Commercial Construction Tips – Facts About Construction Projects

Commercial construction is often an arbiter of changing economic conditions. Construction projects mean both an improving economy and a way to improve the economy of a given area. Read on to learn more interesting facts about it.

This type of construction helps public sector agencies as well as private firms. Big new schools in areas where people are moving give students a chance to learn in state of the art facilities. New office buildings bring jobs to the area, and the upward spiral continues. Not only do the buildings benefit the users, but the building process itself gives workers a solid job for several months, and the expenditures from the construction project go directly into the local economy.

The United States is second in the world in terms of this construction, regardless of where the company doing the building is headquartered. As much as 10% of all commercial construction takes place in the US, and New York is the city with the most commercial construction going on – $8.5 billion (that’s billion with a B) in 2013. A lot of the construction was for residential buildings. Following New York were Houston and Dallas. Those two cities spent $10 billion in 2013 on commercial projects.

One of the biggest trends in commercial construction is green building. Experts from the Environmental Protection Agency expect that by 2017 as much as 48% of new building will be done with green building materials. To put that in financial terms, it could mean as much as $145 billion dollars.

By 2018, 84% of residential construction companies plan to have at least some of their construction projects classified as green. To get an idea of just what kind of impact this has on the overall economy, consider that residential projects total as much as 5% of the current gross domestic product of the US. As more and more firms add green building to their plans, it might mean that as much as 18% of GDP will be based around green construction.

Big commercial office buildings are going green, too. LEED certification is becoming the main standard, and builders are up to 41% green as of 2012. Just how rapidly is this growing? Consider that only 2% of commercial construction, non-residential, projects were green in 2005. It’s no surprise that states like Hawaii and California are leading the way in LEED projects.

It’s not just the US that is interested in green construction, though. LEED certifications around the world are becoming more common. A study released earlier this year showed that as many as 69,000 LEED projects are going on globally in 150 different countries.

This construction is as important to the global economy as it has ever been, and the increases in such projects over the last few years signal a positive change after the worldwide recession of 2008-09 and the soft recovery that followed. With even more green projects being planned than ever before, commercial construction projects will also be kinder to the planet, meaning everyone will benefit for years to come.

The Planning Step of Building a Warehouse

Here are 20 step by step tips and ideas to help you create the warehouse you need at a price you can justify. From industrial tents which retract, through to portal frame structures with loading docks and conveyors to fully equipped and racked out facilities.  This is the place to start your successful design and build warehouse project. Building a warehouse that works for you requires thought and experience for the best results. There are huge choices in warehouse design and construction with a range of models and equipment, one of which will be right for you. This step by step outline guide will alert you to some of the fundamentals to ensure you manage your warehouse project effectively right from the first step you take.

10 warehouse disasters to avoid

  1. Plan: The Professionals will keep you right? – Wrong, wrong, wrong! The professionals are not here to keep you right, they are here to carry out instructions and to take instructions – your instructions and then follow procedures that they have learned. Rule 1 know what you want or take what you are given.
  2. Read the small Print: Just because it is concrete it does not mean it is load  bearing. Beware of clauses that state that it is up to you to ensure your structures are suitable for the installation. That means if it fails it is your fault. They mean it!
  3. Know the Regulations: You are very unlikely to be able to see your foundations.  If you think you can you are probably looking at a floor. A concrete floor is about 250mm thick, it is the ground bearing pressure that makes the difference. You won’t get this information by guessing but you will be required to account for it.
  4. Ignorance is Expensive: A foundation is up to 300mm below the floor, usually at the base of a major load bearing member like the frame of a building. They are up to 1500mm cubed and weigh over 1000kgs each, for an average warehouse.
  5. Don’t make Assumptions: Don’t presume that because it is a big steel column or quarter of a meter of concrete that it will take anything you want to hang or stand on it, it won’t. So don’t have afterthoughts about suspended gas fired heaters, cranes or mezzanine floors – after thoughts are expensive. Remember people who quote will normally put the lowest price in to get the work, with a specification that matches.  The only thing you can safely assume is if it is not specifically mentioned it is specifically excluded. You should assume architects will have very limited knowledge of technical equipment, they are good with materials and creating attractive space, they don’t spend 10 years qualifying to design a standard portal frame building, but they will make it look a little more pleasing on the eye and design fish ponds in the reception or decide to route assembly conveyors through the administration offices, they are full of creative ideas (BMW)!
  6. Understand the People Limitations: Be sure you know what you are going to put in this building. You may not need an architect at all, a structural engineer will provide the right materials and advice to achieve the creation, a builder will erect it and none of these people are specialists in industrial applications. They are specialists in only their respective work.  You need a materials handling engineer or a specialist in your industry, or both. In other words pick an appropriate project leader.
  7. What you get for your Money: The cheapest steel building will last 10 to 15 years before it needs attention    Even modern cladding won’t last forever, refurbishment is never cheap.  Single skinned buildings are for sheep or goods which don’t mind damp. PVC clad buildings will last 50 years with up to 4 cheap skin changes and still be in good condition – much cheaper than several coats of paint and a completely new outer steel insulated skin. Marquees are for parties or weddings. Industrial quality steel framed independent structures are the lowest cost, highest value asset you can own, you can take them with you and put them up anywhere. Think through what you want to do. Steel buildings can actually devalue your site.  Be careful.
  8. Check things out properly: Don’t use low budget builders or cheap buildings for high profile work that must comply to statutes, you won’t have enough information to get it through building regulations and you might finish up paying for a great deal of unbudgeted and hidden cost. The time to get this information is day 1 before you pay. Never pay a penny for anything you can’t see or own. Exercise caution with progress payments, there are many ways of safely concluding these transactions.
  9. Beware of hidden Costs: Classic unbudgeted and hidden costs that will torpedo your project include: poor ground conditions, not enough water, gas or electricity to service your building, long queues for service provisions, professional fees, local authority fees, landscaping and other local authority orders at the planning stage- e.g. lifts for disabled access, rateable car parking and a whole host of other hidden planning conditions. A basic list of about 30 in the UK, most of which you will never have heard of until they broadside your bank account. If you are in a heritage area you will need specialist advice.  Unless you are a multinational, money no object company, be very wary of heritage tags, you might find your project hijacked by the local archaeologists for the next 5 years or turned into a nature reserve for great crested newts.
  10. Never max out your Budget with no spare Cash: Put a contingency of at least 50% onto your project if you are a novice, 20% if you know what you are doing and 10 to 15% if you hire an agent or professional to help you.  Only a professional as cool as ice puts on 5% and then only if he has been doing the job all his or her life or you can sub out the whole thing to a principal contractor or construction company who will rake in a handsome margin for doing so, but at least you will have someone to sue to get what, after all, is your own money back.

Warehouse planning – To Fee or not to Fee, that is the question

Penalty clauses are doubtful: I can give you a case by case disaster list involving ill fitting equipment, wrong sized buildings, complete project failures and a host of other horrors to scare you and don’t think that penalty clauses will save the day, they won’t and nobody will touch them if they are unreasonable plus there will almost certainly be a  charge to you for them.   Unless you have a datum point, a minimal position, planning out your warehouse is just going to be a slippery slope rather than that  great improvement you want.   How then do you make a positive start to get great value for money and at the same time achieve a memorable project that delivers beyond expectations?  

The principal concept and operating format: My first recommendation is to choose the correct equipment, this means your handling equipment. At this point I would suggest you find a materials handling engineer with a measured amount of grey hair. A mistake at this point will see you buy or build your warehouse the wrong size. Decide what your smallest stock size is going to be and find a suitable recording system to model a business system around. You can now plan out your warehousing equipment and systems including all the access equipment and the picking systems you will need.   If you already have a warehouse or industrial unit this is your chance to improve, upgrade or replace – don’t miss it!  Firstly think about management logistics – quite apart from servicing and turning HGV’s round in your yard, you could just subcontract the whole warehousing operation out or bring in professionals to help you set up.  If you are a growing SME then try some of the big operators, they may lend you people to help you, especially if you are giving them traffic. For smaller operatives the most important thing is a good location, shorter distances mean less costs and more opportunities.  Warehouses are governed by cubic volume. There are several ways to maximise this, too many to explore in this article but here are some basic warehouse planning concepts.  Which of these statements do you agree or disagree with? (Answers at the end of this article)

  1. It is always cheaper to go up rather than out.
  2. Very narrow aisle (VNA) is the most efficient use of space.
  3. Mezzanine floors are best put up by the builder when the warehouse is built..
  4. Second hand mezzanines are good value for money..
  5. Pallet racking can be fitted in any warehouse application.
  6. If I have a heavy duty concrete apron in my yard I can bolt any steel warehouse straight on to it.
  7. I don’t need planning permission for PVC clad tent buildings especially if this warehouse retracts.
  8. I don’t need planning consent if it is only a temporary warehouse structure.
  9. You will always get a better job if you employ an architect to design and build your warehouse.
  10. 6 months is more than enough time to design and build a new warehouse.

Understanding your professional  appointments and what they do: Your unit of space and your unit of productivity, I guarantee, will govern the entire structure of your business – do you know what yours is? Modelling your business is the best way to iron out many of the problems you will encounter. By adopting such a method you will quickly see, step by step, just exactly how your project will fit together from equipping, operating and resourcing your  entire warehousing operation, but how do you turn it into reality? A principal contractor will put everything you need together.  Unless your project is over £5m you would probably be better off with an agent who works for you directly. Architects will project manage as will structural engineers, frequently working together to deliver a project. 

They do undertake such works as their bread and butter tasks but it is not usually so case specific. Warehousing involves systems and equipment that frequently requires specialist knowledge on such a scale that without it from the very beginning your project will have serious information gaps. Even the principal contractors employ these specialists as do the other professionals but for small projects you will pay more for these extra facilities if you assemble your advising team in the wrong way. A bit like going to the wrong doctor, who then decides to operate just because he is a doctor. Just like doctors it is really important to get the correctly skilled professional to handle your case.

Picking  the right Warehouse Equipment – What you need to know

Forklift Trucks: A fork truck on average will handle about 125 pallets a shift – that is one every 3.84 minutes, there are all sorts of ways of modelling this information but if you are achieving anything like this ratio you have a very busy forklift driver.

Racking: Racking can go up to 12m or so, many mills will cut it to any length you want.  However 6m is often the standard height because they have to be painted and the paint ovens are vertical so that height is the governing factor.  Pre-galvanised steel is always a good choice if you are having trouble with high one piece frames and want to avoid splicing costs. 6m is a quick turn round height and with frames this height you can store about 10 pallets in a 2.7m width or 15 euro pallets since they are 800mm wide.

VNA (very narrow aisle): will have aisle widths down to 1,200mm.  At this width your £40,000 to £60,000 truck will be guided, you can have ‘man up’ or ‘man down’ and you need a set down area for picked work and feeder trucks which are all extra operations. if this is the answer you can get very small bin picker systems which work very quickly, in very high density storage systems but these are usually big money items.

Specialist Forklift Trucks: Articulated trucks now play a very big role and work in aisles of 1750mm upwards and need very little manoeuvring space.  They will multi-task and have both electric and IC power units.  There are two market leaders and a third contender who has a very considerable and experienced engineering resource across the materials handling industry.

Money: Some dealers are very good at tailoring finances if there is pressure on cash – never let cash be a problem, remember this is just as much part of business management as your warehouse based business.

Stock control: Once you have picked a good warehouse truck the racking is easy.   However remember the unit of space I talked about earlier, this is when you need it. It defines picking, packing and shipping, not to mention profit. It dictates the nature of the warehousing operation. If your in unit is 6m x 500mm x 500mm and your out unit is 6m x 50mm x 50mm or sub divisions of the 6m cut down into smaller bits, then your storage and picking operation is governed by that.  If you then have 4,000 stock lines, titles, colours, weights etc then you must do this for each variant.

Warehousing and stock processing: Any processing of stock requires thought. Mezzanines are good people space and multi level/tier shelving systems also provide very high density, good organisational facilities. Work stations are not an afterthought and correctly specified and built are capable of putting their own cost back in to your bank every hour of the day.

Remember to plan your lighting properly and think about good identification systems right from the outset. The more you can de-skill, the more efficient you will become, otherwise when Harry the warehouseman is off and is the only person who knows where everything is, you could have trouble.

From new it is not hard to spend £1,000 per square meter by the time you are operational,  half of which will be the shell, the land is extra. You can extend from under £280/sq.m. The shell only (above ground) will be around £180.00 of this.

What sort of warehouse and where to build it:  Avoid cheap buildings on different levels and slopes, they are cheap for a reason. Think about loading docks and pre-shipment preparations, you get much better rates from your contractor if he is in and out quickly. Trailers glued to dispatch bays only cost money. You can turn round HGV’s in  less time than the driver can make himself a cup of tea with the right equipment.

How to create a Warehouse with a strong asset value: I doubt that any of the Yorkshire mill owners ever visualised their mills being divided up and selling for huge sums as luxury properties.  It is usually cheaper to build up rather than out, however over 6m starts to get slow for forklift trucks and building sections get pricey too. It is possible to clad the pallet racking and turn it all into ‘the warehouse’  but unless you have an exact buyer it will be worth scrap value when you have finished with it, and you will lose value on the land due to the cost of reconstruction. Think though the cost of ownership.  It goes without saying that payback times, function and design are critical but not as critical as thinking through  “life after warehouse”. In other words try to keep the build appeal as broad as possible. There are many good ideas and schemes about to help you. The more you can do with the warehouse, the more money it will hand back to you and that makes it less risky. This is also why I always consider limited fee appointments, pardon the pun, but this is my way of thinking outside the box!

  1. It is always cheaper to go up rather than out. Very often it is
  2. Very narrow aisle (VNA) is the most efficient use of space. It is dense but can be slower than other methods
  3. Mezzanine floors are best put up by the builder when the warehouse is build. Never for industrial applications – use specialists
  4. Second hand mezzanines are good value for money. Avoid. In 38 years I have yet to see one fitted properly, I have seen several condemned and one collapsed.
  5. Pallet racking can be fitted in any warehouse application. Providing you have level floors in good condition, which are of correct structure. Pallet rack can impose enormous point loadings. Avoid expansion joints.
  6. If I have a heavy duty concrete apron in my yard I can bolt any steel warehouse straight on to it. Extremely risky
  7. I don’t need planning permission for PVC clad tent buildings especially if this warehouse retracts. You probably do
  8. I don’t need planning consent if it is only a temporary warehouse structure. Yes you do, always check
  9. You will always get a better job if you employ an architect to design and build your warehouse. Not in my experience, but you will get a great job using limited fee appointments. A good agent will arrange this for you,
  10. 6 months is more than enough time to design and build a new warehouse. If you have planning consent and you know exactly what you want. From green field/brown field site 3 years is not leisurely! Two can be tight and one year is very good going indeed with absolutely no problems – Never rush it, it will just empty your bank account

Pump Up Your Pubococcygeals and Heal Your Hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids, those bulging, irritated veins and tissues in the anus, are a common medical nuisance. Though not usually dangerous, hemorrhoids can be acutely painful and restrict a person’s activities and enjoyment of life’s basic pleasures.

Many physicians now think that the primary cause of hemorrhoids is excessive pressure within the abdominal and pelvic cavities. The pelvic cavity is supported by a muscle partition called the pelvic floor, which includes the pubococcygeus and levator ani muscles.

People free of hemorrhoids typically have good pelvic muscle and tissue tone, circulation, normal-sized anal veins, adequate muscular strength and squeeze capacity. A breakdown in any of these areas can lead to hemorrhoids.

Things that cause excessive stress on the pelvic floor muscles include: straining to lift heavy objects without proper abdominal and back support; straining at toilet with either diarrhea or constipation; prolonged sitting or standing; obesity; hereditary tendency to weak connective tissues; chronic cough; pregnancy; vaginal childbirth; and, of course, the natural aging process.

If you’re experiencing the pain, itching and bleeding of hemorrhoids, you can act now to build up your anorectal region. Regular exercise of the pelvic floor muscles improves muscle tone and blood flow, which will bring you relief.

As with any muscle system, the anorectal group responds very well to physical training such as Kegel maneuvers. The difficulty many people have with exercising their pelvic floor, however, is that the muscles can be hard to locate. Maintaining consistent squeezing is also a challenge for people who aren’t used to consciously working their pelvic floor. Women have their Kegelcizers, FemTone weights, and other vaginal devices, which really help isolate and work the specific muscles that aid in supporting the pelvic and abdominal cavity. And everyone by now knows the benefits of these exercises: reduced hemorrhoids, reduced urinary leakage, less chance of uterine and rectal prolapse, and better sexual response.

But what about the unique physiology of men? Pelvic floor weakness in males often presents not only as hemorrhoids, but as erectile dysfunction and prostate problems also. But like women, men often find it difficult to isolate the correct muscles for a pelvic floor workout. How can men achieve stronger pelvic floor muscles and all the benefits that come with these exercisers?

Since it’s been long known that regular, consistent vaginal Kegel exercises are highly effective in eliminating pelvic floor weakness that can lead to hemorrhoids, it was just a matter of time before specific pieces of equipment were developed to tone and strengthen the anal region. Though targeted at men, devices such as the Peristal, Aneros, Peridise, and others can reap benefits for both men and women.

Anal hemorrhoid massagers such as the ones listed above are scientifically designed to work with your body’s own natural contractions. Every curve and every angle serves a purpose. To use, simply contract and relax the PC sphincter muscles. No more guessing about which muscles to squeeze and which ones to relax. The device will begin to move on its own, massaging the anorectal tissues and promoting circulation. These regular, involuntary contractions can become quite strong. Regular sessions with anal hemorrhoid massagers will firm up the numerous small muscles surrounding and inside the pelvic floor.

Because most people do not consciously exercise their anorectal and pubococcygeus muscles, it is important to start with beginner models. For example, the Peristal is offered in four sizes, sold either individually or as an entire set for the desired long-term results and full muscle training. Beginners should start with the largest model and work their way to smaller models as their muscles become stronger. Starting with the largest model may sound counterintuitive; however, most beginners will not have the fine muscle control needed to retain the smaller models.

As muscle control improves, so does the area’s circulatory capacity. Anal veins are better able to return blood away from the region instead of pooling and causing discomfort. Peristaltic hemorrhoid massage relieves, reduces and prevents worsening of early-stage hemorrhoids, including hemorrhoids that bulge out after a bowel movement but can be pushed back into the anus.

A hemorrhoid that is already permanently prolapsed, or visible outside the anal ring and cannot be manually repositioned should not be treated with an anal hemorrhoid massage device. They are typically also not for use by people whose hemorrhoids are thrombosed or clotted. If severe bleeding and/or pain occurs, do not use.

How To Care For Your VCT Floor

Are your hard floors looking dirty even after they are mopped? Is there no shine left in your floors? Maybe your floors were recently stripped and waxed, but now a few months later, you cannot even tell it. Below are some basic steps to care for your VCT floors that will provide a consistent shine.

VCT is short for vinyl composite tile. This is the type of floor that you see in most hospital hallways and many other commercial buildings. Some people just call it “tile” floors, but I find this ambiguous since ceramic tile is becoming more frequent in commercial buildings.

VCT has been around for many years. The most common size is twelve inches by twelve inches. You may also find eight by eight inch tiles in older buildings, but this will commonly be ACT (asbestos composite tile). ACT has been phased out, but if your building has it, the tips we give below will work on either type of floor.

The steps in care for your VCT floor are pretty straight forward. You may have heard terms such as strip and wax, buffing, polishing, and scrubbing. We will also explain each of these.

Stripping and waxing is a term that refers to removing the existing wax on your floor and applying new wax. Wax is also referred to as “finish” and these two terms are interchangeable. Stripping is a labor intensive process where low speed buffers (floor machines that run 175 rpm) are brought in and remove the wax. First, a mop is used to apply stripper, which should be allowed to sit for ten to fifteen minutes. Then, the low speed buffer is run over the floor with an abrasive pad for stripping. The result is a combination of old wax and stripper that is then vacuumed or mopped up. This process is repeated until all of the wax is removed.

In areas where there is much of wax, it will be necessary to repeat the stripping process. However, in areas where there is high foot traffic, the wax remaining is usually not heavy and easy to remove. Also, small pads or razors are used against walls or in corners to remove the wax that the buffer cannot reach.

During the strip, a second solution of floor rinse and water is used to clean the floor and prevent the old wax from drying back into the floor. If the old wax dries, then the stripping process must be redone to remove the wax again. Once the floor is stripped, the floors should be rinsed once more to remove any loose remaining wax or particulates, and ensure a clean floor to wax.

The floor must then be allowed to dry completely before any wax can be applied. Wax is applied in coats. The first coat is applied by a mop and allowed to dry. Then each additional coat is applied. Depending on the specifications and desired shine, the number of coats of wax is determined.

If a high, lustrous shine is desired, it will typically require six to eight coats. Four coats of wax will deliver a medium shine.

After the above steps are completed, your floor is now stripped and waxed. After the last coat of wax is dry, the floor is safe to walk on. It is advisable to allow the floor two to three days to completely “cure” before performing any high speed buffing.

Buffing or polishing refers to using a high speed buffer on the VCT floor to bring back a shine and make the wax harder. High speed buffing is done one of three ways: propane, battery operated, and electric. High speed buffers run between 1500 rpms and 2000 rpms depending on the manufacturer. We prefer the propane buffers out of the three we mentioned.

Scrub and recoat is a term that refers to using a light rinse on the waxed VCT floor with a low speed machine. The floor is not stripped, but just the first coat or two of wax is removed. Then, wax is applied to renew the shine of the VCT floor. A scrub and recoat is a good interim method to be used between stripping and waxing.

How often should a floor be stripped and waxed? There is no right answer to this question, because each floor is different. A good rule of thumb is to strip and wax at least once a year. Some floors may need to be stripped and waxed twice a year or more. High speed buffing should be done at least once a month. If a VCT floor has high foot traffic, it can be buffed once a week to maintain a good appearance. Scrub and recoats can be done at the half way mark between strip and waxes.

Even a brand new VCT floor should be stripped and waxed. New VCT comes from the manufacturer with a factory sealer, but usually cannot stand up to high traffic.

The most important step of any VCT floor is sweeping and mopping. VCT floors should be swept and mopped daily to prevent dirt from scratching and marring the appearance of the floor. Mopping should be done with cold water and a neutral cleaner. If hot water is used on a waxed VCT floor, it can cause the wax to come up with the mop and also gives the wax a cloudy appearance. Also, do not use harsh cleaners to mop a VCT floor. Bleach or ammonia based products will strip wax off of the VCT floor. If you cannot find or run out of neutral cleaner, just use plain cold water. Then, find a suitable neutral cleaner when you resume the maintenance the next day.

To recap the above steps:

1. Sweep and mop your VCT floors daily.

2. High speed buff your VCT floors at least once a month.

3. Strip and wax your VCT floors at least once a year.

4. Scrub and recoats may be done interim of stripping and waxing. (every 6 months)

By following the above steps, or making sure your janitorial provider does, will provide a VCT floor with a desirable shine and appearance. It will also increase the life of your VCT floors. If properly cared for, VCT floors can last for forty years or more.

Floor Standing Air Conditioner – Three Advantages Over Central Air Conditioning

In these times it seems just about everyone’s favorite hobby is saving money. Many households have looked at their expense bills and realized that the air conditioning cost in the summer and heating costs in the winter are the highest contributors to the household expenses. When you have come to the same conclusion, and want to learn how to reduce your air conditioning and heating costs, then in this article we will go over three advantages of a floor standing air conditioner versus the central air conditioning. These are: Floor standing air conditioner is cheaper to buy and cheaper to run, One can selectively cool separate rooms or zones, It needs no ducts.

The initial cost and the cost of running the AC

The only way you could save money with central air conditioner as compared to a floor standing air conditioner is when you would need to install and use a floor standing air conditioning in all rooms of the house at all times. Then, maybe a central air would come out ahead of the cost. But when was the last time that you used the bedroom and the living room simultaneously? So, due to the fact that not all rooms need to be cooled or heated at the same time in most houses, the floor standing AC units are less expensive to buy and to operate.

Selectively cool or heat separate rooms or zones with floor air conditioner

With a standing air conditioner, you can individually control the air temperature, and the air direction for every zone in the house. This becomes important when there are several people in the room with different temperature comfort zones. Also, some people prefer a light breeze in their hair, while others prefer stationary air. By carefully directing the cold air flow with a floor standing AC unit, you should be able to satisfy both types even when they are in the same room.

No ducts

It is quite clear that some of the “modern” houses built recently are bigger and occupy bigger and bigger part of the acreage devoted to the house. And I have a feeling that this is only in part because the rooms are getting bigger and bigger. The other contribution to the size of the modern houses comes from the large central air conditioning unit with much space devoted to air ducts. In this sense, you are paying for the duct “floor space” when you are purchasing the house. On the other hand, the floor standing AC unit is only used when needed, and can be stowed away. Or it can be moved from room to room as needed. And they require no ducts. Since ducts are a source of heat loss, a floor standing AC unit can be more efficient too as there are no duct related heat losses.

Floor Safe vs Free Standing Safe

Understanding how a safe is constructed can help a home or business owner when deciding on whether to choose a floor safe or free standing safe to protect their cash, documents or valuables.

Floor safes are made specifically to be mounted in the concrete slab of the floor and one of the best -case scenarios is to have the safe “pre-built” during construction. Many new homes that are to be constructed now have floor safes included in the building plans. These make great safes for some home owners because they are both hidden and do not consume space. If the building or home is pre-existing, then proper installation of a floor safe can be both complicated and expensive. A hole must be cut into the floor and then dug out to make room for the safe and then concrete is poured around the safe, ensuring that it will be almost impossible to remove. The concrete is an essential step that should not be overlooked if the safe is to function properly in protecting against burglary.

Although floor safes can be excellent at deterring burglary, they are not usually rated for fire. Many people make the mistake of assuming that because the safe is sitting in concrete, it has some measure of fire protection. A ½ inch or 1inch floor safe door can “super heat” through convection and radiation, heating the interior of the safe to over 450 degrees. Paper will char at temperatures around 400 degrees. Therefore, a floor safe with no fire rating absolutely cannot be assumed to have fire protection.

If fire protection is a major factor for someone looking to purchase a safe, then a composite Burglar Fire Safe that has a good fire rating of one or two hours would be an excellent choice. These safes can be offered embodied with corundum aggregate and encased in a double layer of high tensile steel and encased in high density concrete. In addition, the lock has a magnesium anti-drilling and cutting plate for very high burglary rating. These safes are extremely heavy and they can be bolted to the floor as well. A Burglar Fire Safe can be a terrific solution for someone who is interested not only in excellent fire protection but burglary protection as well.

Another factor in deciding which safe is best for you is to consider the content value of the property to be stored in the safe. If the contents are valued at more than $10,000.00, then a safe with a B/C or C-rated burglar rating, should be strongly considered. Content values higher than $30,000.00 should look at an Underwriters Laboratory Rating of TL-15.

There are many considerations that should be made before making the decision of purchasing a safe. Expert advice can be found to help you with these decisions at: http//www.safeandvaultstore.com

They have safe experts at their toll-free number who have many years of experience and can help answer any questions you may have.

Floor Plans For Nightclubs – Great Business Ideas For Your Night Club

Nightclubs are well-known for their hot dance floors and cool bars. When deciding on nightclub floor plans, there are a lot of decisions to be made regarding the placement of specific locations within the nightclub itself. There are certain elements that must be included in those plans no matter what type of nightclub is being built.

Nightclubs Need a Bar Area

Nightclubs must have a bar area for patrons to enjoy. Plans for a new nightclub must include plenty of space for a bar and seating for the bar’s patrons. The bar should be in close proximity to the dance floor so that thirsty dancers won’t have far to go to enjoy refreshing alcoholic beverages. This needs to be taken into account when deciding on the placement of the bar in the plans.

Nightclubs Must Have a Dance Floor

Every nightclub must have a dance floor. The nightclub floor plans should include square footage for the dance floor area. This area needs to be large enough to accommodate dancers, dance contests, or any other event that could possibly take place inside the nightclub.

Nightclubs Need Smoking Areas

Many of today’s nightclubs do not allow smoking in certain areas such as on the dance floor. In that case, the floor plans should include a space for smokers to use. Some nightclubs have an outside porch or terrace for smokers while others designate a small space inside the club for smoking patrons.

Some Nightclubs Have Restaurants

Some nightclubs also have restaurants inside their doors. If that is the case, the nightclub floor plans will need to include space for a kitchen area as well as seating for the restaurant’s patrons. The plans will need to separate the spaces used for the restaurant, bar, and dance floor.

Nightclub Themes

The theme of the nightclub being built will also determine the type of plans needed. For instance, a nightclub with a Vegas theme in Las Vegas might need to have extra square footage in the plans to accommodate slot machines or poker tables. An exclusive nightclub may want to find floor plans that include private rooms for VIP guests or private parties.

Leasing or Building a New Club

Depending on whether the nightclub building is being built according to new plans or using an existing space, nightclub plans may have to be altered. If the nightclub is being housed in a new building, any plan may be followed and built to the correct specifications. If a nightclub is being housed in a leased space or in an existing building, the floor plans may have to be altered to suit the existing building.

Nightclub floor plans need to meet specific requirements depending upon the theme of the nightclub and the requirements its owner sets. Different plans will suggest varying locations for the placement of the bar, restaurant, dance floor, and smoking area. Plans will also vary based on square footage needs. There are a lot of choices when it comes to planning for a new nightclub.

Floor Standing Air Conditioners – 4 Things To Check When Buying Portable AC Unit Online

If you are looking into buying a portable floor standing air conditioner online, then in this article you will find advice on four points to check to make sure your purchase will be a good one and hassle free. The important points to look for when buying floor standing air conditioning are: venting requirements, portability, noise, and power. When you are finished reading you will have a better idea of what to look for when purchasing a portable AC unit online.

Venting requirements

It is important to know beforehand what vents go in and out of the unit you are intending to purchase. When two vents are required to bring the outside air in and out of the unit, and you don’t have a window in the room you are intending to cool, you have a problem. When you are buying online, make sure it is clear from the description how many vents or hoses the unit has.

Portability

Floor standing air conditioners are normally quite portable. They usually include a set of four caster wheels. If these are not pictured in the image on the product page, look into the product description. If it is important for you to have unit available in several spaces, make sure the wheels are included with your free standing AC unit.

Noise

The noise levels are often subjective, and seldom published in the product descriptions of portable ac units. However, getting a quiet portable AC is important for most people. After reading product description carefully, the next place to look for any indicators of excessive noise would be in the customer reviews of these portable air conditioners. Quiet operation is often mentioned and praised. The floor standing air conditioners, unlike the window units, or the through-the-wall units, are not embedded, or installed anywhere, so any noise indications would have to be coming from the design or building of the floor standing air conditioner unit. Check customer reviews carefully.

Cooling power

Normally, the suitable cooling power requirements for a room air conditioner BTU are 35 times the square footage. There is a big caveat that you must attach to portable free standing ac unit models with this calculation. First off, many air coolers, or swamp coolers don’t even publish the BTU numbers, as all they do is shift the heat from one place inside the room to another. For single hose portable AC units, the BTU numbers may be correct, but you will hardly ever get the full benefit of the cooling power due to the constant mixing of the new hot air coming in and mixing with the existing cooled air. So even if the BTU number might seem sufficient for the room, it may not satisfy you because of the ineffectiveness of cooling the air inside the room. The only portable AC unit for which the BTU calculation above (35 times the square footage) applies, is the dual hose floor standing air conditioner. When you pick the right BTU of the dual hose floor standing unit, you are virtually guaranteed the effective cooling and much climate comfort in your room.

Can I Roll a Refrigerator on Porcelain Tiles?

Porcelain and ceramic tile flooring is very popular because it is durable and relatively easy to maintain. Nonetheless, it is still possible to chip or crack the tile or damage the glaze. Moving heavy objects like refrigerators over the tile is one way to cause serious damage. Moving the fridge is necessary sometimes, so be sure to do it the right way and protect your tile.

Newly Installed Tile

Kitchen remodels are particularly difficult because kitchens are often the center of a home’s activities. When you’ve just installed your new porcelain tile floors, you might be anxious to get your kitchen back in order. However, patience is really important with newly installed tile. Before you start moving heavy appliances like dishwashers, refrigerators or ovens over the tile, you have to wait at least 24 hours for all of the grout to dry. After it has completely dried, you can safely start moving things back into your kitchen.

Preparing to Move Heavy Appliances

Before you move anything heavy across a porcelain tile floor, it’s important to clean the floor first. Dirt, dust and other debris can cause scratches if they’re rubbed over the tile. Fine scratches that you don’t notice right away will collect dirt and be hard to clean later on. Vacuum the floor well and wet-mop it or wipe it with a wet cloth before you start moving things around.

Refrigerators With Wheels

Some refrigerators come conveniently equipped with wheels. This is a nice feature because it makes moving the refrigerator considerably easier. It also decreases the risk of scratching the floor by dragging a heavy object across it. However, a refrigerator may still be heavy enough to crack a porcelain tile floor. To move a fridge a short distance, for example to do repairs or clean behind it, it’s best to distribute the weight by putting some plywood underneath it and moving it along the plywood.

Refrigerators Without Wheels

If your fridge doesn’t have wheels, it’s still possible to move it on the tile. One option is to use furniture skids. These are long, heavy-duty strips of plastic with thick felt on the bottom. Place the fridge on the skids and it will slide on the floor when you push it. If you’re using furniture skids, it’s especially important to clean the floor well ahead of time. The other option for a fridge without wheels is to use a dolly. A dolly is the safest way to move a fridge whether it has wheels or not, and it’s the easiest way to move a fridge over a long distance.

How to Remove Rug Pad Marks From a Floor

One of the most common issues related to using those thinner, waffle looking rug pads is that they can damage the floor by marking their design on the floor. I have heard many people tell me that they needed to have their floors re-finished because of the damage done to the floor by the inexpensive rug pad used under their rug, or rugs. Before actually calling a floor company, there may be a solution one can try at home to remove any rug pad marks from the floor.

I recently heard from a customer who had this problem of marks on her floor. She used WD-40, the popular lubricant. What she said to do is to cover the marked area with the WD-40 and then scrub it with a rag. I have outlined below the steps to take to try to remove any rug pad marks or stains from a hardwood or any hard floor.

1. Saturate the stained area of the floor with WD-40. Make sure to let the WD-40 sit and penetrate the stain for a few minutes.

2. Use a rag to start rubbing the area. Depending on the strength of the rug pad stain, you may have to rub quite hard and for quite some time. Check the rag frequently to see if you need to change it.

3. Once it seems that you removed all the stain or that you removed as much as will come out, get a dry rag and wipe any excess WD-40 from the floor.

4. As a final cleaning of your floor, wipe it down with Murphy’s Oil Soap, a great floor cleaner that will add as much shine to your floor as well as a fresh scent to remove any residue or odor of the WD-40.

The customer who tried this and advised me on the process had much success with this. There is no guarantee that every damaged floor will have the same result yet it doesn’t hurt to try this first before investing in a more expensive fix.

When the floor is as you want it and the time comes for a new rug pad, be sure to avoid any damage in the future by buying a solid felt or felt and rubber rug pad. Rubber does not mark floors and is safe for all hard floors. It is the rubber like waffle looking rug pads that can mark your floor because they are usually sprayed with an adhesive that transfers to the floor.

The Pros And Cons of Lower Floor Living Vs Upper Floor Living

No matter which floor you choose to live in, each floor comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages, some more concerning than others. Read on to find out the positives and negatives of living in lower level floors vs living in higher level floors.

Lower Floors

The Benefits:

Convenient While Moving

This is one of the major perks of living in a lower floor. Imagine carrying a heavy couch through a flight of stairs. It gets tiring, right? A lower floor apartment is entirely different and is close to the entrances and exits of the building.

Stays Cool In The Summer

This is a major advantage of living in lower floors. Even during the extremely hot days, these apartments rarely feel the heat and stay cool. Not just that, lower floor inhabitants have the easiest access to the outside garden and other forms of recreation.

The Drawbacks:

Security Concerns

You need to keep this aspect in mind while choosing an apartment. Living in a lower floor can leave your house susceptible to thefts and unexpected intrusions.

Lack Of Privacy

You wouldn’t have the luxury to leave the windows open to take in the bright sunshine on a winter morning. Doing so is a bad idea because, there’s always usually a lot of commotion and noise from the streets that can easily be heard from the lower floors.

Upper Floor

The Benefits:

Ideal for Privacy Seekers

A great benefit of living in upper floor apartments is that it is a lot more secluded and quiet. You won’t have to rush to the peephole every time you hear footsteps passing by your house. Not just that, it also gives you access to interesting views of your surroundings.

Air Conditioners Are Not Required

If you live on a higher floor, you can leave your window open all day and soak in the fresh breeze and sweet air. This will even enable you to save money, electricity, and effort.

The Drawbacks:

Concerns Over Evacuation

No matter how safe a city or country you live in is, there is no guessing when a natural calamity might strike. Living in an upper floor makes it tougher for you to reach safety as soon as you possibly can.

Not Pet Friendly

If you have pets, then it is a bad idea to live on a higher floor. Just one adventurous session on the railings of the balcony would prove disastrous for your pet.

Overall, living in upper floors and lower floors both have their ups and downs. Take your time, do your research and choose the floor that suits you best.

Can a Square Scrub Machine Really Dry Strip a Floor?

There has been much debate among floor care professionals as to the ability of a typical square scrub floor machine to dry strip a floor. Some people are really sold on the idea, while others are very skeptical that the machines can accomplish what the manufacturers claim.

First of all lets define what it means to strip a floor. A commercially tiled floor is usually made up of vinyl composite tiles (VCT tiles) with layers of floor wax applied to the top to give it a shine. Over time (depending on how much wear and abuse the floor gets) the wax coating will become scratched, scuffed, dirty, dull, and possibly yellowed. It’s time to get that old wax coating off and apply a new finish.

But, the wax coating that’s on the floor is very tough and durable, despite the wear over the years, and not necessarily easy to remove. Mere scrubbing with a lot of elbow grease will not remove this kind of finish. The traditional way to remove floor wax is with the application of a stripping solution.

Stripping solution is generously applied to the floor and left to sit for awhile (always follow the manufacturer’s directions as every stripping solution is different). A chemical reaction takes place to loosen and soften the wax coating. Then a rotary floor buffer with a coarse stripping pad is used to thoroughly grind off that loosed wax.

This creates a very unpleasant slurry mixture on the floor that then needs to be mopped or vacuumed up from the floor before it dries. Once all the slurry is off the floor the surface should be neutralized with a different solution. The neutralizer is a necessary step to help prevent clouding of the floor wax in the future. Then a clean rinse with plain water is advisable before applying the wax.

Phew! That’s a lot of work! No wonder floor care professionals seriously consider a labor-saving way to strip a waxed floor. So when a new way of removing layers of wax from a floor without using stripper, neutralizer, and water comes along it seems very appealing.

A typical square scrub machine acts much like a very large random orbital sander. It’s something very different than a rotary floor buffer or polisher. The rectangular face of the machine vibrates in random circular motions, offering a scrubbing or sanding motion to scrub or strip a floor. Imagine stripping the varnish off an old piece of furniture. Sometime you can effectively use a hand sander to remove some, if not all, of the varnish from the wood. A square dry strip machine works in the same way. You’re essentially sanding off the dried wax coatings from your floor.

The main argument against a dry stripping floor machine is that it really doesn’t remove all of the wax from the floor. There’s no way to get wax out of grout, cracks, or low spots in the floor. Why should this machine be touted as a stripper if it really can’t get the same result as traditional floor stripping, the argument goes. Well, that argument is right – to a degree.

A dry stripping machine cannot be expected to remove 100% of the wax from the floor. But, if your goal is to remove the majority of the old wax and get down to a level surface then, yes, it certainly can do an admirable job of that. A dry stripping machine should really only be considered as a “top stripper” – just taking the top layers of wax off.

Using a dry stripping machine like this gives you a couple of advantages over the old way of stripping the floor. First, you don’t have to deal with that nasty stripping solution. Second, you can get right to your stripping job without waiting for the stripping solution to work on your floor, scrub it around, vacuum it up, rinse it off, and let it dry before getting to the waxing part. And third, you can market your dry stripping services as a “green” solution to floor finishing.

It is, however, important to point out to your client that the dry stripping procedure does not take off all the layers of wax on their floor. The point is to take off the majority of wax, and not to get all the way down to the tile underneath. And because the dry stripping procedure takes a lot less time than traditional wax removal you can save your clients some money – by saving time. A “green” alternative that saves money, what’s not to like about that.

That being said, there are circumstances where you definitely want to use a chemical stripper to get all the wax off. The dry stripping machines are not meant to be a total replacement for the old way of stripping a floor, but it’s a serious alternative that should be considered in many situations where you need to take off the majority of wax before re-waxing and buffing.

Why Sleep On A Bedframe Rather Than A Mattress On The Floor?

Beds and futons have evolved tremendously over the centuries, from mats directly on the floor to provide a sleeping space, to the production of sprung mattresses and now memory foam products. Even today the question of why we use a bed frame or a futon frame still crops up.

There are several reasons why having a mattress on the floor may be worse for your health, here’s the top 5 reasons why is it recommended to raise a mattress off the surface of the floor.

1) Dust – Common dust gathers on the floor and it tends to get carried around by draughts. The consequence is that you are more than likely breathe in more dust by sleeping on or very close to the floor.

2) Bed bugs – Another issue is the bed bug parasite which live in our sleeping arena, including covers and the mattress itself. Bed bugs prefer to feed on human blood as you sleep at night and are becoming increasingly common. It is easier for bed bugs to get in your mattress if your mattress is on the floor.

3) Mould and mildew – There is a cause for concern that mould and mildew could become an issue when the mattress is directly on the floor as the mattress is not ventilated adequately. This kind of growth has been linked to wheezy, chesty coughs and the spread of infection from the lungs, chest infections have been strongly linked to sleeping in mouldy areas. Actually sleeping on a mouldy mattress is very bad and detrimental to your body’s good health.

4) Temperature – If you live in a cold environment, it will be colder closer, to the floor, so that may be a concern. There is also some concern that there are more drafts near the floor. Hot air rises, therefore cold air falls and it will form a draught close to the floor. Clearly, the reverse could be a concern if you live in a hot environment where breathing issues may harm sufferers of asthma, for example.

5) Health and comfort – if you suffer with joint problems it is painful to lower yourself all the way down on to the floor, and also getting up after your sleep when your body is relaxed proves a challenge too.

In summary, bed and futons frames are essential to prevent health disorders. Bed frames that are constructed with posture sprung slats are proven to relieve symptoms of back pain, or ease the suffering of someone who has an affliction resulting in spinal or joint pain. Let’s face it, a healthy good night’s sleep is imperative to everyone.

When looking to purchase a bed or futon, it is highly recommended to consider these points and budget accordingly for the product that suits you best.

What’s the Difference Between a Floor Buffer and a Floor Scrubber?

If you’re just getting into the field of building service maintenance or office cleaning you’re sure to face the decision of whether to use a floor buffer or a floor scrubber for your floor cleaning jobs. You may think at first “these must be the same kind of machine, right?” Well, not really.

Generally, a floor buffer is a machine that has a horizontally rotating head that sits directly on the floor. Think of a large, round scrubbing pad spinning in a circle. The spinning of the pad is powered by a small motor, usually directly over the center of the pad. Some buffers come equipped with a solution tank that can squirt cleaning solution directly into the scrubbing pad and onto your floor. This extra feature allows the user to put small quantities of cleaner on the floor as needed, without having to stop and pour it directly out of a bottle– a real time and back saver. But, there is no way for a buffer to “vacuum up” that solution once it’s on the floor.

Floor buffers are also known as rotary floor machines because the scrubbing surface is constantly rotating in a circle in one direction. Automatic floor scrubbers MAY have a rotating head, similar to buffers, but many models offer a cylindrical brush head. We’ll address that difference in a minute. Just know that you’ll run across the terms “floor buffer” and “rotary floor machine” as meaning the same thing.

Buffers are made to spin at a variety of speeds. The speed at which the pad or brush rotates directly affects the kind of floor cleaning job you want to do. Low speed buffers are designed to handle scrubbing jobs, when your floor has in-ground dirt that you need to put some muscle into scrubbing away. Low speed machines are also your machine of choice when you need to strip off the old wax coating from a hard surface, like commercially tiled floors you often find in grocery stores. Low speed buffers will rotate from about 175 rpm. Variable speed buffers will go from about 175-350 rpm.

Low speed buffers are also appropriate for scrubbing – or bonneting – carpeting, provided the machine has enough horse power (or dual capacitors) to handle that kind of high-friction rotation. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for whether a floor buffer can be used for carpeting or not. Many manufacturers will void your warranty if you’ve used a machine on carpeting that’s not supposed to be used that way (don’t worry, they’ll be able to tell if you send your machine in for warranty work!)

High speed buffers are designed just for polishing hard floor surfaces. They rotate at very high speeds, anyway from about 1000 rpm to 3000 rpm. You CANNOT use high speed buffers for any kind of scrubbing work. With the right polishing pad and a little buffing spray you can bring a great shine to a hard floor surface. You just can’t do that with a low speed or variable speed machine.

Most floor buffers run from a direct connection to a power source, but some have internal batteries or a propane-powered engine to propel the rotating pad. The advantage of a battery or propane-engine type model is being free of power cords interfering with your scrubbing job. The advantage of the electric models is constant source of power without having to worry about draining a battery or fuel tank. Battery-powered models are often used in LEED and green building maintenance programs.

Floor scrubbers, also known as automatic floor scrubbers or auto scrubbers, are a whole different animal. They not only have a scrubbing head, but an automated system for dispensing cleaning solution and then vacuuming it up. So, in one pass over your floor, you can dispense cleaning or stripping solution, scrub it into the floor, and vacuum it all up with a squeegee attachment at the back of the machine. Auto scrubbers have a separate dispensing tank and a collection tank to keep your clean water from your dirty water.

Even though automatic scrubbers are generally more expensive machines up front, the time saved in cleaning your floors could very well off-set that initial cost. Saving operator time (and money) is the most frequent reason for purchasing these efficient machines for building maintenance programs.

In the end there are many factors to consider in deciding which kind of machine, a floor buffer or a floor scrubber, is best for your particular situation. If you have a very large facility with both wide open spaces (like the middle of a mall) and tight spaces (like in bathrooms) then maybe your best tool for the job is BOTH kinds of machines.

Learn The Differences Between Steam Mops, Floor Scrubbers and Steam Machines

Steam Mops and Floor Cleaners

If you’re looking for a hardwood floor cleaning machine for your home it can be a little confusing at first because there are several different but similar-sounding options.

The information here explains some basic terminology and concepts to help you decide whether a steam mop steam cleaner or floor scrubber machine works best for your needs.

Steam Cleaners And Steam Mops

“Steam cleaner” is a general term which includes the two forms explained below. In a steam cleaner, only the steam itself is used as the cleaning agent, no detergents or chemicals are added.

Steam mops come mounted on mop handles to deliver steam directly to a floor.

Handheld steam cleaners go anywhere around the house and use various attachments to clean all surfaces including counters, drapes, upholstery, furniture, walls, showers, tiles and grout, etc

Wet/Dry Cleaners

Use pads, brushes or moving scrubber heads to clean floor surfaces

Use cleaning solution (on floor or added to water) to clean floors and other surfaces

Usually an upright machine and may have attachments for cleaning upper surfaces like counters, furniture, drapes, furniture, tile, grout, etc.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Steam Cleaners

Steam cleaners, both steam mops and handheld, can sanitize surfaces in the home IF the steam reaches a certain temperature and is applied to the surface for enough time.

Generally the steam temperature should reach about 170 degrees Fahrenheit and remain against the surface to be sanitized for at least 30 seconds to effectively kill most bacteria.

Steam cleaning machines can actually produce a “dry” steam which has a low moisture content. A dry steam is useful in cleaning dust off painted walls or grease off surfaces and in other situations where too much moisture is a drawback.

Handheld steam cleaners can be good at cleaning vertical surfaces with large areas like walls and showers stalls, windows and glass doors.

Steam only cleaners that don’t use soap or chemicals are ideal for safe cleaning of pet cages and places where people, kids and animals live. No chemical use also mean odor, environmental toxins or added waste from buying containers of cleaning chemicals.

Evidence of grout cleaning abilities goes both ways, some say steam cleaners work great, others have not had success. Differences are in the details of each situation, the machine used and the user’s technique and abilities make it impossible to say whether steam is superior for getting grout between tiles clean.

Floor Cleaning Machines (Wet/Dry Floor Scrubbers)

Floor cleaners that use a chemical cleaning agent can benefit from the added cleaning abilities of the cleaning solution, and some people like the “just-cleaned” smell that gets left behind. Of course there are also the environmental drawbacks mentioned above.

Floor cleaners with moving brushes can provide added scrubbing power against spills and dried on materials (seen and unseen). Spinning brushes also help clean into textured surfaces and reach grout between tiles.

Floor cleaners that cycle water across the floor and pick it up again ensure that no dirty water is left on the floor. Some power mops also squeegee the floor and suck up excess water to leave the floor dry when done.

Floor cleaning machines with a vacuum function in addition to the floor cleaning abilities can cut out an extra step of having to mop or sweep the floor before cleaning.

Floor Cleaning Machines Summary

When it comes to floor cleaners price is a partial indicator of a machine’s abilities and the user’s eventual satisfaction and happiness with the results. In our reviews of steam mops and floor cleaning machines, those on the lower price end of the spectrum had more negative reviews than the middle or higher priced models.

Consider The True Cost of Low Price Options

Many times negative reviews of cheaper machines were not due to poor cleaning performance, but because the machine never worked at all.

Obviously buying a machine that never works – then needs to be returned – is a total waste of time. And buying a machine that works once or twice only or one that works poorly all the time is no solution either.

We’re not suggesting you buy the most expensive machine on the market, but we do recommend reading reviews and carefully considering time and frustration factors when looking at the lower priced machines. In fact, you’ll probably notice that some of the cheapest ones, even by big name manufacturers, are now on clearance because they didn’t make it in the market.

Great Choices In Middle Price Range

We’ve reviewed excellent home steam clean machines and floor cleaners in the $120 to $180 range that have hundreds of very positive ratings from actual users. When avoiding the low end there’s definitely no need to swing too far in the other direction.

There are higher priced commercial options are out there for people with unique needs. But for most home owners our advice is to avoid the low end and discontinued models, stay with a major manufacturer and trusted retailer and you should find a great floor cleaner that saves you a lot of time and leaves your home clean for your family.