Cleaning A Cork Tile Floor

Procedure code:
966002S
Source:
HSR - Federal Bldg/P.O., Wash, D.C. - Bldg Conservation Tech
Division:
Finishes
Section:
Resilient Tile Flooring
Last Modified:
08/05/2016

PART 1---GENERAL

1.01 SUMMARY

  1. This procedure includes instructions on how to clean a cork tile floor made from through-chip granules.  
  2. Because cork is a natural wood product, cleaning and refinishing procedures appropriate for hard wood floors are also applicable to cork tile floors.

1.02 MAINTENANCE

  1. Vacuum daily to remove any loose dirt and grit.  Floor may be cleaned daily with a dry, treated dust mop or damp mopped using a mild, non-ammoniated detergent.  Avoid abrasive and alkaline cleansers.  DO NOT FLOOD FLOOR WITH WATER.

PART 2---PRODUCTS

2.01ANUFACTURERS

  1. Bona US
    Aurora, CO 80014
  2. Minwax Company
    Upper Saddle River, NJ

2.02 MATERIALS

NOTE:  Chemical products are sometimes sold under a common name.  This usually means that the substance is not as pure as the same chemical sold under its chemical name.  The grade of purity of common name substances, however, is usually adequate for stain removal work, and these products should be purchased when available, as they tend to be less expensive.  Common names are indicated below by an asterisk (*).

  1. Mineral Spirits:
    1. A petroleum distillate that is used especially as a paint or varnish thinner.
    2. Other chemical or common names include Benzine* (not Benzene); Naphtha*; Petroleum spirits*; Solvent naphtha*.
    3.  Potential Hazards:  TOXIC AND FLAMMABLE.
    4. Safety Precautions:
      1. AVOID REPEATED OR PROLONGED SKIN CONTACT
      2. ALWAYS wear rubber gloves when handling mineral spirits.
      3. If any chemical is splashed onto the skin, wash immediately with soap and water.
    5. Available from construction specialties distributor, hardware store, paint store, or printer's supply distributor. 
      -OR-
    6. Turpentine 
      -OR-
    7. Solvent wax remover such as "Bona Remover, 1 of 3 parts, Bona Rocoat Sytem (Bona USA, Inc.), or approved equal
  2. Paste wax, such as "Paste Finishing Wax" (Minwax), Carnauba wax, or approved equal. 
    1. Carnauba wax - natural, hard, brittle high-melting wax from the leaves of the Carnauba palm; used chiefly in polishes.
  3. Clean cloths

2.02 -- EQUIPMENT

  1. Electric floor machine
  2. 00 to 0000 steel wool pads
  3. Lamb's wool pads

PART 3---EXECUTION

3.01 EXAMINATION

  1. Verification of Conditions:  Determine existing finish. If tiles are waxed, renew wax finish.  A polyurethane finish will require different cleaning techniques.

3.02 PREPARATION

  1. Provide protection against the spread of dust and debris at or beyond the work area by suitable enclosures of sheeting and tarpaulins.
  2. Provide masking or covering on adjacent surfaces and permanent equipment and secure without damaging surface. Impervious sheeting which may produce condensation should not be used.

3.03 ERECTION, INSTALLATION, APPLICATION

NOTE:  FREQUENCY OF CLEANING WILL DEPEND ON AMOUNT OF FOOT TRAFFIC.

  1. For Cork Tile with a Waxed Finish:
    1. Remove existing wax finish by buffing with mineral spirits or solvent wax remover and 00 steel wool discs on an electric buffer.  
    2. Clean up excess mineral spirits and wax residue with rags or paper towels.  
    3. Apply thin coat of paste wax and buff with lamb's wool pads.  Apply three to four thin coats of wax rather than one thick coat.  Buff after application of each coat.
  2. For Cork Tile with a Polyurethane Coating:
    1. To Remove Old Wax:
      1. Rub the surface with a coarse cloth soaked in turpentine or solvent wax remover.
      2. For stubborn dirt, rub lightly with 0000 steel wool soaked in turpentine.
      3. Wipe the surface with a clean, dry cloth.
    2. Apply liquid wax following manufacturer's instructions, mop evenly over the floor and allow to dry. DO NOT USE PASTE WAX.
    3. Buff with lamb's wool pads.
    4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 above if recommended by manufacturer.

END OF SECTION

Last Reviewed 2016-08-05