and friction.

If you don’t currently have the floor cleaning equipment needed for your hard floor maintenance, you may have to choose a floor finish that can be taken care of using the resources you have available.

3. What Are Your Expectations For Your Floors?

Depending on the type of facility you have, you may be looking for a floor finish that:

  • Provides adequate shine
  • Has a clean appearance
  • Can withstand high traffic, scratches, and scuff marks
  • Will maintain its appearance between periodic maintenance procedures

For some buildings, like grocery stores and airports, having high shine floors is most important to maintain a positive customer impression about their business.

High shine floor finishes are softer finishes that are designed to provide superior gloss. These high shine finishes achieve a clean appearance that provides your guests with peace of mind.

To maintain their brilliant appearance, high-shine floor finishes require regular high-speed burnishing and buffing to keep your floors free of scratches.

Other facilities, like schools and retail stores, might be more concerned with having a durable floor finish that offers a good shine but can withstand heavy foot traffic.

A durable, low maintenance floor finish is a harder floor finish that can withstand heavy foot traffic, resist scuff marks, and avoid scratches that can cause dull floors. With a harder floor finish, it will be easier for your cleaning team to care for with less maintenance.

While durable floor finishes don’t provide a shine as robust as a high-gloss finish, they can be maintained with minimal to no buffing.

4. What Are Your Sustainability Goals For Your Cleaning Program?

Having a sustainable cleaning program is an increasingly common goal for many businesses.

Adjustments to your floor maintenance program can offer your facility a chance to create a greener cleaning program. 

If your facility is interested in increasing its sustainability practices, there are a variety of green floor finish options that can be applied to the commercial hard floors in your facility.

Each of these products has reduced VOCs, heavy metals, and other harsh chemicals that will improve the indoor air quality of your building.

Switching to products that are better for the environment will allow you to reduce the amount of chemicals you use in your building.

Final Thoughts

The right floor finish for your facility will meet your desired appearance and protect your flooring investment.

It’s important to consider your building’s specific needs in order to get the most out of the floor finish that’s applied to your floors.

Two facilities can have the exact same floor finish and experience different outcomes because of their maintenance programs and the equipment they have available to care for their commercial floor finish.

You should choose the floor finish that will provide you with your desired shine, meet your goals, and utilize the equipment you have available.


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