Guide to Maintenance Equipment – Commercial Resilient Floor Care

Automatic Floor
Self-contained machine that dispenses, scrubs
and takes up cleaning solution in a single-pass operation
Typically electric or battery powered
Single or multiple disks
Riding, robotic or walk-behind
175-300 rpm range
Typically used for cleaning and scrubbing
Single-Disc Floor MachineManually operated swing machine
Used for scrubbing, buffing and stripping
Comes in various sizes (13˝ to 23˝ disc)
Typically 175 rpm Usually electric
High-Speed Buffers Typically used for buffing and spray-buffing
Typical speeds 300 to 1100 rpm
Range in size from 13˝ to 23˝
Ultra High Speed Buffer/BurnisherUsed for quick buffing and burnishing, thereby reducing labor costs
Usually a single-disc
Operate in the 1100- to 2000-plus rpm range
Propane, battery or electric
Various sizes
Wet-Vac A vacuum cleaner that picks up maintenance solutions
Typically used when scrubbing or stripping a floor with a single disc swing machine
Unlike an automatic machine, this would be done in a separate operation. 
Machine PadsA nonwoven nylon, polyester, or natural fiber disc up to 1˝ thick.
Each disc has various types and sizes of intertwined fibers, some of which may have grit particles bound to fiber on the surface
For scrubbing, stripping, buffing
Coarseness of the pad determines its use: least coarse for buffing, with increasing coarseness for scrubbing and stripping

Pads are color-coded to designate their coarseness and use. Lighter-color pads tend to be less abrasive, with darker color pads being the most abrasive. Pad manufacturers generally follow these guidelines:– Natural fiber – burnishing
– White – polishing
– Beige – buffing
– Red – spray-buffing and light scrubbing
– Blue/Green (medium abrasive) scrubbing and stripping
– Brown (extremely abrasive – not recommended for
resilient flooring)
– Black (extremely abrasive – not recommended for
resilient flooring)
Machine BrushesUsed as an alternative to pads
A circular brush with bristles of varying stiffness and abrasiveness, depending on whether it’s to be used for scrubbing, buffing or stripping
Bristles are made of natural or synthetic fibers or grit-impregnated nylon
Always follow brush manufacturer’s guidelines for choosing the floor machine brush with the appropriate stiffness and abrasiveness
Advantageous on embossed surfaces and slip resistant flooring
MopsDust Mops
Used under dry conditions for the removal of loose surface soil, grit and dirt
Available in widths from 12˝ to 72˝
Alternatives include vacuums, brushes and brooms

Wet Mops
Available in various sizes (16oz, 20oz, 24oz, 32oz, etc.)
Usually cotton, rayon or blends of cotton, rayon or other synthetics
Looped end or cut end
Used in wet methods for the application and removal of maintenance solutions and rinse water

Specialty Mops
T-shirt, chamois for use on slip-retardant products.

Finish Mops
Designed to absorb, release and spread floor finishes (polish).
May be cotton, rayon, blends or microfiber.

Microfiber Mops
Composed of tiny (micro) fibers which provide more surface area.
Used for cleaning and/or finish application.
Use less maintenance solution than traditional mops.
Longer product life compared to traditional mops.
Updated on October 26, 2022