How Do I Know What Hard Surface Floor I Will Be Cleaning? – Floor Identification Series – Part 7 of 7 – Finish


Testing Procedures for Floor Identification:

There are actually six different “tests” or evaluations you can perform to zero in on the type of floor you are being asked to clean. In this post, we will cover the sixth and final test and evaluation – the floor finish test (sometimes called the scrape test).

6. Check for Floor Finish. The pores in stone and grout should be filled with a penetrating or impregnating sealer. This will hold outImage water, oils and other soils.

  • Some floors may have been coated with a topical finish or wax. Finishes easily become worn in high use areas but may build up in other areas resulting in an uneven, blotchy look.
  • The presence of a topical coating will make your work much more difficult!
  • If you suspect a topical coating is present, try to scratch or scrape it off using your fingernail. A polymer finish will flake off. A wax finish will roll into a ball. A finish meant to be permanent cannot be easily removed.
  • A splash of water will not penetrate the tile if a finish is present and intact. Another test is to apply some rubbing alcohol to the surface. This will penetrate many finishes leaving a white milky appearance.
  • A topical coating will need to be stripped off. The process will vary according to the type and thickness of the coating.
  •  HydraStone or HydraSolv will remove some coatings, but a product intended for stripping finishes is often required. Use according to manufacturer’s directiions.
  • We recommend against the application of topical coatings on stone or tile floors!

Cleaning application – if there is floor finish on the tile, you can rest assured it is on the grout too. This will limit the cleaning process and the grout will not likely come clean until the floor finish is stripped off.

Once you have completed the series of tests to determine what type of floor you are cleaning, it is time to precondition the customer before you precondition the floor for cleaning. You do this by doing a proper pre-inspection and reporting process. The pre-inspection process for cleaning stone, concrete, and tile floors will be the next series of blogs we do at

If you want to learn more about restorative cleaning procedures for these hard surface floors we have been discussing, you can download the complete hard surface cleaning procedures guide that will detail for you the exact cleaning solution and step by step procedures by clicking here.

If you would prefer the cleaning procedures guide in electronic form so that you can load it onto your computer, tablet, or smart phone, simply request your free copy here.

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