How to Restore Vinyl Floor Without Stripping and Waxing

Vinyl flooring is a common sight both in and out of the home.

It’s used extensively and in different forms across a range of floors and locations, and is favored because of its affordability, and how relatively easy it is to keep it clean. When you look at the rooms in the home they are used, not to mention other locations like schools, hospitals, and other places, vinyl floors generally take quite a lot of punishment.

Owners and users are therefore interested in how to restore vinyl floors, bring back their natural color and shine, and also keep them working longer so that one doesn’t have to go through the quite laborious process of stripping and replacing vinyl floors.

How to Restore Vinyl Floor - Challenges and Solutions

When dealing with vinyl floors in general, there are a number of challenges that one has to overcome. The obvious solution to protecting vinyl floors seems to be something similar to that of protecting a tile one — a protective coating. The interesting thing is that protecting vinyl floors is not as easy as you might think. Here are the difficulties one can have in doing so:

1. Softness and Flexibility
Vinyl as a material is soft and in particular, has a soft substrate. This is one of the reasons it’s such a good and durable material for flooring in kitchens, laundry rooms, basements, and elsewhere. When you put pressure on the vinyl floor, such as sitting in a chair upon it, but then get up again and move the chair, the area that had pressure exerted on it will get back to its original form.

This presents a challenge for protective coatings. The coatings have to have the same kind of flexibility as the vinyl itself. In other words, as the vinyl changes and regains its shape, so too does the coating without losing any of its strength or integrity.

2. The “Vicious Cycle” of Waxing
One of the apparently simplest solutions to vinyl floor protection is to wax it regularly and create a surface layer of protection that stops abrasions, scratches, and the general effects of the heavy foot and furniture traffic that vinyl floors are usually subject to. In the short term, waxing vinyl floors does appear to have a good effect on them. It restores shine, keeps dirt off them, and offers temporary protection against scuffing and worse. However, it also puts vinyl floors into something of a vicious cycle.

The main problem is that the more you wax a vinyl floor, the more dependent it becomes upon that waxing and the more susceptible to the very damage from which you’re trying to protect it. That’s the vicious cycle. The more you wax, the more the floor needs it. Over time that becomes an increasingly expensive requirement.

3. Once the Damage is Done, There’s No Easy Way Out
Finally, another challenge with vinyl floors is that they are very difficult to save once the dirt, scuffs, and other contaminants get embedded into them. Even those vinyl floors that are called by their manufacturers “never-wax” and similar names are susceptible to the same kinds of damage over time, especially in places where there is heavy foot traffic and/or heavy furniture or equipment being moved over it a lot.

The most common way to deal with these serious issues is stripping vinyl floors, which is troublesome in a number of ways (see below for more). If one can find the right solution to protect vinyl floors properly, then both detrimental waxing and troublesome stripping and replacing of vinyl floors can be avoided.

Stripping Vinyl Floors - An Undesirable Solution

Most of the time when vinyl floors get into disrepair, there’s no going back and that means stripping the floor down and replacing it. In many cases, stripping vinyl floors is a very painstaking and increasingly expensive process. Information from the EPA shows that up to 19 percent of stripped vinyl floors are hazardous material. That makes the job both dangerous and difficult.

Because of the presence of hazardous materials and contaminated wastewater as a result of the stripping process, floor removal professionals need to have their own storage/transport truck for said wastewater, as well as an accessible facility to transport all hazardous materials to for recycling. All of this has to be factored into the overall cost of removing the floor in the first place.

How to Restore Vinyl Floor - Protect is Better with RexShield

The best answer to these issues is to find a form of protection that can be applied once and have a lasting effect on the floors, preventing and damage, removing the need for regular waxing, and extending the life of the floor to the point where it becomes unnecessary to consider stripping it — not for a long time at least. This also makes vinyl flooring more cost-effective since it’s lasting longer and you will only need to resort to the stripping and replacing process once in a much longer time period compared to usual.

What is this solution? RexShield, when applied properly, can offer deep and lasting protection to the substrate of vinyl flooring. This means that the substrate isn’t being worn down, which is essentially what causes the above-mentioned irreparable damage to the floor that ends up needing stripping and replacing. RexShield keeps the floor looking its best but without getting into any vicious cycle. A single application of RexShield will last for a very long time.

As with many types of flooring, the best way to “restore” it is to prevent damage from happening as early as possible. Early protection will ensure the vinyl flooring costs less over time, is easier to clean and it will keep all dirt and contaminants away from the substrate, and when the time comes to strip the floor, it will be on your own schedule and not because the floor is in such disrepair that you can’t afford not to strip it down and replace it.

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RexPro Sealers & Coatings

RexPro Sealers & Coatings offers an innovative line of coatings for a variety of substrates. 

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