Ask the Building Maintenance Experts
Solutions for Your Toughest Problems

ICAN  Q & A  Home

Friday, August 01, 2014

Question

What is the going rate to strip, seal, and refinish hard surface floors with the contractor furnishing the materials?


Answer

There is no one magic number that applies to every job. However, on average, prices run from $.20 to $.60 per sq. ft. or more, depending on the difficulty due to access problems, excessive coatings, uneven floor tiles, baseboard slobber, edge build-up, and any number of other things that affect the time and material spent to do the job right. To get an accurate estimate of the time and cost, do what the contractor does.
1) Measure the square footage of the floors involved. Length times width equals square footage.
2) Determine the times for the various operations involved. Use your own experience or the ISSA “470 Cleaning Times” booklet.
a) Clearing the space.
b) Dust mopping the area.
c) Stripping the old finish.
d) Vacuuming the slurry
e) Rinsing the floor
f) Vacuuming up the rinse
g) Mopping the floor to remove anything missed
h) Drying the floor (other work can be done during this phase)
i) Applying the (seal) finish (so much time for each coat)
j) Drying time for the (seal) finish between coats (other work can be done if it is nearby)
3) Total the hours and multiply by hourly labor rate
a) Add labor burden (worker’s comp., unemployment, etc.)
4) Figure cost of materials
a) Determine how many coats and how much sq. ft. coverage a gallon of finish gives
b) Calculate cost of finish
c) Figure in cost of pads, mops, stripper, etc.
5) Calculate base cost (materials plus labor), overhead charges, and add company profit
Obviously, there are variables in all of this and an experienced contractor will add in enough money to cover that extra strip time for the 15 coats of finish on the floor and refinishing the room where nothing can be moved and all must be worked around.
Lynn E. Krafft, ICAN/ATEX Associate Editor
lekrafft@juno.com