Floor Maintenance Pads

Floor maintenance pads, also called non-woven pads, perform a variety of jobs, depending upon the materials contained in the pad. Non-woven pads are the standard pads used for a variety of purposes, including scrubbing, buffing, stripping, and polishing on both wood and concrete floors. Composed of synthetic fibers, natural fibers, or a combination of both, these pads generally are available in either 1/4” or 1” thicknesses. The color typically determines the aggressiveness and usage of the pad. Pads are sold in red, blue, black, green, tan, brown, white, white gold, and maroon.

Used most frequently in the hardwood industry, maroon pads are a chemical-free stripping pad and are considered a “green” solution because they don’t introduce stripping chemicals into the environment. Normally used for between-coat preparation of hardwood floor finishes, the maroon pad features aluminum oxide abrasive grains and can be used wet or dry. In terms of how abrasive these pads are, the pads can vary slightly from one manufacturer to another.

Photos courtesy of Virginia Abrasives

Equipment Compatibility

Non-woven pads can be used under an auto scrubber, a conventional low-speed buffer machine, or under an orbital machine. Simply use your normal sander or buffer machine and place a non-woven pad where you would place your sandpaper. If using a maroon floor polishing pad, which is 3/8” thick, you can pair it with a red or white pad or conventional pad driver so it will have more flexibility to reach those unlevel areas of floor surface.

Abrasives in Non-Woven Pads

Floor maintenance pads include a variety of abrasive materials, ranging from no abrasives to aluminum oxide to silicon carbide. Some buffing pads use very fine soft materials to increase the friction on the surface, providing very mild abrasion. White pads have no abrasive at all and rely on fine fibers on the surface to generate heat to burnish the finish.

While there are lots of choices to be made in non-woven pads, it is important that you discuss your needs with your distributor, and understand which pads are designed for use on wood floors, and wood floor finishes. They can help you choose the right pad for your job.

Carol Crittendon is the marketing manager for Virginia Abrasives in Petersburg, Virginia. She can be reached at ccrittendon@virginiaabrasives.com.

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