5 Professional Floor Finishing Mistakes to Avoid
Proper maintenance can extend the lifespan of a floor finish, which includes regularly cleaning the floor and implementing preventive measures. Using floor mats at entrances, for example, can help protect the finish and delay the need for floor finishing. However, high-traffic areas, such as entryways, hallways, and commercial spaces, may require more frequent floor finishing as these areas tend to experience more wear and tear, including scuffs, scratches, and general degradation of the finish.
Whether your floors are highly trafficked or simply older and require more effort to keep them looking their best, when applying floor finish, there are several common mistakes that you can avoid.
#1 Insufficient Surface Preparation
One of the most significant mistakes with floor finishing is not properly preparing the floor. Failing to clean, remove dust, or repair any damaged areas can lead to poor adhesion and an uneven application of the finish.
Choosing the right floor mop is a good place to begin. While cotton mops are effective for certain floor cleaning tasks, microfiber mops are generally preferred for floor finishing due to their superior cleaning performance, higher absorbency, lint-free nature, durability, and ease of maintenance. They can help achieve a better-looking finish while providing efficient cleaning capabilities.
A microfiber mop is lint-free, meaning it doesn’t leave behind lint or fibers on the floor. This is particularly important for achieving a smooth and professional-looking finish, as lint or fibers can mar the appearance of the final result.
#2 Overapplication of Finish
Applying too much finish is a common mistake. Excessive amounts of finish can lead to longer drying times, uneven coating, and a tacky or sticky floor. It’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding the recommended coverage and number of coats, but choosing the right mop for application will also help to produce a better result.
Microfiber mops have higher absorbance than cotton mops. They can hold more liquid, which is beneficial when applying floor finish. The higher absorbency allows for better control of moisture on the floor, preventing overwetting and potential damage to sensitive flooring materials.
#3 Not Using Proper Application Techniques
Applying finish incorrectly can lead to streaks, bubbles, or an uneven floor finish. Starting with using the appropriate tools and techniques recommended by the manufacturer, combined with a clean applicator, consistent speed and pressure, and smooth, overlapping strokes will ensure better results.
There’s a difference between cleaning mops and finishing mops. Using cotton cleaning mops or applicators to apply floor finish can leave lint on the floor, and may cause streaking due to uneven application. Choose a mop designed explicitly for applying floor finish. Look for a mop with a flat, microfiber pad that can hold a sufficient amount of finish and spread it evenly.
We recommend beginning in a corner of the room, farthest from the exit, to avoid walking on the freshly applied finish. Work in small sections, about 4 to 6 feet wide, to maintain control and prevent the finish from drying too quickly.
Holding the floor finish mop at a slight angle, apply the finish in smooth, overlapping strokes. Work in a figure-eight or “S” pattern to ensure even coverage. Avoid applying too much pressure on the mop, as it can cause streaks or puddles of finish.
#4 Inadequate Drying Time
Rushing the drying process is a mistake that can result in a compromised finish. It’s essential to allow each coat of finish sufficient time to dry completely before applying additional coats or allowing foot traffic. Ignoring the recommended drying time can lead to premature wear and a less durable finish.
#5 Failure to Maintain Floor Finishing Equipment
Neglecting to clean and maintain the application equipment, such as mops, brushes, or sprayers, can result in poor performance and an uneven finish. It’s important to clean the tools thoroughly after each use, remove any dried finish, and store them properly to prolong their lifespan and ensure consistent application.
Sourcing a Microfiber Mopping System for Floor Finishing
By avoiding these common mistakes and following proper techniques, you can achieve a more professional and satisfactory finish for your floors. When sourcing a floor finishing kit, an ideal microfiber floor care system will provide a safe and efficient method and include:
- An adjustable height, ergonomically designed pole with liquid dispensing that increases speed and comfort
- Rubber coated non-slip, dual swivel handles and S-curve self-guided pole, allowing you to clean faster with less effort
- A backpack with soft and thick shoulder straps for comfort, an Integrated waist belt for a secure fit, and an easy-to-use refillable pouch, hose, and nozzle assembly.
Unger offers the fastest, safest and most effective microfiber mopping system and floor finishing option on the market. If you would like to request a demo of the Unger Excella floor finishing system, contact us today!