Buffing vs. Polishing Commercial Floors

Cleaning the floors in a commercial business makes a big difference in how your clients will view your goods and services. Your floors may cover thousands of square feet and can be challenging to completely clean on your own. A professional janitorial service can help by either polishing or buffing your floors. The problem is that many business owners and managers aren’t aware of the difference between these two services. 

What is the difference between buffing and polishing? Let’s take a closer look at what you can expect from these services: 


If cleaning your floors is your top priority, then buffing might be a great fit for your business. It utilizes a special machine with buffing pads attached to help remove scratches and damage to the surface of the floor. The pads move at a slower pace than with polishing. 

Simultaneously, a special solution that fills in the nicks in the floor and erases scuff marks and dirt will be applied. At its most basic level, buffing will remove the top layer of the flooring surface to give you the appearance of smooth and new floors. 


You may sometimes hear polishing referred to by its more technical name, burnishing. No matter which name you hear or use, the process is pretty much the same. Polishing tends to be less popular than simple buffing, but it has its own benefits. In the end, polishing creates a much higher shine when compared to buffing. 

How does it work? Polishing the floor also utilizes a machine, but it spins at a much faster rotation than buffing. This allows it to take the top layer off the floor, even out its appearance, and create a very smooth surface. Your janitorial service may also add an extra substance to enhance shine and protect the floors. 

Polishing produces a floor with a much glossier finish that looks almost wet. Because the machine spins much faster, it can cover a greater square footage in less time. This means that polishing might be the better option if you have a large amount of square footage to cover in a small amount of time. 

Which Process Is Right for Your Business? 

Because the two processes are very similar, many business owners wonder how to choose which one is right for their commercial floors. Both are great options to help restore some of the shine and work out minor imperfections in the floor. In fact, many people even use the terms used to describe the two processes interchangeably, but there are major differences. 

Buffing is great for minor imperfections and restoring some minor shine. It is an ideal way to give your floors a deeper clean than what you could get with a mop and soapy water alone. You may want to set up a regular schedule for your buffing to keep floors in pristine condition. 

On the other hand, polishing is better for deeper pits in the floor, which happen over time on a floor surface that’s primarily made up of a polymer. The dents and dings that your floor acquires are inevitable, and this is when polishing comes into the picture. It will make your floors almost new again.

Many commercial business owners will use both methods to maintain their floors. Buffing is the first step in the process and is often followed by a polish. It can be used completely on its own, but polishing is a great second step if your floors have a lot of wear and tear on them. It also increases the shine and makes your floors look almost new again. 

Knowing what type of floor you have is also important. Both buffing and polishing are extremely effective on a variety of materials including concrete, tile, laminate, and stone. Marble is also a great option for both services. 

Let the Professionals Help

If you are in need of some professional help deciding whether to buff or polish your floors, then you need the top janitorial services in Edmonton. Certified Green Cleaning Inc. is ready to answer all of your questions regarding your flooring upkeep. Be sure to give us a call today to get started with our premier commercial cleaning services!