Cleaning News

Floor Finish FAQs

As winter turns to spring floor care becomes an important part of spring cleaning. When simple cleaning isn't enough it becomes time to refinish the floor, but where do you start? The number of finishes on the market can confuse even the most experienced janitors.  We’ve tackled some of the most frequently asked questions to help.  

What finish is best for my facility?

This question is really a matter of preference. Are you looking for a high shine, do you need a finish that will take a beating or are you just looking for low cost product? No matter how hard you try you can’t find all three of these qualities in one product. If you find a finish with high shine and great durability, chances are it will cost more. If you find a less expensive finish with high shine, you’ll probably suffer in the durability category. Decide your priorities and start exploring from there.

Great Western Supply Co Floor Finishes

Refinishing a hardwood floor, final steps

How does solid content affect my finish?

Many people believe that the higher the solids, the better the performance of a floor finish.  This is just not true.  The only thing that changes with solid content is the number of coats needed for proper finish thickness.  Many finishes claim to be fast drying because so little is applied per coat.  So while they dry faster, it takes more coats for proper finish thickness and therefore doesn’t save you any time at all.

Think of it this way:  

Four coats of an 18% finish: 18% X 4 = 76%. 

Three coats of a 25% finish:  25% X 3 = 75%.

In order to get specific qualities, like high shine and high durability you’re better off buying a finish designed to meet those standards.

Why do some floors turn yellow?

Yellowing of floor finishes is caused when certain ingredients, mainly styrene, darken upon exposure to heat and light. To avoid this discoloration choose formulas with little or no Styrene content.

Applying Floor Finish Infographic

How do I know when my floors are ready for the next coat?

Most labels state dry times under ideal conditions. In higher humidity, like Midwest summers, drying times should be extended. A quick test is to place a piece of facial tissue on the floor, step down and twist the tissue under your foot. If the tissue doesn’t tear, the floor is usually okay to re-coat.


There are many more tips and tricks for proper floor stripping and finishing. Our Representatives at Great Western Supply are happy to help you navigate the details of floor finishing and discuss more of the tips we've learned over the years!

Contact your Great Western Supply Representative or call our office at (800) 322-6815 to schedule a consultation.

Removing floor finish from gym floor prepping it for refinishing