All You Need to Know About Using a Floor Stripper Machine

All You Need to Know About Using a Floor Stripper Machine

Flooring is subject to a lot of wear and tear, especially in high traffic areas like hallways or the floors of commercial buildings. Flooring is built to last, but sometimes what’s laid down, must come up. Flooring can be removed for many reasons; from changing the aesthetic look of a building, to an issue with the adhesive or sub layer.

If you’re looking to remove flooring, you’ll need the right machinery for the job. A floor stripping machine can be used to remove several different flooring materials, so if you want to know more about this machinery, how it works and the benefits, read on.

What is a floor stripper used for?

A floor stripper is a rotary driven floor machine that’s powerful enough to remove the top layer from a floor’s surface. Floor strippers can be used on a range of different flooring materials, including carpet, vinyl, rubber, wood and ceramic tiles. Floor stripping can be a one or two step process, starting with the removal of soft flooring.

The machinery can also be used to remove adhesive or a sub layer; for example, you can use a floor stripper to remove old shellac or varnish from wooden floors, or paint from cement floors. The flooring is then ready to be treated with a new adhesive, varnish or paint.

When should I hire a floor stripper?

If you need to remove a layer of soft flooring or adhesive, a floor stripping machine is for you! As mentioned, a floor stripper can be used to remove a range of different materials or to prepare a surface for a new coating. There are many different reasons to use a floor stripper; you might want to improve the aesthetic appearance of a floor, remove build ups of adhesive or varnish, or address a sub layer failure.

Floor strippers come in different sizes and you can choose between a walk behind machine or a ride on model. The type you choose will depend on the size of the area you want to remove, the type of flooring and the power you have access to. It’s best to choose a ride on machine for larger areas and a smaller, walk behind model for smaller areas in offices or schools.

How they work

Floor strippers use rotary blades to gently remove the top layer of flooring material, without damaging the floor underneath. Blades are available in different configurations and thicknesses, depending on the type of flooring you want to remove. If you’re removing flooring like vinyl or carpet, it’s important to slice the material into strips first. This makes the flooring much easier to remove and it ensures that the blades can reach underneath the material.

Some floor stripper machines use chemicals to help remove the top layer of flooring. However, a process known as ‘dry stripping’ is generally considered easier and less time consuming. Dry stripping works by using friction from rotating blades to remove the top surface of a floor, effectively sanding it away.

If you do use a chemical floor stripper, it’s essential to make sure that each floor substrate is compatible with the stripping product, to avoid damaging the floor. The chemicals must also be properly diluted, as too much can damage floors or permanently bleach them.

The benefits of floor stripper machines

There are many benefits to using a floor stripping machine and they’re a highly effective way to transform the look of your flooring. See below to find out more about the benefits of this machinery.


Floor stripping machines are very versatile and they can be used on a wide range of different flooring materials. These machines are suitable for stripping carpet, rubber, vinyl, ceramic tiles and more. There’s no need to use a different machine for every surface, the only thing that might need changing is the size or thickness of the blades. Most machines can accommodate a lot of different blade sizes so you can switch things up, depending on the job.

Improves the look of flooring

Flooring can become dull and discoloured over time, either because of general wear or tear, or layers of varnish or another finish that have built up and trapped dust and dirt. A floor stripper will remove the dirty or discoloured top layer of your flooring to reveal the fresh flooring underneath. This is a great way to improve the look of your flooring, remove dirt and prepare the flooring for a new coat of varnish, adhesive or paint.

Save time and money

Floor stripping machines are a much easier way to remove finishes from floors than using stripping compounds. Often, the compounds can be quite expensive, and may require multiple applications. Removal of the compound can also get quite messy in some cases, but a floor stripping machine is effective and mess-free. It’s also much quicker in comparison to manually applying a compound, saving you time and money on your next project.

How to safely use a floor stripper

It’s essential to make sure that anyone operating the machinery is fully trained and aware of how to safely use a floor stripper. Always read the user manual thoroughly before you begin and provide additional training for staff if necessary. If you’re not confident using a floor stripping machine, it’s better to hire a professional company who can operate the machinery for you. See below for some more tips to ensure you stay safe when using a floor stripper.

Regular maintenance

Regular maintenance will help your machine last longer and ensure that it’s safe to use. Maintenance should always be carried out by qualified personnel, but if you choose to hire a floor stripping machine, you can be confident that the equipment will be maintained to a high standard.

Maintenance might include lubricating the swing bolts from time to time and changing the blades to make sure they’re always sharp.

Wear the right PPE

It’s important to wear the right PPE when operating a floor stripping machine. Anyone using a floor stripper should wear ear protection, safety gloves, eye goggles and a safety mask to protect the user from airborne contaminants. All personnel in the work area (including the operator) should also wear a hard hat to protect them from flying debris.

Always ensure proper ventilation

Some floor stripping machines are powered by propane engines, which generate carbon monoxide while in use. Ventilators must be used when operating the machine in an enclosed space, as well as carbon monoxide monitoring.

Transporting the machine

Always remove the blade before transporting the machine, to avoid causing harm or danger. Floor stripping machines should also never be transported unless the wheels have been blocked, to prevent the machine from moving on its own. You’ll also need to disconnect the power supply and the plug of the clutch before removing the handle. This helps to avoid damage to the hydraulics.

Floor stripping machines for hire from Concept Flooring Technology

If you’re looking to hire a floor stripper for your next project, get in touch with the experts at Concept Flooring Technology. Our machines can be used for tile stripping, carpet, vinyl and many other flooring materials. All models are powerful for rapid floor removal, while still being compact enough to fit through a standard doorway. We offer both ride on and walk behind models, as well as a range of other machinery for all your flooring needs. Whether you need a floor grinder, sanding machine hire, cleaning machines, polishers and more, we can help.

Unsure which machinery you need? Our team is happy to help, so give us a call today. We can offer advice on all machines to hire, as well as which consumables will be best to achieve your required finish. For more information, call us on 01494 485952 or contact us online.