Floor Care Terminology
Abrasion - The action of wearing away a floors finish film by friction.
Acid - Any substance, which when dissolved in water, yields a pH below 7.
Acid Cleaner - A detergent that partially or totally consists of one or more acids.
Acrylic - Type of polymer used in floor finishes which characteristically provides better abrasion and detergent resistance than styrenes.
Antioxidants - Additive used in floor finishes to prevent film degradation caused by increased oxidation during high speed buffing.
Bleeding - Refers to color loss of a floor tile due to the leaching out of pigments by over aggressive stripping compounds.
Blushing - A term applied to the whitening effect that sometimes occurs as a solvent finish dries.
Buffable - Usually refers to softer floor finish formulas which are capable of being repaired using conventional equipment.
Buffing - Polishing with a brush or pad.
Buildup - When successive coats of a floor finish are applied over an area where there is not a wearing down of the film, there is buildup.
Burnish - Usually refers to the use of higher rpm equipment when buffing a floor, and designates a type of maintenance program.
Carnauba - The hardest natural wax exuded from the leaves of the carnauba palm used in floor finish formulas.
Chalking - A phenomenon of certain coatings manifested by the presence of loose powder that results from the film itself, at or just beneath the surface.
Concrete Seal - A protective coating applied to a new or old concrete floor to harden, seal, and reduce dusting.
Coverage - The square feet of surface covered by a gallon.
Detergent - A synthetic cleaning agent resembling soap in the ability to emulsify oil and hold dirt.
Dry Time - The length of time required for one coat of finish or seal to properly dry prior to the next coat being applied.
Durability - The wearing quality of a floor finish.
Dusting - The term used to describe the effect of burnishing a floor finish film to the point of top layer degradation.
Emulsion - A mixture of liquids that do not blend, such as water and oil, and where by one compound forms minute particles which are suspended in the other compound.
Film - A thin coating or covering.
Finish - A coating or film which protects a floor from wear and abrasion and enhances its appearance.
Floor Machine - A power-driven machine equipped with a scrubbing or buffing brush used to clean or polish floors.
Gloss - Light reflected from a surface, specifically the mirror-like appearance of a floor finish film
Grout - Concrete or similar substance used between ceramic tile.
Hardwood Floor - Non-resilient flooring of maple, pecan, oak, beech, and various other hardwoods.
Heeling - Method of exerting pressure on one side of a floor machine to remove heel marks or heavily soiled areas.
High Speed - Usually refers to a range of floor machines which turn at between 500 and 1500 rpm. Important with regards to the prescribed maintenance programs established for end users as directly related to the floor finish applied.
James Machine - An instrument for measuring the static coefficient of friction of a surface (such as a floor)
Lambs Wool - Floor finish applicator consisting of a wood block, handle and lambs wool pad preferred by some for its smoothness in application.
Leveling - The ability of a floor finish to flow into a smooth film during the drying process. Mop streaks in the floor finish are a sign of poor leveling.
Linoleum - Linoleum is made from oxidized linseed oil or a combination of drying oils, wood flour, and/or ground cork, resins, and pigment.
Mechanical Cleaning - Removing of soil or dirt from a surface by manual scrubbing or by use of abrasives, as opposed to chemical cleaning.
Metal Interlock - Refers to the process of bonding between polymer units in the floor finish film through the use of metal ions (normally zinc) to cross link. Amine type strippers act as a key to unlock the metal cross link structure for easier removal.
Neutral - Neither acid nor alkaline.
Neutral Cleaner - Detergent with a pH at the 7 range in its concentrated form normally recommended for use on highly finished floors to provide cleaning without deleterious effects.
Non-Buff Finish - A hard floor finish designed to give high initial gloss that is not repairable by regular dry buffing, only spray buffing.
Non-Buffable - Generally refers to harder finishes that do not respond well to low speed machine buffing.
Optical Brighteners - Absorbs UV light sources and emits visible light which gives a brightening effect.
OSHA - (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) A government agency concerned with safety and employee health in the workplace.
Peeling- The pulling or falling away of pieces of coating from a surface.
pH - pH gauges the concentration or amount of hydrogen ions in an aqueous solution. pH scale from 0 to 14 with 7 being neutral.
Porous - Full of tiny openings usually only seen under a microscope.
Powdering - Partial or total disintegration of the floor finish film resulting in a fine, light colored material. Lack of bonding which can be caused by an alkaline residue, improper floor temperatures, and/or humidity.
Recoat - Procedure incorporated in floor maintenance programs to increase the level of protection by applying an additional coat of floor finish. Often the most overlooked step.
Repairability - In floor maintenance, the property of being able to do feathering and add more finish to a spot that is damaged and then to buff or use other methods to bring both the repaired spot and the surrounding area to the same appearance.
Resilient Tile - Term used to describe a type of floor covering as opposed to hard floor surfaces. Includes, but not limited to pure vinyl, abestos, asphalt, rubber and vinyl tiles.
Restorer - Refers to both a product and a procedure for maintaining large floor areas. Typically the product is mopped on, left to dry, then buffed usually with high speed and ultra high speed equipment.
Sealers - Specialized formulations which quickly fill porous floors and provide protection from abuse and wear.
Spalling - The crackling, breaking or splintering of materials due to heat, especially with concrete or terrazzo floors.
Stripping - Using a scrub brush or a medium or coarse fiber pad and a strong detergent in a stripping solution to remove soil and previous protection coating, causing no harm to floor.
Tack Rag - A cloth moistened with a liquid to remove dust and lint from a surface before coating.
Terrazzo - Terrazzo has a smooth surface that consists of marble in a Portland cement matrix.
Ultra-High Speed - Usually refers to a range of floor machines which turn over 2,000 rpm.
Water Resistance - The ability of a floor finish to be unaffected by water spilled on it.
Wax - A protective coating applied to protect and enhance appearance.
Wax Stripper - A special detergent composition that removes wax and similar floor finishes from a floor.
Wear - Any mechanical action, such as foot wear, that causes a distortion of the surface of a floor coating film.
Wet Abrasion - A standard test to determine the effect of water on a floor finish with some abrasive action.
Wetting Agent - A material that increases the spreading of a liquid on a surface.
Wrinkling - Surface irregularity that may very from dull to pronounced.
Yellowing - A condition which describes the discoloration of a floor finish film caused by many circumstances.