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Floor Buffing Roanoke, VA: The Difference Between Floor Buffing and Polishing

About 38% of the janitorial and cleaning providers in America provide services to businesses. That means there's very likely more than one company operating in your area—offering a range of cleaning options.

Floor polishing and floor buffing for Roanoke, VA, commercial properties look much the same as these services for companies in other parts of the country. However, there are some specific building regulations, standard building materials, and climate factors a local company will consider. Not to mention the fact that polishing and buffing produce different results and have other applications.

Are you confused about which to choose? Then, read on for our comprehensive floor polishing and floor buffing guide.

What Is Floor Buffing?

Like company owners anywhere, Roanoke, VA, business owners want to impress customers who visit their store or office. And what better way than to ensure the floor they walk on is free from scuffs and chips?


Buffing is a process that focuses on restoring a floor to its original quality.

A professional restorer uses a buffing machine fitted with a special pad to strip a thin layer off the top of a floor. This process removes scratches and marks from things like furniture and shoes—so long as they're not too deeply embedded into the surface of the flooring material.

There are two types of buffing: dry and spray buffing.

In spray buffing, the machine sprays a particular solution onto the floor as the pads whirr around. This solution fills in nicks, dings, gaps, and cracks, creating a smooth surface. A spray buffer spins up to 1,000 rpm and is the industry standard for most commercial properties.

If you have a heavily damaged floor, the cleaning company you hire may recommend using a dry buffer. These machines spin faster and are more potent than spray buffers. They take off layers of floor material, revealing the new, smooth surface underneath.


One of the critical floor buffing tips to remember is that buffing is designed to restore a floor. The method removes nicks, scratches, and stains no matter the buffing you choose—spray or dry. However, it doesn't add shine (or, at least, much shine) to the floor.

Flooring materials that respond well to buffing include:

  • Wood (such as hardwood)

  • Vinyl and vinyl composite

  • Natural stone (like limestone, granite, or marble)

  • Concrete

  • Ceramic tile

Use this method if you're going for a smooth yet more rustic look. However, if you want a high shine, you'll need to polish your floors after buffing them.

What Is Floor Polishing?

When considering which commercial cleaning services in Roanoke, VA, to invest in, you can't go wrong with floor polishing. Do it regularly to ensure your floors are always impressively shiny.


If you're looking for that glassy finish you often see in the foyers of 5-star hotels or luxury lighting showrooms, you need to consider floor polishing. The process is also called "burnishing" by some flooring professionals.

Though they use a similar process and resemble one another, the machines used to polish floors spin much faster than a buffing machine—around 1,500 to 2,000 rpm. They're also fitted with harsher sanding or polishing discs.

Before you can polish a floor, it needs to be buffed. So if you opt for polishing, note that you'd need to invest in both services. This also extends the timeframe it takes to complete your floors. However, polishing is typically faster due to the high-speed spinning and heavier weight of the machinery used.


Unlike floor buffing, which removes the pits and scuffs from a floor, polishing takes your interior decor to the next level. It smooths the floor and adds a vibrant shine.

Floors made of natural materials like marble, limestone, and wood shine well with a polish. But it's also possible to polish manufactured flooring materials like vinyl, laminate, ceramic tile, and concrete.

Places you'll commonly see polished floors include:

  • Warehouses

  • Retail outlets

  • Hotels and restaurants

  • Educational institutes

  • Municipal buildings

  • Corporate offices

  • Luxury car showrooms

And, of course, polished floors are increasingly common in private homes—large and small.

Floor Buffing vs. Polishing: Weighing the Pros and Cons

Building and commercial cleaning professionals might use the terms "floor polishing" and "floor buffing" interchangeably.

However, if you experience this, take it as a red flag. Any janitorial company worth their salt should know the difference in technique and application between these two services.

If you need to tidy up the floors of a very active warehouse that's likely to see new chips and dings in no time, consider only investing in buffing. However, if you run a restaurant, office space, hotel, or anything in the luxury sector, taking the next step and paying for polishing is bound to pay off.

That shiny surface tells customers you care about them and the products you sell. For example, one study of restaurant visitors found that customers perceive smooth, polished surfaces as cleaner than dull ones.

If you're working out your budget for cleaning services in Roanoke, VA, don't forget to budget for floor buffing or polishing. If your floors see a lot of traffic, it might be a good idea to schedule this service yearly. After all, it's much cheaper to buff and polish your existing floor than to replace floors.

Buffing and polishing can be used on almost all flooring materials. Just remember that you can't polish without first buffing.

Schedule Floor Buffing in Roanoke, VA, Today

Investing in floor polishing or floor buffing for Roanoke, VA, businesses is a savvy move. You'll impress your staff and customers with your smooth, clean floors, costing you a fraction of the price of installing brand new flooring. All you need to decide now is whether you want a matte or shiny finish!

Did you find this floor buffing and floor polishing guide helpful? If you still have questions, reach out to the team at Next Level Building Solutions.

We've been providing janitorial and cleaning services in Central Virginia, Charlotte, Greensboro, and the surrounding areas for nearly a decade. Hire us, and we'll have your commercial property looking sleek in no time!


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