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Friday, August 28, 2015


I was recently bidding on an auto dealership and the competition stated that they would use a three-step process which included "polishing" the new finish immediately after laying it so that the brand new floor would shine more. I stated that the "polishing" or high-speed burnishing is not necessary immediately after you apply finish. It is more of a maintenance procedure. Who is correct?


I have found that burnishing the bare floor, before you apply the first coat of finish smoothes the floor which was "roughed up" by the strip pad. This extra process does improve the gloss of subsequent coats, but is not necessarily in every case.
Although I have often heard that same statement, I have tried it personally with several floor finishes and found that it only slightly improved the appearance. Additionally, some contractors buff between each coat. This approach has not proven beneficial for me, either.
A friend of mine, Fred Bunegar with Hillyard, has also been in the business for over 30 years and confirms that burnishing a high-speed finish immediately after laying the finish is not a good idea because the finish has not had enough time to reach full cure. Fred believes that burnishing too soon (shorter than 48-72 hours) removes too much of the protective coating before the film cures and hardens.
You could tell your prospect that you use a self-polishing floor finish, assuming that several coats, in fact, do produce the "wet look". However, subsequent burnishing of the fully cured finish will improve the gloss level. I have contracted with seven car dealerships as well as hundreds of floor accounts and found that waiting a couple of days or even weeks to begin your burnishing program is best. Just donít wait too long, allowing heavy traffic to damage to the finish.
From a pricing psychology standpoint, if you discount the initial strip price, you overcome a lot of price resistance (sticker shock, as they call it). Then, you can recover the discount by adding it to the monthly or weekly burnishing price.
Gary Clipperton
(719) 598-5112