Floor Cleaning Machines

Floor Cleaning Machines

Buying Floor Buffing Machines

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A floor buffing machine is used to wax, polish, clean and strip floors, and can be used on surfaces ranging from wood to Formica to ceramic tile to granite, depending on the model. Whether you're buying for a commercial cleaning operation or your own business use, here's what you'll need to know before you make a purchase.

Types of floor buffing machines

The type of machine you purchase will depend on the type of work you intend to do. Larger buffers are used for covering wide expanses of floors, such as a retail store or a corporate lobby. Others are small enough to be used on countertops and other small areas, such as behind a toilet tank in the restroom or in narrow hallways.

In general, there are three basic types of floor buffing machines:

  1. Standard speed (150 to 175 RPM)
  2. High-speed (200 to 400 RPM)
  3. High-speed burnishers (1,000 to 2,500 RPM)

Within those categories, you have a variety of polishing buffers, burnishing buffers, commercial grade buffers, heavy-duty sanding buffers, and scrubber buffers.

You'll also have to decide whether you want a walk-behind or ride-on machine. Walk-behind machines are sufficient for many spaces, and can fit in some areas riders can't. However, if you're cleaning huge warehouses or other large spaces, ride-on machines are worth the extra investment.

Which machine for which result?

The type you select should be the one capable of producing the best results for your particular flooring. If you're after the wet/glossy look, you'll need a high speed burnisher, which smooths your floor finish by generating friction. After that, the appearance can be maintained with standard buffing.

If versatility is more important to you, whether it's the ability to polish, scrub or strip floors, a standard speed floor machine is probably the way to go.

Tips on pads

Regardless of the type of work you do with floor buffing machines, you'll need to use waxing, cleaning, polishing or stripping pads on the base of the machine. These can usually be purchased separately at your local hardware store, but the dealer you buy from should provide a good supply with your initial purchase. Check them frequently to make sure there isn't any dirt or debris caught in the fibers.

With sizes that extend from 13 inches to 20 inches, expect to pay $15 to $27 for a pack of five replacements.

Maintenance and support

Floor buffing machines should be stored indoors without excess heat or humidity, and should be used at regular intervals to be kept in tip-top condition. If you hear strange sounds coming from the machine or if anything starts to smoke, take it immediately to a repair shop to assess any repairs. In many cases, especially with commercial floor buffing machines, the equipment will come with a standard manufacturer's warranty.

The dealer you purchase your buffer from also plays a big part in making sure you get the most out of the machine. So take the time to talk to several dealers before making a purchase. To be put in touch with multiple dealers, just submit a free price quote request and we'll do the rest.

Want more information on choosing a floor cleaning machine? Read our Floor Cleaning Machine Buyer's Guide.

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