How to Keep Your Hard Surface Flooring Looking Great

It’s all about the shine. If you’ve ever walked into the lobby of a building right after the floor’s been cleaned, you know hard surface flooring can make a big impact. A clean, shiny floor catches the eye and creates a polished, professional impression.

Along with looking great, hard surface flooring also just make sense in certain areas. While carpet has benefits in many different spaces, you wouldn’t want it in places like bathrooms and lobbies. Hard floors are better choices in these areas because they can handle heavy traffic, endure water/spills without easily staining, and be cleaned up quickly.

But as good as they look when they’re clean and shiny, hard floors can also show dirt a little more than carpet. Dust, debris and track marks can easily mar the appearance of hard floors. Worse, if floors are not properly taken care of and dirt gets ground into the flooring below the finish you may be looking at expensive repair or replacement.

That’s why it’s so important to have a plan in place for maintaining the integrity and appearance of your flooring. Whether you have stone, hardwood, tile or vinyl flooring, here are some tips to help you keep your facility’s hard surface flooring looking great.

12 Tips for Maintaining Your Building’s Hard Surface Floors

At DPM Care, we’ve been providing hard surface and grout cleaning to facilities for decades. Based on our experience, here are a dozen things you need to know to get the most from your flooring investment.

1. Get quality walk-off mats

The best way to remove dirt is to stop it from entering. Up to 80% of soil can be captured with a 12-15 foot mat positioned by an entrance. And you can capture up to 98% of soil with walk-off mats of 39 feet. Either way, having strategically placed walk-off mats will add years to the life of your flooring.

2. Use casters on chairsDPM Care caster cover

Removing dirt from hard surface flooring is one thing. Removing scratches is an entirely different, and much more difficult, task. Prevent floor scratching in offices, lobbies, and other relevant areas by using chair casters.

We also recommend caster covers like this one to soften casters. This is one we sell to our customers.

3. Use pads and protectors

Other ways to avoid scratching your floors include using protectors on the bottom of all furniture pieces and using pads whenever you’re moving furniture or other large/heavy items across the floor.

Specifically, we recommend that our clients use felt pads and plastic chair glides. Below are the two versions we make available to our clients.

4. Vacuum your floor every day

When most people think of hard surface floor cleaning, they think mops. But vacuuming is just—if not more—essential. Mops may not fully remove soil and sand, but a vacuum will. This is important because these elements can cause real damage if they get scraped across the floor or ground into your floor’s finish. You also need to be sure to vacuum your walk-in mats.

5. Dry and wet mop daily

Especially on certain floors that get a lot of sunlight, dust can really be noticeable. After vacuuming, use a micro-fiber dry mop to remove excess dust from your floor. Then use a wet mop with a neutral cleaner to remove any caked-on dirt and give the floor some shine.

6. Don’t let water or spills linger

While one of the benefits of hard surface flooring is its ability to withstand moisture, to prevent stains or damage you still want to remove any standing liquid as soon as possible.

7. Follow the flow of traffic

Observe the traffic patterns in your building and adjust your cleaning strategy accordingly. Make sure the areas of heaviest traffic get extra cleaning attention, potentially even vacuuming and mopping them multiple times a day.

8. Be careful with cleaners

Not all cleaners and floor types are compatible, so use caution. You also don’t want to use any solutions that could void your flooring warranty. Make sure you always test a cleaning solution on a small, hidden area of your floor before you go “all in”. When possible, consult a professional.

9. Buff or burnish regularly

Buffing or burnishing your flooring weekly or semi-weekly can help hide wear and scratches and add gloss and shine. The main difference between the two is burnishing is done at a higher speed. Many FMs prefer burnishing because it provides a brighter shine.

10. Don’t forget deep cleaning

Along with routine cleaning (vacuuming and mopping), you want to give your floors regular deeper cleanings with an automated scrubber. Depending on the traffic your floors see, you may need these weekly or monthly. This can be done in conjunction with buffing or burnishing.

11. Strip and refinish annually

Your flooring has a finish to protect it. Over time, that finish gets worn down and needs to be removed and replaced. Depending on your floor type, traffic, and cleaning effectiveness, this may need to happen once, twice or three times a year. A good time to strip and refinish is after the winter season, which can be harsh on flooring.

The photos below show work we did for a client to strip and wax their flooring. It’s a difference you can see.

The flooring was dull and lifeless (left) before we stripped and waxed it (right).

12. Give grout special attention

Dirt can easily become embedded in grout and bacteria can form there. Discolored grout can also really hurt the appearance of your floor, making it look consistently dirty. If you have tiles, make sure you regularly, specifically and thoroughly clean your grout lines.

A thorough and effective grout cleaning will get your tile looking as good as new. Below is an example of how we helped improve a client’s entryway with grout cleaning.

The image on the left is before we cleaned. The image on the right shows the tile after grout cleaning.

Be Proactive to Get the Most from Your Hard Surface Flooring

It may seem like a lot of work, but developing a cleaning and maintenance plan for your hard surface flooring will save you a lot of time, frustration, and cost down the road. Commercial hard surface floors are a big investment so you want to do everything you can to get the most from that investment. Remember, every year you add to the life of your flooring will save you thousands of dollars.

Have questions about cleaning your hard surface floors? Drop us a line. We’d be happy to help!