May 10, 2019
Contract Cleaners, Healthcare, Hospitality, Retail, Housing Communities, Hard Floor Care, Chemicals

Successfully crossing the "finish" line: 10 tips for selecting a floor finish that won’t let you down

When it comes to floor finishes, all are not created equal. A lesser formula can cost more than you might imagine in wasted product and labor, only to achieve subpar results.

Here are the top 10 things to consider when choosing the best floor finish for your job:

1. Solids Content

This is the percent of material - things like polymers, resins, or waxes - that will be left behind once the volatile elements - things like water or cosolvents - evaporate. Finishes featuring higher solids can be more challenging to use in order to achieve a smooth finish. They also usually require longer drying times. However, higher solids require fewer coats (less labor), usually a buff and/or burnish stage to achieve a superior gloss, and they are harder and more resistant to water, dirt, scuffs and scratches.

Cafeteria with Shiny Floors - By Aubrey-Odom-1423245-Unsplash

2. Durability

Durability is a byproduct of the solids percent. This is vital because it affects labor, product usage, maintenance, drying time, and appearance. Basically, the harder (more solids) the finish, the more durable it will be.

3. Gloss

How shiny do you want the floor to be and how much buffing or burnishing will be required to achieve and maintain that shine? Find out the gloss you can expect on your specific floor type to avoid disappointment and redos.

4. Clarity

On average, finishes with lower solids will begin to yellow sooner than their higher-solid counterparts, requiring floors to be refinished more often to maintain a clear and shiny appearance.

BSC Office Lobby Workplace

5. Ease of Use

Labor costs are dependent on how easy the finish is to apply and remove. However, finish that's too easy to apply and remove might wear more quickly, requiring more frequent reapplications.

6. Dry Time

Finishes with a high percentage of solids will take longer to dry. However, compared to the labor and product costs of extra coats of formulas with lower solids, the short wait for a harder finish can prove worth it.

7. Labor

Finishes that dry faster and are easier-to-apply, repair, and remove must be weighed against the advantages of harder, longer lasting, and more scuff-, dirt- and scratch-resistant formulations.

Two men inspecting a floor before finishing

8. Product Coverage

You need to know the amount of square feet the floor finish will cover to plan your scope of work—and budget—correctly.

9. Surface Type

Always use a finish that is made for the type of flooring you are finishing. Alternately, use one of Maintex's flexible finishes, such as Polymer 25. These finishes offer outstanding durability for all floor types without the need for buffing or burnishing.

10. Location

Where a floor is located can sometimes dictate the finish used. For example, in confined or poorly ventilated spaces, you may want an environmentally preferable option that is nontoxic, zinc-free and has no volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Alternately, in areas exposed to extreme temperatures, a more flexible (softer, lower solids) finish might be best.

High traffic areas of Class A office buildings also demand special treatment. Maintex Lobby Floor Finish offers an exceptional gloss, durability and a scuff resistant finish that can withstand the wear-and-tear of busy spaces.

Read More: The Maintex Hard Floor Care Certification program

The Clean Up

Whatever your brand of choice, be sure to pick products that deliver solutions specific to your environment. Your Maintex sales consultant can help you choose the right finish to obtain the proper balance of quality, durability, maintainability, and appearance.


Maintex is an industry-leading manufacturer and distributor of high quality janitorial supplies, cleaning chemicals, tools, and equipment in Southern California. We stock thousands of facilities items and offer a full range of cleaning programs, comprehensive training, and customized solutions.

Learn More About Maintex