What does it cost to convert from Wax to Urethane?

To understand the cost differences between using wax and using urethane, you have to consider these variables:

  • Is a clean shiny floor important for your facility?
  • Does your budget allow for employees to dedicate time and materials to floor maintenance?
  • Is your facility open 24/7 and is accessibility to certain departments difficult?
  • Which is more relevant to your facility, short-term or long-term savings?

Now let’s answer each question as it relates to wax vs. urethane.

  • If a clean shiny floor is important to your facility, then both wax and urethane can work. However, the short-term costs versus the long-term costs need to be considered when choosing between wax and urethane.
  • If you have full-time employees who dedicate their time and your equipment to maintaining your floors, then you have plenty of budget to convert to urethane and save lots of money. Employees who maintain wax floors overwhelmingly affirm that urethane floor maintenance is much easier and allows them more time to focus on other activities.
  • 24/7 access is always an issue. Maintaining clean and shiny wax in a facility that requires 24/7 accessibility is next to impossible. In hospital settings, floors get overlooked when patients need a room. Therefore, wax floors don’t get buffed, burnished or stripped when they need it. Fortunately urethane lasts 10-20x longer than wax and does not require as much maintenance for it to retain high-gloss and lasting durability. Gaining access to a 24/7 patient room every 2 years is easier than trying to access it every week.
  • If short term savings are important to your facility, then wax is likely your best choice. Wax is an inexpensive product that requires continuous maintenance to stay looking good. If long-term savings are more important, then urethane is probably a better choice. Urethane is a higher quality floor finish and, therefore, costs more to produce. However urethane lasts longer than wax.

Here is an example that might help:

A facility has 50,000 square feet of hard surface floors.

It costs approximately $2.25 per square foot to properly maintain a wax floor every year (considering all the labor and materials involved in buffing, burnishing, stripping and top-coating).

It costs $2.50 per square foot the first year and $2.00 per square each additional year to properly maintain a urethane floor (considering all the labor and materials involved in cleaning and reapplying).

During a 5 year period, the facility would save $37,500.00 using urethane. Not to mention the benefits of reallocating employee responsibilities to other more important areas as well as the reduced disruption to staff/patients/customers etc.