The most important thing to look at when purchasing floor equipment is the type of floor you will be maintaining and also the environment that you will be cleaning. Floor machines are used to scrub, strip, and polish hard surface flooring. Some floor machines are designed to only do one of these tasks while others are versatile and can be used for many different cleaning jobs. The two main types of floor machines are single speed and dual speed. Single speed machines are used primarily for one cleaning task and speed of the machine is then matched to the task it performs. Dual speed floor machines are more versatile and can be used for scrubbing floors, stripping floors and also polishing floors. Low-speed machines usually run at around a 175 revolutions (RPMs) per minute. While dual speed machines have two speed settings which are usually around 175 RPMs and 300 RPMs. For scrubbing and general stripping of floors it is recommended that you use a machine that will spin at around 175 RPMs. For polishing a floor the machine must be faster and spin the pad driver at around 300 RPMs. The three main areas to look at when purchasing a floor machine is the type of machine, the size and power of the machine, and the attachments that can be utilized with it.
The size of the machine relates to the size of the cleaning disc or brush that is attached to the lower unit. Power usually relates to the size of the motor that spins the brush. Most floor machines range in size from 10 inches in diameter up to 27 inches in diameter. It is important to match the size of the floor machine with the area you are cleaning. If the area is small or has obstacles is wise to pick a machine that is smaller and more maneuverable. For larger areas that are open with no obstacles a larger cleaning diameter will be faster at cleaning the floor. The size of the motor is measured in horsepower. When it comes to floor machines, horsepower usually has no effect on how fast the brush or pad driver will turn. However, if you are stripping floors and putting extra load on the motor is recommended that you have a larger powered machine. Most floor machine motors range in size from 1/2 to 2 hp. An added benefit of a larger motor is that it will usually last longer than smaller units.
Floor attachments are always important when purchasing any type of floor equipment. Floor machines can utilize such floor attachments as brushes, pad driver’s, sanding discs and scraper discs. Brushes are commonly used for scrubbing hard flooring and are great for cleaning in between grout lines on tile floors. A pad driver is used in conjunction with floor pads and are generally used to either clean, polish or strip floors. There are many different kinds of floor pads and the color of the floor pad will depend on the type of job it is used for. With most floor pad manufacturers the darker the color of the pad the more aggressive the pad will be. Lighter colored pads are generally used for polishing floors and have fine plastic threads. Darker pads such as black or brown are generally used for stripping or removing old floor finish from a floor before new floor finish is laid down. Sanding discs can be used in conjunction with a pad driver to resurface hardwood floors. These discs take little effort to sand down the toughest hardwood finishes. The last type of floor machine attachment that can be used are scraper discs. Scraper discs are used for removing glue or mastic from concrete or other hard surfaces. These discs can also be outfitted with diamond blades for re-honing marble or terrazzo floors. It is important to check out how much these accessories cost before purchasing your floor machine. Floor equipment accessories and attachments can easily add up in price escalating cost of the floor machine.
There are many floor equipment manufacturers. Some of the best that produce floor machines are NSS, Windsor, Tornado, US Viper, and Koblenz. All of these manufacturers build quality floor equipment that will stand up to heavy duty use and harsh punishment. It is important to buy a machine from a reputable manufacturer because in case of machine failure parts will be easily accessible. Most floor equipment parts are available from local and online manufacturer dealers. Most floor machines range in price anywhere from $500-$3000. The construction of the machine and types of material used will affect the price considerably. If you are commercial cleaner it is recommended that you buy a floor machine with a steel housing and steel frame. Most residential or light duty models utilize a plastic housing which cuts down on cost but will not hold up to heavy duty cleaning.