Top 10 Tips for Stripping & Waxing a Vinyl Tile Floor
1. Work in Sections
Start with an area no larger than 200 – 400 square feet for stripping at a time. This keeps it manageable and allows you to finish stripping while the solution is still wet.
2. Chemical Knowledge
Know your stripping solution, its dilution rate and the hazards involved with its use and prep accordingly.
3. Strip All the Old Finish
Be prepared to scrub an area more than once. Depending on the number of coats, solid content of the finish and frequency of the burnishing program, some areas will require more work to strip all of the finish off.
4. Remove the “Slurry”
Use an auto scrubber or a front-mounted squeegee wet vac to recover the “slurry” you’ve loosened with your machine. Do this quickly so it can’t dry and re-solidify.
5. Clean Your Machine
Thoroughly clean your auto scrubber or wet vac immediately upon completion of the stripping job. Failure to do so can ruin your equipment.
6. Prep Before Finish
Thoroughly rinse, neutralize and dry your floor before applying the finish. Proper application takes time and skipping steps can send you back to square one again.
7. The Mop Matters
Use a clean, synthetic-fiber mop to apply the finish. Cotton mops leave strings and lint behind in your finish as well as absorb too much finish into their fibers.
8. Line the Bucket
If using the “dunk method”, line your bucket with a clean trash can liner before pouring in the finish to prevent any stray debris from contaminating your finish.
9. Multiple Thin Coats
Make the coats very, very thin. Yes, you need multiple coats, but they have to be super thin for even coverage and a smooth mirror-like finish.
10. Let it Cure
Keep foot traffic off of the floor for up to 8 hours after you’ve finished. You can use air movers at a very low output to dry the finish, but it still needs cure time before it’s opened to traffic.
Keep these simple tricks in mind (along with our full length How-To “Stripping a Floor”) and you’ll be prepped and ready to execute the perfect strip and wax.