Strip, Wax or Buff? The Proper Maintenance for Floor Types

By Cappstone Inc. |
Strip Wax or Buff Hardwood Floors

Picture this: you’re a business owner or manager who’s responsible for making the decisions necessary to maintain a fresh and organized looking workplace. One day, after your employees have left, you scan your office or store, and notice the flooring looks beat down and dirty. You conduct a quick Google search for floor maintenance and come across a few different major floor maintenance services, leaving you confused. Strip, wax or buff?

This is understandable. Different types of floors require different types of maintenance efforts, and at different times. Of course, we recommend consulting commercial floor experts (like us), but it’s a good idea to learn more for your own purposes. And those three main maintenance efforts – stripping, waxing, or buffing? Here’s the proper maintenance for different floor types:

Strip, Wax or Buff? Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors are one of the few floor types that can be serviced with all three maintenance methods – stripping, buffing, and waxing, and not necessarily in that order. Stripping your hardwood floors will ensure you remove all dirt and staining by bringing it back to pre-finished condition. If your floors aren’t in the worst condition, this can be substituted for buffing, which will address minor imperfections. Either way, supplementing with waxing will reinforce the protective layer on your hardwood floors and have them looking fresh and new!

Strip, Wax or Buff? Tile Floors

Like for hardwood, stripping tile should be reserved for very old, dirty, and damaged flooring. Regular buffing is actually preferred for most tile floors due to the ease of maintenance, and waxing is saved for very occasional maintenance efforts. However, if your floor tiles are porcelain (instead of the more common ceramic), you shouldn’t and won’t need to wax! 

Strip, Wax or Buff? Vinyl Floors

Experts (like us) recommend stripping vinyl flooring every six months. Not only will it help preserve the life of your vinyl flooring, after refinishing with a layer of wax right after, they will look shiny and new. If you’ve invested in some of the newer vinyl flooring out there, then you may not need to wax. When the new shine fades, you may opt to buff or polish your floors. This will bring them back to that new, shiny look they had when first installed!

Strip, Wax or Buff? Natural Stone Floors

There are many different types of natural stone floors – marble, granite, slate, quartz, limestone and more. For most natural stone floors, it becomes necessary to perform stripping to reach and remove the dirt and stains that can’t be cleaned through regular maintenance. 

For the shiny, glossy stone flooring, such as marble, quartz, and granite, buffing is the preferred method of regular maintenance. Performed after basic cleaning efforts, which vary based on the type of stone, buffing will bring the shine and glossy appearance back to your stone floors! Waxing, however, is never recommended for stone floor maintenance. Waxing can and will dull the finish of natural stone.