By Grainger Editorial Staff 1/1/17
Got flooring? Of course you do!
Chances are you have at least two—possibly more—different types of flooring inside your facility. They look great— but every type of flooring has a different set of needs for staying clean. You may walk from room to room and ask yourself “What is the best way to clean hardwood floors?” or “What do I need to clean my laminate flooring?” The best floor care comes from knowing the most effective way to clean the kind of flooring you have.
The type of floor you have will determine the rules you will have to follow for cleaning. Every type of flooring has different care needs. So first take a look at your floors and determine what the material is—are they vinyl or tile? Ceramic or wood? Then you can choose a cleaning method that suits your needs.
Carpeting needs to be vacuumed regularly. In an office environment that doesn’t have a lot of foot traffic, this might mean twice a week. In busier industries that see more people—like hotels and hospitals—carpets must be vacuumed daily. Regular vacuuming removes dust and particles that may damage the fibers in your rug. This type of flooring also requires regular washing. Hand scrubbing with water and a light detergent can work for small spots, but for a full cleaning a powered carpet cleaner is necessary.
Using too much water or liquid cleaner on wood floors can cause permanent damage. Wood is porous, and will absorb liquid if too much of it is applied. Sweeping regularly is one of the best ways to clean hardwood floors. To clean spots or spills, use a light cleanser designed for hardwood floors. Deep cleaning solutions are available that will vary depending on the type of wood and finish.
Like with hardwood floors, it is important to limit the amount of water and liquid cleaner on your vinyl and laminate floors. Excess water—even a little—can get into the seams of your vinyl floor and start to loosen the adhesive, which will cause the floor to peel. Laminates will expand if they absorb too much water, it is recommended that spills be cleaned from these types of floors immediately. Regular sweeping and light mopping is the best way to keep this type of floor in shape.
The type of tile your floor is made of will determine the best cleaning methods and products. Many commercial tile floors are made of a vinyl composition tile that requires non-abrasive cleansers. Other types of tile can tolerate harsher chemicals, but their grout can’t. An issue with grouted tile floors is that the grout is not level with the tile, and sometimes gets missed in the cleaning process. It is important to choose a cleaning brush or tool that can accommodate these imbalances.
If you have a concrete floor, sealing it will help keep it from absorbing staining elements (like spilled liquids or ingrained dirt particles). It will also make it easier to clean down the line. Whether you are cleaning with a manual brush, like a broom or with a cleaning machine, it is important to use stiff brushes that can get the grit up.
Many commercial facilities require floor cleaning machines to get their whole floor space cleaned. There are many options available for your needs. Most floor cleaning machines are either going to be an automatic sweeper, a floor scrubber or a buffer. Sweepers are great for pulling up debris from the floor. If you wish to wash your floors clean, an automatic scrubber is a good alternative. Both of these come in walk-behind or riding options.
When using a floor-cleaning machine, one of the most important factors is the type of brush you choose for the head. Brushes are made of different materials and are designed specifically for the type of flooring or cleaning job. Choose the type of brush that is best suited to your type of flooring. This might mean a stiffer brush for cleaning your concrete floors while attaching a scrubber brush for uneven or rough floors.
Cleaning for your particular floor will frequently boil down to what kind of brush or tool to choose and what kind of chemical. When shopping for cleaning tools and supplies, always check the manufacturer’s specifications to ensure that you are choosing the right items for your type of flooring.
The information contained in this article is intended for general information purposes only and is based on information available as of the initial date of publication. No representation is made that the information or references are complete or remain current. This article is not a substitute for review of current applicable government regulations, industry standards, or other standards specific to your business and/or activities and should not be construed as legal advice or opinion. Readers with specific questions should refer to the applicable standards or consult with an attorney.