The topic of clean tile floors is a broad and diverse subject and requires the coverage of all aspects of cleaning tile floors. This article is dedicated to a periodic procedure commonly called – Deep Scrub & Recoating. This is an interim cleaning step that is completed on an occasion or periodic basis. It is an important cleaning procedure that rejuvenates the floor wax that makes the floor finish (wax) look fresh and almost as good as it looked when it the floor was stripped and refinished. As stated above, this is an interim step in between stripping and refinishing. These steps are less expensive to perform and extend the life of the floor finish. This article is primarily designed for the commercial end user but the same procedures can be used in a residential home. The following of these steps will assist in achieving great results and lowering the overall floor care cost.

The most common resilient tile floors that is sealed or coated with a floor finish, wax or polish are Vinyl Composition (VCT), Vinyl, No Wax, Rubber and Asphalt Tile. All of these types of tile can be considered the same for the floor wax deep scrub & recoating of tile floor.

Commercials daily or routine cleaning of tile floors has been discussed in a prior article, click on the following link to review commercial tile daily or routine floor cleaning (Cleaning Tile Floors – Floor Finish Coated Tile Procedures, Product and Tools). For daily or routine cleaning tile floors for residential homes, please see our previous article written on this topic by clicking on the following link (Tile Floor Cleaning – Floor Finish Coated Tile Procedures, Product and Tools – Residential)


Clean Tile Floors – Periodic Cleaning – Floor Wax Deep Scrub & Recoating

  1. Prepare and stage all necessary tools and equipment. Fill automatic scrubber with cleaner solution that is diluted according to label directions. Attach Red or Blue Scrub pads to the automatic scrubber. Fill rinse buckets with clean rinse water. In a bucket, mix water and Floor cleaner according to label directions.
  2. Dust mop entire floor area and remove gum, labels and foreign debris with putty knife.
  3. Post “Wet Floor” signs and or barricade area with CAUTION tape.
  4. Generously apply from the bucket with a mop the floor cleaner solution to the edges and borders of the floor area as well as all hard to reach areas. Allow 10 minutes dwell time. Using a doodle bug pad, scrub along the edges and borders and up against unmovable fixtures to deep clean the Floor Finish and/or sealer.
  5. Pick up Floor Cleaner solution from the edges and hard to reach areas with a mop or wet vacuum. Rinse with clear water and allow to floor area to dry.
  6. Using the automatic scrubber with red or blue scrub pads, make two passes over entire floor area, overlapping edges and borders that on been previously scrubbed manually with the doodlebug pad and mop. The automatic scrubber solution valve should be in the FULL OPEN position. Pads should be down but squeegee should be up and vacuum off. Special note: Deep Scrubbing speed for this procedure should be half (50%) of normal daily scrubbing speed.
  7. Upon completion of the first pass, engage squeegee and vacuum. Pads should remain in the down position and solution valve should remain in the full open position. Make a second pass with the automatic scrubber, picking up floor cleaner solution from the floor. Again, deep scrubbing speed for this procedure should be half (50%) of normal daily scrubbing speed.
  8. (OPTIONAL STEP): Damp mop entire floor area including edges and borders using the clean, rinse water. Pay particular attention to low spots in the floor where excess water tends to accumulate as well as around unmovable fixture units.
  9. If step 8 is omitted, using a rinse bucket and mop, pick up any trails and turnaround puddles that may have been left by the automatic scrubber.
  10. Allow floor to thoroughly dry.  Note: Wet floor signs should remain until entire process is completed.
  11. Inspect entire floor area to ensure adequate and uniform cleaning of the floor finish. If not repeat above deep cleaning steps on only those areas of the floor that requires better cleaning.
  12. Apply medium coats of Floor Finish (wax). Coverage rate should be applied at an average of 2000 Square Feet per gallon. Allow sufficient dry time between coats. As a general rule, allow “dry to the Touch”, plus 10 additional minutes between coats. Normally only two coats of Floor Finish are applied to the deep scrubbed floors and should be applied 6”-9” away from the edges and borders. This will prevent future build up of floor finish (wax) on the edges. The amount of floor finish (wax) coats will depend on your program but as stated, 2 coats is the norm after deep scrubbing in commercial buildings.
  13. Remove WET FLOOR signs and CAUTION tape.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Do not burnish Floor Finish (wax) the same night as application. This is an unnecessary and unproductive step.  The Floor Finish (wax) may be burnished 24 hours after application.


Clean Tile Floors – Floor Finish (Wax) Products, Equipment and Tools

  • Putty Knife Or Scraper
  • Dust Mop (Untreated Preferred)
  • Automatic Scrubber
  • Red or Blue Scrub Pads For Automatic Scrubber
  • Doodle Bug Holder, Handle And Pads (Blue)
  • Multiple Mop Buckets And Wringers Prepared With Clean Water For Rinsing
  • Multiple Mop Buckets For Floor Cleaner Solution
  • Floor Cleaner Solution Application Mop
  • Clean Rinsing Mop (Pre-Laundered Cotton Or Cotton Blend Preferred)
  • Wet Floor Caution Signs And Or Caution Tape
  • Personal Protective And Safety Equipment
  • Multiple Mop Buckets And Wringers For Floor Finish (Wax) Application
  • Finish Application Mop (Rayon Or Rayon Blend Preferred)
  • Floor Finish (Wax)
  • Floor Cleaner

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