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Floorcare Myths: A higher solids finish is more durable

Sep 21, 2017

Floorcare is one of the most challenging cleaning tasks cleaning contractors and facility managers must grapple with. It is time consuming, often stressful, and costly. Complicating matters, several myths have evolved that can make the entire process all the more challenging. One of the biggest myths involves floor finish “solids.”

Usually expressed as a percentage of weight, floor finish solids are whatever is left on the floor after the coating dries and cures. A coating with 50 percent solids, for instance, will be half evaporated after it dries. This means that the higher the solids in the floor finish, the more coating you will have left on the floor after it dries.

These solids are often a blend of several ingredients, each having a specific purpose. These ingredients help the finish resist scuffs, reduce bubbling, improve adhesion and slip resistance, and last but not least, determine overall durability.

However, the term “solids” can apply to anything that does not evaporate during the curing process. This may include ingredients that do not contribute to a safe, high-luster, and protective coating, which ultimately is our goal. To cut down on these unwanted, potentially harmful ingredients, when selecting a floor finish, read the label and find out what ingredients are used to make up the solids in the floor finish you are considering and what each of them is designed to do. Merely comparing finishes by the percentage of solids—which is very common—is not an adequate test of their capabilities and performance.

Cleaning professionals, building owners, and managers should also know that the ingredients used to improve slip resistance or to control bubbles may add to the solids, but they often do little to enhance the durability of the finish. However, floor finish technology has improved and some manufacturers now use superior polymers, plasticizers, and waxes that combine to form exceptionally durable floor finishes. And the more durable the finish, the fewer refinishing cycles, making one of the most challenging cleaning tasks a whole lot easier.

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