So you’ve got this nice looking gym floor but not as nice as the last time it was waxed, probably you want to wax it for the first time. If you’re planning on waxing it then you would be interested in how long it takes to wax a gym floor.
It takes about 72 hours for a gym floor to be waxed and cured properly. Waxing a gym floor is not a tiresome task but could be time-consuming especially if you are waxing a large surface area.
Now you’ve known how to wax a gym floor, you can schedule your time accordingly and get ready for that beautiful shine on your floor. Find out some simple steps on how to wax a gym floor.
How to Wax a Gym Floor
Table of Contents
- 1 How to Wax a Gym Floor
- 1.1 Determine the Condition of the Floor
- 1.2 Select a Wax or Finish
- 1.3 Remove all Items From the Floor.
- 1.4 Strip Off Previous Wax and Finish.
- 1.5 Remove the Old Finish
- 1.6 Clean Up the Floor
- 1.7 Put on Protective Clothing
- 1.8 Prepare the Stripping Solution
- 1.9 Apply the Stripping Solution
- 1.10 Use an Auto Scrubber or Floor Machine
- 1.11 Remove the Stripping Solution
- 1.12 Clean the Floor
- 1.13 Clean all Used Tools
- 1.14 Allow the Floor to Dry
- 1.15 Waxing the Floor
- 1.16 Clean the Floor
- 1.17 Prepare the Wax
- 1.18 Apply The Wax
- 1.19 Allow The Floor To Dry
- 1.20 Apply Additional Layer
- 1.21 Wash All Tools
- 1.22 Buff The Floor
Determine the Condition of the Floor
Before waxing your floor, you have to determine if the floor has already been treated. Waxing a treated floor might be required since these surfaces tend to wear down and get dirty eventually.
But before doing this, you have to first find out which type of product was used, the natural treatment is called wax, while the synthetic ones are called finish. If you can determine the condition of the floor, there are ways to examine the floor and determine this:
- Treated gym floors tend to be shiny and glossy, If the floor isn’t and you are unable to feel the original material with your finger, then the floor has not been treated.
- use a cloth dipped in mineral spirits or paint thinner to Wipe a small section of the floor and If the cloth turns yellow or brown, then the floor has been waxed but if the cloth does not pick up any color or residue then the gym floor has been waxed.
Select a Wax or Finish
After determining the situation of your floor and it hasn’t been treated then you need to get a wax or finish suitable for a gym floor.
Read: Best Floor Wax
Polyurethane is the most popular floor treatment option that makes your floor glossy, but each product may appear slightly different, so you need to carry out thorough research and determine which look you want for your floor.
If your floor has already been treated, you need to make the right choice. if the floor has been waxed previously it may be difficult to remove it fully, since it soaks into the floor.
Unless you hire the services of a professional to strip the wax off the floor completely it will be unsuitable for a synthetic finish, but if the old layer of wax is only scratched and not dirty you can apply a new layer of wax without having to go through the difficulty of stripping off the old layer.
If the gym floor has been finished previously, you can remove some of the worn-out parts of the finish by going over it with a floor machine with a scrubbing pad attachment, then apply that same type of finish on those areas to improve the overall appearance of the floor.
But in cases where you can’t figure out the type of finish used previously or if you want to make use of a different type, you’ll need to completely strip off the old finish off the entire floor.
If you don’t want to completely strip off the previous finish, you can make use of a water-based silicone polish instead of waxing. Simply clean the floor thoroughly either by sweeping or vacuuming apply several even layers of the polish using a mop.
Remove all Items From the Floor.
Once the need for waxing has been fully determined, locate the area that needs to be waxed and remove every item from that area. Before you begin to wax, the area has to be put off-limits for at least 8 hours.
If it is a public space you can put up signs to let people know this. For extra safety, tape down the edge of any adjacent area that doesn’t need waxing to prevent the wax from getting into them.
Strip Off Previous Wax and Finish.
If your gym floor has not previously waxed or finished, you can skip straight to Waxing the Floor, and even if the floor has a previous layer of wax that has only been scratched and not discolored you can also skip straight to waxing. But if you have a discolored layer of finish or wax, stripping it off is required before moving onto the new application.
Remove the Old Finish
You will need to purchase a floor stripping solution suitable for your gym floor and the type of finish you are about to remove.
But in cases where you can’t find a product that is suitable for your floor and also matches the type of finish previously used on your floor, you can make use of a “universal” floor stripping solution but make sure to test out a small amount of the product on a small corner of your floor to make sure it is suitable.
Clean Up the Floor
Use a vacuum or broom to clean up the floor and remove all dust and debris from the area about to be waxed. Then Put on clean footwear afterward to prevent tracking in dust onto the floor.
Put on Protective Clothing
Some of the Chemicals in most stripping solution can be dangerous to the skin and sometimes produce toxic fumes. So you need to make sure your work area is well ventilated by putting on protective clothing like gloves, long sleeves, and pants.
If you are stripping a large area you will also need to use goggles and a respirator mask especially if the area is poorly ventilated. When getting a respirator mask make sure it is labeled as an organic vapor blocker.
Prepare the Stripping Solution
Fill the stripping solution inside a bucket that has been Lined with a trash bag. This makes cleanup after the stripping process very easy and it also allows you to use the bucket for other purposes later.
The quantity of stripping solution you will need and how diluted it should be will be indicated on the package label.
You will also be needing a mop for this process but there is a special type of mop designed for this process known as A “strip mop” and it will do a more effective job although you can make use of any mop you have handy.
You will also need a second bucket filled with clean water and a second mop. Having a second bucket and mop will make cleaning up after the stripping process easy because you don’t have much time to apply and remove the stripping solution.
You also don’t want to start washing the first mop that will already be saturated with the stripping solution to use for cleaning purposes.
Apply the Stripping Solution
Start at the farthest end of the room and use a mop to apply floor stripping solution working your way towards the door.
Starting at the farthest end of the room makes it easy to find your way out of the area as a Stripping solution makes the floor slippery and you don’t want to walk over it just after applying it. After applying the stripping solution to th floor evenly, allow to sit for 5 to 10 minutes, but do not allow it to dry.
When applying the stripping solution to the floor, try to use your mop to agitate the finish. Within the next few minutes, you should notice The stripping solution changing its color as it removes and mingles with the finish.
When stripping a large floor, you want to do so in small sections so the stripping solution doesn’t dry while you are still applying it.
Use an Auto Scrubber or Floor Machine
Although this is optional, if you are stripping a large area using an auto scrubber or rotary machine is recommended, as it will do a thorough job by removing all the finish.
If you decide to make use of an auto scrubber, you need to make sure the squeegee tool is up and not in use before using it to scrub the area, and If you are using a floor machine or burnishing machine, make sure to use the stripping pad attachment.
However, if you are only stripping a small area or do not want to buy any specialized tool, you can make use of a doodle pad, a long-handled razor blade tool such as a poll scraper, or any sharp flat tool like a putty knife to scrape wax from the edges and corners of the floor where it may be difficult for the stripping solution and mop.
If the baseboard has picked up wax residue, you will need to scrub it as well. If you are making use of a floor machine You can purchase a special baseboard stripping pad for this.
Remove the Stripping Solution
Use a wet vacuum or auto scrubber to remove the stripping solution and finish but do this after the finish has been worked off but before it becomes dry. If you applied the stripping solution on the floor with an auto scrubber, simply lower the squeegee attachment and pick it up again.
Otherwise, you may have to use a wet vacuum to remove the solution. If you notice that a section of the stripping solution has begun to dry out you can apply a little water to the area to keep it wet.
Clean the Floor
Using the bucket of clean water and clean mop, start washing the floor making sure to Rinse it several times to ensure all the stripping solution is removed.
To endure that the next wax that will be applied on the floor adheres to it securely, you can add a stripping neutralizer to your water but If you don’t want to buy one, simply wash the floor thoroughly several times.
If you have an auto scrubber or floor machine it can also be used for this step as well, but you will need to change the pad beforehand. Don’t use the same pad that was used to apply the stripping solution to wipe it up.
Clean all Used Tools
After thoroughly cleaning the stripping solution off the floor, wash all the tools that were used including the interior of machinery hoses and tanks. If they are left to sit uncleaned, the stripping solution will become dry and turn into a hardened mess which can ruin your tools.
Allow the Floor to Dry
After stripping the floor, you do not move on to waxing until the floor is completely dry, or the wax may not attach properly. To hasten the drying process you can place a fan in the room.
Waxing the Floor
If you are making use of a finish instead of a wax you need to make sure you follow the manufacturer’s instruction because synthetic finish bonds over the floor while a floor wax is a natural product that works into the pores of the floor.
If you are making use of Polyurethane which is the most common modern finish, it should be stirred, and applied as quickly as possible, it also has to be applied in one back and forth layer across the room, making sure to overlap the previous stroke so that a wet edge is retained.
When applying a finish you want to don an organic vapor respirator mask due to the toxic fumes that are sometimes produced by the product and keep a fan blowing out a window while you work.
Clean the Floor
Use a dust mop or broom to Sweep and pick up as much dirt particles as possible and you can also go in with a mop to make the floor as clean as possible your floor until it’s as clean as you can make it because any dust particles left on the floor is likely to get caught in the wax, where it will remain until the wax is stripped off.
Prepare the Wax
To apply the wax you will need a new sponge mop or flat wax applier mop, it has to be a new one because although the mop may not look dirty using a previously used mop to apply wax to the floor is likely to introduce dirt into the wax thereby ruining the look.
Like with the stripping solution, you also need to line the mop bucket with a garbage bag before filling it with floor wax for easy cleanup and to avoid ruining your bucket unless you are making use of a flat wax applicator mop.
Read: How to get scuff marks off gym floor
Apply The Wax
Saturate your sponge mop with the wax and also pour some wax onto the upper side of a flat wax applicator mop, then remove any dripping excess by pressing the mop into the wringer portion of the mop bucket or you can press it against the sides of the bucket.
Do not try to wring your mop as you would with regular cleaning because the goal is to make the mop damp with wax, not dry or dripping.
Start applying the wax onto the floor one small section of floor at a time, starting at the farthest end of the room, and work your way towards the door so you don’t have to walk across the newly waxed floor when you try to leave the room.
Working in small sections helps to ensure that the entire floor area is covered and you do not miss a spot or apply the wax unevenly because if the first applied layer is too thick, it could cause the whole process to fail.
Also, make sure you do not drip excess wax onto the floor, and only use a damp mop, not a soaked one.
After covering a section evenly with wax, mop over it with broad strokes in the same direction to give it an even appearance before moving to the next section.
Allow The Floor To Dry
After applying the wax to the floor, allow it to dry completely and this may take up to about half an hour, but could be longer in areas with high humidity.
You can hasten up the drying process by allowing it to air dry for ten minutes then place a fan in the room but do not point it directly at the waxed floor as this could interfere with the adhesive. The accurate waiting time for the floor wax you used should be on the package label
Apply Additional Layer
Once the first layer is dry, go ahead and apply additional layers the same way you applied the first making sure each layer is completely dry before applying the next.
aside from the drying time, the recommended number of coats you should apply should also be stated on the package label but if it isn’t, apply three or four thin coats and Stop if the wax starts turning yellow. After applying the final coat, the floor should be off-limits for at least 8 full hours to ensure a perfect finish.
Wash All Tools
All the tools that were used to apply the wax should be washed thoroughly because allowing the wax to dry, will make it extremely difficult to remove. Use soap and hot water and Scrub the wax off of any tools you plan on using again.
Buff The Floor
Although most waxes do not require buffing, most do. Some waxes require polishing with a buffing pad or burnishing machine. But in the absence of this equipments, you can simply use a clean, dry terry cloth towel to polish your floor in a circular motion.
To avoid going down on all fours to do this, you can Tie the towel around a dry mop head and make use of it. You can also attach a buffing pad under the brush of the floor machine and used it for buffing the floor.