Description / Definition

Timber Floating Floor:

Primarily of timber “planks” treated with a clear layer of polyester, vinyl or urethane. Usually they are laminated to give increased dimensional stability but this is not always the case as some synthetic materials can also be sandwiched to provide greater noise suppression. The word “floating” is used because some planks are clipped together and are not glued to the subsurface.

They are an engineered product in the true sense of the word, using modern technology.

Laminate Floating Floors:

These are 100% synthetic reproduction of a timber floor. The “timber plank” look is achieved by printing, encased in a textured clear surface treatment. Whilst still laminated to achieve direction stability, laminate floating floors can be constructed with a soft core that gives a soft feel and a low noise. Laminate floors can be supplied in a clip lock “plank” style usually not edge glued or “butt joint” plank style that is fully glued to the sub floor like any normal vinyl floor installation.

Because of its great impact and scratch resistant to sharp objects, chair legs and high-heeled shoes, laminate floors have had remarkable market growth in commercial applications. Due to the timber design being printed, there is far less chance of fading and yellowing, as can be the case with timber laminates.

*Note timber look sheet vinyl:

This is not a floating floor, as it is supplied in 3 meter wide rolls not planks. It should be treated in the same manner as a floating floor or sheet vinyl. (see “How to” manual for sheet vinyl). 

Protection of the surface

With clear finishes being applied at the factory, in one sense the surface of floating floors have been protected. This surface is fine for low traffic or domestic applications.

Commercial high traffic installations require an aftermarket floor coating that strongly adheres to the surface to act as a sacrificial wear laver that adds further protection that may easily repaired and recoated

  • Provide high surface adhesion that does not “ball up” or scratch off.
  • Reduces heat build up when burnished with UHS and gas burnishers that could interfere with the laminate or flooring adhesive integrity.
  • Be hard enough to resist surface scuffing, yet soft enough to give easy mark removability.
  • Look natural on the floor with no yellowing or ultra glossy appearance
  • Help prevent moisture penetration into butt joints
  • Provide a one product system to make it simpler to use.
  • Be maintainable with low (400 RPM) high (1000 RPM) and ultra high speed buffing equipment to 2000 RPM.
  • High level of slip resistance to exceed Australian standard AS/NZS4586:1999.

Preparing a New Floor

It is important to remove all surface grit by dustmopping prior to stripping. The reason stripping is required is usually to remove builders residues and adhesive that may have squeezed to the surface at the butt joints. It is important not to use excessive amounts of water and not to strip the floor prior to proper curing of the adhesive (if used). On fully floating (unglued) clip joint floors, strip only small areas at a time using minimal water, virtually a dry strip is preferred.

Do Not Flood Mop Any Floating Floor. It’s the safest solution.

Method: Initial floor preparation (manual method)

Mix SLEDGEHAMMER floor stripper 1 part to 5 parts cold water (2Ltrs to 10ltrs) and wring out mop until only just dripping. Mop apply no more than 40 sq. meters, then machine scrub with blue pads (pay attention to removing residue when planks have bevelled edges) after 2 to 3 minutes dwell time then pick up slurry with clean water rinse. Repeat rinsing  the entire floor.

Automatic scrubber method:

Important: Do not use high performance black pads or regular black pads. Use brown or blue pads to avoid harsh abrasive action.

Mix SLEDGEHAMMER floor stripper 1 part to 5 parts cold water. Apply with pads scrubbing and water on half open (not flooding) position. Do not have vacuum operating. Allow only 2 to 3 minutes dwell time and then pick up with brushes scrubbing and vacuum on. When total floor is stripped clean. Rinse with cold fresh water and NEUTRACLEAN 1 :100 again with clean pads and squeegee down to ensure no residues.

Sealing and Protection

Research Products has recently developed a one product system that meets all the specification requirements of floating floor manufactures and layers as well as our own self evaluation criteria.

SPARTACUS- Sealer Finish

This product has been developed to provide a medium/hard floor finish that shows excellent slip resistance and high levels of adhesion to terrazzo,  marble, vinyl, sheet vinyl and timber floors as well as all types of floating floors.  See product data sheet.

The advantages of SPARTACUS

  • Low viscosity allows thin coats that ultimately dry quickly and create superior bonding to the floor .
  • Low thermal transfer, reduced heat when UHS burnishing generates less drag on equipment, less black edges and burning.
  • Excellent water and soil penetration resistance keeps floors looking cleaner longer- protects glue and joints.
  • Less scratching due to medium hardness of film. Easy reparability under all speed equipment.

Application Directions

Do not dilute SPARTACUS sealer finish. Dust mop carefully apply by only using poly-cotton mops on floating floors. Too much polish gives poor adhesion and too much gloss on floating floors and therefore does not look natural. Do not use fringe mops to apply polish . High traffic areas should only require a maximum of three coats. There is no need to buff between coats.

How to apply

Add to clean wringer bucket and apply with a prewashed and damp poly-cotton mop that is dipped only half way into the polish. Wring out so that no finish is dripping. Apply each coat across the direction of the previous coat and allow at least 25 minutes between coats. Dull patches will indicate improper drying and the floor will require stripping again. Keep second coat at least 100mm way from the edges.

Apply only three coats if natural look is required, more if wet look is required.


Daily mop or autoscrub the floor with SUPASTAR neutral pH cleaner/maintainer after dust mopping or sweeping and removing debris.

Mopping Dilutions:            Normal Soilage           1 to 80 parts (cold) water (1/3 of cup)

                                        Heavy soilage             1 to 60 parts (cold) water (1/2 of cup)


Autoscrubbing Dilutions       Normal Soilage           1 to 100 parts water (500ml to 50ltr)

                                           Heavy soilage             1  to 80 parts water(700ml to50ltr)

There is no need to rinse after mopping or scrubbing using SUPASTAR

Burnishing the Floor (as required)

When using U.H.S gas equipment it is imperative that the speed is reduced to under 1500 RPM as to not overheat the floor surface. Use a Blue Ice buffing pad which reduces frictional buildup and removes less finish.

Warning: do not use champagne pads, these build up too much heat in the floor, using any sealer finish on floating floors.

Important points to remember when maintaining a floating floor.

  • Never use abrasive hand pads or steel wool to remove black scuff marks
  • Never buff a scuff without pre-cleaning
  • Remove scuffs with a cloth soaked in SUPASTAR at a dilution of 1 to 20 parts water.

*Australian Standard/New Zealand Standard 4586:1999. This standard states that all floors must exceed an average reading of 0.40 on a level surface over a length exceeding 0.8 meters.