Choosing the Right Floor Machine for Your Business

Choosing the Right Floor Machine for Your Business

When it comes to creating a clean and welcoming business environment, it’s essential to have the right tools. However, with so many options available, trying to find the right floor machine for your business can be overwhelming. Whether you’re considering an upgrade for your existing equipment or delving into the world of floor machines for the first time, we’ve put together this handy guide to help you find the best equipment for the job. 

Types of Floor Machines

Before we dive into what to consider when purchasing a floor machine, here’s an overview of the different types of equipment available:

Vacuums use suction to remove dirt, dust, and debris from a variety of surfaces, including carpet, hard flooring, and upholstery. We offer several styles, including backpack vacuums, rolling vacuums with suction arms, stand-up vacuums, and large push vacuums. Upright vacuums tend to be best for larger spaces, while backpack vacuums and vacuums with suction arms are ideal for hard-to-reach areas and smaller spaces.

Automatic floor scrubbers are designed to clean hard surfaces, such as linoleum, laminate, vinyl, tile, or stone. They come in several different sizes, from small hand-held units to larger ride-on machines. Typically, scrubbers have rotating brushes that simultaneously dispense the cleaning solution, scrub the floor, and vacuum up the dirty water. Walk-behind scrubbers are a good choice for areas where you need more maneuverability, while ride-on scrubbers are ideal for cleaning large, open areas quickly and efficiently. 

Floor sweepers are designed to loosen and pick up dirt, dust, and debris from hard floors and low-pile carpets and collect it in a dustbin. Unlike a broom, sweepers prevent dust and other particles from becoming airborne, so they are ideal for keeping businesses allergen-free. Sweepers are available in a wide range of sizes, from small handheld units to ride-on machines. 

Carpet cleaners and extractors are designed to deep clean and remove dirt, stains, allergens, and other contaminants from carpets, upholstery, and other fabric surfaces. They typically use a combination of cleaning solutions, water, and suction to clean and extract dirt from the carpet fibers. They come in a variety of sizes ranging from small portable units for spot cleaning to tank extractors and self-contained units for larger areas. 

Floor burnishers are used after scrubbing to polish and restore a floor’s glossy finish. They’re ideal for restoring the luster of hard floors in high-traffic areas, such as offices, retail stores, and hotels. If you’d like to strip wax from a floor, however, we recommend using a floor buffer instead. 

What Type of Surface Will You Be Cleaning?

One of your first considerations when choosing a floor machine is the type of flooring you’ll be cleaning. Different flooring materials have different cleaning requirements that will help dictate the type of machine you need. Choosing the wrong type of machine not only means that it may be inefficient, but in some cases, it can also damage your floor. 

Here are some of the most common types of business flooring and their cleaning requirements:  

  1. Carpeting: Regular vacuuming is essential to eliminate dust and particles that could harm carpet fibers. Businesses with low foot traffic can vacuum twice a week, while high-traffic facilities like hotels should vacuum daily. Periodic washing with a powered carpet cleaner or extractor is also recommended.
  2. Hardwood: Cleaning hardwood can be tricky due to its porous nature, and excessive moisture can result in permanent damage. Use a floor scrubber designed for hardwood, such as the Minuteman Port A Scrub 12. Regular sweeping helps maintain cleanliness between deep cleanings.
  3. Vinyl and Laminate: Similar to hardwood, excessive water can damage vinyl and laminate. Regular sweeping and gentle scrubbing are ideal for keeping these floors in good condition.
  4. Tile: Commercial floor tiles, often vinyl composition, require a non-abrasive cleaner. While some tile types can withstand harsher products, their grout cannot. Since the grout may not be level with the tile, choose a cleaning brush or tool that can reach both. We provide a range of scrubbers and accessories designed specifically for cleaning tile and grout.
  5. Concrete: Stiff scrubber brushes effectively remove grit and grime from concrete. Sealing concrete floors is advisable to prevent staining by liquids or dirt particles.

What’s the Size of Your Space?

Next, think about the size of the space you’ll be cleaning. What’s the total square footage? If you're cleaning a large area, like a retail store or warehouse, you’ll need a more powerful machine that’s capable of cleaning your space efficiently. If you’re going to be cleaning a smaller area, like an office building, a smaller, more compact machine would be a better choice. 

Ultimately, you’ll want to opt for the largest machine that will fit the space you’re cleaning because it will be more effective and efficient. Ride-on machines are generally more cost-effective and efficient for larger areas while walk-behind machines are typically best for smaller areas. 

Cleaning Path Size

In addition to the total square footage you’ll be cleaning, you should also consider the size of the cleaning paths you’ll be taking. Take a look at the width of the narrowest spots you’ll be cleaning and whether there are any dead ends where you’ll need to turn the machine around. You should also consider any other narrow areas the machine will need to pass through, such as doorways or archways. You don’t want to purchase a machine that will be too large to fit into any of these areas. 

Brush Types

Automatic floor scrubbers and sweepers come with different types of brushes, so if you plan to use a scrubber, it’s important to know which brush to pair with your flooring. Disc-shaped brushes are usually best for surfaces that need heavy-duty cleaning–like a warehouse that has stubborn substances like oil or grease. If the floor is concrete, you’ll need a stiff brush that can penetrate the floor properly.  

If you’re mainly going to be dealing with fine dust and dirt tracked in by foot traffic, you’ll want a nylon or polyester brush. If the floor has an uneven surface, you’ll want to choose a floor scrubber with a cylindrical brush; that way, you won’t need to sweep before scrubbing. You’ll enjoy a shorter cleaning time and will save money by eliminating the need for a separate sweeping machine. 

Machine Speed

If you have large spaces that you need to clean quickly or have a substantial amount of soiling, look for a machine with a faster cleaning time. For example, a suitable floor scrubber can swiftly clean a large area within minutes, whereas a handheld scrubber will take significantly longer to complete the same task.

Power Source

Another important consideration is the machine’s power source. Corded machines generally provide greater power compared to battery-operated ones, but they always need to be near a power outlet. On the flip side, battery-powered machines offer more convenience and greater portability.

Cleaning, Scrubbing, or Both?

Do you need a machine that’s only designed for floor scrubbing or floor sweeping? Or maybe a combination of the two? If you have hard floors that need thorough cleaning, a scrubber might be the best choice. If you have a substantial amount of debris or wet debris, choose a machine that’s equipped to handle both. 

Noise Level

Will you be cleaning the floors during business hours? If so, it’s best to opt for a machine that produces minimal noise. If you’re cleaning after-hours, noise level isn’t as much of a consideration. 

Maintenance Needs

All floor machines need maintenance to keep them working efficiently. Before purchasing a machine, it’s always a good idea to figure out what’s needed for its upkeep and factor that into your budget. You may also want to consider signing up for our Planned Maintenance program. Our scheduled maintenance programs are a great way to be proactive with maintenance and prevent costly equipment failure. 

Find the Perfect Floor Machine for Your Needs

Hopefully, this has given you a better idea of which type of floor machine would be best for your business. At Bay Area Floor Machine, we offer a wide variety of high-quality autoscrubbers, vacuums, burnishers, carpet cleaners, sweepers, and truckmounts—as well as accessories and commercial-grade disinfectants and cleaning solutions. We also provide planned maintenance and repair services! If you’re still not sure which floor machine you need, we’re always happy to offer recommendations. Call us today at (408) 971-1230 or stop by our shop!

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