Ask the Building Maintenance Experts
Solutions for Your Toughest Problems

ICAN  Q & A  Home

Friday, November 27, 2015


How do I care for tile floor under the plastic mats that roller chairs are used on? The rest of floor is stripped and refinished (light colored tile), but the tile under mats always look bad when I pull them up. What should I be doing to the floor under mats?


Answer #1
Normally, unprotected VCT is scraped, gouged, and damaged by chair rollers. In your case, perhaps the tile under the mats was previously damaged and not worth the extra effort to partially correct. Some damage can be corrected by increasing the stripper concentration (pouring 1/4 cup of straight stripper onto the already wet area) and increasing the aggression level of the strip pad, going to a buildup removal, or high productivity pad, or considering a 100 mesh screen. What you are doing is grinding off the top layer of the VCT. So, slight abrasion or dulling may occur. That is about your only option. There are opaque colored chair mats available to cover up the current damage.

Gary Clipperton
National Pro Clean Corp.
(719) 598-5112

Answer #2
The solution to your problem is to remove the mats from the floor before doing the stripping and refinishing. It reads as if you are trying to work around them.
While it is true that the finish under the mats will not wear much since it is protected, you still accumulate grit and dust under the mat in between floor projects, and this will make an ugly mess when combined with solution seepage from mopping or coffee spills near the matís edge.
For normal maintenance, pick up the mats once a month or so and dustless sweep the area, followed by damp mopping to remove spillage or mopping seepage. Place the mats back into position only after the floor is completely dry.
When refinishing these areas after a light scrub, apply a minimal amount of finish on the area covered by the mat to prevent heavy build-up you later must strip.
And donít forget to mop the mats as well.

Lynn E. Krafft, ICAN/ATEX Editor