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Monday, November 30, 2015


I have been asked to bid on floor maintenance in a 46,000 sq. ft. grocery store. They want it scrubbed and buffed daily. My questions are: What would be the appropriate equipment for the job? How many hours will the job take to sweep, scrub, and buff? What is the going rate per square foot with me providing the equipment, materials, and labor? How often is it recommended to strip and refinish? How often is it recommended to scrub and re-coat? Should the daily price include strip and re-coat or should this be a separate charge?


In answer to your questions: Here are some generalized suggestions, remembering that local labor rates, supplies, and taxes vary from state to state and city to city.

Equipment: This requires an automatic scrubber, the bigger the better as long as it will still fit into the aisles. A rider model would be best, but they are much more expensive. Also, a 24" burnisher to buff with; propane is the best for speed, but you may have to go battery powered if there are objections by store personnel to propane burnishers (i.e. if itís open 24 hours.)
Time to auto scrub 46,000 sq. ft.: Check the actual aisle space that you are servicing, since it may be that you are not actually doing 46,000, but find that up to half of that is covered with gondolas, shelving unit, displays, check-out counters, etc. Figure about 45 minutes to autoscrub 10,000 sq. ft. of serviceable VCT flooring, faster by a third with a rider, and 40 minutes to burnish/buff the same. To dustmop, figure 10,000 sq. ft., at roughly 25-30 minutes.
Price to scrub and buff using your own equipment is 3-4 cents per sq. ft. for this size of an account, and don't forget to factor in floor finish, restorers, and cleaning chemicals.
Stripping frequency can vary from season to season (more frequent in winter if you get lots of snow), but a generalized schedule for supermarkets is quarterly for high traffic areas, and once a year for rest of the floor.
Scrub and recoat should be at least every other week around check-out counters, and monthly, at least, for other high traffic areas, as needed. The rest of the floors, maybe every 2 months.
Whether to add the stripping price to the regular maintenance bid is something you should negotiate with store personnel.
The cargo aisle across the back of store, and areas around check out stands, vegetable, flour, and sugar displays require the most attention.

Glen Franklin