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The Contractors Corner
Understanding Floor Refinishing
Strip and Recoat
Making That VCT Look New Again!
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e-mail: cleanup@tensupply.com
Strip and Recoat

Making that VCT look new again!

Stripping and re-coating vinyl tile floors is a labor intense job that requires skill and patience. Good money can be made at this work if you can provide a high quality professional service. It is not something that you can rush into and expect good results. Close supervision of the job by experienced personnel is a must because this assignment can be botched by employees that are not qualified to perform the detail work necessary to achieve the desired results. Your main goal is customer satisfaction.

Quoting the Job

You can not quote by the square foot on every job. Smaller jobs must be quoted at a minimum charge. Larger jobs are quoted by the square foot. Rooms with a lot of furniture, stacked boxes, equipment or delicate electronics will require more labor to move around, so insert this added expense into your quote. Figure in to your calculation the cost for your estimated man-hours and materials including finish, stripper, sealer, mops, applicators, safety signs, etc. Calculate the amount of finish that you will need by using this formula: Typically floor finish such as the TennSpec Super Nova High Solids Finish and the Nova 18 Finish and the HCR LINX Floor Finish will cover 3,000 square feet per gallon. Now say your floor area is 10,000 square feet and you want to lay 6 coats of finish on the floor. You multiply your square footage of 10,000 by 6 coats and get a total of 60,000. Now, divide 60,000 by the finish coverage of 3,000 and you get 20. 20 gallons is the amount of finish you will need to do the job.

Floor stripper is a little harder to predict due to the fact that every floor is different because of finish build up, dirty edges and corners, etc., but you can get a close estimate by using this formula: Again, the floor area is 10,000 square feet. One gallon of TennSpec BIG GUN Stripper, diluted at a ratio of 1:5 will strip 200 square feet, so each gallon of concentrated stripper will make 5 gallons of diluted stripper which will strip 1,000 square feet. Divide 10,000 by 1,000 and the total is 10 gallons of concentrated floor stripper to do the job.

Again don't forget to add in the cost of other necessary materials such as mops, squeegees, finish applicators, safety signs or tape, stripping pads and HCR Foamaway Defoamer if you are using a wet and dry vacuum to pick up your stripper slurry.

Allow the floor to dry thoroughly before applying the Nova 18 or the Super Nova 25 Floor Finish. When you are sure that the floor is bone dry and there is no stripper residue left you may now apply the floor finish.

Applying Floor Finish

Choose a finish applicator that you are comfortable with. What works for one floor finish professional will not work for others. There are many styles, sizes and textiles used to make the appliers. The nylon mop is relatively new to the industry. It is very light weight but covers a very large area and works by spreading the finish over the area without absorbing very much of the finish. A rayon mop is a very good way to apply the finish and is excellent for veterans as well as novices. It is only slightly absorbant and spreads a nice even coat of finish. Wet the rayon and nylon mops with water and then wring it to the point that it is slightly damp before using it to apply your finish

At Tennessee Specialty Supply there is available a finish applicator system that is manufactured by Rubbermaid that includes a finish bucket on casters and includes a sive that attaches to the bucket to release the excess finish and several applier heads that resemble a dust mop head. It is a real neat applier that would take just a little time to master but is super for making straight edges. The bucket comes with a lid so it stores all of its components except for the handle.

Once you have chosen the applicator you are comfortable with you will apply the finish in thin even coats. Do not apply the finish in thick coats. Thick coats are ugly and very obvious and do not have a professional look. Allow enough time to completely dry before applying another coat. Patience is the key to success here. If you apply your multiple coats too soon you stand a very good chance of ripping or smearing the finish you have just applied and then it is back to square one because it can't be fixed. You would have to restrip the damaged area and recoat and a patch job always looks like a patch job.

You will notice that with each successive coat that the floor is looking sealed and the shine is increasing. The new Mega-Molecule Technology found in floor finishes like TennSpec Nova 18 and Super Nova 25 and HCR LINX seal the floor and give you a brilliant shine in fewer coats. You may find that 4 coats of these finishes is equivelent to 6 coat of a conventional floor finish. When you are satisfied that the finish is at optimum seal and shine consider yourself done. It's time to head for the house. Be sure that all your equipment has been cleaned and loaded. Good job!

Clean the equipment

You're doing a great job and now the floor finish coats are being applied and you now have some good people that have done a great job for you. Everyone is tired and ready for that final coat of finish to be laid so they can go home. At this point the people who are not involved in the finish application process need to be cleaning the equipment by

Stripping the Floor

Start by applying an aerosol foaming baseboard stripper to the baseboards and around the edges of the floor. Allow it to stand for about ten minutes and then scrub with a utility pad attached to a holder. Follow this by rinsing with clear water and mop dry. If you equip your buffer machine with a splash ring this will eliminate the possibility of throwing slurry on to your clean baseboards. This method is very neat and takes care of a lot of the detail work before you start flooding the floor with stripper.

It is also a very good idea to install a floor dam in the doorways of rooms that you do not intend to strip. This will prevent the stripper from running into that room and will save you time by preventing the need to do finish patch jobs in those rooms that are not part of the job.

Next pour an ample amount of diluted TennSpec BIG GUN Stripper product to a small section of the floor and let stand for 10 to 20 minutes. If there is a build up of old finish on the floor this will extend the standing time for the stripper. It is important that you do not agitate the stripper at this point as it weakens the penetrating properties the stripper has. If a floor stripper dries before you scrub it, don't add more stripper, just add clear warm water to re-wet.

After the stripper has stood for the recommended length of time the next step will be to run a buffer equipped with a stripping pad over the floor to loosen and strip the finish. Go slowly for two reasons. First, for safety do not try to go too fast. Floors are extremely slippery covered in floor stripper and a slip and fall accident can really cause some serious injury. Second, you will want to give the pad time to cut the old finish, so be patient and go at a slower pace.

Now you will want to pick up the stripper slurry by using a cotton mop head and a mop bucket equipped with a wringer or a wet and dry vacuum. If you use the mop and bucket method be sure and keep your rinse water clean by changing it often. There can be no stripper residue left on the floor, as that would ruin the job. The preferred method is to use a wet and dry vacuum for the efficiency factor. Be sure to use some Defoamer in the tank of your vacuum so that you don't ruin the vac motor with the thick foamy slurry. A rinse with water using a clean cotton mophead is necessary even when you use a wet and dry vacuum. This will eliminate any possibility of leaving even a trace of stripper residue on the floor. Finish the section of the floor you started and then proceed to the next and repeat the procedure until the entire floor is stripped.

Now it's time to start scrubbing and rinsing out mop buckets, wet/dry vacuums, mops and buffers. The employees should now secure the equipment inside the van as they put it away to prevent hit and run theft. Protect your assets and keep that expensive equipment shining like it just left the showroom!

Pad Holder

New built-in teeth on base accepts 4 1/2" x 10" cleaning pads. Permits swivel action in all directions for hard to reach areas. Threaded socket accepts any threaded handle. Pads and handles sold separately.

Dominator Floor Pads

This pad is designed specifically for the heaviest duty stripping tasks. It is made from open weave, extra heavy denier fiber and contains more aggressive grit to produce the ultimate floor-stripping pad. For the really tough stripping jobs you can depend on The Dominator Floor Stripping Pad.

Finish Mop Blue and White Strip

This is a 4 ply, looped-end synthetic yarn mop designed for a controlled release of floor finish. The tail-band is sewn on the inside of the mop, which helps reduce drag patterns common to most finish mops.

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Tennessee Specialty Supply, Inc.
3332 Winbrook Drive
Memphis, Tennessee
Call Locally 901-398-0107
Call Nationwide 800-433-3879
 
email at cleanup@tensupply.com

[Copyright Information:]

[Copyright 2001-2017 by Tennessee Specialty Supply, Inc, Michael Tata, www.tensupply.com. All rights reserved.]

[Revised] 04/02/17 03:09:32 PM