How Floor Buffers Work

Multi-tasking: What Else Can Floor Buffers Do?

While commercial floor buffers are used almost exclusively for buffing and polishing floors, since a home job scale is much more reduced, there's a greater need for mechanical multi-tasking. That's why home floor buffer models are designed specifically to accommodate a wide variety of additional attachments [source: Parish Supply].

Where the pad driver on a commercial model is extremely difficult to remove, home models feature a pad driver that is easily unsnapped and interchanged. With the right attachments, floor buffers can be used for nearly everything in the flooring process -- from stripping off old wax coating on tile, to removing glue from under tile or other flooring, to leveling a concrete base before installing new flooring materials [source: Fitzel]. A home floor buffer can also be used for more specific tasks, such as cleaning grout or buffing marble [source: Curtiss].

Until now, we've mostly discussed a floor buffer's functions on hard flooring. However, attachments enable these home floor buffer models to live up to their vacuum cleaner-like appearance. With a carpet brush attachment, a home floor buffer can deep clean a dirty carpet using the same power that makes it so effective for bringing floors to a glossy shine [source: Parish Supply].

While floor buffers can be unwieldy, they're versatile and effective enough that they can be a welcome and worthwhile addition to a home or business. For more information on floor buffers and other cleaning and maintenance tools, take a look at the links below.

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More Great Links


  • Barnhardt, Roy, James Carey, Morris Carey, Gene Hamilton, Katie Hamilton, Don R. Prestly, Jeff Strong. "Home Improvement All-in-one for Dummies." Hoboken, N.J.:Wiley Publishing. 2004.
  • Curtiss, Kirk, Representative, Michco, Inc.. Personal interview conducted Aug. 2011.
  • Donegan, Fran. "Ultimate Guide to Floors, Walls and Ceilings." Upper Saddle River, N.J.:Creative Homeowner. 2007.
  • Fitzel, Galen. "Taming the Buffer: Understanding How a Wood Floor Buffer Works, Part I." Hardwood Floors Magazine. June/July 2003. (Sept. 7, 2017)
  • "Floor Machine Types for Cleaning Hard Floors." (Jan. 21, 2012)
  • Mrs. Clean. "How to Use a Buffer/Polisher." (Jan. 21, 2012)
  • Ophardt, Charles E. "Virtual Chembook." Elmhurst College. 2003. (Sept. 7, 2017)
  • Parish Supply. "Floor Maintenance Pads." (Jan. 21, 2012)
  • Shaw, Patrick A. "Floor Buffing Machine." Patent 5,203,046. 20 April 1993. (Jan. 21, 2012)
  • Tatum, Malcolm. "What Is a Floor Buffer?" WiseGeek. (27 July 2011)
  • Warren, Loring Ferdinand, et al. "Floor Buffer." Patent 3,921,244. Nov. 25 1975. (Jan. 21, 2012)

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