This topic is not thoroughly covered very often and when it is discussed, it is slanted toward the point of view of either the End-User (Customer) or the Personnel (Janitors or Contracting Service Companies) performing the work for cleaning a tile floor. However, this article is slanted neither way and offers a clear, objective and realistic approach in estimating labor for cleaning tile floors.   

This article addresses the importance of understanding labor, the pitfalls of not budgeting enough labor hours and having the correct amount of labor to obtain positive cleaning results for commercial customers. Additionally, the article will give an example of a commercial account’s labor requirement including cleaning procedure labor calculators by cleaning task.   

Please visit our website in the future for additional labor cost calculators on other cleaning topics. For a reference on proper cleaning tile floor procedure techniques, please review a prior article. (Cleaning Floors – Proper Cleaning Techniques – Commercial and Residential)    


Cleaning Tile Floor – Understanding Labor

Determining the correct amount of labor for cleaning tile floors begins with your cleaning objective. Your desired cleaning appearance level will determine the amount of labor required to clean your facility. Later in this article, we will determine the labor for a facility with a high appearance objective.   

  1. Understanding Labor: It is important to understand that cleaning labor cost is critical in achieving your overall cleaning goals. Under estimating your labor hours as it relates to your facility’s appearance goals will always lead to unsatisfactory results. Understanding the labor associated with each daily cleaning task allows you to… 
    • Budget Correctly 
    • Control and/or Reduce Cleaning Cost
    • Better Negotiate Janitor Services Fees and Staffing Requirements
    • Deliver Great Cleaning Results
  2. Under Estimating Labor Hours: This is the most common error made by commercial facility managers because the pressure of reducing expenses each year for corporations is a high corporate goal and this is even truer in hard economic times. But this can be a huge mistake because insufficient budgeting for cleaning labor will always lead to poor cleaning results. 
  3. How Much Labor Is Required to Achieve Cleaning Objectives:  The correct amount of labor will depend on your cleanliness goals. The next section of this article will provide an example of real life labor requirements. These requirements are based on years of actual time studies. They are realistic and include the size of the tools and equipment used, the correct speed of performing each cleaning tasks to deliver optimum results and takes into account worker fatigue. The labor hours are based on simple formulas that you can employ to your specific cleaning program (Procedures and Frequencies). 

Cleaning Tile Floor – Labor Time per Cleaning Step – Formula

The following is an example of the labor required for cleaning a primarily unobstructed tile floor in a commercial facility such as a Retail Store, Airport or Mall. The formula for determining labor hours for each floor cleaning tasks for DAILY cleaning may look complicated but it is quite simple…

  1. (Tool/Equipment Width in Feet) multiplied by (Speed of 1.5 Feet/Second) = (Square Footage/Second)
  2. (Cleanable Floor Square Footage) divided by (Square Footage/Second) = (Total Seconds/Task)
  3. (Total Seconds/Task) divided by (60) = (Total Minutes/Task)
  4. (Total Minutes/Task) divided by (60) = (Total Daily Hours/Task)


 Example: Information Based on the following knowledge of the facility and the tools available   

  • Total Cleanable Square Footage : 40,000
  • Correct Cleaning Speed: 1.5 Feet Per Second
  • Dust Mop:  48 Inches Wide (4 Feet Wide)
  • Automatic Scrubber: 32 Inches Wide (2.67 Feet Wide)
  • Buffing Machine: 27 Inches Wide (2.25 Feet Wide)


Cleaning Tile Floor – Daily Cleaning Procedures Labor Hours – Commercial


Dust Mopping Labor Calculator – Enter your Data in the Yellow Highlighted Cells

  1. 4 Feet (Buffer Width) x 1.5 feet = 6 (Sq. Ft./Second) 
  2. 40,000 (Sq. Ft. Cleaned) x 6 (Sq. Ft./Second) = 6667 Seconds 
  3. 6667 Seconds / 60 Seconds = 111.11 Minutes 
  4. 111.11 Minutes / 60 = 1.85 Daily Labor Hours 


Auto Scrubbing Labor Calculator – Enter your Data in the Yellow Highlighted Cells 

  1. 2.67 Feet (Buffer Width) x 1.5 feet = 4.005 (Sq. Ft./Second) 
  2. 40,000 (Sq. Ft. Cleaned) x 4.005 (Sq. Ft./Second) = 9988 Seconds 
  3. 9988 Seconds / 60 Seconds = 166.46 Minutes 
  4. 66.46 Minutes / 60 = 2.77 Daily Labor Hours  

Buffing Procedure Labor Calculator – Enter your Data in the Yellow Highlighted Cells

  1. 2.25 Feet (Buffer Width) x 1.5 feet = 3.375 (Sq. Ft./Second) 
  2. 40,000 (Sq. Ft. Cleaned) x 3.375 (Sq. Ft./Second) = 11852 Seconds 
  3. 11852 Seconds / 60 Seconds = 197.53 Minutes 
  4. 197.53 Minutes / 60 = 3.29 Daily Labor Hours 


Summation of Labor Hours: In the above example, the total Daily labor hours for Dust mopping, Scrubbing and Buffing this 40,000 square foot facility is 7.92 or almost 8 Hours. 


Cleaning Tile Floor – Website Information

CleanLink – Labor Reference   

Building Service Contractors Association International – Labor Hour Standards

Breeze Software – Work Loading Software

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