You Should Have Already Noticed the Unprecedented Rise of Luxury Vinyl Plank Floors
Luxury Vinyl Plank continues to be the fastest growing floor covering material. At first glance to the professional carpet cleaning, the meteoric rise in the market share growth of LVP floors may not present an immediate obvious opportunity. After all, with the numerous benefits of LVP (water resistant, stain resistant, easy to install, less expensive, etc..) the first impression of most homeowners is that they can easily clean these floors themselves. Whether they are using a Swiffer®, a mop and bucket, or a hard surface floor steamer or cleaner, they can pretty much convince themselves that the floor looks clean. A deeper dive into reality though starts to unlock some often-overlooked challenges and pitfalls.
Just how dirty are your customers “clean-looking” LVP floors
We have discussed in previous articles that there are four pressing issues with these floors
- Even after cleaning with traditional home methods, the floors measure for higher amounts of germs, bacteria, fecal matter, and soil.
- The grooves in LVP floors hold onto embedded soils and other unwanted matter. The use of professional chemical solutions and higher levels of safer but aggressive agitation are required to remove these embedded materials.
- Drywall dust and other fine particle construction materials also embed into the flooring during construction or remodeling and need a professional deep cleaning to remove them
- Conventional hard surface floor cleaning solutions typically don’t contain the necessary ingredients to effectively deep clean an LVP floor and contain special soil inhibitors that help the floor stay cleaner longer
Restoring the appearance of LVP floors to “like-new” condition is more than just cleaning. It takes a comprehensive approach that can penetrate deep into the grooves and textured surfaces of your floor for a higher level of soil removal that eliminates dirt, scuffs, grease, and other potentially harmful contaminates. HydraFresh LVC does all of this while it also helps the floor stay cleaner longer because it contains special soil inhibitors and is a low residue formula that does not contain any sticky or tacky cleaning agents. It can be used as part of a prespray and rinse system or as part of a no rinse system. The neutral PH makes it safe for luxury vinyl plank and tile floors, resilient tile floors and wood (polyurethane finish only) and laminate floors. The concentrated formula allows you to adjust the dilution ration to meet the soiling conditions of the floor. HydraFresh LVC allows you to extend the life of the flooring investment and keep it looking great all the time.
So now that the cleaning solution question is settled, what is the best equipment and tool system to get the job done?
How do you do it? There are several ways to approach this cleaning. In all of them, let the properly formulated chemical do the trick. Don’t use any old neutral floor cleaner for tile, or your favorite high power, high PH hard surface cleaner. HydraFresh LVC has been formulated specifically for these floors.
Industry instructor and consultant Shawn Bisaillon discussed this in the HydraMaster SmartShare Virtual expo recently. You can access the video here and see some of the different systems: Click here to watch this video
System 1 – Apply Solution, Agitate with CRB Machine, Mop-up, or extract with wet-dry vacuum
One proven system for this is to apply the HydraFresh LVC to the floor, then agitate it in with a counter rotating brush machine or system with the brushes appropriate for these types of floors. You can then mop or extract it up with a wet-dry vacuum.
System 2 – Apply solution, Use portable or truckmount with stationary hard surface wand, rotary hard surface wand, or extraction wand with hard surface brush glide attached
Apply the Hydra-Fresh LVC to the floor with your favorite sprayer. Then use your portable or truckmounted extractor to rinse off and extract the solution from the floor. Use it at a lower pressure (200 to 300 psi max) with a stationary hard surface tool. Hard surface brush glides are being developed that you can attach to your EVOLUTION wand which apply the proper amount of agitation and leave the floor almost dry There are also high-quality stand-alone hard surface wands made.
Click here to see where you can get this hard surface brush glide.
So what about using your rotary hard surface tool? Many companies are successfully doing this. However, here are a couple of things to keep in mind:
- You don’t want to blast the floor with copious amounts of water under pressure, To get most rotary tools to spin properly, you need at least 400-800 psi of water pressure. There is also some
concern by LVP flooring manufacturers that higher pressures could penetrate between the planks and allow moisture to build up underneath, potentially breaking down the adhesive, or worse, allowing for mold and mildew growth.
- Some have questioned whether the physical rotary action of the spinner tool itself could dislodge the installation of the planks of flooring, but to a trained conscientious technician, they would immediately stop and use a different tool.
System 3 – Apply solution, Use a low pressure floor washing machine with counter rotating brushes that also has extraction capabilities
Apply the Hydra-Fresh LVC to the floor using your favorite sprayer. Some of the floor washing machines apply the solution for you, allowing you to skip the spraying step. These machines use counter rotating brushes to agitate the floor while also having vacuum recovery capabilities to pick up the cleaning solution and released soils as you go along.
System 4 – The best system for the deepest cleaning. Apply solution, Use CRB machine to agitate the cleaning solution. Use portable or truckmount with stationary (non-rotary) hard surface wand, or extraction wand with hard surface brush glide attached.
Apply the Hydra-Fresh LVC to the floor using your favorite sprayer. Agitate it in with a counter rotating brush machine or system with the brushes appropriate for these types of floors. Then use your portable or truckmounted extractor to rinse off and extract the solution from the floor. Use it at a lower pressure (200 to 300 psi max) with a stationary (not rotary) hard surface tool. Hard surface brush glides are being developed that you can attach to your EVOLUTION wand which apply the proper amount of agitation and leave the floor almost dry There are also high-quality stand-alone hard surface wands made
So how do you market all of this to Your Customer? Make the Unobvious, Obvious!
Alright so here is the dilemma – homeowners mostly think they are getting their LVP, and laminate flooring cleaned with their favorite home remedy or method. It often even “looks clean” to the naked eye. How do you as a professional cleaner deal with that? It is quite simple and a proven successful method for selling. Make the unobvious, obvious. How do you do that? Demo, Demo, Demo! After all you are in the home anyway cleaning carpet or upholstery When you apply HydraFresh LVC from HydraMaster to their Luxury Vinyl Plank or Laminate floor and clean it with any number of methods or applications, they will see a marked difference between their so called “clean floor” and the clean floor you just provided them with.
But let’s take a quick look at marketing. In a nutshell, marketing any service or product is a 3-step process. First you need a marketing message. One that we have found to be effective without being overtly threatening is “bacteria does not leave footprints. “We have developed two special marketing print/electronic ads which convey this message you can use or customize to your business.
Now that you have the message defined, choose your delivery system – the second step in marketing. You can use your social media pages, your email programs, your company newsletter, or even printed flyers you can “five around” with. The catch headline and quick summary of what you are going to accomplish well beyond making their floor look better may need to be delivered to them more than three times before they will start to react. So don’t get too dependent upon one single delivery system.
The third part of marketing is what your desired outcome is. Now that may seem obvious. You want a sale. But sometimes we forget that timing is often the most important key to getting a sale. If now is not the time, then your desired outcome can often be permission to do more marketing, or the opportunity to do a demonstration on their LVP floors the next time you clean the carpets.
How much do you charge? Generally about the same as you would to deep clean their ceramic tile.
Your customer invested in the LVP floor they did for specific aesthetic and “livability” advantages. Plus, they want and desire a healthier atmosphere for their home. Of course, they want it to look great to.