Floor Care FAQ
1. What products should I use?
To make it easy for building service contractors to choose the right floor care products, Jon-Don developed the Floor Care Success System, a three-step combination for fool-proof hard floor maintenance, plus the education you need to get you and your techs up to speed.
Sledgehammer Plus is an excellent floor stripper designed to handle stripping challenges on tough finishes. Its powerful, non-ammoniated formula is ideal for use in areas where ammonia odor could cause problems. It covers 700 to 1,000 square feet per gallon. Sledgehammer Plus is safe on all floors, including stripping resilient and non-resilient floors (e.g., vinyl, vinyl composition, asphalt, rubber, brick, terrazzo, quarry tile, and concrete). We recommend that you use this product with room temperature water. It keeps evaporation to a minimum and allows the stripper to work better.
Brilliant offers a durable, high-gloss shine with or without buffing. It spreads and levels evenly and then dries to a polished, light-colored, transparent gloss. Highly resistant to traffic and scuff marks, this formula is designed to last, yet it can be quickly and completely removed when it’s time for stripping. Brilliant covers 1,500 to 2,000 square feet per gallon and dries in approximately 20-30 minutes.
Daily Clean is the perfect neutral cleaner for routine maintenance. Its concentrated, low-foam formula will remove the worst tracked-in soil and grime without leaving a film or streaks behind. Even after multiple cleanings, Daily Clean will help keep your floors shining. Dilute at just 2-4 ounces per gallon depending on the severity of cleaning required.
And then there’s education:
- The Life Cycle of Floor Care Manual. In addition to great products, Jon-Don has developed a comprehensive guide to floor care that describes exactly how to clean, strip, and refinish a floor. This manual is FREE and is available in both English and Spanish. Call 800-556-6366 and ask for part number JD-LCFCM.
- How to Strip and Wax VCT Floors. This one-day, hands-on course will teach you how to successfully strip and refinish (wax) VCT and other resilient floors as well as any floor requiring floor finish, such as terrazzo, concrete, slate, and others. Your instructor will cover all procedures for daily, periodic, and restorative maintenance programs.
2. How much product do I use?
Let’s assume you have a 3,000-square-foot floor to strip, and you need to apply three coats of finish.
Unitex Sledgehammer will cover 700-1,000 square feet per ready-to-use gallon. Brilliant 25% will cover 1,500-2,000 square feet per gallon per coat.
Here’s how you do the math:
3,000 sq ft / 700 sq ft per gallon = 5 gallons of Sledgehammer (rounded up)
3,000 sq ft / 1,500 sq ft per gallon X 3 coats = 6 gallons of Brilliant 25%
When doing the calculations, it is always better to use conservative numbers, even though you may get better coverage on some floors than on others. It is always more cost effective to have more product on hand than you actually need. Most stripping and refinishing jobs are done during off hours, so running out will cost you a fortune in labor just standing around waiting for more product to arrive.
3. What equipment do I need?
There are two pieces of equipment that are mandatory for anyone wanting to perform profitable floor care: a single-disc floor machine and a wet vacuum.
The information provided above is a good guide for most situations. However, if you should encounter a job that has you stumped, give us a call at (800) 556-6366. Our flooring experts can walk you through the process and help you choose the right equipment, find the right products, and figure out a fair rate to charge.
A floor machine will give you the weight and aggressiveness needed to remove all types of finishes. Always get the largest machine possible to save on labor.
A 20” machine will do the job 25% faster than a 17” machine, and the cost difference is only about $30 more.
A wet vacuum is essential to remove the slurry created in the stripping process. Mopping takes forever, and will always leave some residue. You can cut 50% of the labor required by hooking a front-mount squeegee onto your wet vacuum.
An auto scrubber is recommended for any contractor who is stripping floors over 2,500 square feet.
An auto scrubber is a floor machine and wet vacuum combined into one highly productive machine.
A note of caution: Do not use a Spinner to strip a floor. This machine is great for routine cleaning, but it is not suited for stripping.
4. How long will it take?
We surveyed professional contractors who said that, on average, it takes about 2.5-3 man hours to strip 1,000 square feet with a 20” floor machine and a wet vac. So, it will take a typical two-person crew about an hour and a half to strip that same 1,000 square feet. Of course, open areas with few obstructions can be stripped faster, but small, congested areas will require more time due to the extra detail work required.
5. What should I charge?
This is the question that comes up more than any other, and unfortunately there is no simple answer. The size of the job, the time of day the job is performed, and the condition of the finish to be removed are all important factors that must be considered. Typical stripping and finishing jobs can be priced anywhere from $0.30 to $1.00 per square foot depending on those other conditions.
We highly recommend that you perform a small test to see how easy it is to remove the existing finish before committing to a stripping job. If you have trouble removing the finish in your testing area, you may have to strip the floor twice, which will double your cost. Try to build in enough profit to cover any unforeseen problems. Remember, if something can go wrong, it generally does.