The Best of Both Worlds

Published: 30/12, 2022

How contractors can benefit from advances in floor stripping technology. We all love to get the most for our money. But while some multipurpose consumer products seem more like a novelty than a useful tool, in industrial applications, combining the capabilities of two systems can bring great return on investment. Connie Hardy, vice president of marketing at surface preparation equipment manufacturer National Flooring Equipment explores how the next generation of walk-behind flooring removal equipment can benefit contractors.

Before installing a floor during a renovation project, contractors must first remove the existing flooring and prepare what’s underneath. Choosing the right floor stripper is integral to effectively preparing the substrate ready for new flooring, so contractors must take the time to choose what equipment, or combination of equipment, will work best for the job at hand.


Choosing a floor stripper

Existing floor covering, power availability and site size and layout are some of the parameters to consider when selecting a floor stripper. In most instances, equipment distributors will recommend using a ride-on stripper to remove hard goods, such as hardwood and ceramic tile and for sites with a large and open square footage. To remove carpet and other soft materials, work in smaller spaces, or to prepare floors where there are weight limitations, walk-behinds work best. There are always exceptions to the rule, of course. For example, if contractors discover from the client that the space has a large square footage, they may assume that a ride-on stripper would provide the best production rate. However, if the space is divided into small units, the doorway is small, or the space is on a higher floor with no access to a lift, a ride on machine might become impractical. In these instances, contractors can look at using a more compact walk-behind stripper. However, if they usually operate ride-ons, they might experience some differences.


Walk-behind limitations

Unlike all-electric ride-on strippers, legacy self-propelled walk-behind machines are controlled using hydraulics, making the equipment heavy and sometimes difficult to steer. This makes it particularly difficult to effectively remove hard goods, where contractors need a powerful machine. To overcome this, an operator might push his or her whole weight into a walk-behind to remove the covering, which can be tiring, time-consuming, and lead to operators digging into the substrate. Contractors often choose walk-behinds for floor removal jobs on higher stories. Before starting work, contractors can visit the site to see how they can access these higher stories. Is there a lift?

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