Front Cover
 Table of Contents
 Know your floors and how to care...
 Between wax jobs
 Floor care reminders

Title: Selection and care of smooth surface floors
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00084281/00001
 Material Information
Title: Selection and care of smooth surface floors
Series Title: Selection and care of smooth surface floors
Physical Description: Book
Creator: Hall, Roberta H.
Publisher: Agricultural Extension Service, University of Florida
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00084281
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 232575229

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Page 1
    Table of Contents
        Page 2
    Know your floors and how to care for them
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
    Between wax jobs
        Page 10
        Page 11
    Floor care reminders
        Page 12
Full Text

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KNOW YOUR FLOORS AND HOW TO CARE FOR THEM ...................................... 3

W AXES .......................... ........ ... .. ............ ........ ........................... ............ 6

THE COMPLETE WAX JOB ................ ............... .......................... 6

Cleaning Floors ......................................................................... ........... 7

Applying Wax ...................................... ............ ............................. 8

Polishing ................................ .................. ..... ......................... 9


Removing Dust and Sand ...................................................... 10

Treating Spots .................. ...... ..... .................. ............................. 10

Renewing Heavy Traffic Areas .................................................... 11

EQUIPMENT ............................................ .................................. .......................... 11

FLOOR CARE REMINDERS ............................................................ ..........................12

(Acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914)
Agricultural Extension Service, University of Florida,
Florida State University and United States Department of Agriculture, Cooperating
M. O. Watkins, Director


Home Improvement Specialist

When Mrs. Homemaker is ready to buy a new flooring, she
wants one that is attractive, easy to stand on and walk on, and
easy to keep clean. It should wear well and stay good-looking.
If money for floorings is to be wisely spent, it is important to
select a durable material that is easily maintained.
Today there are many types of material on the market. These
come in a wide range of color and design.
Before choosing your floor material, determine your needs.
Get information and compare materials in order to choose the
one which best meets your needs. Ask yourself these questions:
Where is it to be used? The kitchen floor
needs to be resistant to grease.
What will it cost?
Is noise a factor?
What care will it need?
Choices in color and design are largely a matter of individual
preference, but remember, the floor is a large area, and there-
fore is a very important part of the decorative scheme of a room.
It is wise to choose a floor that will blend with several color
This leaflet will discuss types of floor materials, character-
istics and points on care of each floor material, types of waxes,
how to do a complete wax job, suggested care between waxings,
and some suggestions on selection and use of floor-care equip-

The following chart lists different floor materials, some facts
about each material, and points on care.


Asphalt tile Is available in standard or grease- Remove stubborn
resistant types. spots with fine steel
Dark colors cost more than light wool and a neutral
colors, cleaner.
Standard type is softened by Never use solvents
grease, kerosene, oils, cleaning or oily cleaners.
solvents, gasoline, turpentine, and Protect floor from
solvent-base wax. heavy furniture with
Is easily cleaned, furniture cups under
Can be laid over concrete, furniture legs.
Is low in cost and wears well. Use only water-base
Is brittle and dents easily. (self-polishing)
Never use shellac,
varnish, or plastic
finish on asphalt tile.

Rubber tile Is long-wearing, quiet, resilient, Use only water-base
resists heat, wide variety of col- (self-polishing)
ors, highly resistant to denting wax.
by furniture. Use a chemically-set
Is softened by grease, oils, and adhesive if installed
solvents; is expensive, on concrete in direct
Grease-resistant varieties are now contact with the
available, ground.

Cork tile Is durable, resilient, quiet. Seal cork before
Comes in light, medium, and dark waxing. (A pene-
tones, and does not dent easily. treating sealer is
Is expensive, good.)
Absorbs oil and grease. Wax with solvent-
Should not be used on concrete base (polishing)
which is in contact with ground. wax.
Is not recommended for heavy- Do not use oily
soil areas, cleaners.
Is damaged by

Vinyl coated Is same as cork tile but resists Same as cork tile.
cork tile grease and stains.
Is among the most expensive floor


Vinyl Comes in 6-foot rolls or 9-inch Use either a solvent-
by 9-inch tile. base or water-base
May be unbacked or backed with wax.
felt, cork, or degraded vinyl.
Resists grease, oil, and household
acids and alkalies; is flexible.
Wears well.
Not easily dented.
Colors remain bright.
Scratches easily with abrasion.
May be stained by dyes, shoe pol-
ish, bluing, and grape juice.
Do not use on concrete floor un-
less tile is of special type or has
special backing.

Linoleum Is grease-resistant. Wax often to keep in
Is resilient, good condition.
Cleans easily. Do not use varnish,
Is damaged by dampness. shellac, or lacquer
Comes in heavy, standard, and over linoleum.
light weights. Use only small
Has felt or burlap backing, amount of water
when cleaning.
Use water-base or
solvent-base wax.

Vinyl asbestos Is medium-priced. Use furniture cups
tile Is durable, to protect floor.
Can be used on concrete or below Install on floors that
ground level. are smooth, firm,
Can be used on concrete in direct and free from
contact with ground. springiness.
Resists grease, oils, and fats.
Dents easily.

Vinyl printed Comes in rolls 6 feet, 9 feet, and Use water-base or
felt base 12 feet wide. solvent-base wax.
Does not require cementing to Does not require
floor, frequent waxing.
Cleans easily.
Priced low.
Resists oils, grease, and stains.
Quality is determined by thick-
ness of plastic coating.


Wood Water raises the grain. Use solvent-base
A penetrating seal finish is easi- wax.
est maintained. Clean with solvent-
Worn traffic lanes can be renewed base cleaner.
without going over the entire Is damaged by
floor if finished with a penetrat- water.
ing seal.

Terrazzo Is 70 percent marble chips on Use mild soap when
concrete base. cleaning.
Should be sealed with special seal- Rinse with clear wa-
er before being used. ter.
Is very durable and easily cared Wet mop often with
for. clear water to keep
floor in good condi-


There are two types of waxes-water-base and solvent-base.
Water-base wax is often called self-polishing wax. It dries shiny
and is composed of fine wax particles in water. The water serves
as a carrier. Solvent-base wax may be obtained in liquid or
paste form. This type requires polishing after it dries. It is
composed of particles of wax dissolved in a naphtha-like solvent.
Be sure to read the label so you will purchase the type wax you
need for your floor.
CAUTION: When using solvent cleaners or solvent-base
waxes, have room well-ventilated, and do not use near open


Wax floors to protect their surface, make them more attrac-
tive, help them resist soil, and make them easier to clean. De-
termine the type of wax to use on your particular floor by re-
ferring to the chart, "Know Your Floors and How to Care For
Them", pages 4 through 6.
To do a complete wax job, clean floors, apply wax, and polish.


Water-base Wax Solvent-base Wax

1. For complete removal of
wax, use commercial cleaners
in hot water. For normally
soiled floors, the scrubbing so-
lution may be soap or deter-
2. Apply commercial cleaner
according to directions on con-
tainer. Use No. 00 steel wool
to remove stubborn spots.
3. When using electric pol-
isher, pull polisher back
through pool of cleaner to pre-
vent splattering.
4. Scrub small area at a
time, then wipe up solution
with long-handle sponge mop.
5. Rinse with clear, warm
water to remove all soil and
cleaner. Be sure floor is thor-
oughly cleaned.
6. Let dry thoroughly be-
fore waxing.

(1.1-5-N INC

1. To remove heavy soil, use
a commercial cleaner in a sol-
vent base. If floors are only
slightly soiled, use a solvent-
base liquid wax for cleaning.
This cleans and leaves a thin
film of wax on floors.
2. Shake the container of
wax or cleaner before using.
3. Pour a small amount of
wax or cleaner on floor and rub
with a cloth or polisher. Add
more cleaner or wax as needed.
If the floor is very dirty, use
a second cleaning cloth.
4. For stubborn dirt or
marks, use fine steel wool, be-
ing careful not to damage fin-
ish on wood floors.
5. To keep from stooping,
use a long-handled brush to
move the cloth or steel wool.
6. Be sure floor is complete-
ly dry before machine polish-
ing. When rubbing by hand,
it will be easier if wax-cleaner
dries only a few minutes. This
will give only a thin layer of
wax. For a complete wax job,
additional coats of wax will be


Water-base Wax I Solvent-base Wax

1. Before applying wax, be
sure floors are clean, dry, and
free from soap or detergent.
2. Use a wax applier with a
long handle for ease of work.
Dampen the applier slightly
with water.
3. Hold wax can close to
floor and pour a small amount
on the floor. A pool of wax 12
inches across is plenty to wax
a 3-foot square. Don't over-
4. Spread the wax evenly
and smoothly, using light, even
strokes. Do not rub over the
same spot, as it will cause
streaks and dullness.

When floor is cleaned and
dried, as recommended above,
you are ready to build up the
wax coat.
Liquid Wax:
1. Pour a small amount of
wax on the floor and spread as
thin as possible, using a long-
handled applier. If you prefer,
you may place wax in a shallow
pan and dip applier into wax,
then apply to floor in long, even
2. When using an electric
polisher, spread small pools of
wax as thin as possible. Guide
polisher in straight lines.

Paste Wax:
1. Put a small amount of
wax on a soft cloth or long-
handled applier and spread
smoothly on floor. Paste wax
should be spread in as thin a
coat as possible. A thin coat
gives a harder, drier finish;
does not- smear; and is easier
to polish.
2. When using electric pol-
isher, spread wax thinly on the
polisher brushes or steel wool
pads, or place in small amounts
on the floor. The polisher
should be guided in straight
lines until the wax is spread


Water-base Wax Solvent-base Wax

5. Complete one area at a 3. Allow to dry thoroughly
time. Allow to dry twenty to for twenty to thirty minutes.
thirty minutes, or until com-
4. Polish for final finish.
pletely dry. This is very im-
portant. 5. Repeat Steps 1 through 4
if additional coats are desired.
It is better to have two or
three light coats of wax than
one heavy one.


Water-base Wax Solvent-base Wax

1. Remember, water-base
waxes are self-polishing. No
polishing is required, but a pol-
isher may be used. For a high
gloss, a second coat may be ap-
2. To remove scuff marks,
buff or polish between waxings.

1. For hand-polishing, use a
soft cloth or polishing pad on
a handle, or use a dry, clean
dust mop. Do not have oil on
the mop. Guide polisher in
straight lines. Self-polishing
wax does not require polishing,
but may be buffed for a bright-
er finish.

2. For machine polishing,
use a small home model. Wood
floors should be polished with
the grain. Guide polisher in
straight lines.

IfOR- Fo)SHIM6 1=1-00P-


A vacuum cleaner is an efficient tool for removing dust and
sand. It removes both completely. A soft broom or hair brush
is better for sweeping than a stiff broom.
When removing dust with a dry mop, be sure the mop has not
been treated with oil. Oil softens wax, gives a dull appearance,
and leaves a film which catches dust and may make the floor slip-
pery to walk on.
A slightly damp mop may also be used to remove dust.

Wipe up spills immediately for safety and to prevent a bigger
cleaning job.
As solvent-base wax damages asphalt tile and some rubber
tiles, remove heel marks with fine steel wool. To remove heel
marks from floors with liquid solvent-base wax, use a small
amount of wax on a cloth and scrub the spot.


Clean and dry thoroughly the area to be waxed. Use the
same type wax used before. Repeated waxing with water-base
wax will build up a film which darkens and is hard to remove.
As water-base waxes are easier to apply than solvent-base waxes,
the complete wax job can be done more frequently.
If a solvent-base wax has been used, buff until the spot blends
with the rest of the floor.

Floor care need not put you on the floor. With today's mod-
ern equipment floor care need not be tiring and time-consuming.
Good equipment, correctly used, will result in top perform-
ance. Select the right kind of equipment for your floor-care
Vacuum Cleaner.-The vacuum cleaner removes sand and
dust from the floor without scattering it. It removes dust that
dulls floors, and sand and sharp particles that scratch floor sur-
Polisher.-There are several types of floor polishers, but the
two main types are the models with two brushes which rotate
in opposite directions, and the single brush models. A polisher
should have brushes for scrubbing, polishing, and buffing.
Polishers may be used to clean floors, spread wax, and polish
Shampoo Polisher.-In addition to serving as a polisher, this
piece of equipment has a tank for cleaning solution. With proper
operation, the cleaner may be applied to the floor and the scrub-
bing done. Suds should be removed with a damp mop, sponge, or
cloth and floor rinsed well.
NOTE: Before using vacuum cleaner, polisher, or shampoo-
polisher, be sure to read instruction book, and follow directions.
Wax Applier.-A wax applier should have a long handle so
user will not bend when spreading wax. This equipment involves
more work but less expense than an electric polisher.
Mops.-A wet mop should be large enough to cover the sur-
face quickly, and be easy to clean, wring, and dry. Both string
and sponge-type mops are available.
A dry mop or dust mop is used to remove dust and dirt be-
tween sweepings or vacuumings. It should have a handle long

enough to allow easy use, and a head which can be removed for
washing. Do not use an oil mop, as oil dulls and softens wax and
causes dust to stick to the floor.
A dry mop may be treated in a solution of one quart of hot
water, two tablespoons boiled linseed oil, one tablespoon turpen-
tine, and one tablespoon soap flakes. Squeeze clean mop in the
solution and allow to dry. The mop will then pick up dust effec-
tively without leaving oil on the floor.
Brushes or Brooms.-A soft-bristled floor brush or broom will
not scatter the dust or mark the wax as much as a stiff-bristled
Dust Pan.-Choose a dust pan with a long handle, if possible,
to eliminate stooping. Look for one with a smooth edge that fits
closely to the floor.

1. Damp-mopping occasionally will pick up surface dirt.
2. Wipe up spills immediately.
3. Use mats at entrances to keep dirt out.
4. Be sure floors are clean and dry before applying wax.
5. Two thin coats of wax are better than one thick coat.
6. Never use oily mop or oily cloth on waxed floor.
7. Read and follow labels on floor cleaner and wax containers
and floor care equipment.
8. Clean wax applicator before it dries.
9. When using solvent cleaners or wax, work in well-ventilated
room away from open flame.
10. Good equipment, properly used, saves time and energy and
gives floors that "polished look".

Source material for this circular included publications issued by the
Virginia Agricultural Extension Service, the Kentucky Agricultural Exten-
sion Service, and The Hoover Company.

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