Finding the right hard surface floor cleaner is more challenging than it looks. Hard surface floors are everywhere from entryways to atriums, airports to supermarkets, shopping centres to hospitals and more. They can be showplaces, a “front door” that welcomes guests and sets the tone for the rest of the interior. Or they can be workhorses, supporting busy, back-of-house operation, like warehouses or commercial kitchens.
Either way, these surfaces take a beating. Foot traffic, rolling loads and tracked in weather leave dirt, grit, scuffs, road salts and pooling water that mar surfaces, age materials and create slip-and-fall hazards.
The best hard surface floor cleaners will maintain these important spaces quickly and thoroughly without breaking the bank, or your back.
Different Materials for Different Spaces
Hard surface floors have grown in popularity over the years with some materials seeing double-digit growth in usage. How did they become the go-to choice? The wide variety of available materials plays a role. There’s a hard surface floor appropriate, and good looking enough, for any application.
Some of the most popular choices are:
- Vinyl: Be it tiles or sheet goods, vinyl has been around for decades. Low cost, durable and easy to maintain, vinyl is a good choice for schools. It does require regular stripping, waxing and polishing.
- Luxury Vinyl Tile: Durable and affordable, luxury vinyl tile easily mimics more expensive materials like stone and wood. It doesn’t require stripping, waxing or polishing and is appropriate in many locations.
- Terrazzo: The gold standard of hard surface floors, terrazzo is versatile, durable and expensive upfront. Best suited for large, showy, high-traffic areas like airports, showrooms and grand entrances.
- Quarry Tile: Great for commercial kitchens, quarry tile can withstand heavy foot traffic, rolling loads and grease. Maintenance should focus on grease removal, especially in the grout lines.
Big Floors Need Big Cleaning Solutions
No matter the material, these floors have two things in common; they’re big and they’re busy. For example, the terminal complex at London’s Heathrow airport covers over 10 million square metres and serves as many as 250,000 people every day. The Metrocentre, the biggest shopping centre in the UK is around 2,093,000 square feet and sees 21 million annual visitors.
These are extreme examples for sure but even neighbourhood schools are big with the median high school coming in at over 173,000 square feet and accommodates 1000 students.
Maintaining all of that square footage requires the best hard surface floor cleaner.
Pity the maintenance worker tasked with mopping a large hard surface floor. ISSA time standards allot 30 minutes to mop 1,000 unobstructed square feet. Obstructions add 10 minutes or more.
No one expects a worker to hand mop an airport, but it’s still standard practice for some smaller, hard surface floors. That’s a problem because mopping, when performed incorrectly, puts stress on the back and shoulders. Even when done right, mopping is taxing. Wet mops are heavy, wringing them out requires force and the standard, five-foot handle doesn’t fit all workers. Plus it leaves the floor wet, slippery and dangerous.
Despite all of this hard work, mops leave behind a significant amount of dirt and contaminates. Using the same mop in multiple locations can increase the risk of cross-contamination.
Some maintenance professionals choose autoscrubbers for their hard surface floor cleaner. This technology, with features like pre-sweepers, vacuums and automated cleaning solution dispensers is much faster than manual mopping. And they are good at removing dirt, leaving floors safe, dry and ready to walk on.
But autoscrubbers have serious drawbacks. They’re so bulky that most models can’t reach edges, get into corners or clean under obstructions. Learning how to use them takes time. Use them wrong and they can damage expensive floors. Plus, they are expensive to buy and maintain.
A Better Solution
Savvy cleaning professionals are choosing a Kaivac OmniFlex AutoVac Battery as their hard surface floor cleaner. The OmniFlex Auto Vac cleans as well as autoscrubbers but cost 10-25% less. It’s easy to learn, cutting training costs and easy to repair slashing maintenance fees and downtime.
The OmniFlex Auto Vac works fast, cleaning more than 20,000 square feet per hour in just one pass. No pre-dust mopping or post- trail mopping required for most jobs. And it removes up to 99.8% of targeted soils.