Close your eyes, and picture the floor at your local grocery store, your gym, or your elementary school cafeteria. More than likely, that floor is composed of VCT, or Vinyl Composition Tile. The tiles are formed by PVC (polyvinyl chloride) chips that are compressed together by heat and pressure, then rolled into varying thicknesses. VCT is the standard flooring solution for industrial and commercial locations because of the range of colors and textures it comes in and it’s high level of durability in high-traffic areas.
That high level of durability means that it can also withstand many sessions of professional-grade stripping and waxing to keep it looking as good as new. Though VCT can withstand a lot of abuse, without proper maintenance, it will lose its shine, develop build-up, become prone to knicks and scratches, fade and develop a yellow tint. But what does the process of VCT stripping and waxing look like?
First, the old wax is stripped from the tile. This is done because, over time, dirt and residue become embedded in the wax, meaning regular cleaning methods such as mopping won’t be able to remove it. A wax stripping agent is applied to the floor which begins softening and breaking down the wax coating. Once it has set the appropriate amount of time, a buffer is used to remove the wax. The slurry of wax and stripper is then squeegeed and removed. The wax comes off a layer at a time, so the stripping is a multi-step process.
Once the tile wax has been totally removed, the exposed tile is thoroughly cleaned before the wax is replaced. The fresh wax is applied one layer at a time, to prevent clumping. Once set, the freshly waxed VCT will shine bright for a long time to come and stand up to daily wear and tear, as long as it is properly maintained. VCT should be mopped on a regular basis using low Ph detergent (high Ph cleaners can cause breakdown of the wax). After mopping with a cleaner, it’s a good idea to mop VCT with plain water to remove any detergent residue, to prevent build-up.
Do you have VCT in need of a refresh? Contact JL Cleaning Solutions to schedule your VCT stripping and waxing service today!