Ask the Building Maintenance Experts
Solutions for Your Toughest Problems

ICAN  Q & A  Home

Sunday, April 19, 2015


Our patient rooms are being remodeled and an Armstrong's Timberline is being used for flooring. It is heterogeneous sheet goods with a urethane coating on it. We can not get floor sealer or finish to stick to it. As soon as the floor gets wet, the finish dissolves. We have used the recommended products by Armstrong along with Spartan and Simonize floor finishes with no luck. We have also had some minor problems with some other sheet goods with the finish flaking after it is mopped. Is anyone else having this problem and is there a solution? The factory representative from Armstrong is also at a loss as to why this is happening.


I experienced similar problems a few years ago with vinyl roll goods. A new finish I applied did not adhere to the existing finish I was using. The manufacturer of the finish explained it was an incompatibility issue (solvents versus acrylics). I had to deep scrub and recoat with a totally different product to obtain adhesion.
The second problem occurred after scrubbing new Armstrong VCT with a neutral cleaner and then applying four coats of standard floor finish. Within 90 days, the finish peeled off and I had to deep strip and recoat 20,000 square feet of tile at my cost. The finish manufacturer said the factory seal must be stripped 100% (contrary to Armstrong directions). A deep strip of the factory seal solved the problem.
So I don't have solid answers, but you might deep strip a scrap piece of tile to determine if the surface contains any substance that would reject standard floor finish. Then, after applying finish, observe the tile’s performance with water applied in the same manner. If it holds up, you have your answer even if stripping newly installed floor voids the warranty.
You are probably aware of the maintenance requirements:
a.) do not use an abrasive brush or strip pad,
b.) use a red, green, or blue scrub pad or a non-abrasive brush,
c.) wait 4-5 days after installation before scrubbing, and
d.) apply 5-7 coats of finish.
Gary Clipperton
National Pro Clean Corp.
(800) 796-4680 or (719) 598-5112