The other day at the Target store I could not help but notice the
gloss on their tiles floors. Looks like just basic vinyl tile, large
style, white with speckles. But man, it was as glossy as my collector
Then at the Franklin Mills Mall in Philly, I noticed again the wood
lath flooring -- again super super glossy! And non-skid too.
Where do I get this stuff? I'd love to put it down in my home!
contact industrial janitorial supply stores and see what they can sell
you to do it to your floors.. and remember that in some stores they have
a crew that comes in every night to polish up the floors............
Plus it's alot of work and machinery.
The basic trick is high-solids floor wax. It has to be put down in layers,
usually 5-10 with a rag mop on a clean floor, with 4-8 hours dry time
between coats. It is buffed after being cleaned daily with a buffing
machine. If it looks dirty or yellow, it is stripped with ammonia and a
machine with a scrubbing pad. VERY unpleasant. But you never see it because
it is normally done when the store is closed at night.
HOWEVER, you can do well at home with a quality floor wax (like Halloway
House) and good procedures. Use ammonia to clean all the nasty looking crap
off your floor. Nasty, nasty job, but the floor will only look as good as
the base. Then apply the wax, letting each layer dry completely before
applying the next. Thin coats are best in quality. This is the beauty and
protection for years, so don't skimp. You can walk across a dry coat to use
the bathroom, but any dirt will get in the next coat.
If you can get 5-10 nice coats on, then just sponge mop and buff with a dry
mop. You'll have a nice finish for a few years. Remember, a home application
has alot less traffic than an industrial one, and you get mileage
And yes, the high shine day after day is achieved by great cleaning and
mechanical buffing daily (at night when you sleep). BUT, I've achieved the
same quite happily at home with good cleaning (little residue) after
several coats of good wax. It's all about the quality (dirt freeness,
wear-freeness) of the wax. Follow what you see and adjust accordingly. You
can have a beautiful floor. Just don't expect it to be free.
This was my first thought. Daily, even weekly for home uses, waxing
and buffing will keep things shiny. But what's this obsession with
gloss? I have 20-yr-old vinyl flooring in my kitchen that's *never*
been waxed. True, I can't see my face (or my shoes) reflected, but
it's clean and unscratched. And far from a state in which anyone would
come in and say "oh, your floor's not shiny enough."
The history of waxing floors must be interesting. For wood, it's a
protective coating. For old-timey linoleum, also a protection on a
relatively porous surface. For modern vinyl sheets and tiles; gilding
the lily. I've done time removing "waxy yellow buildup," and have
concluded that a clean, unwaxed, unbuffed surface is a *lot* easier to
In the service (Army) we used a Simonize paste wax and then used a
buffer machine, followed by an old army blanket as a buffer pad and boy
what a shine, we shined it so much that the officers stayed out of our room.
Several layers were necessary over a period of days prior to the inspection
but it was well worth it!
Get the yellow pages out and look under "Janitorial" for a janitorial supply
store. Call the various stores and ask if they have a 25% metal acrylic
floor finish. You will need this and a finishing mop (very fine, lint-free
mophead) or a sponge mop. Either way, you will need some method of wringing
the excess finish out of the mop because, as stated in other replies, you
want to apply many thin layers, not one thick layer.
Before you apply it, you will need to make SURE that you have any dirt, old
wax, etc. off the floor. If you can get the floor spotless, then when you
wax over it it will shine beautifully. I do this for some of my
(commercial) customers. It is best to wear clean white socks (put them on
clean; simply removing your shoes and walking across the floor can sometimes
mess up the finish before it is fully cured if your socks are damp from
sweat). Be careful not to drip any as you wax. You want to put on VERY thin
layers and just enough each time to just cover the floor, kind of like when
rub lotion on your body (small amounts, no globs). Remember, you're not
mopping the floor, you're applying wax.
If you have an overhead fan or a box fan you can setup to blow across the
surface, then your drying time should be no longer than about 20 - 30
minutes. You will notice that the more layers you put on, the easier the
wax is applied and the less you will use. But you want to make sure to do
the entire floor at one time, not in sections. If you try to wax it in
sections, you will see areas where the wet wax overlapped the dry wax, and
it will look very bad. Take your time, and a few hours later (most of the
time is spent waiting, so grab some drinks from the coolerator and watch a
good movie) you will have a beautiful kitchen. I would not recommend this
in garages or areas where furniture will be routinely moved across the
surface. If it ever scuffs, just clean it very well and apply another thin
layer or two, and usually the scuffs will disappear.
The "wet look" is from highspeed buffing and a high solids floor
finish....On large commercial floors they first sweep and move small items
or clutter(large dust mop) then use a 1000lb batterpowered automatic
scrubber(approx.$5000 +) which lays water/mild detergent, scrubs and vacuums
up the slop.....damp mop or rinse for corners, edges and puddles.
Wax(polymer floor finish) traffic lanes & wear areas if needed and polish
with a 2000 rpm or more elec or more likely propane
buffer($2000-$3000)...... nice or heavy traffic floors are scrubbed and
polished daily... around the house with due caution or effort one can have
nicely shinny floors but without a high speed buffer you won't get the "wet
look".....Incidentally highspeed buffers don't always work well or safely on
residential flooring, don't ask me how I know this<G>.......25years in the
Well, thanks for all the replies. I guess I thought some new hi-tech
super gloss floor tile had been invented. Sounds more like just plain
old hard work.
Interesting thought on why we prefer glossy surfaces. No one would
think of waxing up a ceramic tile kitchen floor!
See my other post-question on flooring.
On Thu, 23 Oct 2003 13:22:21 GMT, email@example.com wrote:
Actually, they do. At least the non-glazed (slate, quarry tile)
varieties. I had quarry tiles installed on kitchen counters and
backsplash, and Tile World (or whatever) had a whole flock of products
designed to make it shiny (and clean off the shiny stuff). After a
couple of years of laying it down and cleaning it off, I discovered
the matte surface didn't absorb stains or make my life a misery in any
way, so gave up 'shiny.'
One poster mentioned a labor-intensive process he experienced in the
military. I hear that shiny "spit polished" boots are/were also a
feature of military training. Is there any practical advantage of
shiny boots over matte-finish ones, except to prove that a lot of time
and effort has been spent on them? They *could* be waxed for
water-resistance, but a high sheen doesn't seem like it'd make much
difference. There's the "shoe shine", of course, which is a sign of
careful dress. And it's easier to dust off a pair of shiny shoes than
matte ones, but once you step in a puddle, you're back to square one.
FWIW: Not how the malls do it, but if you're looking for high shine on vinyl
tile, you might consider Armstrong Shine Keeper. When I'm do prep on an apt
for a new tenant, I clean the tile real well (hands & knees scrub), rinse
with clear water, dry, & then put on 2 thin coats of this stuff. Looks
On Wed, 22 Oct 2003 00:21:42 GMT, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
It isn't necessarily the wax, but the maintenance on the floors.
Almost all of them have big buffing machines that they use nightly on
the floors. They also have the floors completely stripped and redone
3-4x per year at great expense.
You can do it yourself, but figure it'll take you time each and every
night buffing and waxing the floors and probably more money than it
could possibly ever be worth.
I've done it at home with nice results that last about a year. However,
putting 10 thin coats on a completely clean stripped floor and waiting for
each to dry without getting it dirty is a pain. But if you like a nice deep
shine its worth it. After 2 years there is still a shine, but it gets
Why do all that for a shine? A shiny floor looks cleaner in a way a dull
floor can't. It's an illusion, but effective.
With wood it might be possible to use multiple polyurethane coats instead of
wax. I've done it with furniture to get a deep gloss. I'm sure the same can
be done with wood floors, but I don't know about the durability.
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