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Historic Preservation - Technical Procedures

Spectitle:

Cleaning A Cork Tile Floor

Procedure code:

0966002P

Source:

Hsr - Federal Bldg/P.O., Wash, Dc - Bldg Conservation Tech

Division:

Finishes

Section:

Resilient Tile Flooring

Last Modified:

02/24/2012

Details:

Cleaning A Cork Tile Floor



CLEANING A CORK TILE FLOOR


PART 1---GENERAL

1.01 SUMMARY

    A.   This procedure includes instructions on how to clean a
         cork tile floor made from through-chip granules.  

    B.   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

    A.   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

2.01 MANUFACTURERS

    A.   Bonakemi USA, INC.
         14805 East Moncrieff Place
         Aurora, CO   80011
         800/872-5515 or 303/371-1411

    B.   MinWax
         Nontvale, NJ  07645
         Flora, IL  62839
         800/526-0495 or 901/797-9324

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 (*).

    A.   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:

              a.   AVOID REPEATED OR PROLONGED SKIN CONTACT.

              b.   ALWAYS wear rubber gloves when handling
                   mineral spirits.

              c.   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-

         Turpentine

    -OR-

         Solvent wax remover such as "Woodline Renovator"
         (Bonakemi USA, Inc.), or approved equal.

    B.   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.

    C.   Clean cloths

2.03 EQUIPMENT

    A.   Electric floor machine

    B.   00 to 0000 steel wool pads

    C.   Lamb's wool pads


PART 3---EXECUTION

3.01 EXAMINATION

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

3.02 PREPARATION

    A.   Provide protection against the spread of dust and debris
         at or beyond the work area by suitable enclosures of
         sheeting and tarpaulins.

    B.   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.

    A.   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.

    B.   For Cork Tile with a Polyurethane Coating:

         1.   To Remove Old Wax:

              a.   Rub the surface with a coarse cloth soaked in
                   turpentine or solvent wax remover.

              b.   For stubborn dirt, rub lightly with 0000 steel
                   wool soaked in turpentine.

              c.   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