Stripping and Refinishing Floors: Pricing Considerations and Efficiency Tips

Steve Hanson
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If you want to get into floor care, then you'll need to develop a "good eye" for what to watch out for when pricing floor care services. When it comes to stripping and refinishing VCT tile floors, there are many things to consider:

  • How much finish is on the floor and baseboards. Floors that haven't been stripped for a long time may have most of the finish worn off in the main traffic lanes. Conversely, some customers continually add more coats of finish, without stripping off the old finish. In this case, you will have build-up on the floor, which may mean multiple strippings. Time is a major consideration when pricing stripping/refinishing jobs so if this is the case, be sure to build extra time into your estimate.
  • What needs to be moved? If you're working on a convenience store or retail floor, you may have to move several floor displays and floor mats. If it's an office break room, you will have to move chairs and tables. If you have a lot to move, add more to your price. But if the customer is concerned about how much it will cost, reduce the price if they clear the floor for you.
  • The amount of square footage being stripped/refinished. Typically, the higher the square footage, the lower the square foot price. For example, the "per square foot price" of a 10,000 sq ft job should be lower than the "per square foot price" of 1,000 sq ft job.
  • Is it one open area or many small rooms? If you have 5,000 square feet in one large area, you should be able to get it done quicker than if it were broken up into several small rooms. That's because you will have to move your equipment from room to room and possibly to different floors if it's a multi-story building.
  • Water and power availability. It can be difficult to get the job done efficiently if you don't have easy access to water and power. Be sure to find this out before pricing the job.
  • Use the right equipment for the job. Don't use a side-by-side floor machine on a 15,000 square foot floor. And conversely, don't use an auto-scrubber on a 1,000 square foot floor. Match the machine to the floor size.

Here are some pointers to get the job done more efficiently:

  • Use a splash guard on the floor machine to prevent stripping solution from splashing on walls and furniture. You don't want to spend additional time cleaning up the mess.  
  • Use a microfiber flat mop when applying floor finish.  
  • Watch for solution running under gondolas and walls and then draining back out after you've moved on from that area.  
  • Smaller floors can take as long as bigger ones depending on circumstances.  
  • To help speed up drying time, use a fan to circulate the air -- but don't point it at directly at the floor.  
  • Use the appropriate finish for the location and maintenance program.

Stripping and refinishing floors can be a profitable add-on service for your business, but knowing what to look for can save you a lot of time and headaches that could eat away at your hard earned profit!

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